The Celts believe in the circle of life and one of these symbols is the Hawthorn tree which represents fertility and death. The Hawthorn tree was one of the most sacred trees of the ancient Celts and remains so to this day. This tree is protected by faeries dwelling beneath the tree in the underworld. The faeries are reputed to bring good luck and prosperity to owners although those who would harm the tree, by removing branches or cutting it down, would be cursed with injury or death. For this reason, Hawthorn trees are treated with the utmost respect, left standing and never cut down. It is not unusual to see roadways or farms designed in such a way as to leave a Hawthorn tree undisturbed. It is customary to tie a bow or strip of cloth around a branch when asking for a wish at Beltane and to leave a gift if the wish has been granted. Sitting beneath the tree on May first leads to the possibility of being transported to the faerie realm. The tree is also believed to ward off evil, encourage forgiveness, love, and restore positivity.
Hawthorn (uath is the sixth letter in the Ogham alphabet. it is believed that the name uath means white thorn as indicated by the white thorns present on Hawthorn branches.
The tree blossoms around the beginning of May signalling the approach of spring. Spring brings with it fertility and love, couples who meet under the Hawthorn will have a blessed union. Maypoles are topped with Hawthorn blossoms that represent females; the pole represents males.
The berries of the tree are called Pixie pears and hold medicinal properties to cure a range of ailments including angina, anxiety, circulatory and heart problems, insomnia, menopause, migraines, sore throats, and increasing emotional well-being, fertility and happiness.