The Celtic Tree Calandar.
The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most modern Pagans use fixed dates for each 'month, rather than following the waxing and waning lunar cycle. If this was done, eventually the calendar would fall out of sync with the Gregorian year, because some calendar years have 12 full moons and others have 13. The modern tree calendar is based on a concept that letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponded to a tree.
Although you don't have to follow a Celtic path to celebrate the Celtic tree calendar months, you'll find that each of the themes in the celtic tree months ties strongly to celtic culture and mythology.
December 24 - January 20: Birch Moon.
Birch Moon is a time of rebirth and regeneration. As the Solstice passes, it is time to look towards the the light once more. When a forested area burns, Birch is the first tree to grow back. The celtic name for this month is Beth, pronounced 'beh'. Workings done in this month add momentum and a bit of extra 'oomph' to new endeavors. The birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility as well as healing and protection.
January 21 - February 17: Rowan Moon.
The Rowan Moon is associated with Brighid the Celtic goddess of hearth and home. Honored on February 1, at Imbolc, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearth fires. This is a good time of year to perform initiations. Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Roway is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.
February 18 - March 17: Ash Moon.
In the Norse eddas, Yggdrasil, the world tree, was an Ash. The spear of Odin was made from the branch of this tree, which is also known by the Celtic name Nion, pronounced 'knee-un'. This is one of the three trees sacred to the Druids (Ash, Oak and Thorn), and this is a good month to do magic that focuses on the inner self. Associated with ocean rituals, magical potency, prophetic dreams and spiritual journeys, the Ash can be used for making magical and mundane tools. These are said to be more productive than tools made from other wood.
March 18 - April 14: Alder Moon.
At the time of the Spring Equinox or Ostara, the Alder is flourishing on riverbanks, roots in the water, bridging that magical space between heaven and earth. The Alder month, called 'Fearn' by the Celts, and pronounced 'fairin', is a time for making spiritual decisions, magic relating to prophecy and divination, and getting in touch with your own intuitive processes and abilities. Alder flowers and twigs are known as charms to be used in Faerie magic.
April 15 - May 12: Willow Moon.
The Willow moon was known to the Celts as Saille, pronounced 'Sahl-yeh'. The Willow grows best when there's lots of rain. This is a tree associated with healing and growth. This month work on rituals involving healing, growth of knowledge and nurturing.
May 13 - June 9: Hawthorn Moon.
The Hawthorn is a prickly tree with beautiful blossoms. Called 'Huath' by the ancient Celts, and pronounced 'Hoh-uh', the Hawthorn month is a time of fertility, masculine energy and fire. Coming right on the heels of Beltane, this month is a time when male potency is high. Use it for power, business decisions, making professional connections. The Hawthorn is also associated with the realm of Faerie, and when the Hawthorn grows in tandem with an Ash and Oak, it is said to attract the Fae.
June 10 - July 7: Oak Moon.
July 8 - August 4: Holly Moon.
August 5 - September 1: Hazel Moon.
September 2 September 29: Vine Moon.
September 30 - October 27: Ivy Moon.
October 28 - November 23: Reed Moon.
November 24 - December 23: Elder Moon.