My journal page for the Beth-Luis-Fearn Calendar
I've been working on studying the Celtic Trees and their ogham symbols since Samhain and am really enjoying it. But my biggest source of confusion lies around the tree calendar dates and whether using dates is really a valid practice.
The book I am working through, The Healing Power of Trees: Spiritual Journeys Through the Celtic Tree Calendar by Sharlyn Hidalgo uses the lesser known Beth-Luis-Fearn dates for the tree calendar, which start at Samhain and goes full moon to full moon. Her reasoning for doing so is that astrologically, it matches more of the associations related to each tree to start at this time of year, with this order of trees.
Most often, however, the Beth-Luis-Nion calendar, which starts on December 24th and goes from new moon to new moon, is used. My understanding is that these calendar dates were devised by Robert Graves and made widely known through his book The White Goddess.
HOWEVER, according to Stephen Blamires in Celtic Tree Mysteries (as well as other Celtic scholars), the dates don't matter-- the Celts did not associate the trees with certain months or zodiac signs at all. There is absolutely no scholarly evidence to prove that the Celts followed a lunar tree calendar.
So as I've been working with the trees, I've found myself in a bit of a quandry as to how I want to approach my studying. Do I ignore the months/dates and just learn about the trees, their associations and their ogham letters? Do I decide on a calendar and just work with it, whether its valid or not? If I ignore dates completely, what information associated with each particular tree is still valid and what becomes invalid?
My mind is boggled and I am unsure how I want to proceed... And does it even matter as long as I keep going? How would you approach further studies?