Posted by Eternity at Love and Light Portal
Hello again from the Sacred Grove,
I have been asked to share some of my knowledge about trees with you each week from what I have learned in my training as a Druid Priestess. As a Druid Priestess, I have been trained in many things including how to be strong, a steadfast seer, and a knower of magic and enchantment. I am a sage of the forest as I have lived alone for 9 years whilst I studied magic with the native trees and fauna as my only friends. In that time I learnt the secret of the oak and the wildwood. Of the birds and our unique native habitat.
I learnt to feel the pulse of life in the earth beneath my feet and the power of the stars above me – and in the trees and plants around me who’s laws I have studied and know. Nature is my teacher.
As a Druid Priestess, I see the trees as living beings with their own medicines and gifts – each with their own unique personality.Tree magic has many layers, just as the rings in their timber suggest.Trees have a profound wisdom which can be tapped into by just sitting with your back against them and listening to their ancient wisdom. Hugging a tree is not such a silly thing to do. Many cultures believe that the tree helps to purify the liver, but different trees have different medicine and the Celts have recorded a system, known as the Ogham, to keep record of what each tree offers.
According to Robert graves in his book The White Goddess, the ancient Ogham alphabet formed a seasonal calendar of tree magic and was one if the very first forms of communication. The Runes are another similar form of communication but with different symbols and different origin.
There are 25 trees in this ancient alphabet and each tree has a letter, Bird, colour, meaning and divination interpretation associated with it. Other correspondences include how it can be used for medicinal and magical purposes.
In my training with the order of bards ovates and Druids (www.obod.com) we studied the Ogham in the Ovate grade. This week I am going to discuss the first tree/Ogham letter Beth which is associated with the Birch tree – the pheasant bird, the colour white.
Its meaning is renewal and in divination – initiation. Other qualities are fertility, new beginnings, protection and purification. I associate the tarot card – The magician with it.
The closest thing i could come up with for a southern hemisphere equivalent is the Wedding Bush (Riciniocarpus Pinifolius). The bush has a five petal flower which is associated with the past,(as seen the 6 of cups in the tarot deck.) and it has both male and female parts which I associate with fertility and renewal.
In order for new beginnings to manifest in our lives we must first purge the past. This the basic meaning if the Ogham.
The bardic grade is symbolised by the Birch tree as it is a tree of birth and/or initiation. A new beginning in how we come to see and know things.
In more superstitious times, the Birch was used to purify a criminal of his wrong doings. In ritual it was used to expel evil spirits from the circle in the form of a broom. It was also used in exorcisms for the possessed.
Often it was used for may-poles at Beltane representing the world tree linking the underworld with middle earth and heaven above. May Day (Northern Hemisphere) is the beginning of the Witches new year as spring heralds in new life, fertility, new beginnings.
The Birch is associated with the white goddess in her triplicity. When we are lost in the forest the shining silver branches of the Birch light the way and give us guidance on our path. The very word birch is derived a root meaning bright or shining.
You can burn the leaves or bark of a Birch in ritual or in meditation to help prepare for the new by consciously letting go of the debris of the old. Better still, find a quiet place where you can sit against its trunk and ask it what it has to offer you.
You may come up with some other correspondences of your own.
Next week I will be looking at the Rowan tree, but for now I remain,
Yours beneath the sacred oaks