Yews hold great significance within modern Druidry; traditionally associated with death, transition and rebirth, their potential longevity can produce individual trees of extraordinary beauty and inspiration. Janis Fry and Allen Meredith have created a delightful booklet about one such ancient tree – the Ankerwycke Yew – entitled The Ankerwycke Yew, Living Witness to the Magna Carta. Here is a short excerpt to whet your appetite:
The Ankerwycke Yew may originally have come from a tree in Egypt in a tradition of branch or staff carrying…The origins of the site and the yew tree are certainly ancient…It seems most likely that this place was once a nemeton, i.e. an ancient Druidic site or centre with a sacred tree… Ankerwycke is a raised Bronze Age burial mound and would have been a nemeton before it was a Saxon site. A nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion, where ceremonies were held and incorporated the modern idea of a shrine or temple. At one time too there were carved, inscribed stones which have been reported as having been on the site.
The 20 page colour booklet costs £3.95 + 95p P&P and is available here, where you will also find Janis and Allen’s other works about Yews.