Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Yew; an ancient sacred tree..


This is an ancient sacred tree which can live for anything up to 3,000 years; it's 
evergreen leaves, a symbol of mourning and resurrection. 
Many yew trees can be found planted in graveyards, and small sprigs of yew 
were often planted in the grave to protect the spirit.
One old tale concerning the yew is that the tree became dissatisfied with it's 
dark green needles, envying the other trees in the forest their beautiful coloured 
leaves. It grumbled to the faeries asking them to change it's appearance; so 
to keep the yew happy they changed it's leaves into gold. The golden leaves 
glittered in the sun but this attracted the thieves and they stripped the tree bare. 
The faeries then gave the tree delicate leaves of crystal but a storm came 
and the rain smashes the delicate leaves, leaving the tree naked.
The yew was then clothed in bright green and gold leaves that fluttered in the 
wind but this attracted all the wild animals of the woods, and the tree was again
 stripped bare of it's leaves. The yew stood there in the wood and moaned for 
it's own evergreen leaves to be returned, so the faeries once again did their magic
 and returned the yew tree to it's original form. But because the tree still envied the
 other trees their colourful leaves the faeries gave it bright red berries to wear 
every year, and made the berries along with the leaves poisonous to 
discourage the beasts of the forest.

Faeries and Folklore of the British Isles

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