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In the cool Celtic climate, the GrapeVine required much care in order to bear fruit and became symbolic of sacred knowledge and spiritual initiation, as well as a symbol of sensuality and emotions. The Vine of the Ogham Alphabet is the GrapeVine. Sacred to the deities, grapes were (and are still) used in the making of wine, allowing those who indulge to speak with truth...at least as they perceive it to be...and to release inhibitions. Wine was also once used to stimulate prophecy in the seers by allowing such sages to reach deep within their inner selves, with intuition acting as their guide.
Unlike the other Ogham trees and shrubs, the Vine is a more cultivated species. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the Vine has been known and propagated in the British Isles for a very long time. The distinctive fruits and foliage of this hardy and long-living plant appear frequently on Bronze Age artifacts. Within the Ogham, the Vine is known as the "Weaver," given its tendency to entwine around others, often linking two together. To the Celts, this was indicative of the need to understand the importance of respect toward the options and actions of others. A determined shrub, the Vine is often found in hard-to-reach areas, leaving a delicate and beautiful path in its wake. The fruit of the Vine has long been known to release inhibitions and loosen tongues, thus allowing those who partake of its harvest to speak more freely. It is, however, easy to fall victim to the Vine's intoxicating nature. Noah, the biblical patriarch, is said to have planted a vineyard on Mount Ararat after the flood, later becoming intoxicated when he partook of the fermented beverage. Evidence suggests that the Vine existed prior to the appearance of man and the first traces of the cultivation of Vines for winemaking purposes would appear to be around 2000 B.C. in Sicily.
The GrapeVine is a very ancient plant which can grow to be as long as 115 feet. Its name is derived from viere, which means "to twist" and it has been recorded to have lived for as long as 600 years. This climbing shrub, with its simple leaves and greenish flowers, was once found in open woodlands and along the edges of forests, but is most commonly seen today in cultivation, with an industry and agricultural discipline devoted solely to the care of the Vine and production of its wine. The wild GrapeVine has unisexual flowers on separate plants which must be pollinated by insects. Only the female plant produces fruit which, when ripened and dried, is commonly referred to as the Raisin. Grape sugar is chemically different from other sugars since it enters the circulatory system without any action of the saliva. The seeds and leaves of the Vine have been used for astringent purposes and were once employed to cure dysentery in Cattle.
There are two distinct types of Vine individuals (a division which relates to all Celtic Tree Signs). The "new moon" character is associated with the first two weeks of a sign and the "full moon" character is associated with the last two weeks.
The "new moon" Vine individual is more inclined to openly express his or her emotions but often has trouble in coming to terms with certain aspects of life. Such a person is, however, enthusiastic by nature and very supportive of any partner. The "full moon" Vine individual is possesed with a wonderful ability to forgive with true compassion, but somewhat more difficult to comprehend than his or her "new moon" counterpart and is more prone to over-indulge the sensuous Vine nature.
In general, Vine individuals are discriminating, authoritative and set high personal standards. They appear cool and detached but are secret romantics who can be sensitive, vulnerable and self-critical. Keenly perceptive, they have an eye for detail and possess a refined aestetic taste. With an oddly dual personality, Vine people can be joyful and exuberant one moment and driven to tears the next. Their emotions tend to run on high, despite their outward appearnce of calm when facing danger or opposition. Instinctive organizers, Vine individuals are drawn to public service careers. They are kind, gentle, creative and good socializers...people who adore both theater and music. However, they have a propensity at times toward over-indulgence. Simple people who require a great deal of mental and emotional security in order to feel content, Vine individuals are not usually highly ambitious in their pursuits but do have a strong sense for survival. It is important that Vine people learn to balance both sides of life...the sowing and the reaping.
Vine individuals have a tendency to procrastinate, which must be overcome in order to avoid becoming lost in worry and negativity. Although their emotions run at a high level and they are, by nature, very sensual, Vines tend to display a reserved exterior and are possessed of a serenity in spirit. While Vines generally help to create harmony and stability, they can become rather parasitical...or even totally dependant...on the good nature of others. As sweethearts, Vine people are passionate in character, but their dual nature often makes a marriage difficult to sustain. They possess an earthy quality which some people find extremely attractive while others will find them to be aloof. Refined individuals with a good sense of humor (provided such humor is not too coarse), Vine people can be easily hurt by lack of consideration from others. Always ahead of the field when it comes to contingency plans and one of the Celtic Zodiac's instinctive organizers of life, it is a great mistake to underestimate the character of a Vine individual.