By Isabella @TheWandCarver
The Birch tree is symbolic of starting over, new beginnings, a clean slate, if you will. It is also the first letter of the Ogham as it is the first month of the Celtic Tree Calendar 24th December to 20th January. Its name is “Beith” and is often called “The White Lady of the Wood”.
The characteristics of those born during this Celtic “astrological” sign are risk takers, high achievers, and movers and shakers. They are renowned as the innovators and can easily be caught up in their ambition and extreme passion to always strive for more. Birch people are also revered for their beauty and gracefulness, just like their tree counterpart.
These are the people that will be the inventors, leaders and motivators who always strive for perfection. They are goal oriented, strategists, and exceptional organisers with a strong will to succeed.
In the Druid religion this tree represents the beginning of possibility and of growth that is not hindered by obstacles and setbacks.
The Gauls used Birch twigs in marriage ceremonies by lighting them during the ceremony to invoke good luck for the bride and groom’s marriage and for a long and happy marriage.
Ancient Europeans brought Birch twigs and branches inside the home for protection.
In ancient times, brooms made of Birch twigs were commonly used to drive out the spirits of the old year and to ‘beat the bounds’ of property for protection. Thus, broomsticks made of Birch have the added benefit of these protective qualities.
It is said it that a small piece of Birch carried upon a person will prevent kidnapping of the individual by the sidhe, or the Faerie Folk.
Nowadays, as in the past, Birch is one of the nine sacred woods with which to light the Beltane fire.
Medicinal properties: The oil from Birch bark is used for treating skin conditions, and insect repellent. The sap is a natural shampoo, and can be a remedy for dysentery and urinary tract infections. An infusion of Birch leaves is an antiseptic and diuretic.
Magickally, Birch wood is believed to ward off evil, banish fears and build courage.
Element: Air, Water
Symbolism: Renewal, Protection
The Tree of Inception and of New Beginnings.
Birds: Eagle, Pheasant, Egret
Deity: Freya, The White Goddess Brigid, Venus, Thor
Sabbat: After the Winter Solstice, as the days begin to lengthen again…
Folk Names: Beith, Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches
up a snow-white trunk
till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top
and set me down again.
That would be good
both going and coming back.
One could do worse than
be a swinger of birches.
– Robert Frost, Birch Trees
Many thanks for reading and warm blessings to all x