It isn’t for purely aesthetic reasons that cold iron is used to adorn funeral plots.
Red as rust, blood has the taste and tang of hematite, the life force of earth. Scrolls of wrought iron circle family plots, and are forged into intricate gates and mausoleum entries. Folklore spins tales of iron crosses, and fleur-de-lis being planted at the north corner of sepulture gardens to fend off wandering immortals, while also safeguarding resting spirits.
In lieu of flowers, families encircle their ancestral graves with fences topped with pineapple finials. These symbols of hospitality, in reality, are meant to keep wraiths in, not beckon visitors to enter.
Oaks, growing throughout the garden, convey power and victory. Some boles embrace markers and crypts in their wooden bonds. Descendants don’t want to confess they pay homage to Mabon, the Child of Light and scion of the Earth Mother Goddess with their iron acorns decorating gates and stones. They honor these deities during the equinox, when day is evenly divided into light and dark, when spirits are more likely to wander from their earthly confines.
These ornaments are not simply for show. They are weapons of war, fighting off battalions of netherworld soldiers. They are hand grenades, and swords, shields and bastions of strength in the battle for our souls.