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Autumn beads4

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The rowans or mountain-ashes are shrubs or trees in the genus Sorbus of the rose family, Rosaceae. They are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in the Himalaya, southern Tibet and parts of western China, where numerous apomictic microspecies occur.

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Autumn beads4

  1. 1. The Rowan Tree (Sorbus aucuparia) also known as European Mountain Ash, Witch Tree, or Witch Wood
  2. 2. Bane of witches, diviner of the future and producer of jam, rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) is an elegant tree with a mystical history. Its leaves and berries are a favourite for wildlife in woods and towns alike
  3. 3. Native to cooler regions of the northern hemisphere and most common in the UK in the north and west, it often grows in high-altitude locations. It is commonly found in the wild, particularly in the highlands of Scotland, but it is also widely planted as a street or garden tree
  4. 4. Rowan was once widely planted by houses as a protection against witches. The colour red was considered to be the best colour for fighting evil, and so the rowan’s bright red berries have been associated with magic and witches.
  5. 5. In Ireland, it was planted near houses to protect them against spirits, and in Wales rowan trees were planted in churchyards. Cutting down a rowan was considered taboo in Scotland.
  6. 6. The wood was used for stirring milk to prevent the milk curdling, and as a pocket charm against rheumatism. It was also used to make divining rods
  7. 7. The wood is pale yellow-brown with a deeper-brown heartwood. It is strong, hard and tough, but not particularly durable. It is sometimes used in turnery, furniture, craftwork and engraving.
  8. 8. Rowan berries are edible to humans – they are sour but rich in vitamin C, and can be used to make a tart jam
  9. 9. The Rowan Tree (Sorbus aucuparia) also known as European Mountain Ash, Witch Tree, or Witch Wood
  10. 10. Still life with rowan and viburnum berries Formerly, when a wider variety of fruits were commonly eaten in Europe and North America, Sorbus was a domestically used fruit throughout these regions. It is still used in some countries, but Sorbus domestica, for example, has largely vanished from Britain, where it was traditionally appreciated
  11. 11. The Rowan is steeped in folklore and was seen very much as a tree of protection
  12. 12. Rowan trees occur widely throughout Europe, in western Asia in Russia and the Caucasus region, in north Africa in the mountains of Morocco, and in north America (where they may be called the Mountain Ash)
  13. 13. The Rowan tree is said to be one of the most protective of all trees, and is first and foremost a protection against negative influences. The Rowan has protected homes for centuries, and many today are delighted to see a Rowan tree (or several) growing nearby houses.
  14. 14. Still life with The Rowan Tree (Sorbus aucuparia) berries and pomegranate
  15. 15. According to folklore, the dragon is the Rowan tree guardian. It appears frequently in Celtic myth often depicted as a snake- like creature or a worm. When the dragon swallows its own tale it symbolizes immortality, which is another attribute of the Rowan tree feature.
  16. 16. Still life with rowan berries
  17. 17. Still life with rowan berries
  18. 18. Still life with rowan berries
  19. 19. Still life with rowan berries
  20. 20. Still life with rowan berries
  21. 21. Greek mythology tells of how Hebe, the goddess of youth, dispensed rejuvenating ambrosia to the gods from her magical chalice. When, through carelessness, she lost this cup to demons, the gods sent an eagle to recover the cup. A fight ensued and the eagle shed feathers and drops of blood. These fell to earth where each of them turned into a rowan tree. Hence the rowan derived the shape of its leaves from the eagle’s feathers and the appearance of its berries from the droplets of blood.
  22. 22. The rowan is also prominent in Norse mythology as the tree from which the first woman was made, (the first man being made from the ash tree). Legend has it that it saved the life of the god Thor by bending over a fast flowing river in the Underworld in which he was being swept away. Thor managed to grab the tree and get back to the shore.
  23. 23. In Scandinavia, rowans growing out of some inaccessible cleft in a rock, or crevices in tree possessed an even more powerful magic. Such trees were known as ‘flying rowan’. Rowan was furthermore the prescribed wood on which runes were inscribed for divination
  24. 24. In the British Isles the rowan has a long and still popular history in folklore as a tree which protects against witchcraft and en- chantment
  25. 25. The physical characteristics of the tree may have contributed to its protective reputation. Each berry has a tiny five pointed star or pentagram opposite its stalk. The pentagram is an ancient protective symbol.
  26. 26. Some have said that since the ends of the berries appear to be in the shape of the pentagram that this was possibly the reason for the rowan tree’s connection with protection. The ancient symbol of the pentagram may be found in the iconography of several civilizations; some which may not have been connected by trade routes or influenced by invasions or other modes of transfer
  27. 27. Still life with The Rowan Tree (Sorbus aucuparia)
  28. 28. Rowan berries are traditionally prepared as a jam that accompanies wild game, but aren’t limited to this role. They can be used to make wine, ale or schnapps
  29. 29. People also believed the colour red was the best protection against magic. Thus the rowan’s vibrant display of berries in autumn may have further contributed to its protective abilities
  30. 30. These themes of protection crop up again and again. People carried pieces of the tree to ward off witchcraft. They even used of rowan sprigs to protect cows and their produce from enchantment.
  31. 31. The tree itself was said to afford protection to the dwelling by which it grew, and residents would make sure not to damage them.
  32. 32. The rowan’s wood is strong and resilient. It makes excellent walking sticks and is well- suited for carving
  33. 33. The berries can be made into or added to a variety of alcoholic drinks. Different Celtic peoples each seem to have had their favourites
  34. 34. As well as the popular wine still made in the Highlands, the Scots made a strong spirit from the berries
  35. 35. Today rowan berry jelly is still made in Scotland and is traditionally eaten with game.
  36. 36. People also believed the colour red was the best protection against magic. Thus the rowan’s vibrant display of berries in autumn may have further contributed to its protective abilities.
  37. 37. Mature trees can grow to 15m in height and can live for up to 200 years
  38. 38. Autumn still life with rowan berries
  39. 39. Winter still life with rowan berries
  40. 40. 2020 Text & pictures: Internet All copyrights belong to their respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda https://ma-planete.com/michaelasanda Sound: Francis Goya & Damian Luca - So close to you; Melancholia

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