The bringer of promise, light and new beginnings!

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, the Celtic Tree Calendar has 13 Lunar Divisions.

The 24th December is the start of the first of the 13 Lunar Divisions, coming after "The Day of Creation" that I posted about earlier this week.

It's called the "Birch Moon": December 24 - January 20

Links to the Birch Tree

‘The Goddess Tree’ - ‘The Lady of the Woods’, the Birch tree, Betula Pendula is the bringer of promise, light and new beginnings; it's a time of rebirth and regeneration.

When areas of woodlands and forests burn, Birch, known as a ‘Pioneer Tree’ – meaning that it can restart the colonisation of woodlands after long term natural disasters, is usually the first tree to grow back.

Birch wood isn't particularly hard wearing but has been used down the centuries for all sorts of things including...

  • handmade wooden toys for children,

  • reels and bobbins, when the cotton industry was at its height and in Scotland

  • a fuel in the whiskey distilleries.

Handles for brooms and tools are still made from Birch Wood, as are entire 'besom' brooms for garden use and, apparently, Witch transport.

Thin Birch Twigs are used for thatching, and when correctly burned, the resulting charcoal was used in gunpowder.

More recently, Birch Twigs have found a use in packing the jumps at horse-racing venues.

The Birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection.

A cradle, toy or decoration made from Birch Wood protects children against Bad Spirits, and against Faeries who are intent on turning children into Changelings.

The White Birch Bark is very unusual, thin and loose and can peel away from the tree like paper.

Even the layers can be carefully peeled apart and it’s thought that the name Birch came either from...

  • the Sanskrit word ‘bhurga’, which literally meant 'a tree whose bark is used for writing upon’, or

  • from ‘bher’ – meaning ‘shining white’.

The Birch Bark can also produce an oil, known as Birch Tar or Oleum Rusci, which is used for Tanning and in the specialist Book Binding Industry.

Law and Order

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.

In times past, the Birching was applied at various times to...

  • criminals,

  • delinquents,

  • people with no control over their actions,

  • public school boys and

  • naughty children!

Celts are also known to...

  • herd their cows with a Birch Stick so that they will be fertile and give birth to healthy calves

  • tie a Red Ribbon around the trunk of a Birch Tree to ward off negative energy

  • hang Birch Twigs over a cradle to protect a New-born from psychic harm and

  • use Birch Bark as magical parchment to keep their writings safe.

I wish you all A Merry Christmas & A Happy 2020!

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