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Sacred Celtic Trees - Part Two
© Copyright Jan Reid-Lennox. All Rights Reserved.
The sacred Celtic trees are rich in mythological history and have inspired many traditions in folklore. The Beech, Birch and Blackthorn, are the second in the list of sacred Celtic trees.
For the ancient Celtic culture, trees were an important asset to their way of life. They provided shelter, firewood, tools, weapons, dyes and medicines; were important to their ancient rituals, and the mythological meanings are still sometimes applicable in societies around the world, today.
Beech is traditionally known as, ‘Queen of the Forest’, because this tree is seen as the female counterpart to the Oak, the ‘King of the
Forest’. The words, ‘book’ and ‘beech’ are of the same origin due to the historical use of the Beech tree. Closely grained and easily smoothed, Beech wood was used for writing tablets, and also connected with ancient wisdom.
The birch is often known as the ‘Lady of the Woods’, and signifies new beginnings, predominantly because it is the first tree to grow back after a forest has been burned. New beginnings are further signified by the way it sheds its bark, releasing the old to make way for the new. Traditionally couples would marry by jumping over a Birch twig to symbolise a new life together.
The Blackthorn tree grows as a thorny thicket. Its prickly nature assisted the Celts to form a barrier to keep out intruders. The hard strong wood has traditionally been used for walking sticks, such as the Irish shillelagh, and according to ancient lore, the thorns from the Blackthorn were used to pierce waxen images.