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Elder (Ruis) - card
  • Elder (Ruis) - card
  • Elder (Ruis) - card

Elder (Ruis) - card


25 November - 23 December

The Elder (Ruis in Irish) is associated with the period of the 25th Novemeber - 23rd December. The Elder was a tree often seen as cursed or evil with links to the fairy world. In this illustration we see the weary traveller asleep under an Elder, perhaps having drank his fill of Elderflower wine. It was believed that those who slept beneath this tree might never awake or that their dreams would be filled with nightmarish visions.
There was some foundation in this belief as the strong perfume of the flowers is avoided by small animals who avoid resting beneath its branches. Behind the tree we see a fairy being checking the basket made of Elder, in the hope that it was a cradle. People were afraid to make cradles from Elder wood for fear of the fairies might steal the child and replace it with a changeling.
In the background we have the rising sun of the winter solstice, the swirls on the hill reflecting the massive entrance stone to Newgrange, the passage grave through which the mid-winter sunrise casts its dawning light.
The Ogham (ancient Irish writing) is five diagonal lines from upper left down to the right.

Illustration from an original by Margaret McKenna


Greetings Cards
Dimension (L x W x H) 148 x 105 x 2 Millimetre
Weight 25 Gram

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