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The Ivy

9/30 - 10/27: The power of the Ivy lies in its ability to cling and bind, making it a potent symbol of determination and strength to the Druids. Ivy has been known to strangle trees and was once a portent of death and spiritual growth. Being evergreen in nature, the Ivy represented the perennial aspects of the human psyche. The Celts associated Ivy with their Lunar Goddess, Arianrhod, and their ritual to this deity marked the opening of the portal to the OtherWorld...or the Dark Side of the Moon. This door symbolized an entrance to the Realm of Faery and thus, the Ivy was representative of the mysterious and the mystical. Ivy was once carried by women for good luck and used to aid in fertility. When used correctly, it was said to heal headaches, muscle cramps and assist in the art of prophecy. Ivy was symbolic of the journey of the soul and the spiral toward to the self. It encouraged assistance toward others in their search so that they, in turn, might offer assistance. Considered to be powerful indeed by the Celts because of its ability to kill even the mightiest Oak, the Ivy has a tendency to create dense, inpenetrable thickets in the forest. It was regarded to be much more powerful than the Vine and rather sinister in nature.

Ivy can grow, spread and flourish under many conditions...cultivated land and wasteland...light or near darkness...fertile soil or upon rubble and stones. It will push its way through tiny cracks and crevices to reach the light and is strong and difficult to destroy. Since ancient times, the Vine and the Ivy have been regarded as enemies. If the Vine, through intoxication, released prophetic powers, then the Ivy, in contrast, was a means of communicating with inner resources, bestowing upon an individual the ability to see through the eyes of the soul and beyond the everyday world. The ancients held the Ivy in high esteem. Its leaves formed the poet's crown as well as the wreath of Bacchus (Roman God of Wine), to whom the plant was dedicated...possibly because it was once believed that to bind the brow with Ivy leaves prevented intoxication.

Not botanically considered to be a tree but rather a form of Vine, the Ivy must depend upon a host for support. The plant is an evergreen and bears leaves which are dark green and somewhat waxy in texture. It can grow to be 100 feet long in Beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as ground cover. The Ivy has thin tendrils that attach themselves to surfaces and are strong enough to penetrate bricks and plaster. Its greenish flowers appear on short, vertical, shrubby branches. A member of the Ginseng family, the Ivy can grow in such profusion upon its host that the host tree smothers and dies. The berries of the Ivy can be used for medicinal purposes, but are poisonous if taken in large quantities. A powder made from the dried leaves and berries can be used to clear a stuffy head and was once believed to be a curative for a hangover. Roman agriculturists once recommended Ivy leaves as cattle food, but they are not relished by Cows...although Sheep and Deer will sometimes eat them during the Winter. The broad evergreen leaves of this plant afford shelter to Birds during the cold months and many species choose to build their nests in Ivy, preferring it to other shrubs. Ivy is extremely hardy and can live to be a great age. Its one-time medicinal virtues are not very highly regarded today, but it is much valued in the modern world as an ornamental covering for unsightly buildings. Ivy is said to be the only plant which will not make walls damp.

There are two distinct types of Ivy 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" Ivy individual is a rather radical thinker...something akin to the Rowan individual...but with a more artistic temperament. Such people, however, do have a tendency to be somewhat indecisive and their success rate has a propensity to swing between two extremes which will set the pattern of life accordingly. The "full moon" Ivy individual radiates a successful image all the time, even while suffering a reverse of fortune. These people are generous providers, but can be shrewd when it comes to their financial resources and income. The "full moon" Ivy individual can also be extremely manipulative and liable to use any position of power in a ruthless manner. As a result, this individual often becomes involved in disputes and litigations.

In general, Ivy individuals have great personal stamina and a wealth of talents that can bring personal honors and public recognition. Such people are generally colorful characters with a unique style which is all their own. Restless by inclination, Ivy people are nonetheless sociable and good-natured. Cheerful, expansive and magnetic, they easily win friends and dislike offending others. Although frequently indecisive, Ivy individuals are far from weak-willed and will tackle difficult tasks with infectious optimism. They also possess a sharp intellect which is matched only by their sense of humor...however, their personal doubts and fears can manifest into strange dreams and personal encounters. Blessed with profound artistic flair, Ivy people tend to be greatly valued as friends.

On the more serious side, Ivy people have a quiet type of faith and a belief in the natural balance of things. Extremely loyal, they are capable of accepting responsibility for their own actions. They tend to attract people who have little or no morals and should keep that in mind when making new friends. Ivy individuals usually make for poor students...they simply are not "book learners" and garner knowledge better by way of experience. They also have a propensity to not be very lucky people. Romantically, the Ivy person is very sensitive but seems to fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat. When in love, Ivy individuals lean strongly toward being the "clingy" type, but they make generous and caring parents. It is important that Ivy individuals not get too caught up in the problems of others or they are prone to suffer disappointment and betrayal.

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