Watercolour & Pen – 500 x 700mm
The Tree of Ages is a massive oak, stood alone on top of a ridge. It is at the centre of all life and of all stories, with each root, branch, and leaf representing a different path. Constantly growing through the ages for all eternity, it is at the centre of the world. It records the beginning and end of all life.
In Irish mythology, trees are a connections to the our ancestors, their deep roots reaching down into the depths of the world, forming a connection between our world and the spirit world. The oak tree in particular has a special significance, as the daur (door), to the Otherworld. From this place the faeries emerge and dance and play music.
The tree sits amidst a protective stone circle that wards off evil, protecting the doorway to the faerie world through which the faeries emerge, dancing and singing with their music. At the centre of the tree, guarding the entrance sits an icon of Cernunnos, the horned god, radiating with life-giving magics.
The tree has many mushrooms blooming out of it, referencing their duel-role as transformers of the old and deceased, and as the seeds of new life. It is also a reference to the symbiotic relationship these organisms can have with their hosts, enlightening them with wisdom and nutrient, as well as protecting them from harm.
It is surrounded by personifications of the seasons, an everlasting cycle of states that make up a tree’s yearly cycle. In the spring, new shoots sprout, eer representing the fertility of spring, the dog of the summer hunt, the waterbird, or swan, hails in the coming of the rains, and the hawk, the death of winter.