Why were certain plants raised from mere utility to reverence in the collective consciousness of various populations from different cultures? This elevation from purely physical use to the realm of the sacred is apparent in multiple cultures. The lotus flower was used as a symbol for the source of the Brahma which sprang forward from the navel of Vishnu after the sacred word Ohm was uttered in the creation story of Hinduism. The oak tree was associated with Thor as described in the tales of the Norse. The oak was also held sacred by the Druids. This is evident in the legends of the sacrifices of white bulls that were made under the often expansive branches of mature specimens of oak trees. This elevation also occurred with what is perhaps a lesser known plant, the rowan tree, which has also been reported to have been associated with the Druids and the Norse, as well as the Greek legend of Hebe.
Qualities of the Rowan Tree
What quality or trait elevated this tree in the minds of the people? The Rowan Tree (Sorbus aucuparia) also known as European Mountain Ash, Witch Tree, or Witch Wood, has been used for making jams, wines, and ales. It can grow up to 15m (49 ft) tall and live up to 200 years. The aforementioned edible products are made specifically using the tart red berries, which are reported to be high in Vitamin C and other beneficial compounds.