Nope not a child’s literary or tv character (although I did discover there is a catkin fairy), rather those dancing little yellow tails you see on trees around this time of year. I like them. I like the way they stand out against the branches and I like the way they dance in the wind. I also like the colour, a soft creamy yellow. They represent the first signs of spring to me.
Turns out these particular catkins, which are in abundance where I live, are the male flowers of the Hazel tree. A tree which was held with great regard by the Celts.
Apparently the hazel tree represents wisdom, magic and creativity due to the interesting branch formations. The tree would be used for inspiration for art, poetry as well as for visualisations, as by contemplating the swirls of the branches would lead the watcher into another world. OOOOOO I thought, this is intriguing and exciting!
So in a flash I thought could these particular trees have been the inspiration behind the Celtic knot work? Quite possibly as the Celtic designs are all based on the complexity and cycles of nature. I am not an expert by any means, but I do rather like the idea of looking at a Hazel tree as my ancestors would have done and seeing the shapes of the knotwork designs within.
Also, I do love how one thing (noticing the Catkins) has led me down this path to other discoveries. It’s really what being a Creative Adventurer is all about.
|The Hazel Catkin Fairy even has a song...*lovely* from Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies of the Spring.
The fruit of the Hazel – the hazelnut, is packed full of good stuff, and according to research is actually a great brain food as they have a very high concentration of Vitamin E which studies suggest can aid in improving memory. This is fabulous news as I love eating hazelnuts. Such as Nutella and praline chocolates. *Happy dance*
I also came across this interesting site called The Goddess Tree which has put together lots of different texts and images of the Hazel Tree. I spotted here that the colour associated with this tree is orange. And who’s favourite colour is orange? (me!) So I’ll be adopting this tree as a totem. I have no idea if there are particular Celtic/Druid rituals (I’m sure I’ll learn more), but for me the fact I’ve noticed the catkins, found these interesting synchronises is enough in my book. ;-)
So next time you are feeling creatively stuck – hunt out a Hazel tree and see what happens...
Or perhaps there is already a tree you've been noticing recently? What could it tell you?
Go and find out...!