The Magickal Associations of Birch

The Birch is associated with the deities - Frigg and Idunna and is the first tree of the Ogham. Birch is considered feminine and is associated with the planet Venus, the element water, the God Thor, and imbued with the powers of protection, exorcism, and purification. It represents new starts and new journeys. The Birch tree symbolizes Gracefulness; Meekness; Self sacrifice; Devotion.

From the Witches Goddess by Janet and Stewart Farrar:
"FRIGG, FREYA, Freyja: ('Well-Beloved, Spouse, Lady') Most revered of the Tuetonic goddesses. (Frigg and Freya seem to have been originally the same goddess, then to have developed as two, finally tending to re-merge.) Wife and sister of Odin. Owner of a falcon-plumed robe, in which she flew through the air. Mother of Baldur, god of light. She protected marriages and made them fruitful but was herself often unfaithful to Odin. Commander of the Valkyries (originally her priestesses), she often fought alongside Odin. Originally a Moon goddess riding in a chariot drawn by two cats, and may have been priestess of a hawk totem clan. "

"Iduna: Tuetonic. Lived in Asgard and possessed magical apples, by eating which the gods never grew old. Born of flowers like the Welsh Blodeuwedd. Wife of Bragi, god of poetry. Festivals: 3 and 21 of March."

The Birkana Rune

In most of the Germanic languages this rune has the meaning of "birch". However, the Anglo-Saxons translated it as "poplar".
Birkana is the Germanic name, its Anglo-Saxon name was Beorc, and its old Norse name Bjarkan (see also Derivations below). It is the Goddess rune. Its "B" shape suggests a pair of breasts, and it is the rune of birth, mothers and children. It has the qualities of secretiveness and protection, as does the tree. The rune is associated with the goddesses Bechta, who also looks after abandoned children and Frigga who is the mother figure. Birkana is not just the birch, but represents the whole world of plants and trees.

Birch means protection, exorcism, purification and new beginnings, also cleansing of past and for vision quests.

It is interesting to note that the birch is one of the few trees native to Iceland. It is also thought to be one of the first trees to have appeared in the north after the glaciers retreated. Some authorities say that the birch, rather than the ash is the Nordic world tree, Yggdrasil.

To the people of northern Europe, the birch was a sacred tree. In the Kalevala, a Finnish epic, the birch is designated as a holy tree of great use to mankind. The Germanic peoples dedicated it to their god of thunder, Thor.



Magickal Associations | Uses of Birch | Types of Birch Trees | Lore and Legends