The Druid Alphabet was used for communication, sacred purposes and divination. Each consonant of the Alphabet represented a moon cycle; therefore, the Druid year was comprised of thirteen months. The extra day was a "non-calendar" day of ritual, used to "renew" the year.
First Month - "Beth" - (Birch): December 24 - January 20
Birchwood was used by the Druids to whip evil spirits an influences from the human body. Known as Lady of the Woods, Paper Birch and White Birch. The bark was often used in love spells. The Inspiring One, Vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.
Second Month - "Luis" - (Rowan): January 21 - February 17
Rowan was burned to summon spirits to fight for the Druid's causes. Its berries were magickally cast upon to produce sustenance of nine meals. It was used to heal the wounded, and could add a year to a man's life. It was also used in the great oracles. Also known as Mountain Ash, Witchwood and Sorb Apple, it has long known as an aid and protection against enchantment. Sticks of the Rowan were used to carve Runes on. Rowan spays and crosses were placed over cattle in pens and over homes for protection. Its lovely red berries feed the birds in winter. The berries have a tiny pentagram on them and are especially poisonous. The pentagram is the ancient symbol of protection. The Rowan tree indicates protection and control of the senses from enchantment and beguiling. The Rowan was sacred to the Druids and the Goddess Brighid. It is a very magical tree used for wands, rods, amulets and spells. A forked Rowan branch can help find water. Wands are for knowledge, locating metal and general divination. Sensitivity; Full of charm, cheerful, gifted, without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, motional, good company, does not forgive.
Third Month - "Nion" - (Ash): February 18 - March 17
The Sacred Tree Of Rebirth, three of the Magic Trees of Ireland (The Tree of Tortu, the Tree of Dathi, The Branching Tree of Usnech) were Ash trees. There were a total of five Magic Trees in Ireland. These three were felled in A.D. 665 to symbolize the Christian victory over Paganism. A footnote here, the Sacred Tree of Creevna, in Killura, stood until the nineteenth century, when migrating victims of the Great Potato Famine carried it piecemeal to America. All of these trees dated from the Druids. A Druid sacred tree. Druid wands were often made of ash because of its straight grain. Ash wands are good for healing, general and solar magic. Put fresh ash leaves under your pillow to stimulate psychic dreams. The Ambitious One, Uncommonly attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with its fate, can be egoistic, very reliable and trustworthy, faithful and prudent lover, sometimes brains rule over heart, but takes partnership very serious.
Fourth Month - "Fearn" - (Alder): March 18 - April 14
The Alder was the holy tree of Bran. In The Battle of the Trees, it fought in the front-line. It is the Battle Witch of all woods, and is hottest in a fight. Though it burns poorly, it was used by the Druids to make their sacred charcoal. Its green branches were used to make whistles to conjure up the North Winds. Milk pails were made of this wood to protect the milk. This tree was sacred to the Druids. The pith is easily pushed out of green shoots to make whistles. Several shoots bound together by cordage, can be trimmed to the desired length for producing the note you want and used to entice Air elementals. The old superstition of "whistling up the wind" began with this custom.
Fifth Month - "Saille" - (Willow): April 15 - May 12
Willow is derived from wicker, as were the words witch, and wicked, and it is the preferred wood to construct wands from. The Druids made wicker baskets to hold their sacrifices during the full moon and certain festivals of the year. Also known as White Willow, Tree of Enchantment and Witches' Asprin. Once of the seven sacred trees of the Irish, a Druid sacred Tree. The willow is a Moon tree sacred to the White Lady, Its groves were considered so magickal that priests, priestesses and all types of artisans sat among these trees to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills and prophecies. For a wish to be granted, ask permission of the willow, explaining your desire. Select a pliable shoot and tie a loose knot in it while expressing what you want. When the wish is fulfilled. return and untie the knot. Remember to thank the willow and leave a gift. Melancholy, beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, very empathic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with, demanding, good intuition, suffers in love but finds sometimes an anchoring partner.
Sixth Month - "Uath" - (Hawthorn): May 13 - June 9
Whitethorn or Hawthorn was considered unlucky, and was used to cast harmful spells. Hawthorn was used to abstain from sexual activity, as it was believed that a child conceived during this month would come to no good. Five torches of Hawthorn were burned the night before the month began, to help survive the month, and marriages were banned. The custom of May being an unlucky month for marriage came from this. Also known as May Tree and White Thorn. Wands made of this wood are of great power. The blossoms are highly erotic to men. Hawthorn can be used for protection, love and marriage spells.
Seventh Month - "Duir" - (Oak): June 10 - July 7
Duir is derived from the word Door, and the Oak was considered a dimension door of sorts to the Druids. The Head of the their pantheon, the Royal Oak, king of all trees, was used to pass through the forest, to other oaks within the woods. Its wood was used exclusively to stoke the Midsummer fires. Oak has been considered sacred by just about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held in particular esteem by the Celts because of its size, longevity, and nutritious acorns. The oak was the "King of Trees" in a grove. Magick wands were made of its wood. Oak galls, known as Serpent Eggs, were used in magickal charms. Acorns gathered at night held the greatest fertility powers. The Druids and Priestesses listened to the rustling oak leaves and the wrens in the trees for divinatory messages. Burning oak leaves purifies the atmosphere. It can be used in spells for protection, strength, success and stability; the different varieties will lend their own special 'flavor' to the magic. The Robust One, Courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not love changes, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.
Eighth Month - "Tinne" - (Holly): July 8 - August 4
Holy was second only to the Oak in sacredness. Not the traditional holy native to the British Isles today, this tree was the Scarlet Oak, which is infested with a scarlet, berry shaped insect that was used to make a red dye, and aphrodisiac elixirs. It is also the sacred tree of the Furies. A beautiful white wood with an almost invisible grain; looks very much like ivory. Holly is associated with the death and rebirth symbolism of winter in both Pagan and Christian lore and is important to the Winter Solstice. In Arthurian legend, Gawain (representing the Oak King of summer) fought the Green Knight, who was armed with a holly club to represent winter. It is one of the three timbers used in the construction of chariot wheel shafts. It was used in spear shafts also. The qualities of a spear shaft are balance and directness, as the spear must be hefted to be thrown the holly indicates directed balance and vigour to fight if the cause is just. Holly may be used in spells having to do with sleep or rest, and to ease the passage of death. A bag of leaves and berries carried by a man is said to increase his ability to attract women.
Ninth Month - "Coll" - (Hazel): August 5 - September 1
The nut of the Hazel was consumed by the Druids for wisdom, and it was believed to be the source of all knowledge of the Arts and Sciences. A forked Hazel stick was used for divining the identity of murderers and thieves. It was used to find water, and buried treasure as well, a practice still used by water witches today. Druidic heralds carried White Hazel wands as a symbol of their station. Wands made of this wood symbolize white magick and healing. Forked sticks are used to find water or buried treasure. If outside and in need of magickal protection quickly draw a circle around yourself with a hazel branch. To enlist the aid of plant fairies, string hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in your house or ritual room. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, wisdom and poetic inspiration. Extraordinary, Charming, undemanding, very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody and capricious lover, honest and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgment.
Tenth Month - "Muin" - (Vine): September 2 - September 29
The Vine was not native to the British Isles and was brought there by the Tuatha de Danann, where it did well in southern areas of the Isles. It was used by the Druids to make their sacred wines, Blackberry being the most sacred. The Danaan taught the Druids the fine art of winemaking, insuring the vine's sacred status.
Eleventh Month - "Gort" - (Ivy): September 30 - October 27
Ivy was consumed by the Druids to stimulate dreaming, a true insight to the future. Dreaming was a very important oracle, revered nearly to the level of human sacrifice.
Twelfth Month - "Pethboc" - (Reed): October 28 - November 24
Peith stood for NG originally, or Ngetal, the Reed. Only later did it signify Peith, the Guelder Rose, or water Elder. The reed was carried by Egyptian Pharaohs who used to form it into a scepter. It was holy to the Druids for making sacred darts and arrows.
Thirteenth Month - "Ruis" - (Elder): November 25 - December 22
Elder was used by witches as magic horses. Its flowers and bark were used as medicine. It was also associated with death. Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. Standing under an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Fairy Ring of mushrooms, will help you see the "little people." Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on panpipes or flutes of elder have the same power as the wand. Remember the words of the Rede. Elder is the Lady's Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be!