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Elder Ruis             (Rue)

Ruis corresponds to the letter R in the Ogam alphabet and is associated with the Elder tree. This symbol represents transition, maturity and change.

Ruis pronounced: roosh

Status: Shrub

Element: Water

Gender: Feminine

Celtic Thirteenth Month: Last 3 days of October

Powers: Elder brings the eternal turning of life and death, birth and rebirth.


Keywords: Tree of the Cailleach, cycles, endings, beginnings, life/death, change, breakdown, transition, 3-fold aspects of time, existence and Goddess, regret, karma.


Deities associated with Elder: Holda, Venus, the old crone aspect of the triple Goddess, Freya, Aphrodite, Hel, Hela, Hilde, The White Lady.


Interesting Spiritual Information: Elder is sacred to the White Lady. The druids would use this tree to both bless and curse. If you stand underneath the elder in at Midsummer, it might help you to see the Fey. Elder wands are also used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Linked to the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth. It represents the end in beginning and the beginning in the end; life in death and death in life. The casting out of the old year and the renewal and creativity of the new. The timelessness of the cycle by which the fading of old age is always balanced by the new start of birth.


Ogam Healing: Beginnings; Bereavement issues; Breakdowns; Changing cycles; Dealing with changes; Dealing with death; Dealing with karma; Deflated; Depression; Dramas of living life; Endings; Exhaustion; Finding love within; Life issues; Living with the Goddess; Renewing life energies; Terminal illness; Transitions; Trauma of injury; Cold Sores; Epilepsy; Nerve pains; Sinusitis; Sore throats; Toothache; Asthma; Catarrh; Colic; Coughs/ colds; Diabetes; Influenza; Burns; Sprains; Arthritis; Rheumatism; Cancer prevention…


More Medical information and in-depth healing suggestions can be found in my book The Beginners Book of Ogam Tree Healing, or by attending one of my workshops.


Folklore: The elder has strong associations with femininity and the Goddess and is often called ‘Our Lady.’ It can symbolise the 3 aspects of the triple Goddess: maiden, mother and hag. The elder was said to be one of the trees favoured by the sidthe (fairies). The tree became synonymous with the Devil, as many people feared burning elder-logs in case they brought the Devil himself into the house. In other parts of the British Isles the elder retained many of its magical associations. Should you wash your eyes in the green juice of the wood, you might well see fairies and witches. If you stood under an elder at Samhain in Scotland, you would see the faery host riding by. Elderberries plucked on Midsummer’s Eve were said

to grant magical powers.

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