The Days of Alder

Picture by Yuri Leitch

Depending on which calendar you follow the days of Alder can be between 5th Feb – 22nd Feb (or later in March).  I often watch and follow Yuri Leitch from the The Ogham Grove and so I am going by the year cycle that he uses and talks about.  At the turn of Imbolc – the days of Alder.

And so, right in the middle of the days of Alder seems a great time to talk about this wonderful tree that we are blessed to have many in the garden.  Unsurprising perhaps since we have a river running through the garden and Alder LOVE water.


They line the river and help to give structure to the river bank and they’re known in celtic tree lore as being portals to the Otherworld.

Historically it is said that witches would gather in Alder Groves.  A magical tree indeed.  And how lucky we are that they form an Alder Grove in the garden.  It’s where I most often meditate.

It has a massive range of medicinal uses including being an effective alterative to the lymphatic system, pain reliever/blood mover, astringent and powerful anti-bacterial agent. This tree has been considered an overall tonic by many indigenous tribes. When it comes down it though, the medicine is all about the transformation and nourishment of the body’s vital fluids, whether through lymph, blood, bile, digestive fluids, urine etc


In addition to it’s healing properties the alder tree is spiritually known for its protective energy. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that alder trees guarded against negative forces and evil spirits. The strong presence of these trees near homes or sacred sites was believed to create a protective barrier against malevolent energies.

It’s one of my favourite trees here.  We have so many of them but some stand out to me more than others.  There are a group of three standing in a line along the old wall I call the three Alder brothers and another group standing together by the river who I call the 4 sisters, although 3 of them stand close together and one stands slightly apart from the others.  I’m sure a story lays there somewhere.



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