Ivy Moon September 30 - October 27
The Celts called this month Gort, pronounced go-ert. In the Celtic Tree Calendar, it signifies the eleventh month, the time when the green life-force of nature is on the retreat and only evergreen plants such as Ivy remain, reminding us that it is not truly dying, just gone to rest in the Underworld.
Ivy is a climbing plant that stays evergreen throughout the year, often living on long after its host plant has died. It bears flowers when most other plants have already fruited and are well on the way of retreat. Often found growing in spooky places, abandoned ruins, dark woods, graveyards or dead and dying trees, yet, Ivy itself stays ever green. It is a plant of the Underworld Gods, sacred to Dionysus and Osiris, both deities of resurrection that signify the undying life-force of nature. Ivy is toxic, a property that at one time are thought may have played a role in the preparation of the potent ritual brews used in the ecstatic rites of Dionysus. Woven into a wreath it was worn in such Bacchanalian rites, reputedly to protect against the aftereffects of these riotous ceremonies.
However, as Ivy grows in a spiral, it is also sacred to the Goddess, in particular Ariadne, Artemis, and Arianrhod.
Ivy symbolises endurance in this world and the world beyond, which is why it was also sometimes worn at wedding rites to symbolise undying love beyond the boundaries of time and space.
This is a time to banish the negative from your life. Do workings related to improving yourself and placing a barricade between you and the things that are toxic to you.
English taverns had over their doors the sign of an Ivy bush, to indicate the excellence of the liquor supplied within; giving rise to the saying ‘Good wine needs no bush’.
In England it was once believed that if ivy refused to grow on a grave it meant the soul was unhappy in its other world.
If it flourished on a young girl’s grave, it meant she died of unrequited love.
Greek priests presented a wreath of Ivy to the bride and groom at weddings.
The custom of decorating houses and churches with Ivy at Christmas was forbidden by one of the early Councils of the Church, because of its pagan associations.
Ivy can be used in magic performed for healing, love, fidelity, protection, cooperation, and for binding.
Wherever Ivy is grown, it guards against negativity and disaster.
“Oh, roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime.
But pick an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.”
~Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1862
A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Plants & Herbs by Rachel Patterson
The Woodland Trust