A walk in the park and The Beech

Today has been wonderful so far…and it will continue this way. Elendil and I walked down to our local park at lunchtime to just hang out and feed the ducks. It is quite a big park with lots of trees and a huge (man made) lake in the centre, where there is always lots of Mallard ducks and Canada geese. Firstly though I went to visit my Beech tree. Such a fabulous tree this is, so tall and broad with shady spreading branches. It is a Copper Beech and the leaves are magnificent, a dark purply brown that really glint in the sun. Amazingly underneath the canopy a lot of the leaves are green.

Then we walked down to the lake and the ducks were upon us even before we’d got the bread out to feed them. It is so comical watching a flock of ducks running up the bank, quacking and waddling just as fast as they can go. The babies have all practically grown up now but still are there sqwalking for food. In no time at all we were surrounded by ducks all quacking and carrying on…and they’re so greedy!

I began to pick up lots of duck and goose feathers. There are so many of them just laying on the grass. They’re all brown or beige, tail feathers and wing feathers but I collected quite a handful and am going to make a smudging fan out of them.

We then bagan to walk around the lake to where the geese were schmoozing under some willow trees. The babies are growing up so fast. When Meadowhawk was here they were mere goslings but now they are much bigger but are still a little fluffy. The babies were all in a creche and guarded by an adult goose who kept watch the whole time. When that goose had a rest another took over. We sat on a bench and just watched them, fascinated.

I took a few photos of the Beech while I was there, and one of Elendil.

Then came home and I’ve been cooking chilli ever since…now I’m hungry

I feel so good about getting up and getting out. It’s been very positive and I’m pleased with myself.

The Copper Beech tree

The Copper Beech tree

Close up of her leaves

Close up of her leaves

Another view of the Beech

Another view of the Beech

A pic of my sweet Elendil

A pic of my sweet Elendil

Beech Tree Lore

Beech – Phagos (Celtic)

Beech groves have been found in near important places of power. Avebury, Cerne Abbas to name two) maybe for food as much as their magestic presence,

They have been said to have inspired the building of the high vaulting arches in Cathedrals to mimic the high arching branches of the Beech Grove. Beech is thought of as “The mother of the woods”. Beech is also known as the “Beech Queen” who’s consort is the “Oak King”. Beech is known for her generosity of spirit, she gives both protection and nourishment, as she fans her branches out into a broad canopy that is useful for shelter and her beech nuts used to be a valuable food source. People once relied upon her beech nuts to keep themselves from starvation, and collecting them helped strengthen the bonds between the communtiy or clans. Beech was also used as a good luck charm, and pieces of it were thought to bring good fortune to the wearer. Many legends talk of serpents and Beech trees and the poet Tennyson refered to the serpent-rooted Beech tree, these are to be found at Avebury

The Beech is sacred to Saturn, Chronos and Cerridwen. Cerridwen as Henwen, the great white ancient sow, she was said to possess great wisdom from eating nuts from the sacred Beech tree which for Druids symbolised ancient knowledge and tradition (Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm— Druid Animal Oracle) In Greek legend Helen of Troy was supposed to have carved her Lovers name upon a beech tree, as many other lovers had done before her. And, Jason built the Argo with Beech in preference to Oak. The Irish god Ogma, a leading warrior of the Tuatha de Danaan, who was credited with the writing of the Ogham Alphabet, wrote upon Beech.

Beech is linked with time ,wisdom and knowledge. But especially written wisdom, as the Beech was used in thin slices to write upon and form the very first books. This is corroberated by the fact that Beeches were called “Boc” by the Anglo-Saxons, which later became book. Even today the Swedish word “Bok” means both book and beech and in German “Buch” means book and “Buche” means Beech.

In The Bach Flower Remedies Beech is used against mental ridgity, fault finding, intolerence, arroganc and lack of sympathy. Meditation with the Beech helps us relax and let go of fixed ideas, which hinders us and our development. The tree will help us get in touch with our ancestors, their knowledge passed down through time and the deep wisdom within, which can help us see ways forward for the future.

Beech nuts were rendered into soap and the Beech nut oil was used for cooking and lighting. The smooth grey bark of the Beeches may once have been used to carve symbols, leading to the words for letter, stick for writing, and book in several languages. Ancient Runic tablets were made of Beech wood (the Runes were an ancient Scandinavian magical alphabet). On the Alban and Esquiline hills of Rome there were once Beech groves sacred to the Goddess Diana. Beech nuts were an important food for swine, totem animals of the Celts. There was a Red Beech in Ireland called Ruadbetheach that was the Bile or sacred tree of the O’Connors.

Beech was an important medicinal for Native American herbalists. The Cherokee chewed the nuts to pass worms, the Chippewa used the bark for lung problems. The Iroquois used the bark for tuberculosis, in abortive mixtures, and in blood cleansing formulas. The leaves were used in poultices for burns and the Potawatomi used the leaves as a poultice for frostbite. The Rappahannock made a wash for poison ivy from the north side of the bark. The Forest Potawatomi relished Beech nuts as a food. They took advantage of the industry of Deer Mice who carefully shelled the nuts and stored them in hollow logs and trees. The Indians were led to these stores by examining the refuse of the mice, scattered on the snow.

Beech trees aerate the soil and distribute potash through their leaves. All trees will benefit from having a Beech in the vicinity. Beech leaves make an excellent stuffing for mattresses. Animals who thrive on Beech nuts include deer, thrushes, pigeons, bears, martins, squirrels, partridges and turkeys. Beech magic: find a twig of Beech and carve your wish or dream upon it. Bury it under the full or waxing moon.

Sources: Druidry.Org; Ellen Evert Hopman (druidess)


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