Celtic Mythology: Five Sacred Guardian Trees of Ireland

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Tree lore is a suspected ancient school of knowledge with roots stretching back into our earliest symbolic imaginations. The Tree is a common universal, archetypal symbol that can be found in many different traditions around the ancient world. Trees are symbols of physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation and liberation, sustenance, spiritual growth, union and fertility.

The Guardians of the Five Provinces is a title that was given to five special trees which were in ancient times considered sacred. According to folklore, a tall stranger, some say a giant as high as a wood, came to the court of the High King at Tara, bearing a branch from which grew three fruits: an apple, an acorn, and a hazelnut.

The stranger’s name was Trefuilngid Tre-eochair, meaning ‘of the three sprouts’. From the description, he was clearly a descendant of the otherworld.

‘As high as a wood was the top of his…

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