Celtic company 'Moon Mná' is giving a lucky reader a chance to plant an Irish Heritage Tree this Mother's Day (Ireland).
Moon Mná are offering you the chance to plant an Irish Heritage Tree in honor of someone special to you for Irish Mother's Day, March 27 - it could be for a loved one who has passed, to celebrate a birth, retirement, or their Irish roots.
Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circles is an international community of women, whose heart beats with Celtic soul and is for those who love the Moon, Celtic and nature-inspired books, diaries, journals, and gifts.
* Competition is now closed
Their Moon Mná Diary-Journal offers the precious gift of personal sacred time to reflect. Each month features fascinating facts and personal stories on different Irish trees. This month focuses on the Elm Tree which you can learn more about below.
The Elm Tree: one of Ireland's oldest native sacred trees
An extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by Dr. Karen Ward.
Known as the ‘Commoner of the Wood’ there is only one Irish native, Leamhán Sléibhe, Ulmus Glabra, Mountain or Wych Elm from the old English word ‘wice’ meaning supple/flexible.
This moist-soil loving deciduous tree grows up to 40m with dark green oval double-serrated leaves. Developing red tasseled bisexual flowers, these are wind pollinated to produce single flat oval seeds with papery wings. Unless affected by Dutch Elm disease, these large distinctive trees last more than 200 years though known to drop boughs without warning.
Revered in Ireland as an important famine food due to the protein and fibre content, placenames include Cnoc na Leamhán, Hill of Elms, Co. Galway and Leamach Bheag Small Elm. Co. Offaly. Elm’s stature makes them imposing landmarks/boundary markers.
Did you know that as Elm wood withstands wet conditions very well, it was used for boat/barge hulls, bridge foundations and cartwheels? Medieval Welsh archers made their longbows from Elm and an early form of tie-dyeing used inner bark twine while also providing a yellow dye. Medicinal cures include treatment of broken bones, diarrhoea, colds, sore throats and burns. Elm is prized to create art and furniture.
In modern Irish, the Elm is Crann Úr meaning Moist Tree, so some say that it is Úr in the Ogham Tree nomenclature rather than Heather. The Celts believed that the Elm protected the dead helping the soul pass to the underworld and even today many coffins are made from its wood. The old Irish Bretha Comaitchesa (Neighbourhood Laws) stated the payment of a heifer for any damage done to an Elm.
The Realm of Pure Energetic Experience
An Elm Tree story extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by
By Caroline Orr, Somatic Movement Practitioner, Shamanic Therapist, and Arts Educator.
She approached the Elm tree holding her encyclopedia of life which she had read and reread over many years. This book had taught her much but not what she really wanted to know, the secret that would allow her flight. She stood beneath the illuminated green canopy of the Elm, joining its sway in the blustery wind.
“I know you…”said the Elm. She smiled with surprise at this recognition. The Elm reached down and gently lifted her book, opening it and allowing the pages to flutter free. The pages formed new leaves on its boughs and she heard their paper-rustle whispers as the wind ran through them. “…beyond knowledge” the Elm said.
The whispering leaves lifted in the wind, turning into downy white feathers that floated up and away into the blue of the sky and were eventually lost from her sight. In the silence that followed she realised she had been taught how to fly.
I discover the elusive Elm tree in a small circular clearing that’s hidden amongst a copse of Hazel and Hawthorn. It is a young tree whose slender branches, studded with large serrated leaves, are dancing enthusiastically in the erratic breeze. There is a freedom and vitality to the dynamic Elm that speaks to me of release and of renewal and rebirth.
I suddenly notice that I’ve lost all sense of time. I realise that my well-worn habitual thought patterns for understanding myself and the world have lifted in that moment and I feel like I’ve stepped into the realm of pure energetic experience.
My attention is drawn to two butterflies close by, one a tortoiseshell, the other a speckled wood perhaps, and their presence, symbolic of transformation and the soul, heightens the sense of joyful metamorphosis.
Like the freshness and exuberance of the Elm, I welcome the month of March as being full of promise and potential, the daylight hours are lengthening and the daffodils are brightly encouraging us to look forwards. And yet in March there is still a sense of unpredictability in the air, the weather distinctly changeable from one day to the next.
It feels like the Elm and I are at the centre of four seasons in a day, one minute grey clouds scudding across the sky and rain splattering down, the next a warm shaft of sunlight breaks through and the rain subsides. All the while a compelling wind is gusting around us as the supple Elm cheerily pitches itself to and fro in response.
I’m reminded that when life is buffeting me, I can answer playfully by bending one way or another to see things from a new perspective. Two squirrels larking about in a nearby tree top are seemingly in agreement.
I sense with gratitude that the Elm’s resonance will stay with me, encouraging me to be more than I think I know and inviting me to live life light and breezy, looking at things anew again and again.
Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circles is an international community of women, whose heart beats with Celtic soul, mná being the word for women in the Irish Gaelic language and pronounced ‘meh-naw’. We commune daily through the pages of the Moon Mná Diary-Journal while gathering online for Lunar Gatherings and ceremonial Rites of Passage Courses. Find out more here.