Luis         Symbol: Luis

Sound value: L

Literal meaning: flame, or growing herb

Pronounced as

“LWEESH”

Northwest Europe

ROWAN OR MOUNTAIN ASH

(Sorbus aucuparia)

FEATURES: Deciduous tree (Rose Family)

USES: Tough & flexible wood- used for masts, walking sticks. Berries used in jellies and spirits. Medicinal uses.

North Central Florida

BLACK CHERRY

(Prunus serotina)

FEATURES : Medium deciduous tree (Rose Family)

(Note: I found no Sorbus spp. tree, and used this one as having similar features & uses.)

USES: Wood- furniture, trim, tool handles, & veneers. Fruit- edible, bitter fruit is used in wine making, to flavor spirits, and in jellies. Medicinal uses. +

+School of Forest Res. & Conserv. Univ Fl, Forest Trees

Black Cherry

Black Cherry, Gainesville, FL

Modern divinatory meaning: Protection, vision, gives insight

Animal symbolism (based on traditional lore): mouse

Bird symbolism (based on traditional lore): duck

Associated deities: Brigid, Brigantia

Color: gray & red

Element: Fire

Calendar: Luis is associated with the second lunar month of the Celtic year, December. (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.)

Folklore

  • Icelandic myth- rowan is particularly strong at the Winter Solstice, the beginning of the new solar year. At this time the tree has no leaves and when covered in frost appears as though covered in stars, symbolizing light in the darkest part of the year.
  • Yule legends- a special star glowed atop a rowan tree, heralding life returning to the world of darkness. (Christians later used this star in their story of the birth of Jesus, and the star-clad rowan likely became today’s Christmas Tree.)
  • Pagan beliefs- the bright and bountiful berries of rowan- being red- means this is a tree of power. A mythological Tree of Life, rowan bears fruit throughout the year. Rowan berries were believed to stave off hunger, to heal wounds, and to regain youth. (Warning- rowan berries are poisonous to children.)
  • Druids- rowan was a sacred druid tree and therefore figures prominently in ancient European traditions. Rowans were planted at places of worship, and they guard the earth dragons which express the life force of the land.

Rowan berries

Rowan berries

  • The red rowan berries carries a 5 -pointed star or pentagram (the ancient symbol of protection) opposite the stalk.

 

 

  • A Greek myth with Hebe: We are told that Hebe, the goddess of youth, in a moment of carelessness lost her magical chalice to the demons. Having thus been deprived of their source of rejuvenating ambrosia, the gods decided to send an eagle to recover the cup. In the fight between the eagle and demons some of the eagle’s feathers fell to the earth together with a few drops of blood. There they became rowan trees. The feathers took the shape of leaves, and the drops of blood that of the rowan’s red berries.

 

To learn more:

OBOD Tree Lore- Rowan

OBOD Tree Lore: Rowan II

Tree Wisdom: The Definitive Guidebook to the Myth, Folklore, and Healing Power of Trees by Jacqueline Memory Paterson (1996)