VII. Ash – Freedom – Chariot
Genus: Fraxinus – Family: Oleaceae
The seeds of an ash are commonly known as “keys” or “helicopter seeds.” They are symbolic of our ability to dream, take flight, travel and move forward with a sense of freedom and adventure. Ash trees produce hard and flexible wood that inspired the age of transportation. The wood of ash was used to build chariots, wagons, carriages and early models of cars. Ash spirits inspire us to travel in search of our dreams.
There are 45-65 species of ash that include medium to large trees. Ash trees are widespread across most of Europe, Asia, Northern Egypt and North America. The word “ash” also means “spear” in both English and Latin. This speaks to the decisive nature of ash spirits and their role in encouraging us to move forward and experience the world by taking conscious risks in order to experience something new.
For many centuries, the ash was mistakenly associated with Yggdrasill, the “World Tree” in Norse mythology, because the Yew tree was called “Needle Ash.” Yggdrasill was also known as Odin’s horse, a symbol of freedom and travel.
In 1903 the Wright brothers built the Flyer 1 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and ushered in the age of aviation. Wood from ash trees was used to create all of the curved and bent parts of their planes for its durability and lightweight properties. In this way, ash literally gave us the freedom to fly and travel the world.
Message: Ash encourages us to begin a new adventure or look at something from a new perspective. Stay open to new information and ways of accomplishing goals. If we become stuck or rigid we prevent our self from moving forward and experiencing life to its fullest. Many of life’s greatest adventures happen when we least expect it or from so-called “failed” attempts that opened new doors. Every new adventure is an opportunity to discover and grow. Sometimes we get lost and need to turn around or start over again. This is how we learn the deeper meaning of freedom.
Challenge: Arrogance, hot-headedness and a lack of self-control prevents one from experiencing true freedom. Release control over being right or wrong.