Wood, Stone and You
There are wood and gemstone associated with birthdates. Do you know your birth tree signs and birth month symbols?
Choosing special products and objects that link with you is fun and gives you a tale to tell when someone else admires your possession. Celtic tree astrology signs provide a talking point and add an extra layer of detail to celebrate the birth of a child.
Many people have lists of flowers, woods, and materials that link to birthdays and anniversaries or have a hidden meaning. These traditions mean you can give a gift created from wood and precious gems that have more meaning because you have chosen the materials for their significance as well as their beauty.
Your tree sign will depend on your chosen tradition–North American and the Celtic tree astrology sign’s are slightly different. Both native Americans and Celtic druids believed that trees had spirits and that an individual’s birthwood had essential properties and meaning relating to your character and position in life.
Outside of associations with your birthday, each tree (and wood) have unique properties associated with health and spirit.
Celtic Birth Trees and Associated Stones
The Celtic tree astrology follows the lunar and not the sun cycle. There are thirteen months in every year, and these do not match the calendar month’s. The word month comes from the moon. Dates shift subtly around, so if you are born on a boundary date, you might want to check the celestial calendar for the year of your birth month tree to be sure of your Celtic tree astrology sign. See what your tree birthdays says about you below.
Gemstones and semi-precious jewels have plenty of symbolic and associated legends. Names for these have changed over the years. When an old text refers to diamonds, it might describe a pale light topaz or sapphire. Colour was an essential characteristic, so garnets and rubies would class as the same ones.
Symbolic meanings of the gemstones listed next to each birth tree by month:
Symbolic Meanings of Birth Wood
Birch 24th December-20th January
Birch represents rebirth, renewal, and honesty; children with this tree sign have beautiful souls and are tolerant of others. A magnificent tree, as every part, is edible and useful. The inner bark produces a substance that gives pain relief, and the sap is delicious and pleasant. Wood is hard, fine-grained, and pale. It has a reputation for rebirth because it can restart woodlands after disasters.
Crystal, as clear quartz, is for being the master healer and attracting positive thoughts.
Rowan 21st January-17th February
Rowan tree symbolism represents protection because, on every berry, you can find a small pentacle, a traditional emblem of protection against evil. Plus, they consider the red colour protective and lucky across the world. Those born under the Rowan tree sign live charmed lives and are highly intuitive. Berries are rich in vitamins A and C and can be edible with processing into jam or jelly, but the taste is tart. Bark and berries produce a black dye.
Tourmaline is protective and heals. The colours of each have their additional property. Black is for self-assurance and clear vision. Pink is naturally for love and gentleness. Purplish ones typically help you relax and are said to ward off migraines. Blueness represents an open mind and excellent communication skills. Greener colours for courage and strength. Brown (shades of yellow) is for positive thinking.
Ash 18th February-17th March
Ash represents connection, power, awareness, and sensitivity. Ash is the primary candidate for the world tree of Norse mythology with its roots in the underworld and its branches in the heavens, connecting two worlds. If you are born under the Ash tree sign, you will seek knowledge and intelligence your entire lifetime.
Turquoise is a timeworn gemstone with an extensive history with beads from 5000 BC found in archaeological digs in Iraq. It represents protection (especially from falls), and longevity.
Lepidolite is for calm and serenity during anxious moments. In crystal therapy, they consider lepidolite soothing and aids changes in life or emotions like grief.
Alder 18th March-14th April
Alder represents determination and inner confidence. Persons born under this sign are passionate, robust, and endure all life’s storms. It is easy to push the soft pith at the core of twig out, leaving a wooden tube. The twig makes a fine flute or whistle. Legend has it that music played on an alder whistle will summon fairy folk.
Lapis Lazuli is often called a sapphire in old texts. This represents insight and seeking after truth.
Willow 15 April-12 May
Willow represents the qualities of imagination, vision, and intuition. Associated with mourning–when the Israelites wept in the shade of willow trees. Wearing the willow is a phrase that means to be mourning a death or a lost love (to a rival). The traditional material for cricket bats and weaving baskets. In the fable, the willow tree bent and survived the storm that felled the mighty oak. Those with this tree symbol are agile in body and mind.
Moonstone is for emotional stability and calmness.
Hawthorn 13 May-9 June
Hawthorn represents relationships but also consequences and contradictions. Greeks and Romans saw it as symbolical of belief and happy marriages. Hawthorn children are occasionally prickly but open to change and development. Important to both the Celtic druid, pagans and Christian traditions, with pilgrims visiting the holy thorn at Glastonbury. Legend has it that the Glastonbury thorn sprang from a hawthorn staff carried by Joseph of Arimathea.
Lapis Lazuli. Blueish Calcite is for communication and calms the soul.
Oak 10 June-7 July
Oak means strength, royalty, and character. This is the king of the woods or the summer king represented by Gawain in the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight. These gigantic oaks endure for generations with as much of the tree below ground as above. When you think of ancient trees, this is the first tree that comes to mind. Naturally, those born under the sign of the oak are born to lead and have the character to endure life’s challenges.
Aventurine is for luck and wealth. It is a member of the quartz family, generally green with shimmering glitter specks.
Diamonds are for eternal love and courage and represents a blinding flash of light–lightning trapped in a rock.
Holly 8 July-4 August
Holly represents death and rebirth. We also associate it with holiness and protection of the spirit. Qualities are that they are assertive and objective in their approach to life. Also linked with Christmas traditions worldwide. The Holly King is the winter counterpoint to the Summer Oak. Holly is the material of Harry Potter’s wand and symbolises protection against evil. A slow-growing, white wood that was popular as a material for carving chessmen and in marquetry.
Ruby is for passionate love and protects those wearing it from evil in thought and deed.
Bloodstone is for healing and courage. It represents people with integrity and determination to see a job through the end, no matter the sacrifice.
Hazel 5 August-1 September
Hazel has a long association with poetry and knowledge. In Celtic times Bards used to love a good story and were the wise men. Their songs kept history and traditions alive in a time when handwriting was rudimentary. Hazel is soft and pliable, so twigs were the diviner’s tool of choice when seeking underground water. The fabulous salmon of wisdom became wise through eating hazelnuts (nine). Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and are delicious in many sweet and savoury recipes.
Topaz increases the wearer’s strength and intelligence but represents love and affection.
Pearls are the tears of the goddess of love and always represent purity. Pearls are an organic gem, and if you want them to keep their lustrous qualities, you need to wear them regularly.
Apple 2 September-29 September
Apple the Celtic birth tree for September associated with gentleness, strength, attractiveness, and a giving heart. Apple trees give abundantly, and wood smells good in a fire. In Celtic and American traditions, apple always links with motherhood and nurtures a feeling of being at home with plenty to eat.
Apples arrived in Britain with the Romans. Pilgrim fathers took seeds with them to their new home in America. Apples crop up in legends all the time, from Norse apples of immortality to William Tell splitting an apple and saving his son’s life.
Emerald was for fertility and love. Today it represents patience, sense, and self-development.
Rose Quartz is for love, a peaceful home and to heal.
Ivy 30 September-27 October
Ivy produces wood, but it is rare and in short supply. Part of the ginseng family, but it is poisonous, so don’t be tempted to eat it. Representing peace and fidelity because it binds different plants and objects together. They associate it with wine (because it is a vine) and was an old pub sign–ivy hanging above the door indicated wine was available.
Partner to Holly in the much-loved Christmas carol (The Holly and The Ivy) and represents women. The song refers to the old dispute of the sexes around the wintertime solstice for who would rule the household–the Holly (man) or the ivy (woman).
Reed 28 October-24 November
Reed is not a tree, but the Celts regarded any woody type plant as a member of the tree family. Reeds grow up to twenty feet tall and are useful for thatched roofs and basketry. Reeds serve as a handy strewing herb on packed dirt floors that could be swept out and replaced to purify homes. All the reed properties of protection, communication, and purification relate to uses made of the plant.
Elder 25 November- 23 December
Elder is associated with a transition from one state to another. It is the tree of endings and the tree of beginnings. In, folk traditions it’s believed to drive out evil spirits and destructive thoughts and is planted for protection from malice. The elder berries and flora are edible, but everything else is poisonous. Bark, leaves, and berries all produced organic dyes for Harris tweed. Children with this Celtic zodiac sign are always seeking, striving, and achieving.
North American Birth Trees and Birthstones
Jan – Birch
Garnet, as a raw gem, resembles a pomegranate seed, and its name means ‘seed.’ Its powers are devotion and commitment.
Feb – Hackberry
Hackberry represents strong willpower, intuition, and understanding in the native American customs. Someone born under the Hackberry tree sign knows what they want and has the strength of will to achieve their dreams. This tree produces small edible berries that start orange and ripen to deep mauve. The tree is native to the Americas but has spread across the world. It has medicinal and other uses.
Amethyst being purple, was a royal gem and not for commoners. Its name means ‘sober’ and was a favourite for bishops’ rings.
Mar – Ash
Aquamarine, as its name suggests, was associated with Neptune. Sailors used this as a talisman to bring them safely home.
Apr – Walnut
Walnut represents universal intellect and knowledge. Perhaps this thought has something to do with the close resemblance of a walnut has to the human brain. Archaeological evidence of walnut consumption goes back to 7,000BC in Iraqi caves in Shanidar. If walnut is your tree sign, you can lay claim to logical thinking and an ability to see the big picture.
May – Elm
Elm represents strength and loyalty in native American lore. Elm has a colourful political past involving wars and revolution. The felling of an Elm tree in Normandy in 1188 was an indication of a dispute between France and England. The Liberty Tree planted in Boston was felled in 1775 by the British and started the custom of planting ‘Liberty Elms’ all over the country. The ‘Survivor Tree’ is an elm that survived a bomb blast that killed 100 people and is a memorial to that tragic waste of humankind. Elms now represent hope in face of war across the world. An Elm child is principled and steadfast in their loyalty.
Jun – Oak
Pearl and Alexandrite.
Jul – Cherry
Cherry is for compassion, love, and romance, and this makes it an ideal wood for wedding rings or Valentine’s Day keepsakes. Anyone born under the sign of the cherry tree has blessings of good luck and fortune. Japan makes gift cherry trees as a symbol of friendship and peace. Legend has it that the phoenix sleeps on a bed of cherry blossom, allowing cherry blossom to represent a time of renewal.
Aug – Apple
Peridot forms from the tears of Pele (volcano goddess) and can ward away nightmares if combined with gold.
Sept – Willow
Sapphire is for pureness and intelligence and, in ancient times, prevented the wearer from a snake bite.
Oct – Maple
Maple is a new world tree and doesn’t feature in the Celtic tree astrology. Maple syrup is a delicious ingredient valued across the world. The Maple tree represents sweetness and abundance. This species cover a wide range of distinct types from the sugar maple to the delicate Japanese Acer. Maple stands for change–the leaves change to vibrant colours in the autumn. The Japanese have a Maple ceremony that is as popular as the cherry blossom festival but less famous.
Opal is the choice of confident and faithful people. Tourmaline.
Nov – Cedar
Cedar is a nice-smelling wood that repels moths and protects clothing and linens stored inside boxes and cupboards. The qualities of cedar are cleansing and curing-an excellent wood to represent anyone in the medical or caring professions. In Native American traditions, cedar is a symbol of good fortune and generosity.
Citrine is for joy, generosity, and the ability to change and grow. Topaz as before.
Dec – Pine
Pine is versatile and quick growing and excellent for construction and furniture. As pinewood matures, it acquires a rich honey glow of old pine. The symbolics of pine is peace, harmony, and highly creative urge. Born under the pine is to be a peacemaker and artistic.
Tanzanite represents deeply intuitive and spiritually grounded people.
Zircon is for compassion, excellent sleep, and represents the characteristics of honour and good sense.
Combining Wood and Stone
People seek pattern and significance and to link themselves to the mysteries of the universe and natural world through the moment of our birth. This practice of looking for signs and omens has deep primordial roots.
Most people know their sun sign, and some go further and know their moon sign as well. Plenty of people can tell you which animal of the Chinese zodiac with its twelve-year cycle is associated with them. Now when someone asks you what sign you were born under, you can refer to yourself as an offspring of Rowan or Thorn, depending on the Celtic astrology calendar.
When choosing a wooden object like a ring or pen, you might want to match the wood to the recipient’s tree for birth month or prefer to choose a wood that symbolises your relationship. You can combine woods for a more nuanced meaning and add in gems for their symbolism.
Selecting a wood and stone with significance gives added meanings and layers to an object. Everyone likes to be able to add a personal touch to items they treasure or present as gifts to a loved one.
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