"Birch into the fire goes, In sign of what the Lady knows" Birch
The Lady of the Woods
First month of the Celtic Tree calendar, December 24th - January 20th
First consonant of the Ogham alphabet - Beith
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: Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau
Medicinal properties: The oil from Birch bark is used for treating skin conditions, and insect repellant. The sap is a natural shampoo, and can be a remedy for dysentery and urinary infections. An infusion of Birch leaves is an antiseptic and diuretic.
Magickal properties: Birch wood is believed to ward off evil, banish fears and build courage.
Associated with beauty and tolerance, the Birch's vibration heightens tolerance of oneself and others. Use a Birch Broom to brush out the old year on the morning after Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Add the cut bark to protection spells or drink birch beer if you feel you are under psychic attack.
Stripped of its bark, Birch is the traditional Yule Log. Traditionally, Birch twigs were used to light the Beltane fires, and couples paired off to the Birch forests. Later is when they began to make the Maypoles out of Birch, setting them up and decorating them as the focal point in the villages. The traditional broom of the Witches was made of birch twigs, and cradles were once made from birch wood for the sole purpose to protect the helpless children.
A Celtic Oracle of Avalon
Birch moon teaches of potentials that stretch before you. She reflects the possibilities as the spectrum of color glistens on her white glittery face. Like a mother prepared to give birth, her belly rises and she presents you with a teaching.
"This moon time will be like kneading bread and letting it rise before you cook it." Birch says to you.
Now, with the essence of Birch, you come into the rhythm of life, the empowerment of dreams, and the ability to vision your possibilities.
Birch's essence is to create, bring together dreams and prepare for the new patterns of living. Understand Her. Use the lessons of the moon mothers you have already embraced... look at the bigger picture, listen and unfold your plans through creative visualization.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
up a snow-white trunk
till the tree could bear no more,
and set me down again.
both going and coming back.
be a swinger of birches.
- Robert Frost, Birch Trees
Ghillie Dhu, a Scottish fairy who wears moss and leaves, is said to live in birch thickets. According to the Hanes Taliesin, from the 13th century Red Book of Hergest: "On a switch of birch was written the first Ogham inscription in Ireland, namely seven B's, as a warning to Lug son of Ethliu, to wit, 'Thy wife will be seven times carried away from you into fairyland or elsewhere, unless birch be her overseer."
"Three Sisters" from the woods near my home
|Looking into the Celtic forest, one that
formerly covered the whole of the United Kingdom, the Birch stands out
as a graceful, slender tree with a characteristic white bole. The white
indicates cleanliness and determination in overcoming
It is time for a new start. Before this can be safely embarked upon, however, all old ideas, unhelpful influences and bad thoughts need to be cast aside. In making your spiritual journey with this tree as a guide, remember to concentrate your mind on the uplifting slender whiteness of the tree, a whiteness that stands our clearly from the tangled undergrowth and confusion of shrubs and thorny bushes that cover the forest floor and, hence, may inhibit an easy journey.
THE CELTIC TREE ORACLE
by Liz and Colin Murray
Spell for Intent: Gather strips of fallen birch and let them dry out. Using Dragon's blood ink (or an appropriate ink for you spell) write the keywords of your intention. As you do this, keep an image of it in your mind. As you say your incantation, pass the birch through a candle flame and drop it into you cauldron.
Green Man Tree Oracle
|The Green Man Tree Oracle
by John Matthews and Will Worthington
A GOOD BEGINNING LEADS TO A GOOD CONCLUSION
Beginnings are always important, as are the ways we approach any new task. Good preparation and a willingness to lay the ground on which we will build are every bit as valuable as the eventual outcome. The Green Man's wisdom here is specific: make a good start and whatever you are undertaking will end well. This means paying attention to the moment of inspiriation (which the Celts called 'awen') and following this to a satisfactory conclusion.
Traditionally birch was used to drive out evil spirits and return to sanity those who had become mad. Its calendrical association is with the beginnings of the year, and with the sacred festival of Samhain, hence its connection with making a fresh start. The birch is also one of the first trees to flower in the spring.
"The birch path is one of the prettiest places in the world." It was. Other people besides Anne thought so when they stumbled upon it. It was a little narrow, twisting path, winding down over a long hill straight through Mr. Bell's woods, where light came down sifted through so many emerald screens that it was as flawless as the heart of a diamond. It was fringed in all its length with slim young birches, white-stemmed, and starflowers and wild lilies-of-the-valley and scarlet tufts of pigeon berries grew thickly along it; and always there was a delightful spiciness in the air and music of bird calls and the murmur and laugh of wood winds in the trees overhead.
~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
by Gillian Kemp
"Your life is potentially graceful and well balanced like
the slender Silver Birch.
Mother Nature presides over this tree, bringing maternal protection, a deepening relationship with your mother, and the encouragement to learn new skills. Babies' cradles were made of Birch, signifying that an idea will materialize if it is nurtured.
Like the Silver Birch, which grows almost anywhere its seeds fall, you will make the most of opportunities.
The traditional witches' Birch broom implies a fresh sweep around Hallowe'en, and magical miracles as if by luck. Purity and Springtime, symbolized by the silvery-white bark, indicate happiness."
The Great Goddess
Freya ~ by J. Primrose
Freya encompasses all that and more.
Her cloak of beautiful bird feathers allows her to turn into a falcon
and her stunning floral arrangements show off her softer side.
She was also a Goddess of War and Death,
in that she collected half the souls of battle
to help transition them and make sure they had a comfortable afterlife.
When she cries, her tears turn to Gold.
She empowers all who seek her.
Gnarled Silver Birch Bark
Gnarled Silver Birch Bark
LESSON OF THE BIRCH
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
The birch tree symbolizes a fresh start and can bring courage and determination to those of us who are treading the path of spiritual growth and development
for the first time.
Although the birch does appear fragile, it is in fact extremely hardy. This teaches us that in apparent weakness there is often to be found great strength.
The birch also promises new life and love, and is a potent symbol of purification and renewal, which focuses our attention on our potential for the change and on the consideration of new directions and goals to be experienced in our lives.
It teaches the lesson of unselfishness and of caring for the needs of others in ways that help them to flourish of their own accord.
Celtic Moon sign - Birch Moon
This slender tree is a bit deceptive. It appears fragile and delicate, yet it is capable of living where "hardier" trees cannot. If you're born under this sign, you, too, may present a rather tender "front" to others, but your inner strength is unwavering, and you'll lend support gladly to others who rely on you. Purity of thought and a knack for realistic evaluation is also associated with this tree sign, since the whiteness of the birch stands out so clearly, in such striking contrast to the foliage that also lives in its native environment.
Your quiet determination to succeed by following a reputable path is the stuff that hero/ines are born with. Written by Kim Rogers-Gallagher, and Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2000
The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey
This fairy is known as "the lady of the woods" for her graceful presence. Like many fairies, the birch fairy can open the portals to the subtle realms. The birch is associated with cleansing and freshness, and the goddess Arianrhod is invoked using birch, to attract fertility and aid creativity.
Being close to the birch fairy is clearing to the mind. She will help you let go of stress and have faith in yourself, in the knowledge that you will find a way to cope. Birch is a potent female energy that brings faith and gladness. However, the birch fairy may become angry if trees near her are damaged - she holds something of the repressed energy of the feminine principle, which has been denigrated for many centuries, and she can be fierce.
If you need a clear head for a new venture, or need to leave behind you anything that is negative or contaminating, birch fairy is a great support. She will send cool, cleansing breezes that revitalize. More than any other fairy, she appreciates a little care for the Wildwood being given in return.
The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey
OGHAM The Celtic Oracle
by Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott
Beth symbolizes opportunity and new beginnings. The power of the dark is waning and the first signs of spring are emerging, symbolizing new energies and ideas. THere is no struggle here, just a natural rising of newness that can only be blocked by those who adhere to old patterns. Let the past go and renew your faith in your path, understanding that if you follow the natural order change proves easy to embrace. Opportunities exist for you to bring movement into areas of your life that have been barren or stagnant, which in turn will create new understandings and insights. Be patient, walk in the light and the fruits of your labour will be realized.
The first leaves on the bich tree herald the rebirth of creation and the dawn of spring. Where man has raped the land and then left it abandoned and barren, birch will come carried by the gour winds to bring back harmony and balance. It has a deep and long relationship with humans giving its sap for sweetness, wine, and vinegar, its bark for writing and containers and its oil for tanning hides. Birch wood has provided cradles, boats and roofs protecting and transporting humans for millennia.
It cares not where it grows and indeed favours places where other trees find it hard to establish. Then it sheds its twigs and leaves season after season until the ground is fertile and ready for its brothers and sisters to join it.
|I honor the energy of birch, for a new beginning. I am able to change myself as I will to do. So mote it be.|