In our open outdoor ritual group Woodspirits we worked a bit with Birch today. Birch is a tree of beginnings and came to symbolise renewal and purification and there are many ways how you can tap into its magic.
Birch or Beith is the first tree of the Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet, and in the associated calendar it’s usually placed in November. However, I prefer to work with it at this time of year: Birch is one of the first trees to come into leaf which makes it a beautiful harbinger of spring.
One way to connect with Birch could be to utilise its associated Ogham symbol or maybe the Berkano rune which also has strong connotations of beginnings. Why not try your hand at a bit of pyrography in this context? Drawing will do if you don’t have that kind of equipment at hand.
You can also connect with Birch on a very physical level: try collecting and imbibing birch sap at this time of year, it makes for a refreshing (and nutritious) drink.
Last but not least, I recommend meditating on Birch, there is rich imagery here that might speak to you: in particular, Birch can shed its skin! Let this inspire you to drop habits and ways of thinking that are limiting in some way. See your old bark simply blowing away.
In that spirit, I leave you with a poem: "We look with uncertainty" (by Anne Hillman)
We look with uncertainty
Beyond the old choices for
To a softer, more permeable aliveness
Which is every moment
At the brink of death;
For something new is being born in us
If we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
Awaiting that which comes…
Daring to be human creatures,
Vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.