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The Symbolism and Practical Uses of the Birch Tree

The Silver Birch is a most sacred tree in Celtic Mythology, symbolizing new beginnings, resiliency, and protection. It also has many practical uses.

Spiritual respect for the silver birch traces back to ancient times before the written word- in fact some legends hold that the first Ogham symbols were carved onto a birch branch due to reverence for its beauty and resiliency.

According to the Ogham tree calendar, the birch tree is associated with the following:
Ogham letter B Ruler of the 1st Lunar Month
24th December – 20th January


The sacred Silver Birch was associated with the Celtic goddess Brigid. Traditionally, the tree was used to make Maypoles to dance around, and to start the fires, when celebrating Beltane.

In ancient times the birch tree had many other magical uses and properties. When an object was believed to be possessed, beating it with a birch branch was said to free it from spirits. On Midsummer’s Eve when boughs were hung over doors to guard and bring good luck. Birch trees were also decorated with red and white rags then propped against stable doors to ward off evil influence.

Overall, the silver birch is said to hold the following powers:

Purification, A Guardian of New Beginnings, Bringer of Hope, Channeler of Emotion, and Protection.


When a birch tree catches your eye, chances are your mind just broke through into a new beginning or perspective. It’s a good omen signaling growth.

Resting with one’s back to a birch tree trunk was said by ancient celts to clear up passionate emotions, such as rage or unwanted lust/love. Whether or not you believe in magic, this is a beautiful mindfulness exercise to bring into the present.


In the folk medicine of multiple cultures, birch samples were used as curative and preventative tonics as well as on the skin in ointments and oil. Birch tea could be used as a diuretic or laxative, cleansing the organs of toxins, and its bark could soothe muscle pain.

Its bark was also sewn to make food pouches, and its wood used for canoes.

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