Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Trees 101: The Birch

I'm in love with trees. I can think of nothing better than spending time sitting beneath a favorite tree, meditating, reading or simply soaking up the tree's energy. Or meeting a new tree while out walking and doing the same. It's amazing how varied different trees' energies are. If you aren't sure about this energy thing, try this: ask the tree quietly if you can draw some of its energy for yourself and if it would mind sharing it with you. If the tree says yes, stand or sit up straight with your back to the tree, making as much contact as you can along the length of your spine. Relax and concentrate. You should within moments begin to feel a tingling sensation at your contact points, such as your shoulder blades. This can also be done with your hands pressed against the trunk too. Be sure to thank the tree when you are done and if possible, leave an offering to show your gratitude, perhaps a handful of birdseed at its base.

Trees have been considered sacred for millennia and one of the many reasons for this is that trees are one of the few things on this planet that dwell in all three realms simultaneously: its roots are in the netherworld, it's trunk is in our earthly realm and the top of its branches touch the heavens. They carry an immense amount of power to heal. My favorite tree is the Birch and so I'll give them the honor of being first.

The birch is a feminine tree, ruled by the planet Venus and the element of water. Birch trees represent the Goddess. They are one of the nine sacred woods used for Sabbat fires and are considered to have both protective qualities and symbolize renewal. Birch wood is an incredibly hard and strong wood and thus is used for furniture, boats and can even be used for food as the sap is used to make birch beer. The traditional besom is made of birch twigs bound together.

The twigs of birch trees have been used for exorcising spirits by tapping them on possessed people to drive the evil out. It is purifying and cleansing.

Birch is the tree of the dead and through renewal, rebirth and new life.