One morning in early spring this year, Squirrel caught my eye. A few years ago, he’d made a nest in our shed. As we rent and I was certain my landlord would not approve and might become agitated over having a squirrel family living in the shed, I’d asked him to move before his babies were born. I asked The Folk to ensure that he and his expectant wife found a safe, non-human structure where they’d be protected as they raised their family. A few days later, I got word that he and the wife had settled into their new digs well and were gratefully preparing for the arrival of their little ones. The Folk had come through for them. Since, he and I have had a friendly relationship. This year, he wanted me to see his new nest, one he was justifiably proud of. He’d built it in the Birch stand right next door.
That got me thinking about the renewing power of Birch. Most of us have heard of Birch Beer or Birch Bark Beer, nowadays a sugary soda much like root beers. Before refrigeration and all our new-fangled gadgetry, birch beer was a lightly fermented drink made of either the fresh spring sap, the inner bark of fallen branches, or possibly freshly picked buds and twigs. Often, it was combined with other roots and barks, like burdock or dandelion roots, to make a tasty spring tonic. As a women’s tonic, birch tea was used to help renew and refresh. After giving birth, throughout the fertile years, and even into the menopausal years, Birch has helped women who feel exhausted, weakened, or generally worn down by the work of birthing and raising up little ones strengthen their constitutions while still tending their families. Considering how we humans have drawn on Birch Medicine, it’s no wonder my Squirrel chose Birch for his new nest.
For myself, I’ve decided on a bit of Birch Aromatherapy to get the Winter Sludge out of my space. I added a few drops of Birch Essential oil to my favorite blend of Tea Tree, Lavender, and Orange. Tea Tree and Lavender are excellent partners for chasing out all manner of germs. Orange lifts the spirits. And Birch offers up the renewal and fire of Spring, precisely what I need this year to recover from the stresses that challenged me through the tail end of winter.
I also decided to mix up a wee bit of Birch and Douglas-fir massage oil. That, I’m applying to the weak areas, like the muscles around my knee that I injured just before my Black Belt test. My intention is to strengthen them to prevent future injury on both the physical and energetic levels. Plus, Birch and Douglas-fir make a soothing, deliciously scented treatment.
Other Birch Magic Ideas:
- Hang a bunch of Birch twigs or branches near your door to protect against harmful energies
- Make a Birch Wand for use in fertility, cyclical, or birth and death rites
- Make Birch Beer as a spring tonic for renewal and rejuvenation
- Create a light decoction of birch to use as a hair rinse to bring renewal to your hair and to your thoughts and ideas
- Add a few drops of birch essential oil to your next bath to connect your deepest inner resources to the creative energies of Mother Earth.
- Make a ritual fire with one or more birch branches. Let the smoke clear away any thoughts that may have prevented you from creating the life you desire, then let your thoughts be renewed with awareness of your connection to Sky and Earth.