10 Birch Tree Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Myths

Birch Tree Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Myths

Birch Tree Facts

Called as one of the pioneer trees, Birch Trees are the first ones that can grow on the ground after a fire, flood, or landslide. They grow quickly but have a relatively short life span. Birch Trees are unique for their white, yellow, or black barks. Scattered along its white bark are horizontal cuts which reveal the inner layer of the tree.

Birch Trees are easy to cultivate, not much is needed to plant it. The tree produces male flowers, called catkins, which grow starting late summer until spring when the female flowers bloom.

Birch Tree Uses

One species of the Birch Tree is called Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) for being a good paper material but most Birch Trees can be manufactured into paper. The oldest paper made from Birch Tree is a manuscript containing Gandhāran Buddhist text which is believed to have been written during the 1st century CE.

The bark of the Birch Tree is also waterproof and flexible. Native Americans use the bark for roofing, shoes, and canoes. In Japan, this tree is prized as an ornamental timber because it has a uniform, smooth, and light appearance. In the food industry, the Birch Tree is used to make ice cream stick, toothpick, and wooden utensils because it has no scent and taste.

Other than its medicinal properties, the inner bark of the Birch Tree can be turned into bread. The inner bark can be pounded into flour and used as an ingredient to make survival bread, called as such because it was made during times of famine. The sap can also be used to make tea and a good source of vitamin C.

Birch Tree History

Birch Trees are scattered all around the world, found in Artic and northern temperate regions. What is known is that the Birch Trees are among the first trees that grew after the glaciers melted. The Water Birch Tree and River Birch Tree are native to North America. There are ten species native to Canada. Birch Trees also live in Europe and South Asia.

Birch Tree Positive Symbolism

Since Birch Trees are the first to grow after a calamity, they are regarded as symbols of rebirth, regeneration, and new beginnings. They inspire us to start anew after a challenge or devastating event in life. They also grow fast which means that blessings and good fortune will come fast after the difficulties in life.

In addition, the Birch Trees symbolize protection. When a flood, landslide, or fire destroys a forest, the Birch Trees grow immediately as if to protect and restore the forest.

The tree also symbolizes innocence because of its white bark. Like a child, the white bark shows innocence and purity as one begins a new journey in life. However, as the Birch Tree peels its bark one at a time, we must also shed our past to move forward in order to achieve our goals.

Birch Tree Negative Symbolism

Standing up every time we fall is only natural. Just like the Birch Tree that grows after every calamity.

However, the attributes of the Birch Tree could also display stubbornness and refusal to change. It is also wise to take a break or a moment to reflect on what happened. This gives you time to rest and plan for your next move.

Birch Tree Cultural Symbolism

In Celtic mythology, the Birch Tree is the first tree in the Ogham or the Celtic tree alphabet. It is also a symbol of beginnings. At the start of the year, the Birch Tree is significant during the festival of Samhain. Twigs made from the Birch Tree are made to resemble a broom. They then use the Birch Tree to “sweep” their houses and gardens to drive away bad spirts and negative energy from the past year. This ritual is for purification and protection as well.

During the celebration of Beltane, the peak of spring, Birch Trees are burned. The Birch Tree is associated with spring because it grows its leaves at the start of the season. Hence, Celts burn Birch Trees to ensure a bountiful harvest during the year.

In Russia, the Birch Tree is one of the popular trees that grow in Central Russia. The ancient Slavs believed that Birch Trees are magical. They hug Birch Trees for good luck, joy, and power. Cradle for babies were also made from Birch Trees as the tree symbolizes new beginning. This tree is also prevalent in Russian art and literature. They associate the Birch Tree with beauty because the slim white trunk resembles a slender woman.

Birch Tree Zodiac Sign

The Birch Tree is the first tree of the lunar month in Celtic tree calendar. It governs people born from December 24 to January 20. Just like its symbolism, people born under the Birch Tree are pioneers, leaders, and explorers. Although they are ambitious, they possess the initiative, willpower, and courage to achieve their dreams.

The month of the Birch Tree is also a time for reflection of the past year and resolution of plans for the coming year. The Birch Tree grows from barren land, one that has gone through a calamity. Similarly, the month of the Birch Tree shows that you will be starting the year from a blank slate without the problems of the past year.

Birch Tree in Dreams

Seeing a Birch Tree in your dreams can mean good news especially for your health. You might be recovering from a sickness or it may also mean that you need to spend more time with nature to heal your body. It can also signify a new opportunity for you.

On the negative side, a Birch Tree can tell you to reconnect with your inner child or take things one at a time. You need to peel your outer layer of white bark and discover who you are inside.

Birch Tree Omens and Superstitions

Based on Celtic mythology, some places in Europe hang Birch Tree branches and leaves on their doors to drive away evil. The Birch Tree purifies the house and protects it from bad spirits and negative energy. Others hang Birch Tree branches as a symbol of good luck.

The Birch Tree is also associated with the goddess Freya. Hence, in Northern Europe, a Birch Tree is used to herd cows for them to become fertile and give birth to healthy calves.

Birch Tree Mythology and Folklore

In Native American folklore, the Birch Tree protected a boy named Winabojo. Winabojo took feathers from a baby Thunderbird for his bow and arrow.

The Thunderbirds became angry and chased after Winabojo. He hid inside a hollow Birch Tree and was saved. Because of this, the Birch Tree is regarded as a symbol of strength and protection.

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