3314 – Art card: Art card with Rowan Tree and Baby

Physical description:
Card with coloured picture on it.
Museum classification:
Protection Magic
11cm x 14cm

Art card bought at the Henge Shop Avebury.  Created by Hedingham Fair (hedinghamfair.co.uk).

The card shows a baby in a rowan tree.  There is red ribbon around it and also rowan crosses of various designs surrounding it.  The tree is growing on a mound surrounded by water.  

The card was accompanied by this text:

The Quicken Tree

Rowan is also called Quicken tree or Quickbeam.  Quick is an old word for life, as in "the quick and the dead".  "Quickening" is the term used to describe the first feeling of movement of a baby in the womb, the first sign of life.

So Rowan is the tree of new life.

The name Rowan is derived from the Norse word Runa which means "a charm".  Every new life is precious and must be protected, so an amulet of a cross or hoop of Rowan twigs tied with red thread - the colour of life - and hung on the cradle will protect a baby, and prevent it being stolen by the Faere folk (fairies).

Card on display in Protection gallery.  Accompanying text in Archive Box 53.