Huath (HOO-ah)


The Letter


The Tree
Hawthorn, Whitethorn

Sixth Consonant


Place on the hand
First Joint of the Thumb 

Color ~ Huath - Terrible colored (colored of freshly ploughed fields)


Stone ~ Lapis Lazuli

Night Crow

Bird ~ Hadaig - Night Crow

Cardea, Flora, Hymen

Symbols ~ broom, flowers, chalice, cauldron

Planet ~ Vulcan, Pluto

Note ~ g

Metal ~ Those hand-crafted in fire

Message ~ Cleansing, blossoming

Word ogham ~ terror, despair, most difficult at night, pack of wolves

Flower essence ~ Crab apple

"I am fair among flowers"
"The Goddess made me of blossoms"
"I am a shrewd navigator"

Now is the time of maying,
Beneath thy flowering tree,
I strip my bones with praying,
And yet thou wilt not see.

The sap of spring is leaping,
The love-dance takes the deer,
I cry thy name with weeping,
And yet thou wilt not hear.

Beneath thy scented blossom
The coney makes his cave,
The birds nest in thy branches,
But me thou wilt not save.

Yet when the branch is shaken
And summer's pride is past,
Me, naked and forsaken,
Receive and love at last.

And when the autumn dapples
Thy gilded Heaven Tree,
Let fall thy golden apples,
Bow down thy breasts to me.

Chris Robertson 1999

The hawthorn is also called whitethorn.  Huath takes its name from the month of May.  It is considered by some to be an unlucky tree.  The Greek Goddess, Maia, under the name of Cardea, cast spells with hawthorn.  In Welsh mythology, hawthorn appears as Yopaddaden Denhawr, father of Olwen (She of the White Track) or White Goddess.  In Ireland it is considered to bring great peril if you kill one.  It is the tree of enforced chastity.  Turks used blossoming hawthorn branches as an erotic symbol.  To the men, it had a strong scent of female sexuality.

Hawthorn is the first of the four spirit trees as they have thorns to catch spirits.  Clooties or spirit cloths are hung from the bushes in deference to the spirit world.  The White flowers are taken for a crown for the May Queen, the fairy queen, ruler of reproductive cycle.  Some say it should not be brought into house for to do so would invite death.

In ancient Greece and Rome, the hawthorn had happy associations, being linked with sweet hope, marriage, and babies. Dedicated to Hymen, the god of marriage, the hawthorn was used as a symbol of hope at weddings in Greece; bridal attendants wore its blossoms while the bride carried an entire bough. Also, in both Greece and Rome, torches carried in wedding processions were made of hawthorn. The Romans put hawthorn leaves in the cradles of newborn babies to ward off evil spirits.

In medieval Europe, hawthorn had an entirely different image. Generally regarded as an unlucky plant, it was thought that bringing its branches inside would portend the death of one of the household's members. Hawthorn was also one of the witch's favorite plants and was especially to be avoided on Walpugis Night, when witches turned themselves into hawthorns. With a little superstitious imagination, the hawthorn's writhing, thorny branches at night probably do look enough like a witch to have instilled fear in medieval folk.

The Chinese sell a jam of hawthorn in shops under the name Shan-cha-kao or Shan-cha-ping.

Hawthorn is the plant for which the ship Mayflower was named.

Magical properties:  planet - Mars, element - fire, deities - Cardea, Flora, Hymen.  Powers- fertility, chastity, fishing magic, happiness, protects against lightning.  Hawthorn is sacred to faeries. (Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs)

Hawthorn suggests cleansing, a need for the removal of that which weakens you, the need for self-denial and self-sacrifice, which will lead to general improvement in life.  This is a period of mental activity as a prelude to manifestation.  It may be a period of isolation, but from this will come the strength needed to overcome any misfortune or to move forward into the greening of the year. The challenge of the Hawthorn is the tendency to rush ahead too quickly.  There is a need for patience.  This is enforced inactivity leading to opportunity.  You may be secretly sabotaging your own efforts due a lack of self-esteem or self-worth.   So take time to travel within seeking self and the source of your inspiration.

Botanical Information
Hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart.  All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family, and most have whitish or pinkish flowers.  The common hawthorn and the midland hawthorn are both widespread.  They are found in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests.  Both are cultivated in North America, as well as several native and Asian hawthorns.  


I am fair of flowers,
Blossoming today,

Scent of women’s sweetness,
Sprig of magic May.

Snowdrop white in beauty,
First of all the flowers,
Winter cannot bow thee,
Nor the darkness hours.

Sunlike shines the crocus
In the lengthening hours,
Wind and rain caress thee
Through the springtime showers.

Crimson bloom the roses
Fragrant past belief,
Scent the summer breezes
Bringing sweet relief

Fairest of all flower,
Crown our roundelay,
Scent of women’s sweetness,
Spring of magic May.

On the earth, in the air, Through the fire, by the water,
I am BEAUTY, the Hawthorn moon’s daughter
© Chris Carol 1979