Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Ash dilemna

"Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust" ~ A familiar funeral rite.

"Ring o ring o roses, a pocketful of posies...
(the American version).. ashes ashes...
we all fall down" ~ A centuries old nursery rhyme.

No not the ashes from burnt remains of a fire. Ashes to mean certain types of trees, the Ash tree. It's been in the news lately that the disease upon the native British ash species is "here to stay". There's no cure, apparantly but some other foreign trees are immune to the disease inflicted upon the UK trees. This disease is called "ash dieback" or Chalara Fraxinea. It's a fungal disease, attacking parts of the tree that makes trees look ill with spots and eventually stripping away its shoots and leaves. The disease itself has been killing ash trees in other European countries.

In 2012 the disease appeared in the United Kingdom and spread to different parts of the country. A ban was put in place recently to stop anymore imports of ash, to prevent more contamination. It seems as though the ash tree has it's own cancer that needs treating. Scientists are working on finding any solution to cure this outbreak.

It's so sad really. The ash tree has, not only always been part of the landscape, but features in common traditional herb lore, folklore, myth and legend. There are magical qualities of the ash tree from music to medicine to magic.

The true scientific name of the ash tree is Fraxinus. That name, as well as the English word "ash" (from aes to mean spear) and Ask (Old Norse name for the ash tree god). Not to mention the most powerful house of all, Yggdrasil, the World Tree. This was a super ash tree that was so huge it reached across the stars. It held nine worlds (some say planets, some say dimensional planes), including our own, Midgard. Also the All Father god Odin hung from an ash tree where he discovered the runes. In Greek myth, were groups of nymphs called Melia who were specifically female guardians of the ash tree.

Ash trees were often said to help people gain insight, increase their sixth sense, and to see into the future. Ash twigs aided in strengthening the spirit against malicious entities.     

Regards to Yggdrasil, at the time of Ragnarok, this giant tree gets destroyed, starting with disease and decay. It's all symbolic or prophetic told in certain weird ancient cryptic codes. That tree does represent the common wild ash tree found in Europe, maybe it talks of global species of ash trees. The time of Ragnarok itself is symbol of death or renewal, but destruction before. Leading up to the present times, we've just had serious fimbul winters, natures fury, strange weather patterns, now ash dieback, and the unsettled World Serpent Jormungandr (2012, Year of the (water) Dragon, according to the Chinese calender).

End of the Wolf Age? I see it as a global picture of events tied in with prophecy, oracle and the fact humanity has fucked up the planet.    
Image "The Ash" by Mike Nash

1 comment:

  1. "The Ash Tree" is one of my favourite Welsh folk songs. Such a beautiful melody. Too bad about the ash tree disease -- very distressing to lose such magnificent trees that way.