There are many types of astrology. The broadest classification splits it into Eastern and Western. Western astrology is modern astrology, as made popular in Western culture. To the East, we have Vedic astrology, also known as Indian astrology, and Chinese astrology.
Beyond that, there are subcategories of astrological systems, many of which are pretty obscure. People have been looking at the night sky throughout history and wondering about the stars. This is true across the world.
Karmic astrology, for example, is less well-known and based on the concept of reincarnation, which can be very interesting. There’s also Horary astrology, which revolves around the theory of causality and synchronicity in time. And then you have Medical astrology, Fixed Stars astrology, and on and on.
A particularly fascinating branch of astrology is Celtic astrology. This astrology system has its roots in Ireland. It’s based on the lunar calendar and uses trees instead of the signs of the zodiac. The druids who devised this type of astrology looked at the trees around them instead of the constellations.
Sounds good? You don’t need to have Irish ancestry to want to learn about the Celtic tree zodiac and what it can tell you about your life, past, and future.
Back in ancient Ireland, the druids calculated the cycles of the Moon and divided the year into 13 lunar months. Trees were sacred to them, which is why they designated a tree for each of the 13 months. These tree symbols have their origins in the Celtic Ogham, an ancient shamanic tree alphabet.
The Celts actually envisioned the entire universe as a tree, with branches going far up into the heavens and roots growing deep below. Additionally, Celtic societies celebrated the equality of female and male, and the Celtic zodiac didn’t discriminate between the two either.
But who were these Celtic druids? They were Celtic priests who lived in Western Europe and the British Isles from ancient times until around 200 AD, when the Romans replaced them. Interestingly, you can draw parallels between Celtic astronomy and Vedic astrology. This means that the Celts used similar systems to the Vedic astrologers of India.
Besides the obvious difference in terms of the number of months (and therefore signs), Celtic astrology is very different than the one commonly used in modern culture. Although there is something of a holy trinity in Celtic astrology, the Trinity Knot isn’t based on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of Christianity.
Where Western astrology looks into the unknown and deifies the stars, Celtic astrology has always emphasized the awareness of natural and supernatural energies. Celtic scholars identified these energies as spirits that dwelt inside trees.
While Western astrology mostly ties a sign/month to a constellation, things are a bit more complex in Celtic astrology. In the Celtic system, each sign corresponds to a particular tree, designated guardian animals, an Ogham rune, and a gemstone. This makes interpreting a Celtic sign quite complex and detailed.
For instance, people born under the sign of the Reed share a particular rune, the color orange, the Celtic animal sign of the hound (and the owl), and the jasper gemstone.
Now extend this to all 13 signs. Save that there are overlapping spirit animals. For instance, the crane is the spirit animal sign for both the Rowan and Hazel signs.
Here’s more about these signs.
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The 13 Celtic Astrology Signs
It was allegedly the poet Robert Graves who rediscovered Celtic astrology in the 1970s and wrote a book about it. According to Graves, this form of astrology has been around since 1,000 BCE.
Some anthropologists disagree about the origins of Celtic astrology. But that’s not going to change the fact that everyone has their own Celtic astrology sign and every sign has its own characteristics. Check out the Celtic tree astrology signs, as follows.
The Rowan (January 21 – February 17)
This sign is a bearer of the dark gray color. Its Ogham rune looks like the Greek letter pi rotated. The spirit animals of Rowan signs are the crane and the green dragon. Peridot is the associated gemstone. The best matches for Rowans are the Ivy and Hawthorn signs.
According to Celtic mythology, rowan trees drive off evil and are generally planted near gates and doors. People with Rowan energy are artistic, original, and progressive thinkers. They’re often keen visionaries and have high ideals.
Rowans are often misunderstood by other signs due to their high levels of creativity. Have patience and others will notice your burning creativity and inner passion.
The Ash (February 18 – March 17)
The Ash is a green sign, with a 5-legged letter T for its symbol. The seal, the seahorse, and the seagull are its spirit animals and coral is its gemstone. Ash signs make a great fit for Willow and Reed signs.
The ash tree was sacred for its ability to attract lightning. Ash was a popular wood for druidic wands because of this.
People born under this sign are free thinkers (which doesn’t have to mean irreligious). By nature, they’re imaginative, artistic, and intuitive. Ash people are something of a wildcard and tend to be spontaneous. They can be moody occasionally and may like to keep to themselves.
Considered reclusive by many, Ash people actually find their inner world more entertaining than the outside one. People born under the Ash sign usually enjoy art, poetry, philosophy, science, and spiritual matters.
The Alder (March 18 – April 14)
Red is the color of the Alder and its spirit animals are the bear, the fox, and the hawk. The sign’s Ogham rune is a 3-legged T and its gemstone is the ruby. The Alder sign is best matched to Hawthorn, Oak, and Birch signs.
Alder plants are highly resistant to water. Their wood is commonly used for boats, bridges, and shoes.
People born under the Alder sign are pathfinders. They can blaze trails with their passion. Alders are outgoing, charming, and generally work well with most types of people. They attract others, as well.
Alder people have faith in themselves, which makes them fun and interesting to be around. They value their time and don’t care for superficial people.
The Willow (April 15 – May 12)
The Willow sign is beige in color and has a 4-legged T for its associated Ogham rune. The spirit animals associated with this sign are the adder, the hare, and the sea serpent. Willows have a moonstone as their gemstone and work best with Birches and Ivies.
Since the willow tree has the ability to grow from a fallen branch, it’s considered immortal in Celtic astrology.
According to this astrology system, Willow people are psychic. They’re intuitive, creative, and smart. As such, they’re famous for their patience and knowledge retention. They also tend to impress people with interesting information.
Although they have a lot of potential, Willows may also hold themselves back.
The Hawthorn (May 13 – June 9)
Purple in color, the Hawthorn sign bears an Ogham rune that resembles a T rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Bees and owls are the associated spirit animals and topaz is the gemstone. The Ash sign and the Rowan sign match up nicely with Hawthorns.
Owing to its sharp thorns, the hawthorn plant symbolizes psychic protection.
Hawthorn people often have two separate lives. The first is the outer life (how they appear to others) and the second the inner life. The inner is generally very different than the outer. People born under the Hawthorn sign may come off as your everyday neighbor, with their passion and creativity on the inside.
Hawthorns adapt to changes easily and are good at making other people feel contented and relaxed. They are often great listeners.
The Oak (June 10 – July 7)
The Oak sign’s rune looks like a rotated pi and it bears the color black. Its spirit animals are the wren, the otter, and the white horse. Oaks have diamonds as their gemstone. The Oak sign makes a great pairing with Ashes, Reeds, and Ivies.
Celtic druids thought highly of the oak as a symbol of truth, knowledge, and wisdom. They made oak doors with the aim of keeping evil out.
Oak people have great inner strength and are often protectors of the weaker people in their area. Oaks are gentle giants who respect their elders.
The Holly (July 8 – August 4)
The Holly sign is silver in color with an Ogham rune that resembles a rotated 3-legged letter T. The cat and the unicorn are its spirit animals and the sign boasts the carnelian gemstone. The Ash and Alder signs tend to work best with the Holly, providing partnership and balance.
Holly is an evergreen plant that repels enemies. The plant was made into wreaths used in crowning ceremonies.
People born under the Holly sign often assume positions of leadership and high status. They aren’t afraid of challenges and can persevere through almost anything. People often look to those bearing the Holly sign for salvation.
Holly people are usually very competitive and intelligent.
The Hazel (August 5 – September 1)
The Hazel sign has a 4-legged T for its Ogham rune and brown for its color. The crane and the salmon are the Hazel’s spirit animals and amethyst is its gemstone. Hawthorns and Rowans are the Hazels’ best fits. Rowans even share a spirit animal with Hazels.
Back in the day, people thought of hazelnuts as givers of knowledge.
Hazel people are efficient, organized, and intelligent. They’re widely known for possessing vast knowledge. They tend to be good at memorizing information and generally well-informed.
Their attention to detail borders on perfectionism.
The Vine (September 2 – September 29)
The Vine’s Ogham rune looks like a single crossed tally mark and its color is bronze. Its spirit animals are the lizard, the hound, and the white swan, and its gemstone is the emerald. Vines are best matched with Willows and Hazels.
The vine plant is adaptive by nature, so it can grow almost anywhere.
The personality of a person born under the Vine sign can sometimes be unpredictable. They’re famous for their mood swings and may not be the most decisive people out there. Vine people don’t like to take sides because they usually understand both.
Vines are attracted to luxury and bask in holidays, food, wine, and music.
The Ivy (September 30 – October 27)
Ivies have an Ogham rune that resembles 2 crossed tally marks. It shares the color blue. The Ivy’s Celtic animal zodiac signs are the boar, the butterfly, and the goose. It has opal as its gemstone. The Ivy sign works best with the Oak and the Ash.
Ivy is a plant with great binding ability, which makes the Ivy sign a symbol of strength in adversity. On the other hand, since the ivy plant can strangle trees, it may symbolize death as well.
People born under the Ivy sign may tend to struggle in their lives. With that said, they’re also able to overcome even the most difficult odds.
The Reed (October 28 – November 24)
The Reed’s Ogham rune looks like 3 crossed tally marks. The Reed sign is orange in color and celebrates the hound and the owl as its spirit animals. The Reed gemstone is jasper. Reed people attract other Reeds, Ashes, and Oaks.
Reeds symbolized scholarship and wisdom in ancient Celtic culture.
People born under the Reed sign tend to keep secrets and are generally very complicated. They make great archeologists, historians, and journalists.
The Elder (November 25 – December 23)
The Elder sign has 5 crossed tally marks for its Ogham rune and gold as its color. Its favored spirit animals are the badger, the black horse, and the raven. Elders have the jet gemstone and attract Alders and Hollies.
According to ancient legend, the elder tree belongs to the fairies. Elder branches protect horses from evil spirits so they’re hung above stables.
The Elder is the sign of a wild child. Elder people cherish their freedom and are natural-born thrill-seekers. They may not do well with pressure and may require constant challenges.
The Birch (December 24 – January 21)
The Birch sign’s Ogham rune resembles the letter T. This sign bears the color white and boasts the golden eagle and the white stag as its spirit animals. Rock crystal is the Birch’s gemstone. Vines and Willows make for best matches with Birches.
As the first tree to come into leaf after winter, the birch is a symbol of rebirth and renewal.
People born under the Birch sign tend to motivate others. They’re often excitable and very driven. They brighten the days for many and aren’t afraid to accept leadership roles.
Knowing where you belong amongst these 13 Celtic astrology signs can help to provide a clearer outlook on your identity, past, present, and future. If you’re interested in Celtic mythology, you’ll appreciate knowing where you fit in.
And to recap, each sign has its own Ogham rune, color, spirit animals, and corresponding time period. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t take these signs too literally.
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So, what’s your Celtic astrology sign? Do you recognize some of your traits? Share your thoughts about Celtic astrology or anything else in the comments below.