In the British Isles people plant the Rowan in their garden or by their house door as a protection against witches and fairies. It seemed to me that this was a revisionist version of an older practice, so I decided to ask the Fairies and the Tree itself about their relationship.
I dreamed into a conversation with the Fairies and the Rowans at the Fairy Glen in Skye, and I spoke with the Rowan in our back garden. From our conversations it became clear that to plant a Rowan is to give a gift to the fairies – so of course they may treat you more kindly as a result!
And that's the Old Way of generous and respectful mutuality between this world and the Otherworld.
What the Fairies Said
The Rowan is a fairy fort - a concentration of power, a stronghold, a place of safety (and delight in beauty).
The trunk and branches are like spears, the leaves are fluttering blades, the berries are blood - fruitful blood.
What the Rowan Said
I feed the earth with my roots. The fairies love me because I am full of opposites.
My pointed, fluttering leaves are spearheads and pennants. They intercalate the moving air, and the fairies delight in this in-between space.
I bridge the Upper and the Lower World, slender branches above, spreading roots below.
I live in the house yard and on the mountain.
My many moving bright-red berries
Sing with the moon
Singular, steady, white.