Lady of the Woods: The Teachings of Birch

Lately the vibration of what is BIRCH IN NATURE has made its way to my door, along with the frequency of the 17 year cicadas. There are many types of tree on this property but no birch, so I thought that was very interesting. As I researched the vibration of birch a lot of magical insights came forth. Birch is The Tree of New Beginnings 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. Birch is the traditional Yule Log.  Traditionally, Birch twigs were used to light the Beltane fires.

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.  with 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. At Candlemas in February, her white bark is used to symbolize the return of light. 

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 out clearly from the tangled undergrowth and confusion of shrubs and thorny bushes that cover the forest floor and, hence, may inhibit an easy journeyBirch twig brooms were also used in the ritual of ‘Beating the Bounds’. Members of a Parish would walk the ‘bounds’ of the village, beating various landmarks along the way to mark out the boundaries.  Birching can be used as a synonym for beating as objects were beaten with birch twigs, brooms or sticks to rid them of evil spirits.

Birch is known as ‘The Goddess Tree’, ‘The Lady of the Woods’.  The Birch tree is bringer of promise, light and new beginnings. Known by the Celts as Beith  (pronounced ‘bay’) it is the symbol of new beginnings, regeneration, hope, new dawns and the promise of what is to come.  The tree carries ancient wisdom and yet appears forever young. The Druids were believed to have used the sap to make a spiritual cup for the celebration of the Spring Equinox

The White Goddess, The Lady of the Woods, The Silver Maiden and The Birchen Maiden are names for the goddess of Birch. On first sight, you would think her a gentle, shy tree – but alas she is the powerful symbol of continual hope and regeneration. It’s easy to see the impact she must have made in ancient times, her white bark shining in torch and firelight or on full moon nights, her leaves rustling and shivering as the people’s hopes grew with the greening and the coming of spring. 

Birch Magic, Charms and Beliefs
  • *** Write a wish on birch bark with the charcoal-like tip of a burned birch twig. Keep it safe and secret and your wish will be fulfilled.

  • *** To cool any violent passion, anger or over-reaction, sit alone for a while with your back against the birch trunk. If this isn’t possible, take something of birch in your hands and sit alone and quiet. Its innocent energy will channel your strong feelings into wise ways.

  • *** Carry a birch twig or roundel cut from a branch as protection against malign influences.

  • *** Burn a little birch bark or dried leaf on its own or as part of a purpose made incense blend at the start of any important new beginning or before a journey.

  • ***A cradle, toy or decoration made from birch wood will protect the baby against bad spirits, and against faeries who are intent on turning the child into a changeling.

  • ***Use a birch wand to gain fresh perspectives on old ideas, and to get ideas started when the creative flow is blocked. ***They are powerful faery, light bringers.

    ***Herd your cow with a birch stick and she will be fertile and birth healthy calves.

    ***The oil from Birch bark is used for treating skin conditions, and insect repellent.