Ogham Twig for Today ~ Gort

gortThe Tree ~ Ivy ~ Finemain
Color ~ Gorm ~ Blue
Stone ~ Serpentine
Bird ~ Geis ~ Mute Swan

Message ~ Tenacity, raw survival instinct enabling triumph over circumstances.
Meanings ~ garden, growth, sweeter than grasses, counterpart of heaven.

There is determined power in Gort. It offers boar-like tenacity in applying the will to do difficult work. It is important to remember that the tools we use are not the ends, but only the means to give rise to something coming from the depths of our being. We must keep on our true goals.
Ivy It has the ability to bind all things together. It can wander freely, linking tree to tree, or form dense thickets that block out the light and restrict passage. Ivy brings shelter or overwhelming darkness and reminds us that where there is life, there is also death. Ivy represents our souls wandering in search for enlightenment, but carries a warning to be sure of the direction we are heading!

Entwining Ivy represents the female principles of life Through conception and birth, the male life force is given form by the female body, but in giving life substance so too does women bring death into being.

Ivy is sacred to Bendis, Mor Righ Anu, Osiris and Dionysus. Dedicated to resurrection jointly with vine because they grow spirally.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary Ivy stands for “a place of concealment or retirement.”  Many creatures are concealed from harm beneath the spiraling ivy.

Ivy attracts the last bees of the year, reminding us of the sweetness of the Goddess as we prepare to enter the dark time of the year.

“I am a ruthless boar.
I am a fierce boar.
I fled as a bristly boar seen in a ravine. (for valor)
I am a thicket which holds the roebuck.
I have tasted joy.
I have strength born of ecstasy.”

The symbolism of the boar is used because the cycle falls during boar hunting season and the boar is the beast of death symbolizing the “Fall” or the beginning of death, of the Old Year. But the Ivy’s serpentine spiraling signifies resurrection. Again, a reminder of the birth/death cycle of life.

The Boar’s descent into the Underworld is not purely a journey of destruction: because it is basically, in spite of any others roles, it may play, a creature of fertility, it plants within Death itself, the seeds of renewal.

Ancient One

tree_of_lifeAncient One,
your roots hold fast to the Earth drawing strength.

Your white hair
shimmers against the sun and speaks to me of wisdom.

Ancient One,
you rise through granite, claiming this space, standing ground.

Your gnarled branches reach out
across the rocks
holding Her close to you.

Old Wise One,
If I lay in your arms
will I be one with you?

Ancient One,
if I rest curled in your roots,
will I know wisdom too?

Ancient One,
for just this moment,
may I be with you?

Old Tattooed Woman

031 Old Woman, you stand with your feet at the water’s edge,
Your old skin gnarled and rough,
With heavy thighs marked by signs that people left.
What was their need that they left their names
And jagged hearts for me to see?

It must have been hard for you
Feeling the sharp point of the knife
Making cuts on your skin.
But in your most holy sacred place
You embraced their gifts and made them a part of you.

Arm Old Tattooed Woman, your bark
Holds memories of those who were here before me
Their names marking your skin.
See? Your arms are wide and strong
Offering shade for those held in your embrace.

I wish to be like you and take in what hurts
And weather the pain by toughening up
Like you, I will be made strong by life’s pointed edges,
Made wiser by honoring what is,
And made holy by embracing what comes.