Celtic Astrology: Born Under the Rowan Tree
Most people are familiar with Western astrology and its twelve zodiac signs. The Celts believed, as well, that people born between certain dates shared similar characteristics of personality, and they had their own system for categorizing these groups of people. There are some differences, though, between Western astrology and Celtic. First, Western has twelve divisions of the year. The Celts have thirteen. Second, Western astrology is based on the stars and the zodiac signs are named for constellations. The Celts—being Celts—named their signs after trees. (Trees are really, really important to the Celts.) As of January 22nd (or the evening of January 21st, since Celtic days start at sunset), we have been under the sign of Rowan tree. This post will discuss the characteristics of people born under the sign of the Rowan (Jan.22—Feb.18), the corresponding Celtic animal, the symbolism of the Rowan tree to the Celts, and a little folklore about the tree.
So here are the characteristics of those lucky enough to have born under the sign of the Rowan tree. They tend to be visionary, idealistic, and strongly concerned with spiritual and humanitarian issues. They are thinkers and often quite philosophical with creative, outside the box ideas. Rowans are so creative and original in their thinking and perspectives that people often misunderstand them or consider them odd. Fortunately, most Rowans really don’t care what other people think of them. They don’t worry much about being conventional and generally are happy to be unique individuals. Despite sometimes shocking others with their innovative ideas and attitudes, Rowans often are looked up to and people will turn to them specifically because their creative ideas and insightful thinking. In conjunction with this, Rowans are natural-born leaders and quite comfortable being in charge. They’re not that great, however, at following. On the outside, Rowans may appear cool and analytical, aloof even, but inside they burn with passion for their ideals and their concern for all of humanity.
The Celtic animal sign which corresponds to the Rowan is the Cat. People born under the sign of the Cat are independent and like to be free, unconventional, and unique. Highly intelligent, they love to learn new things, need stimulation, and don’t mind shaking things up now and then. They don’t care if other people disapprove as they are good at self-acceptance.
Cats are highly cerebral and spend a lot of time comfortably living inside their heads. They love to travel as well, but are homebodies at heart. Cats enjoy solitude, however, they do like interacting with people too. And they enjoy watching and studying people which gives them good insights into human behavior. They are humanitarians who enjoy working on good causes, especially when advocating for underdogs. At times, though, Cats can be judgmental and get frustrated with other people’s failings. But, since they are so creative and analytical, they are good at problem-solving and offering ways for family and friends to deal with difficult issues. Because Celtic Cats are great communicators, they are good at expressing their ideas and solutions to others.
In Celtic folklore, cats (the actual animals) were considered Otherworldly. The Celts believed these animals had the ability to see into the future, that they could warn humans of danger, and could act as guides.
The Rowan tree was associated with foresight and intuition as well. It stood as a reminder to look beyond the visible and the obvious to discover what was hidden by the veil. The tree also symbolized protection, connection, balance, and mystery.
Here are just a few pieces of Celtic folklore and customs involving the Rowan tree:
--The Irish put Rowan flowers on their windowsills and doorsteps to prevent evil spirits from entering the house.
--Rowans were planted in graveyards to protect the dead from evil—and to keep the dead from rising.
--Rowans were believed to protect against enchantments.
--On May Day, Rowan was burned in the fireplace and the smoke was believed to protect the household from the malicious plans of witches.
A final thought for meditation: Rowan trees grow in a variety of ways and, sometimes in seemingly impossible places (such as growing out of another tree). Take from that what you will. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments.
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