The Paper Birch, or Betula Papyrifera is a shorter lived birch tree growing in North America, with the folk names of Beithe, Berke, and Bouleau, to name a few. These trees are often one of the first species to reestablish itself after a forest fire, which is kinda ironic knowing some of the darker folklore of this magickal tree. For a dark side this tree has…
The birch is a fine example that there is light and dark in many things, and that what can hex can also heal. The leaves, syrup, and bark, can be made into many forms of healing products, from tea, to beer, to oil for aches and pains to name but a few of this healing tree’s properties. Birches have been used in rituals by way of striking, or tapping a person thought to be possessed, or in healing treatments to bring forth purification, and rejuvenation.
The birch tree was of major importance to the Native Americans up here, as well as other places. For the bark was used as a waterproof covering for their homes, and for the making of canoes, maps, artwork, and alike. The Ojibwe, Chippewa tribes here telling a magickal folktale of birch bark being offered as a spiritual gift from the trickster deity Wenabozho. The bark being used ceremonially to wrap the bodies of the dead, in preparation for their burial.
The birch is a tree of Venus, and of the elements Air, and Water. A tree of the deities Thor, and Brigid. It’s spirit animal is the eagle, it’s stone the quartz crystal, and is known magickally as a tree of purification, renewal, protection, and exorcism. A tree of inception and new beginnings, “The Lady of the Woods,” but there is a lot more to this enchanting tree. The time of the birch is when the Winter Solstice has passed, and the days begin to warm and lengthen. For folklore tells that a birch broom should be used to brush out the old year on the morning after the Winter Solstice. A traditional broom of witches, it’s branches are used ritually to start the Beltane fires, lovers then escaping into the birch woods. Afterwards using the wood to make baby cradles, as a magickal form of protection for the innocent babes.
There is also some wickedly dark old Russian folklore that tells how one can obtain their hearts desire with the birch, that being if you are willing to pay with your soul…
This magickal working would begin with the cutting of young birch trees, arranging them within a circle, their tips towards circle’s center. The summoner would then go to the center of the circle and invoke “Lesbii” The Old One, the devil of the wood. Upon his appearance placing the daemon upon a birch stump, facing the east, giving a kiss upon the daemon’s hand, and asking it to appear in it’s true guise, therefore granting their desires.
So try working with the magickal birch tree, and learn of the many spirits that reside within… Enjoy!