The Seal

As part of the reinvigoration of the grove in 2006, it was decided that we would re-imagine the grove logo or banner, up to this point we had a “seedgroup” banner although it was little used and not hugely relevant to the grove. After brainstorming ideas the then grove membership came up with a rough design plan which was later interpreted and created by the Herald into this basic official banner/ logo:

De-constructing the logo, we can look at it as several parts.

First is the intertwined circle and square that forms the outer part of the logo. The intertwined circle/square is the OBOD order symbol of the Bardic grade.

The square represents the material universe, the nature and solidity of the four elements, delineates the four cardinal points, echoes the equilateral four armed cross which is the symbol of Earth, Malkuth on the tree of life, practicality, solidity and foundation.

The circle represents the spiritual, ethereal aspects of the universe, Kether on the tree, oneness, wholeness, that which cannot be confined to the mundane, Magick, spirit, divinity, the subtle energies.

The two shapes circle and square are intertwined to represent spirituality and practicality working together, supporting and inseparable to each other. Kether in Malkuth, Malkuth in Kether, The reality that is the spiritual nature of the practical world and our aspiration to be constantly aware of their co-dependence and inseparability.

The next part of the logo is the inner “knot-work” panel. The panel is adapted from a Pictish design found on a stone in Rosemarkie in Ross-shire. The intertwined knot-work quarters of the design represents the complex, yet supporting, nature of the elements, their aspect, movement and nature; their co-operation, interplay and balancing aspects of each other. If any part of the design is removed the symmetry is altered and fails. The creative forces working in harmony. The knot-work can also be seen to represent the members of the grove, their energies and relationships balancing, supporting and complimenting each other in an exquisite design.

In the central section of the logo are the Ogham sigils/characters of Oak and Ash. In the ancient forests that covered this region of the country, Oak and Ash were the dominant species. Although farming, building, urban and industrial  development have radically altered our forest landscape the Oak and Ash still endure as the most dominant species. They are tied into the very fabric of the landscape around us, joined into the very energy and character of our tribal land.

The Oak Fidha “Duir” means “Endurance” and has associations of steadfastness, durability and strength. The Oak was considered one, if not the, most important trees in Celtic myth, shrouded with ideas of magic and sovereignty, often seen as a “door way” to the gods and the otherworlds (the word door originates from the Gaelic and Sanskrit word Duir”). Because of their long life, Oak trees were often the centre pieces of village gatherings and celebration as a symbol of continuity and tradition.

The Ash Fidha “Nuinn” means “rebirth and peace”. It is seen as a tree of transformation, a bridge between the worlds, spanning the micro/macrocosm, the realms of existence, this world and the other otherworld etc. the Ash is both masculine and feminine in energy giving feelings of balance, but also fluidity, a tree of assimilation, change and understanding.

Both the Oak and the Ash were sacred to the Celts and were considered trees of the summer. In Druidic tree lore the oak can be considered as the entrance of the sacred grove, Ash as the exit.

The “three part” aspect of the grove symbol also resonates the three circle of Abred (circles of existence). In the circles of existence (manifestation) the soul travels from the centre (Annwn) into the circle of Abred, outwards to Gwynfdd, then onto the limitless realm of Ceugant. If we look at the grove symbol we can say that the centre is the land, tradition and transformation (the Ogham); we travel out wards through the elements and with the support of the grove members (the knot-work); into a state of spiritual awareness and consciousness (circle and square) then out wards into the unknown….