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Rowan Desktop

ROWAN OF THE WOOD WALLPAPER - Just mouse over the picture, right click, and choose "Set as Background." This is a close-up of the beautiful 4 x 8' painting from our amazing cover artist Ia Enstera!

ROWAN BOOK TRAILER
Watch the book trailer here!

FAN ART Look at the fan art we have included among the pages of our books. Submit yours and perhaps it will be in book #4 of #5!

FIND THE HIDDEN RUNES Use the chart below to find 10 hidden runes in the cover. Pull out you copy of the book or view a copy of the cover here.

ANCIENT OGHAM WRITING What is that strange crosshatch-like writing Cullen sees on the tree? It is the ancient writing of the Druids call Ogham (pronounced "Owam" in Irish Gaelic and "Og-am" in Scots Gaelic), or the "Celtic Tree Alphabet," used mostly in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales around the 5-6th century. These strange letters would be carved into stones or in trees to mark land ownership, sacred spots, or burial sites.

The divider seen below spells out "Rowan of the Wood" in the Ogham text:

THE HISTORY OF RUNES The runic alphabet is called "FUTHARC" after the first six letters of the alphabet. You can use it as a secret code to write notes in class!

f f u u th, a a r r k k g g w w
h h n n i i j j ,ei p p z z s s
t t b b e e m m l l ? ? d d o o
The oldest form of the runic alphabet is called Elder Futhark. It, and other forms, was used by Scandinavians, the Anglo-Saxons, and other Germanic Tribes. "Runes" are small stones or shingles of wood bearing the letters of the runic alphabet. Each letter has a specific meaning. Today runes are used by neo-pagans for divination and as an oracle.

Moody gives April a bag of these oracle runes carved onto small sticks in Witch on the Water.

Using the legend above, see if you can figure out what this says:


HINT: The letter for "u" looks a little different than above

PICTS & DRUIDS

See the tattoos all over Rowan and Fiana on the book covers? That's because they're Picts as well as Druids.

The Picts were a federation of tribes living on the british isles (mostly in what is now Scotland) during the dark ages through about the 10th century. The name "Pict" comes from a Greek word meaning "painted or tattooed people." Before the Christian conversions, they were Celtic polytheists and mostly farmers.

The Druids were also Celtic polytheists who had a special affinity for the natural world. Their main religious holidays were Imbolc (Feb 1), Beltane (May 1), Lughnasadh (August 1), and Samhain (October 31st). Samhain marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the New Year Cycle. It was also the day the veil between this world and the Celtic Otherworld was the thinnest, sometimes disappearing completely to merge the worlds of the living and the dead. The dates above are approximate, as they were celebrated halfway between the equinoxes and solstices, which mark the minor holidays: Ostara (Spring Equinox), Litha (Summer Solstice), Mabon (Autumn Equinox), and Yule (Winter Solstice). These eight holidays together form the "Wheel of the Year," still used by modern pagans.

The word pagan was coined by the Romans from that latin word "paganus" meaning, "from the country." Today it describes people who follow an earth-based spritual path, or more broadly, any spiritual path outside of Judeo-Christianity.

Rowan of the Wood is set around the myth of Samhain, when Cullen finds the wand on Halloween. It's the same day Rowan and Fiana were separated into to separate dimensions 1400 years ago.

Witch on the Water, book 2, takes place around Imbolc, when they try to take Rowan back to the Otherworld.

Fire of the Fey, book 3, takes place around Beltane. Readers get to experience the maypole dance with Rowan and Fiana and read a little about the crowning of the May Queen.

Can you guess which pagan holidays books 4 and 5 will be based on?