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  • Writer's pictureOlivine Moss

Evergreen

Updated: Feb 17, 2023




Immortality

Survival

Strength


 

Lore and Legends


The Evergreen tree was revered by pagan and Indigenous cultures for its strength, longevity, and ability to survive the harsh northern climate.


The Spruce Tree in Indigenous history are sacred and are "The Symbol of the Sky and directional Guardian's of the North" as well as represents an important Medicine Man named Salavi, and the Pima Peoples myth is that a massive flood engulfed them and the floating Spruce tree pitch saved them from drowning


In Celtic mythology, the Evergreen represented hope. After the rest of the forest shed its leaves for fall, the evergreen continued to remain green and full. The unique ability of the evergreen led to the tree being celebrated and decorated during the winter solstice. The Druids from the British Isles and Northern Europe also referred to the evergreen as the tree of everlasting life.


The ancient Romans celebrated the winter solstice with evergreen boughs placed in temples and in their homes. The celebrations were for Saturn, the god of agriculture, and represented the beginning of a new harvest season.


Decorating the Christmas tree is a long-treasured tradition and is celebrated during both the winter Solstice and the birth of Christ. This tradition has a long history of celebrating the solstices by decorating the tree with a variety of items like apples, candy, holly, and mistletoe in many European cultures well before the Bible was written but was integrated into Christian holidays as more pagan societies converted from polytheism to monotheism.


Different species of Evergreen have their own myths and legends attached to them like the Hemlock and the Pine

 


Medicinal Uses


Evergreen oil has antimicrobial properties, anti-tumor, antiseptic and pain-killing uses.


Evergreen needles are edible and have been used to prevent scurvy when a source of vitamin c was not available.



 


Poetry



This is the forest primeval .

The murmuring pines and the hemlocks ,

Bearded with moss , and in garments green , indistinct in the twilight ,

Stand like Druids of eld , with voices sad and prophetic ,

Stand like harpers hoar , with beards that rest on their bosoms .

LONGFELLOW .


A SONG AWAY

on a northern mountain

A lonely pine is found ; A mantle of white infolds him ,

And ice and snow surround .

He dreams of a distant palm tree ,

That , far in the southern land ,

Keepeth a sorrowful silence ,

Alone , ' mid the burning sand .

Translated from

HEINE .

 


Gallery





Further Reading and Resources


“Native American Indian Spruce Tree Medicine, Meaning and Symbolism from the Myths of Many Tribes.” Www.native-Languages.org, www.native-languages.org/legends-spruce.htm.


Fickett, M. G., & Stone, G. L. (1902). Trees in Prose and Poetry. Ginn & Company.



Moloney, L. (2022, May 19). Fir trees in Celtic Mythology. https://celticmythology.com/fir-trees-in-celtic-mythology/








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