Raven Ash

As I wrote in “About Me” I feel the need to maintain some anonymity at the moment, but I still want a name I can use which carries some significance to me.

So I looked to my connection to the natural world and, indulging my interest in Celtic mythology, I searched the meanings behind trees and animals, settling at last on the ash tree and the raven.

I had been keen to use a word in its original Gaelic – but struggled to work out the pronunciation. I initially liked the Willow with its connections to poets seeking inspiration. But I settled on the Ash with its connection to the spiritual worlds. Its known as the “World Tree” connecting our world with the lower and upper worlds. Known as “Yggdrasil”, it fills the same role in Norse mythology.

Turning my attention to the animal world I thought first of the Owl (I hear them call at night in the trees near my house) but found myself drawn to the Raven. I responded at first with caution – I felt the raven had a very dark presence (metaphorically, symbolically) – but realised I knew almost nothing about it. I discovered it is closely associated with Scotland, with Celtic and Norse myth. There was even a raven in New Zealand, but it is long extinct. There is a strong connection between the raven and death – and I imagine this could lead to some poetic writing work. Death is playing a large part in my thinking and imagination at the moment. However, the raven is also connected in myth to mysteries and memories. And I’ve realised the darkness of the Raven is a perfect fit with the black used in self-image that New Zealanders are often so comfortable with.

So I settled on the Raven and the Ash, and combined into “Ashven” it becomes a name I am happy to use here.

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