I’ve seen a few posts floating around lately about faeries, and the incorrect assumption that the Fair Folk are repelled or hurt by Rowan - the tree itself, as well as the wood or berries.
There is much folklore associated with Rowan being used to create magick and to dispel magick. Depending upon the writer and the century (see - their religion,) it is used by witches and the fairy folk, or to banish them and their workings - but never to harm them.
It is said in Scottish and Celtic myth and legend that the Rowan tree (or Mountain Ash) is one of the most magical plants available. Planting one outside each home is meant to draw benevolent faeries to your home, as they take up residence in the tree rather than inside your house. Bundles of rowan twigs tied with red thread for protection hung over a door frame or window sills are meant to act as a repellent to all forms of magick not welcome within the home, and not necessarily against the Fair Folk or “good” witches.
It’s more of a matter of respect.
The Rowan tree is one of the most sacred trees in Scottish folk tradition. ‘Scottish tradition does not allow the use of the tree’s timber, bark, leaves or flowers, nor the cutting of these, except for sacred purposes under special conditions.’
One of the myths of the Rowan is that it was originally from the realm of Faerie, and was brought to Earth by the Tuatha De Danaan.
Rowan is one of the trees associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of the arts, healing, smithing, spinning and weaving. Spindles and spinning wheels were traditionally made of Rowan in Scotland and Ireland. Rowan trees planted near stone circles in Scotland were especially powerful. Scottish Fairies were said to hold their celebrations within stone circles protected by Rowan trees. Modern interpretations of the Celtic Ogham place Rowan – called Luis – as the sacred tree of February.
So naturally imbued with magick, the Druids burnt Rowan on funeral pyres, for it also symbolized death and rebirth. Druid Ovates and Seers burnt Rowan in rites of divination and to invoke spirits, and used Rowan wood in rites of purification. Ancient Bards considered the Rowan the ‘Tree of Bards’, bringing the gift of inspiration. It is one of the nine sacred woods burnt in the Druids’ Beltaine fire. Rowan is also associated with dragons and serpents - sacred Rowans were supposedly guarded by dragons, once upon a time.
It does not repel faeries, witches, or magick, unless you’re using it as a tool to do specifically that. It does not do the Fair Folk or witches harm.
Aries: Quick, sharp fairies who use fire as a defense, whether it be conjuring small embers to set small things, then villages on fire when angered, or leaving a trail of flames when they fly away. Although one of the most commonly spotted fairies which leave people in awe of their pyro like powers, they are surprisingly hard to catch. Normally leads the rescue teams when saving other fairies from humans. Colors come in all shades of red and orange, and are shaped like open flames.
Taurus: Friendly fairies who will sometime establish close bonds with a certain human family, and then serve as a protector or sorts. They have the ability to bless the family with good fortune in the future. Fiercely loyal to the families who have them as their patron, they will not hesitate to send curses of slight erosion to the homes of fairies who harm their humans. Taurus fairies that are not bonded with a human family spend their days with the wildlife, playing. Wings are in earthy, warm colors that feel like home which resemble a butterfly’s.
Gemini: Trickster fairies who like teaming up with Libra to mess with other fairies and human’s lives, especially when it involves love. They are quick, and have the ability to manipulate chance by a small amount. They have the ability to use the wind to aid them when flying, making them quick as darts. They prefer to have one or two very close fairy friends who they trust with their secrets. They have very narrow and slender, but long wings that can change colors to fit whatever situation they are in.
Cancer: Shy fairies who hate getting involved with humans when they are by themselves, but will hesitantly venture out when they know they will not be caught. They often are the ones who take care of abandoned baby animals and fairies, which often ends up with them being seen as a guardian to many beings in the forest. They have the ability to calm living things downs, making them relaxed. They can also purify water in small amounts, however, this takes a lot of energy from them. Wings are shaped for relaxing, slow, effortless travel, and come in pastel or homey colors.
Leo: The guardians of the grove. They are the fierce protectors of the other fairies when needed, but the majority of the time, spend their days living life to the fullest. They have the ability to create large amounts of sparks in their hands, which can be used for both beauty and entertainment as well as a deadly weapon. Their eyes seem to gleam and shine no matter what the situation. They are fast, beautiful fliers, and with golden wings with tips that glow, at night, when flying, it almost looks like as if they are drawing glowing images in the night sky.
Virgo: Works along with Cancer to raise abandoned animals, but also spends a deal of time making sure that magic surrounding the grove is still working. Enjoys collecting small, abandoned jewels from humans. Naturally blessed with the ability of sharp eyesight and able to see a second or two of a couple days in the future, they are quite powerful. In their free time, they stay hidden in human villages, analyzing them. They seem to walk on air; hummingbird-like wings allow them to maneuver quite well. They are normally monotone with streaks of various colors.
Libra: These fairies are very social, speaking to most other fairies and some human children as well. They enjoy practicing air maneuvers, attempting to be as graceful as possible. These fairies are blessed with the ability to control the air around them, helping them fly beautifully. Besides that, they can also sense the relationship between two people, and with Gemini, often attempt to play matchmaker. Their wings are made out of hundreds of small transparent shards, which catch the light and are bound to Libra fairies using magic. Wings can change shape with enough practice.
Scorpio: As water fairies, they have the ability to absorb water from living objects, instantly killing it; however they can’t do it in the amount enough to kill another fairy or human. It normally works on patches of grass, or flowers. Their flying is very smooth, involving twists to avoid obstacles. Scorpio fairies tend to stick with their friends in their free time, spending it talking or playing. Wings are normally in an array of colors, with black accents. The tips of the wings are surprisingly sharp, and can be used to leave deep etchings on trees, and even humans, when flying fast enough,.
Sagittarius: Wandering fairies who enjoy flying to nearby colonies, often making day’s journey to reach certain places while flying nonstop. This is to gain new knowledge. To prevent themselves from being caught, Sagittarius fairies can summon and release smoke bomb like things in an instant, allowing them to escape easily. Also, they also have the ability to absorb all knowledge they receive from a short duration of time every week or so. They are goof at flying long distances at any speed, as long as no sharp turns or jolts are involved. Wings are quite large and can be used for gliding. Wings help them blend into the environment.
Capricorn: Reserved fairies who read a lot on different kinds of magic with no intention to ever do any of them. They normally spend their days alone, or with someone they deeply trust. They don’t enjoy flying for sport, instead, use it when necessary. They, however, have shockingly high stamina and endurance. All fairies of this sign can harden mud and clay in an instant, which makes them very helpful when building shelters. Although unpredictable, they make wonderful allies. Wings are similar to a bat’s, and come in neutral, respect-demanding colors, such as dark blue.
Aquarius: These fairies are strong, and often stand out in a crowd. They enjoy interacting with other fairies. With the ability to turn water into hot steam,they aren’t someone you would want an an enemy. Each fairy has the gift of being able to use the wind to dry anything rather quickly, but not to the extend of being able to control it in flying. This is useful when their wings are wet, as wet wings are too heavy to fly with. They are outgoing flyers, making large loops and outgoing movements. Wings are long and white, and are tinted certain colors depending on the fairy’s mood.
Pisces: Very soft spoken, but steadfast fairies. Nothing pleases them more than being able to relax by a pond and sip on a leaf full of nectar. They have a rather strange ability to turn maple sap into maple syrup instantly, and can also form rain clouds the size of chipmunks. They are quite delicate looking fliers, but should not be underestimated, as they are the only fairy type that can go from sitting down to flying at unimaginable speeds. They just don’t enjoy the whiplash of doing it. Wings are splayed and often finely misted, giving them a rainbow sheen.