The Fern in Irish and Hawaiian Mythology


Caroline Kane




July 29, 2020

Young Fern fiddlehead on woodland floor Meath
fern in a pot by my front door - Ebb and Flow Massage Meath

“Only spread a fern-frond over a man’s head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in.”

John Muir

My mother is a gifted gardener. At times of crisis and despair I called my mother, which I was fortunate to be able to do. She often asked me when I was in my garden last. Creating a garden and caring for the plants and herbs has been therapeutic and nourishing to me. She often gives me plants as gifts and teaches me how to care for them. I have treasured these exchanges. In early March this year, she gave me a gift of two species of Fern in a beautiful pot for outside my front door.

I have always loved ferns. It is the reason I use them in my business logo. Young fern sprouts unfurl themselves in springtime to welcome the arrival of summer. Ferns adorn the forest floor in the woods near where I live, growing out of dead and decaying leaves. Over the past while I have learned a thing or two about them that I found interesting and decided to share.

fern in the Irish countryside Caroline Kane

As an Irish practitioner of Hawai’ian Lomi Lomi massage I was interested in finding out more about their significance in Irish and Hawai’ian culture. The Prehistoric Hawaiians, or Mu people, believed that due to the Ferns having acquired balance and completion within nature, they were chosen to hold and preserve emotional intelligence. It is the energy of Aloha, Love, which according to them is the truest expression of Earth reality. These codes or principles would be disclosed again at a time of change that many refer to as ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.’

fern in the Irish Countryside Summerhill Meath Ebb and Flow Massage

Ferns are an ancient group of plants of which there are over 10,000 species. The most recent estimate of their evolution dates them back to 400 million years ago. They have evolved many survival strategies for fertilization and dispersal of their spores. One example of this is through wind pollination. It is the only species on the planet to have achieved evolutionary stasis. This is when a species has fulfilled itself and has reached its evolutionary ceiling. They are well adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions. They grow on forest floors and lakes sides here in Ireland and on remote islands in the South Pacific. They have an enduring legacy found in the mythology of ancient people all over the World.

In Irish mythology, the fern appears as a fairy or strange magical plant. It was also known as Bracken or Raithneach Mhór. The main reason for this was that they bear neither flowers nor fruit. Instead, they produce ‘mysterious’ almost invisible seeds (spores). They believed that a fairy changeling, banished into a river or lake, would turn into a clump of fern or yellow Iris. In one example the fern appears in the Cattle raid of Cooley. The warrior Nera enters a fairy mound at Samhain (Halloween). It’s summer in the land of the Sídhe (land of the fairies). So, he returns from the mound carrying flowers of Summer as proof of his stay. He brought back golden fern, wild garlic and primroses.

green fern plants in the woods in Summerhill Meath Caroline Kane

The many uses of Fern or Bracken in ancient Ireland ensured its place in the Irish Brehon laws. It was ‘one of the bushes of the wood’. The unlawful clearing of a field of bracken would set you back one dairt, which was a one year old heifer. (The currency of exchange was cattle in early Irish society). Some medieval scholars link Bracken with the Irish Ogham alphabet. These ancient, mysterious and magical plants have flourished over eons. Their ability to adapt through adversity ensured their survival and revival. They grow a strong steady network of roots. This provides them with the hydration and nourishment from the Earth and they thrive as a result.

Ferns are a wonderful totem to have at my front door. I look forward to welcoming my wonderful clients back with Aloha!


Culpepper’s Complete Herbal &English Physician-Nicholas Culpepper

Irelands Wild Plants, Myths, legends and Folklore. Niall mac Coitir

Principles of Aloha in Esotheric Hawai’in Botanical Medicine.


  1. Karen Gooding

    Wow Caroline! That’s fascinating! I love the fairy stories in particular and love Irish folklore stories! May the fern bring blessings aplenty through your door and beyond xx I look forward to your next blog!

    • Caroline Kane

      Thanks so much Karen for reading it and for your kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed it. xx

  2. Lorraine Johnson

    Oh my goodness, Caroline, loved loved loved this💓 Looking forward to reading lots more from you 😘 x

    • Caroline Kane

      Thank you for reading it Lorraine.🙏 I am so glad that you enjoyed it. 💖 xx

  3. Anna Knightly

    Caroline Go hiontach.(wonderful) Scéilín Siumiuil, Stairiúil agus Fileata. I look forward to more interesting, historical poetic stories Anna

    • Caroline Kane

      Ah Anna! Go raibh míle maith agat as do chuid focal cineálta. I am so glad you enjoyed reading it. Caroline 💖🌿


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Caroline Kane

lomi lomi massage meath

I am a Holistic Massage Therapist and Lomi Lomi Practitioner working from a tranquil space in the beautiful village of Summerhill. I have always had an interest in Holistic health and wellness. I consider massage to be a necessity for healing and a gateway to a healthier, happier life. I base this on my experience of healing in my own life.

'May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence. May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.' ~John O' Donohue

DM or text 086 0895227 to book your Massage treatment. With Aloha, Caroline 🌺
#massagetherapy #lomilomimassage
#holisticmassage #holistichealth #healing
#meath #healingtherapy #recovery #kildare #timeforme #traumarecovery #rebalance #selfcare #support #supportlocalbusiness

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Hawaiian Lomi Lomi or Holistic Massage appointments available this week:
🌿 Wednesday 2pm or 4pm
🌺Thursday at 2pm
🌿 Friday at 3pm
🌺 Saturday 10am or 12pm
Contact me at 086 0895227 or DM to make a booking.

With Aloha, Caroline 🌈

#lomilomimassage #massagetherapy #selfcare #meath #holisticmassage #holistichealth

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𝔹𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕤 𝕠𝕗 𝕄𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕒𝕘𝕖

♡︎ Promotes deeper breathing
♡︎ Improves posture
♡︎ Improves circulation
♡︎ Enhances a calm mind
♡︎ Increases and promotes joint flexibility
♡︎ Reduces anxiety and feelings of emotional overwhelm
♡︎ Increases self- awareness and support of body's own healing wisdom
♡︎ Boosts and supports immune system
♡︎ Increased peace of mind
♡︎ Supports recovery from trauma

#Massage #holistichealth #holisticliving #lomi #lomilominui #lomilomimassage #traumahealing #bodywisdom #traumarecovery #holisticmassage #ebbflowhealth #healing

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Yes! 🌟 ...

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𝔽𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕟 𝕎𝕠𝕞𝕒𝕟

𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚏𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚗.

𝙵𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚗 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝙶𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎.

𝙵𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚗 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚛𝚝.

𝙰 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚣𝚎𝚗 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚢.

𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚘𝚗𝚎.

𝙸𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚍.
𝚂𝚊𝚗𝚔 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚞𝚗𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚐𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜.
𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎'𝚜 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔 𝚒𝚗 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚌𝚘𝚊𝚕 𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚐𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑.

𝚂𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚐𝚊𝚣𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚖𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚒𝚗 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜.
𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚏𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚗 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎, 𝚜𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚞𝚙 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗. 𝚆𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚎.

𝙸𝚗𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚚𝚞𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚣 𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚕 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝,
𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚝𝚑 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊 𝚎𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚎𝚜.
𝙸𝚗𝚏𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜
𝙸𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛.

𝙼𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 💝

~Caroline Kane


#love #poetry #healingpoetry #healingthefeminine #poetrylovers #holistichealth #holistichealth #wellbeing #ebbflowhealth
#holisticmassage #lomilomi # #ebbandflow #healingtrauma

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