Celtic Tree Astrology and the Celtic Zodiac

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The Celtic Zodiac or Tree Zodiac is quite unlike Western astrology and many attempts have been made to recreate this ancient astrological concept to establish a link between Celtic Protector Trees and the signs of the zodiac.

Celtic Tree Astrology

The Celts saw the universe as a tree, the roots of which grew deep into the ground while its branches reached high into the Heavens. They designated a tree to each Moon phase in their calendar in accordance with its magical properties. Because the Celts passed down their knowledge orally and no written records exist describing their calculations or techniques, interpreting Celtic astrology through modern eyes is a challenging proposition and a one in which opinions differ.

Druid Tree and Celtic Zodiac

Robert Graves is likely to be the first to have considered the astrological theories of the Celts; he maintained the Celts or Druids used a 13 month Lunar based calendar. Helena Patterson’s two books “The Handbook of Celtic Astrology” and “The Celtic Lunar Calendar” are based on Grave’s work are considered to be the definitive works on the subject. Helen Patterson’s work, based on Robert Grave’s interpretation of the Celtic Zodiac follows the 13 month Lunar based calendar however John King in his book “The Celtic Druid’s Year” suggested the druid year began in high summer and disputes Grave’s placement of the New Year at Midwinter.

Celtic Tree and Astrology

Assuming the Celtic alphabet derived from the Greek and Roman alphabets, Robert Graves justified the tree order through Classical myths. Other interpretations of the Celtic Zodiac offer a very different approach, offering 36 divisions of the calendar. Edgar Bliss’s “Astrologie Gauloise” for instance suggested a 36 part tree order, plus another four for the equinoxes and solstices. Below is Edgar Bliss’s Tree Order (linking these with Western Star Signs):

  • March 21 – Arian Oak
  • March 22 – 31 – Arian Hazel Tree
  • April 1 – 10 – Arian Mountain Ash Tree
  • April 11 – 20 – Arian Maple
  • April 21 -30 – Taurean Walnut
  • May 1 – 14 – Taurean Poplar
  • May 15 – 24 – Taurean Chestnut
  • May 25 – June 3 – Gemini Ash
  • June 4 – 13 – Gemini Hornbeam
  • June 14 – 23 – Gemini Fig Tree
  • June 24, Summer Solstice – Cancerian Birch
  • June 25 – July 4- Cancerian Apple-tree
  • July 5 – 14 – Cancerian Yew-tree
  • July 15 – 22 – Cancerian Elm
  • July 23 – 25 – Leo Elm
  • July 26 – August 4 – Leo Cypress
  • August 5 – 13 – Leo Poplar
  • August 14 – 23 – Leo Nettle-tree
  • August 24- September 2 – Virgo Pine
  • September 3 – 12 – Virgo Willow
  • September 13 – 22 – Virgo Linden-tree
  • September 23, Fall Equinox: Olive-tree
  • September 24 – October 3 – Virgo Hazel
  • October 4 – 13 – Libran Hazel-bush
  • October 14 – 23 – Libran Maple
  • October 24 – November 2 – Scorpio Walnut tree
  • November 3 – 11 – Scorpio Poplar-tree
  • November 12 – 21 – Scorpio Sweet Chestnut
  • November 22 – December 1 – Sagittarius Ash
  • December 2 – 11 – Sagittarius Hornbeam
  • December 12 – 21 – Sagittarius Fig-tree
  • December 22, Winter Solstice: Capricorn Beech
  • December 23 – January 1 – Capricorn Apple-tree
  • January 2 – 11 – Capricorn Yew
  • January 12 – 21 – Capricorn Elm
  • January 21 – 24 – Aquarius Elm
  • January 25 – February 3 – Aquarius Cypress
  • February 4 – 8 – Aquarius Poplar
  • February 9 – 18 – Aquarius Nettle-tree
  • February 19 – 29 – Pisces Pine-tree
  • March 1 – 10 – Pisces Willow
  • March 11 – 20 – Pisces Linden-tree

Celtic astrology links trees and birth-date. It can be incredibly detailed and insightful, no matter which model might be preferred. All promote the natural connectedness of the Celts with nature and their reverence for the sacred knowledge held by trees, connecting the qualities of the trees to human personality.

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