In folklore it is believed that fairy’s could be seen by mortals wherever oak, ash and hawthorn trees grew together. The tree is also associated with holy wells.
Being the world tree in several cosmological views, the tree connects all and everything. Hanging from the tree Odin learned the sacred futhark runes.
Metaphysically it connects the past, present and future.
The druids believed that ash had the ability to direct and blend the masculine and feminine energy. Ash leaves can be scattered in the four directions to protect the house against witches and psychic attacks.
Wood from an Ash tree is tough and does not break under large amounts of strain
The Ash is connected to lightning as well as Oak.
In Budhist culture the world tree is associated with the central energy channel in a body, as depicted by the lay out of a stupa.
Connection between macrocosmos and microcosmos. The Ash teaches important lessons about the right use of strength and gaining of skill to make the strength effective. It encourages selfcontrol, courage, respect and durability.
Fraxinus excelsior — known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash — is a species of Fraxinus native to most of Europe from Portugal to Russia, with the exception of northern Scandinavia and southern Iberia. It is also considered native in southwestern Asia from northern Turkey east to the Caucasus and Alborz mountains. The northernmost location is in the Trondheimsfjord region of Norway.
It is a large deciduous tree growing to 20–35 m tall with a trunk up to 2 m diameter, with a tall, domed crown. The bark is smooth and pale grey on young trees, becoming thick and vertically fissured on old trees. The shoots are stout, greenish-grey, with jet black buds (which distinguish it from most other ash species, which have grey or brown buds).
European Ash rarely exceeds 250 years of age.
The resilience and rapid growth made it an important resource for smallholders and farmers. It was probably the most versatile wood in the countryside with wide-ranging uses. Until World War II the trees were often coppiced on a ten-year cycle to provide a sustainable source of timber for fuel and poles for building and woodworking.
Ash is valuable as firewood because it burns well even when ‘green’ (freshly cut). Ash was coppiced, often in hedgerows, and evidence in the form of some huge boles with multiple trunks emerging at head height can still be seen in parts of Britain.
In the 13th century Edda and other writing relating to Norse mythology, a mythological ash tree called Yggdrasil serves as the center of the world. Odin hung himself from the tree for nine days as a sacrifice. Ash also features prominently in the Irish myth cycles, and is often depicted growing beside a well or pool of wisdom.
Though traditionally Yggdrasill was often seen as a giant ash tree, Some scholars suggest an error has been made in the interpretation of the ancient writings, and that the tree is most likely an European yew (Taxus baccata). This mistake would find its origin in an alternative word for the yew tree in the Old Norse, namely Needle Ash (barraskr). In addition, ancient sources, including the Eddas, write about a vetgrønster vida which means “evergreen tree”. An ash sheds its leaves in the winter, while yew trees retain their needles.
It is recorded that on the Isle of Bute in Scotland lovers used to eat leaves of an ash tree known at the “Dreamin’ Tree” that grew near the church of St Blane and the pleasant dreams they then experienced revealed their actual spouses and intended fates.
The ash tree was thought to have medicinal and mystical properties and the wood was burned to ward off evil spirits. In Norse Viking mythology, ash was referred to as the ‘Tree of Life’. Even today it is sometimes known as the ‘Venus of the woods’. In Britain ash was regarded as a healing tree.
Ash is one of three trees which were sacred to the Druids (Ash, Oak and Thorn), and connects the inner self to the outer worlds. This is a symbol of connections and creativity, and transitions between the worlds.