String Theory: How I Found Myself a Hazel NutI have been told time and again my aura emanates shades of hazel hinted with ambrosia sparks. My favorite color for as long as I’ve defined the category has been hazel. My land lord has an attic filed with things and widgets junked into boxes and true to form the trash can come alive as treasure when the right item is found while looking for nothing in particular. This is how I came upon the book Folk Magik, filled with mythological symbols and archetypes, intended to be a rich resource for writers. Inside this book is a page dedicated to Hazel. I read it and so it seemed it read me before I was born. We resonated. Today I looked up what my birth tree is, and according to Celtic mythology, the Hazelnut Tree is aligned in the stars with the day I came into this world. And once again, we resonate:
One look at the hazel tree and it’s easy to see why the Celtic meaning of the hazel tree deals with creativity, and why the druids held it in such high regard amongst the Ogham ranks.
The hazel’s unusual branch formations make it a delight to ponder, and was often used for inspiration in art, as well as poetry.
The bards, ovates and druids of the Celtic day would intently observe its crazy curly-Q branches. Doing this would lead them into other worlds of delightful fantasy. Much the same way our modern imaginations can be captured by a good movie, the creative Celts were artistically motivated by the seemingly random and wild contortions of the hazel.
A more commonly known fact is that the hazel is considered a container of ancient knowledge. Ingestion of the hazel nuts is proposed to induce visions, heightened awareness and lead to epiphanies. Indeed, the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhail tells of his gaining the wisdom of the universe by simply coming in contact with the essence of the hazel nut.
He did this through the salmon, which was known to eat the hazel nuts that dropped around a sacred pond encircled by nine hazel trees. It was fabled that from their diet of the nuts, the salmon too were keys to infinite knowledge. Fionn burned his finger while preparing a soup of these very salmon. Instinctively, Fionn thrust is finger in his mouth to soothe the burn and by this slight contact he became enlightened.