Spirit Message of the Moment – Happy New Year 2014

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 Spirit Friends

Thank you so much for all your support, light, and great comments on both my blog and Facebook page this past year! I’ve so enjoyed the last four and a half years writing this blog and sharing readings with you of some of my favorite or405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nacle systems with you; I am so pleased it resonates with where you find yourself – at that exact moment in time. Here’s to a beautiful new year for you – full of intuition, infinite possibilities, adventures, laughter, abundance, and joy. Unlimited happiness is waiting for us today, we just have to open the door to let it into our lives.

My advice for the new calendar year? Take time to dream – and Dream BIG. Then Dream even Bigger than that! Go ahead and surprise yourself and take the chance; you’re worth it. Life always gives us the opportunity to change, expand, and grow into who we want to be; whether reinventing ourselves and rebuilheartart2ding our lives, or simply being brave enough to let our light shine with others and proudly shine it into the world at large. Here’s to letting your light shine – and Bright! May you find inspiration everywhere you travel, with whomever you meet. May you use your intuition and spiritual instincts to discover new passions (and remember old ones), find ways to help heal hearts (even if it’s only your own), and invent countless ways to add something of good spiritual value to the world. May you live your life with a full heart and your time for learning, change, and growth never end. Wishing you much love and light for a great new year for 2014.
Bright Blessings to You,
Angela 

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MESSAGE FOR YOU – Endurance – Keep Going! 
THE MERMAIDS SING
“When a long journey begins, or when a quest is undertaken, be it a pilgrimage, or an ambition or a desire, or a dream that you wish to create in this earthworld you live within, human one, there is the excitement of the beginning…the unknown still lies before you. And it is a th5391_369223603191483_1899532215_nrill, every moment, to take another step forward. But at some stage, just as we tire, you too tire. The terrain can become unfamiliar. Issues arise, challenges greet you, and at this point, too many of you feel that this must Not be meant for you – for you have told yourself that if it is truly meant to be, it will be simple, it will flow, and it will be…well easy.

We are here to share that for all creatures, and in both the seen and unseen worlds, there are parts of the great journey that require our stamina, our courage and our endurance – our ability to commit, and to stay with the task and dream and promise until we have made it. Do not enter into agreements lightly – enter into them, if at all, wholeheartedly. And be prepar66200_294003430716354_40209912_ned to develop your strength and tenacity, your courage and your honor along the way.

Without what you describe as a challenge, there will be no growth. If you work through and into and with the challenges, you will emerge stronger, and more able to realize the next dream. Flee at the first sign of difficulty, and you will be what we call a shore-hugger – one who never goes deep, who only goes to the places they know. There may be nothing wrong with this. But if this card has come to you, you have sent out the request to the great ocean mother to go on this great journey, to take on a mission. And the time has come for you to build up your endurance. Commit. Practice. Train!

We do, although most often you will only hear tales of our beauty and vanity. How else do we live so well within the great power of the ocean? The answer for us, and for you, is that we develop our power – and we endure, when others would give in or turn away. We are stronger than that. 399864_422942047801829_2145979321_nAnd so are you!

You may believe you are weak, or physically unable to complete a task. You may have committed to believing that there is no way your strength can increase. It is not always about your physicality – so often, it is the amazing endurance of Spirit and your soul and your creative force that requires the ability to go that little bit further, to reach a little harder, to extend yourself, to go well beyond a comfort zone. You may also believe that to become more aligned, powerful and strong physically is to weaken the intuitive self. But this is not the case.

Like these mermaids, you are reaching an important stage of your journey, and it is essential that you continue. There will be times when you feel you have had enough and you wish to suddenly stop moving…to sink, rather than to swim. 1394051_1391520577756380_2015272875_nBut the mermaids are here to ask you to continue to swim, tired though you may be, full of doubt you may be. The second part of your strength is readying itself, and will come through, just at the point you are ready to give up. Keep going. And you will go so much further than you currently believe you can! This is not the time to run back, or to allow the waters to take you! This is the time to continue the journey you committed to – because you are being tested, and you can pass this test. But you must keep going. Eyes forward. Intention focused. Purpose clear! Re-commit! And keep going.”

Oracle of the Mermaids by Lucy Cavendish

 

 

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Are You Living As A Ghost?

GHOSTLANDS
“You can learn from the past and imagine a beautiful future, but you must live in the here-and-now. Whenever you set your sights too far ahead, you run the risk of losing your foo45086_454864761236937_1497985341_nting, for rarely do the present and future match up exactly on the Enchanted Map that is your life story.”

“The future has no substance right now; it is a place that has no grounding as of yet. You can’t live there, yet you can take measured steps toward a goal or dream. These steps are important now. The same goes for nostalgia. You can look into the past wistfully and remember beautiful moments or revisit lessons learned. However, you can’t live there, nor can you go back and change what was. Yesterday is gone forever. Live fully in the present. The ‘now’ is the most powerful place to put your attention. Its magic reaches out in every direction, further than the heart and soul can see.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When the Ghostlands card appears, it could be a sign that you’re wandering in an emotional or intellectual place with no real substance. There is no point lo72851_474916215898458_100607442_nnging for that which has already gone (past you) or hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps you’ve created a fantasy of ‘the good old days’ or some elusive, utopian destination that lies somewhere in the future when this or that happens to make things better.”

“Live one day at a time. Each day is a new beginning filled with truth and beauty. Stay away from  the Ghostlands of past and future – avoid nostalgia and longing for something better. Find Joy in what is Present in your life today.”

Excerpts from The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid

A Word From Spiritblogger
What a great reminder to be full present and enjoy living each day as it comes and being fully present in each moment as it happens. When your mind starts to revel in the past or worry about the future, you become a ghost in the present. Re-shift your thinking and focus on your breathing in the moment – to bring all your senses to the present. Remember the famous quote from Kung Fu Panda: 

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a Gift. That’s why they call it a present.”

Email me at: angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Winter Solstice 2012

Hold a Family Yule Log Ceremony
“For people of nearly any religious background, the time of the winter solstice is a time when we gather with family and loved ones. For Pagans and Wiccans, it’s often celebrated as Yule, but there aFirebonfirere literally dozens of ways you can enjoy the season. If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you’ll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You’ll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that’s even better. As the Yule Log burns, all members of the family (and friends) should surround it, forming a circle.

Here’s How:

  1. If you normally cast a circle, do so at this time. This first section is for the adults – if there is more than one grownup, they can take turns saying the lines, or say them together:

The Wheel has turned once more, and
the earth has gone to sleep.
The leaves are gone, the crops have returned to the ground.
On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light.
Tomorrow, the sun will return,
its journey continuing as it always does.
Welcome back, warmth.
Welcome back, light.
Welcome back, life.

  1. The entire group now moves deosil – clockwise, or sunwise – around the fire. When each member has returned to his or her original position, it is time for the children to add their part. This section can be divided amongst the children, so that each gets a chance to speak.

Shadows go away, darkness is no more,
as the light of the sun comes back to us.
Warm the earth.
Warm the ground.
Warm the sky.
Warm our hearts.
Welcome back, sun.

  1. Finally, each member of the group should take a moment to tell the others one thing that they are thankful for about their family – things like “I am happy that Mom cooks us such wonderful food,” or “I’m proud of Alex because he helps people who need it.” When everyone has had a chance to speak, walk sunwise once more around the fire, and end the rite. If possible, save a bit of this year’s Yule log to add to the fire for next year’s ceremony.

chocolate yule-logFamily and Friends

Nothing says holiday celebration quite like getting together with the people you love. Learn about gifts, decorating, money-saving, and why it’s perfectly okay for Wiccans to have a big green tree full of lights!

Suggested Reading

By Patti Wigington

Wish Ritual for the New Year
Place a piece of holly bush on your altar for the Yule celebration, in keeping with Pagan traVariegated-Holly-Bush-821312dition. After the celebration, before dismissing the Quarters and taking down the Circle, write down a wish or wishes on pieces of parchment paper and tie them to the holly bush branches on your altar. You can write down as few or many wishes as you desire. However try to keep it simple. Bury the holly bush limb with your wishes attached to it during the next full moon, giving thanks to the Lord and Lady, to assure that your wishes will be realized during the coming year.

Email Spiritblogger: angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

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Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrating The Pagan Holiday Mabon 2012

THE MEANING OF MABON
“The Harvest surrounds us. The bounty of Summer, the fruit of our labor, is ripe and hanging heavy on the vine. The theme for this Holiday is abundance and thanksgiving, rightfully so, as Mabon is the second of the harvest holidays and the most productive, and labor intensive, of the three. In many places, this harvest marks the peak of the garden harvest and the beginning of the fruit harvest, especially of grapes and apples. Due to the grape harvest and the nature of wine making, this is also a wine celebration, as last year’s vintage is finally able to be enjoyed and a new batch is now being started.

This day is also the Autumnal Equinox, a day when day and night are equal, balanced. From here on out the days will be shorter, the nights longer, the Winter that much closer. A chill in the air, frost on the grass, these mark the entrance of the spiders into our homes, a desperate effort to escape the cold and perhaps survive a little longer.

Within these few characteristics of Mabon, there is an underlying theme: connection. Who is it that we worked so hard with to create the abundance we now enjoy and pull in, but our community, those with whom we are most intimately connected. Our family, our friends, they are our community and they are the ones who celebrate all of our joys with us, with whom we give thanks and of whom we are thankful for. Even the entrance of the spiders into our homes, taking up residence in the corners where they will happily take care of any biting insects, echoes this theme of connection, this time to the larger community. The spiders remind us that we are never fully removed from Nature, even when we hide ourselves away in our climate controlled homes, surrounded by technology and “proof” of our superiority over the natural world.

The energy of the Autumnal Equinox spills over, and at this time when there is so much, we find ourselves pulled to share the abundance with those around us. At this time when Day and Night are equal, so, too, are all people equal; divisions and barriers are taken down, and we are reminded that we are all the same and we are all truly members of the same community.

It’s all cause and effect. When we start to acknowledge our connections, that we are not separate, it is then that we notice the Community to which we belong and notice just how far the breadth of that Community stretches. We notice our place in the scheme of things, and this leads to compassion, to the desire to share what we have with those around us. This sacred day reminds us of the need for community, the blessing of community, and the obligations we have as members of a community.”

Article by Lady Althaea

Spirit Message of the Moment – Movement is Critical

THE RIVER – A Time for Movement
“The softened light from the sun falls upon this meandering river, the sparkles reflecting the gentle movement taking place in the river’s body. She moves easily around the curves and rocks, sometimes gently, and sometimes quite rapidly and intensely. Still, the river’s movement will always eventually land her in the bosom of great Grandmother Ocean. Some of her water will evaporate along the way to feed the waters of the sky – just as it takes place in any other bodies of water – and bless the land and the seas with replenishment in a perfectly natural cycle that helps the planet sustain itself. Water is our lifeblood, a nutrient more essential than food. The flow of water throughout our own bodies serves as a metaphor for how Life itself flows through us and expresses as us.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“Fighting or blocking the flow of your Life Force can lead you to feeling spiritually void and disconnected from Source.  Just like the metaphor of the river, it does not work to force or fight this compelling movement. When you simply pay attention and observe the flow, it becomes easier to navigate your experiences and see what lies ahead, or at least get a sense of what is to come by the ever-changing geography that unfolds as you cruise along.”

“Your resistance is hampering your ability to make a choice in this matter. Surrender to the movement of Life, be grateful, and you will see signs along the shore and in the river itself that offer you clues about what direction your egoless Self is to be making. ‘Go with the flow’ is more than a trite aphorism here. It is essential that you do so now. Breathe, relax, and you will know.”

Today’s guidance is taken from Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer.

My Email: angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

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Spirit Message of the Day – The Concept, Art, and Practice of Wicca

The Concept Of Deity

“Wiccans, Pagans and Witches see the divine as being manifest at all levels of humanities limited ability to comprehend the universe world around us. The fact that some may call upon or associate with the divine by different names does not necessarily mean that we see a complete seperation of deities.

We accept that different aspects of the divine combine to make the whole. In this view, we recognize and attune ourselves with nature and the creative force in a way the individual or group is most comfortable with. The following is an explanation of this concept which most agree upon.

The Supreme Creative Force
The One is the all encompassing unity of all things which exist. This includes that which is manifest to our limited awareness and understanding as well as that which is not. The One is infinite to a point that the human mind simply cannot comprehend its vastness.

Polarities of The One
The Goddess and God are seen as a manifestation of the feminine and masculine forces of nature. Each having unique characteristics that when combined result in the harmonious creation of life. We see examples of this in everything around us as nothing can exist without the interaction of feminine and masculine energy. This creative energy is omnipresent. They are concepts that allow the human mind to comprehed the creative force of the world around us.

Giving name to the divine or feminine and masculine energies is in many ways irrevalent and certainly cannot justify the wars and bloodshed history has seen because of it. They are simply names humanity, a culture or specific belief system has created over time for association purposes. It really matters little whether we associate with the divine as the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” or “The One, Goddess and God.” Ultimately, the concept is the same.”

Excerpt taken from http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/concepts.htm 

Introduction

There’s an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you’ll get at least fifteen different answers. That’s not far from the truth, because with nearly half a million Americans practicing Wicca today, there are dozens — perhaps even hundreds — of different Wiccan groups out there (Pagan, Celtic, Druid, Egyptian, Hermetic, Shaman, Masonic, Faery, Strega). There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a “Bible” that lays down a universal set of guidelines. While specifics vary from one culture and tradition to the next, there are actually a few ideals and beliefs common to nearly all modern Wiccan groups.

Origins of Wicca

Wicca as a religion was introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gardner’s tradition was oathbound, initiatory, and secret. However, after a few years splinter groups began forming, and new traditions were formed. Today, many Wiccan groups owe their basic foundation to the principles laid out by Gardner. Wicca is not an ancient religion, but Gardner did incorporate some old esoteric knoweldge into his original tradition, including Eastern mysticism, Kabballah, and British legend.

Who Is a Wiccan, and How Do You Find Them?

Wiccans come from all walks of life. They are doctors and nurses, teachers and soccer moms, writers and firefighters, waitresses and computer programmers. In other words, anyone can be Wiccan, and people become Wiccan for many reasons. In fact, there are nearly half a million Wiccans in the United States today. As to where to find them, that might take a bit of digging — as a mystery religion that doesn’t proselytize or actively recruit, it can sometimes be difficult to find a group in your area. Never fear, though — the Wiccans are out there, and if you ask around enough, you’ll bump into one eventually.

The pentacle is the Wiccan symbol that most people are familiar with. It is a five pointed star within a circle.It is sometimes called the morning star or the endless knot. The five points represent the five elements, earth, air, fire, water and spirit (the self). This ancient symbol is used as a protective and positive symbol and has been used as such for over 6,000 years around the world.

Calling Upon the Divine

Wicca acknowledges the polarity of the Divine, which means that both the male and female deities are often honored. A Wiccan may honor simply a non-specific god and goddess, or they may choose to worship specific deities of their tradition, whether it be Isis and Osiris, Cerridwen and Herne, or Apollo and Athena. In Gardnerian Wicca, the true names of the gods are revealed only to initiated members, and are kept secret from anyone outside the tradition.

Initiation and Degree Systems

In most Wiccan covens, there is some form of initiation and a degree system. Initiation is a symbolic rebirth, in which the initiant dedicates themselves to the gods of their tradition. Typically, only an individual who has attained the rank of Third Degree dedicant may act as a High Priest or High Priestess. Study is required before an individual may advance to the next degree level, and often this is the traditional “year and a day” period.

Someone who is not a member of a coven or formal group may choose to perform a self-dedication ritual to pledge themselves to the gods of their path.

Magic Happens

The belief in and use of magic and spellwork is nearly universal within Wicca. This is because for most Wiccans, there’s nothing supernatural about magic at all — it’s the harnessing and redirection of natural energy to effect change in the world around us. In Wicca, magic is simply another skill set or tool. Most Wiccans do use specific tools in spellcrafting, such as an athame, wand, herbs, crystals, and candles. Magical workings are often performed within a sacred circle. The use of magic is not limited only to the priesthood — anyone can craft and perform a spell with a little bit of practice.

The Spirit World is Out There

Because the concept of an afterlife of some sort is typical in most branches of Wicca, there is a general willingness to accept interaction with the spirit world. Seances and contact with the unknown are not uncommon among Wiccans, although not all Wiccans actively seek communication with the dead. Divination such as tarot, runes, and astrology are often used as well. To learn more about transition into The Summerland see Edain McCoy’s book entitled Entering the Summerland: Customs and Rituals of Transition into the Afterlife.

What Wicca Isn’t

Wicca does not embrace the concepts of sin, heaven or hell, the evils of sex or nudity, confession, Satanism, animal sacrifice, or the inferiority of women. Wicca is not a fashion statement, and you do not have to dress a certain way to be a “real Wiccan.”

Basic Beliefs of Wicca

While not exclusive to every single tradition, the following are some of the core tenets found in most Wiccan systems:

  • The Divine is present in nature, and so nature should be honored and respected. Everything from animals and plants to trees and rocks are elements of the sacred. You’ll find that many practicing Wiccans are passionate about the environment.
  • The idea of karma and an afterlife is a valid one. What we do in this lifetime will be revisited upon us in the next. Part of this idea of a cosmic payback system is echoed in the Law of Threefold Return.
  • Our ancestors should be spoken of with honor. Because it’s not considered out of the ordinary to commune with the spirit world, many Wiccans feel that their ancestors are watching over them at all times.
  • The Divine has polarity — both male and female. In most paths of Wicca, both a god and goddess are honored.
  • The Divine is present in all of us. We are all sacred beings, and interaction with the gods is not limited just to the priesthood or a select group of individuals.
  • Holidays are based on the turning of the earth and the cycle of the seasons. In Wicca, eight major Sabbats are celebrated, as well as monthly Esbats.
  • Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Personal responsiblity is the key. Whether magical or mundane, one must be willing to accept the consquences — either good or bad — of their behavior
  • Harm none, or something like it. While there are a few different interpretation of what actually constitutes harm, most Wiccans follow the concept that no harm should intentionally be done to another individual.
  • Respect the beliefs of others. There’s no Recruiting Club in Wicca, and the Wiccans are not out to preach at you, convert you, or prosetylize. Wiccan groups recognize that each individual must find their spiritual path on their own, without coercion. While a Wiccan may honor different gods than you do, they will always respect your right to believe differently.

Suggested Reading

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Excerpts taken from About.com

Spirit Message of the Day – Celtic Tree Month Birch – Strength

CELTIC TREE MONTH – BIRCH
December 24 – January 20: The Birch Moon is a time of rebirth and regeneration. As the Solstice passes, it is time to look towards the light once more. When a forested area burns, Birch is the first tree to grow back. The Celtic name for this month is Beth, pronounced beh. Workings done in this month add momentum and a bit of extra “oomph” to new endeavors. The Birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection. Tie a red ribbon around the trunk of a Birch tree to ward off negative energy. Hang Birch twigs over a cradle to protect a newborn from psychic harm. Use Birch bark as magical parchment to keep writings safe.

–Excerpt taken from http://paganwiccan.about.com
BIRCH LORE
  • 1st Moon of the Celtic Year – (Dec 24 – Jan 21)
  • Latin name: Yellow birch – betula alleghaniensis; black birch – betula lenta; canoe or common birch – betula papyrifea.
  • Celtic name: Beth (pronounced: beh)
  • Folk or Common names: Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau, Lady of the Woods, Birth, Canoe Tree, Paper Tree, Silver Birch, White Birch. “Birch” is derived from the meaning “Bright” or “Shining” in Indo-European and Sanskrit terminology. Quite possibly it came from the Anglo-Saxon term “Beorgan” meaning “to protect or shelter”
  • Parts Used: Leaves, bark, wood, sap, branches.
  • Herbal usage: Birch leaves can be used to make an infusion that is good for breaking up kidney or bladder stones. Birch bark is an astringent and can be used to treat non-hereditary baldness. Birch tea can be made from the inner bark and leaves and this is good for rheumatism or as a sedative to aid sleep. Birch sap can be harvested the same way maple sap is, and then boiled down into birch syrup.

Magical History & Associations
The bird associated with the Month of the Birch is the pheasant. Birch’s color is white, its day is Sunday and its gemstone is red chard. The Celtic symbol of Birch is the White Stag with a rack with seven tines. Birch is associated with the element of water, is a tree of the sun and the planet Venus, and its Herbal Gender is feminine. The Birch tree is sacred to the God Thor and the Goddesses Diana and Cerridwen. Birch is considered to be a Goddess tree, the symbol of summer ever-returning. The Birch is also a special tree to the Celts (“On a switch of birch was written the first Ogham inscription in Ireland, namely seven B’s, as a warning to Lug son of Ethliu, to wit, ‘Thy wife will be seven times carried away from you into fairyland or elsewhere, unless birch be her overseer.” – Robert Graves (The White Goddess).

Birch wood is one of the nine traditional firewoods to be added to the Belfire that is burned at Beltane. It is one of the three pillars of Wisdom (Oak, Yew, Birch) and often symbolizes the first level of Druid working. Birch trees often have Otherkin spirits attached to them and the “Lieschi” or “Genii of the Forest” are said to dwell in their tree tops. The Ghillie Dhu (pronounced “Gillee Doo or Yoo”) are guardian tree spirits who are disguised as foliage and dislike human beings. They prefer birch trees to all others, and jealously guard them from humans. If the spirit of the Birch tree touches a head it leaves a white mark and the person turns insane. If it touches a heart, the person will die.

Magickal Usage
The month of Birch is a good time to do magick associated with new beginnings. Magickal work done in this moon adds strength and momentum to any new choices made. The Birch has applications in magick done for protection, creativity, exorcism, fertility, birth, healing, Forest Magic, Inner Authority/Self-Discipline, Lunar workings, love, and purification. Magickal protective uses of Birch include tying a red ribbon around the trunk of a birch to ward off the evil eye. Also, gently whapping someone with a Birch twig drives out negative energy, and Birch branches hung near a cradle will protect the newborn from psychic harm. In fact, cradles can be made from Birch wood to further protect a newborn. Many farmers plant Birch around their houses to protect against lightning. For magical parchment, gather Birch bark from a tree that has been struck by lightning (chosen by Thor) – and the Birch paper will keep the writings safe. Because Birch wood has the qualities of exorcism and protection, its twigs are traditionally used to make witches’ brooms. Brooms made of a mixture of Ash, Birch and Willow are said to be especially powerful in magick.

Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year. Birch is also perfect to use to make a ‘Goddess’ wand, since Birch is the tree known as ‘the Lady of the Woods’ and a grove of Birch trees is an excellent place to communicate with the Goddess. Birch wood is also a good choice for making rune sets to use for divination. Be sure to harvest your branch for the rune set during the waxing moon, and make sure you ask Odin or Byarka to inspire your work. Also ask the tree if it will allow you to take a branch and be sure to leave the tree an offering of thanks when you are done. Birch trees especially appreciate gifts such as pretty stones, sea shells, flowers or herbs. (Please note: never take bark off a living Birch tree, since this will kill it.)

–Excerpt taken from http://www.dutchie.org/Tracy/trees/celtic_tree_birch.html

THE MONTH OF BIRCH

Names: BETH, Birch,  Beath, Bethi, Bedw, Beithe, Bedwen, Beithi, Betula pendula
Celtic Symbol : The White Stag
Zodiac Degrees : 2º00` – 29º59` Capricorn
Ruling Planet : The Sun – Sul
Ancient Gods Associated With The Sun
Greek : Helios, Apollo ( Alson Known As Phoebus), Cynthius And Pytheus
Celtic : Hu, Beli, Taliesin, Arthur
Full Moon: Birch Moon; Moon of Inception, Moon of Beginning
Magickal Properties include Protection of children; purification; creativity
Tarot Key: The Magician

The birch is the tree of inception, representing birth, initiation, discipline and sacrifice. The time is ruled by the force of wild, un-tamed nature, and is reflected in the unconscious (inner) self and the rebirth of the Sun from winter’s solstice.  This is the first tree that takes away  the decay of  the mysterious elder.  Both the Birch and the Elder stand on either sides of The One Nameless Day.   They both represent a link between life and death, with the Birch being the beginning of all things.  It is also associated with the training of Druids, the birth of new life and is both energetic and spontaneous.Children’s cradles were made of Birch. Axe handles were also made from Birch. On the Isle of Man, off the west coast of Scotland, criminals were ‘birched’ to purify them and to drive out evil influences.

The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch.

Its symbols are the horned animals, especially goats and stags. Connected to pentagrams and mountains. The Magician tarot card. Symbolized by Cernunnos – the horned one, said to be the Soul of Lugh, and the Dagda – Celtic Earth god. Archetypically related to other horned gods such as Pan, the Hircocervus (sacred Goat-Stag), the Egyptian horned god Asar (Osiris), and Shiva who is lord of the animals.

Birch trees have been long associated with fertility and healing magic, and the twigs were used to bestow fertility on cattle and newlyweds. Birch is most useful for fertility and healing spells. The birch has a multitude of uses: it yields a sap similar to maple syrup; its bark can be used as flour and also make birch beer; and birch tea is said to ease rheumatism and gout. The inner bark provides a pain reliever while the leaves can be used to treat arthritis.

–Excerpt taken from http://www.crystal-forest.com/celtictreemonthBIRCH.html

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