N~Nuin~Ash The ash tree has deeply penetrating roots and tends to sour the soil, which makes it hard for any other plants to grow around it. Its branches are thick and strong . The ash can grow to one hundred and thirty feet high. The March tree has distinctive black buds and its seeds grow in bunches, each with a long, thin wing. It grows in all climates, but tends to do best in soil that is rich with lime. Its white wood is excellent for burning, and was often used for oars, ax handles, and was a favorite of the Celts when making spears. An old Christmas custom is to burn an ash faggot bound with green twigs on the hearth, making a wish as each bond snaps. Unmarried girls can also choose a bond the one who’s bond parts first will be the first to marry. The ash tree was credited with magical properties which would cure a child of hernia or rickets. Before sunrise the naked child was passed through a cleft trunk that was then bound and sealed with clay. As the trunk healed so did the child. To cure a lame animal a hole was bored in an ash and a live shrew sealed inside it. As the shrew dies and the tree healed the animal recovered. The world tree is an ash, or is known as “The Cosmic Ash.” It appears in Norse mythology as Yggdrasil (or the tree of Odin.) and it spans the universe, with its roots in the lower world and its branches supporting the heavens. In Celtic cosmology it connects the three circles of existence – Abred, Gwynedd, and Ceugant – which are sometimes interpreted as the past, present and future (or as confusion, balance and creative force.) Use ash a substitute for Rowan as a protection against fairies.