Gort         Symbol: Gort

Sound value: G

Literal meaning: Field

Pronounced as “GORE-t”

Northwest Europe


(Hedera helix)

Features: Climbing vine with 3-5 lobes on leaves, stems have roots for climbing (Aralia Family)

Uses: decorative

North Central Florida


(Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Note: no direct local native equivalent found- this is not a Hedera spp. plant, but has similar features to Ivy.

Features: Deciduous vine, with 5 lobed leaves & adhesive pads for climbing (Grape Family)

Uses: decorative


Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Starke, Florida



Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Starke, Florida

Modern divinatory meaning: Spiral of self, tenacity, indirect progress

Animal symbolism (based on traditional lore): hedgehog

Bird symbolism (based on traditional lore): swan

Associated deities: Ceres

Color: sky blue

Calendar: Gort is associated with the eleventh lunar month of the Celtic year, September. (Using the Celtic tree calendar system that has 13 ‘months’ starting in November, as popularized by Liz and Colin Murray. Other calendars are also used, most notably the calendar devised by the poet Robert Graves in his 1948 book White Goddess.)


  • Ivy is sacred to the god Dionysos (called Bacchus by the Romans). Ivy garlands were worn by celebrants of the god’s orgies and ivy was used to decorate their thyrsos-staffs. One myth states: in ancient Greece Korymbos (or Corymbus) was the rustic spirit of the fruit of the ivy. He was a companion of the god Dionysos, whose mother Mystis nursed on the island of Euboia. Another myth tells how Dionysos’ stepmother Hera sought to destroy him. So his nurses, the Nymphai Nysiades, screened his crib with ivy-leaves to keep him safely hidden. Kisseis (the lady of the ivy) was the name of one of these Nymphs.
  • Ivy was sacred to Attis, a Phrygian vegetation god and consort of the great Mother Kybele (Cybele). His eunuch priests were tattooed with a pattern of ivy leaves. (The Golden Bough)
  • In ancient Rome, ivy was a symbol of intellectual achievement and ivy wreathes were used to crown winners of poetry contests. They were also given to victorious athletes in ancient Greece. The Roman custom of hanging a branch with leaves (often ivy) on a pole to indicate that the premises sold wine or ale spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and became known as an alepole or alestake. (Kew Royal Botanical Gardens)
  • As a child, the Irish hero Fionn was sheltered from his enemies by an ivy-covered tree. In England there is an old Yule custom where Ivy-girls and Holly-boys played forfeit games and teased each other. (The Druid Plant Oracle.)
  • Ivy is associated with fertility as it refuses to die in winter. (And as anyone knows who has tried it, it will re-grow after it is cut down.) Considered a feminine plant, ivy is used as decorative greens at the winter solstice or Christmas along with holly (considered a masculine plant). These two plants aspects are resolved under the mistletoe. (Ivy, holly, and mistletoe are the most prominent green plants in British native woodland during the winter.)