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Article: The energy and power of the birch

Die Energie und Kraft der Birke | ein Blatt voller Lebensfreude

The energy and power of the birch

For me, the birch is a mysterious and incredibly versatile tree. With its beautiful, unique bark, its light birch leaves and its delicate branches, it is an important symbol of spring. In many places, birch trees are set up as maypoles, people decorate their houses with birch branches and birch leaves or enjoy the healthy and delicious birch sap as a spring cure.

That's why birch leaves are a must in my natural jewelry . When I work with the small, fascinating leaves in my workshop, I like to think about the many amazing things I've read and discovered about birch over the years. I'd like to share the most beautiful of them with you today.

Birch jewelry made from real birch leaves | handmade and unique

Birch leaves

Birch leaves are the green leaves that grow on the branches of a birch tree. They are often used in natural medicine and cosmetics because they are rich in vitamins and nutrients and have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Birch leaves can also be used in teas or tinctures to relieve ailments such as headaches, migraines and rheumatic pain.

In arts and crafts, birch leaves are often used as decorative elements because they have a beautiful, delicate shape and texture and create a connection to nature.

The birch tree as goddess of light and protection

In Celtic mythology, the goddess Brigid is often associated with the birch tree. There are some legends that say that Brigid was born from a birch tree, which gave her a close relationship with this tree. The birch symbolizes purity and fertility and is also known as a symbol of growth and new beginnings.

At Imbolc, the festival dedicated to Brigid, birch branches and leaves are often used to symbolize the return of spring and growth. The birch is also often used as a symbol of the goddess herself, and its branches are used to bless homes and fields and to pray for fertility and protection.

Brigid - the goddess of the birch

Brigid is a Celtic goddess originally known as the patron of cows, sheep, udders and the sacred spring. She was also worshipped as the goddess of fire, smithing and poetry. Brigid was seen as a symbol of fertility, creativity and wisdom.

Brigid was a very powerful deity in Celtic mythology and was also one of the three great goddesses known as the Triad along with the god Dagda and Morrigan. In the Catholic faith, Brigid was venerated as a saint and her festival, Imbolc, became the Christian feast of St. Brigid. To this day, she is venerated as a patron saint in Ireland and other parts of the world.

Birch jewelry from real leaf

Imbolc, the Festival of Lights and the Birch

In Celtic mythology, the birch tree is a symbol of the festival of Imbolc, which is celebrated every year on February 2nd. The birch tree was considered one of the first signs of spring, as it was at this time that it began to sprout new foliage, symbolizing the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Celebrating Imbolc often involved gathering birch twigs and branches to decorate homes and communities and to celebrate the new life and light that came with spring. The birch was also used in ritual acts and ceremonies to celebrate purity and fertility.

Today, the traditions and customs of Imbolc are not as widespread as they once were, but the birch tree remains an important symbol of the festival and is often used in modern times as part of Imbolc celebrations and ritual acts.

Birch customs in spring

You are probably familiar with the old tradition of collecting a birch tree from the forest in May and setting it up in the market square as a maypole decorated with colorful ribbons. This custom begins on the eve of May 1st, when many places celebrate with dancing and joy. In the past, there were many other birch traditions that are still practiced in some places today: When a young man was in love, he let his sweetheart know by hanging birch branches on her window or by setting up a whole birch tree in front of her front door. In some areas, farmers let their cattle walk over birch branches in the spring so that they would stay healthy and have offspring quickly.

Birch stud earrings in silver | made from real leaves, unique jewelry

The fields were also surrounded with birch branches to protect the young seeds. And what was good for the animals and plants was also seen as an advantage for people: for a long time, baby cradles were made of birch wood. This was supposed to protect the child, and in pagan times the little one was "handed over" to the goddess Freya in this way at night.

And isn't it strange that birch bark actually contains disinfectant and purifying substances? It is used in Russia and Siberia to make bread boxes. The natives of North America are also known to do this: they made storage containers and cutlery from birch bark, as well as their famous canoes. In the sweat lodge, an Indian custom similar to the Finnish sauna, birch bark was placed on the glowing hot stones to purify the air. That's a remarkable connection, isn't it? The protection that the Germanic and Celtic tribes attributed to the goddess was and is actually provided by the special properties of birch bark! I find such connections extremely fascinating and like to keep them in mind when I work on my leaf jewelry.

Birch pendant in silver gold plated | unique jewelry made from real leaf

The witch's broom was once a lucky rod

You probably know that witches and monsters ride on brooms when they are up to mischief at night. According to old folk belief, these brooms are made from birch branches. What I find fascinating is that these birch brooms are also known as very special, even holy brooms: In some areas, it is a tradition to symbolically sweep away the dirt of the old year in front of the house on New Year's Day with the remarkably good birch brooms in order to welcome the new year. In the so-called broom chapels, it is customary to ask for relief from skin diseases by offering a birch broom.

And finally, beating with birch rods is known in many European regions: the Russians and Finns gently hit the skin with fresh birch branches in the sauna to stimulate blood circulation. But birch branches are also used in the traditional sense, at May festivals as a little fun for young men to chase girls. This modern fun goes back to the more serious belief that touching with birch branches increases fertility. So it was not a violent act, but was supposed to bring new life and happiness!

Birch pendant in silver

The fact that the "good" birch brooms and bundles of twigs later became the brooms of "evil" monsters and witches probably belongs in the category of the demonization of old customs by the church. But there is no need to be impressed by this: the birch broom and bundle of birch twigs were and still are a good symbol of health and life in many areas. And with this thought, the birch shines once again as a tree of life and joy, don't you think?

Health and rejuvenation with birch sap and leaves

Did you know that the leaves of the birch tree are one of the few that are edible? They contain natural sugar and are therefore particularly tasty. You can use them as a healthy ingredient in a spring salad, for example.

A tea made from birch leaves also has a blood-cleansing and dehydrating effect. The young leaves in spring are therefore often used for a spring cure.

Birch earrings made from real birch leaves

You may be familiar with the birch sap from Finland and Russia: it is tapped from the trees and drunk as a healthy cure, especially in spring, as it is said to have a detoxifying effect. It is said to improve the appearance of the skin, work against skin impurities and thus help to achieve a "younger" complexion.
In folk medicine, birch water is also known as a remedy for hair loss and rheumatism. It is obtained from fresh birch leaves that are soaked in alcohol for three weeks. The decoction is said to stimulate hair growth if rubbed well into the scalp.

I also really like these aspects of the birch tree: thick, strong hair and rosy skin are beautiful, aren't they? And we all want to be healthy. So for me the birch tree with its beautiful leaves also represents this part of life: being healthy, feeling young and good, and beauty.

Birch stud earrings in silver

Birch decoration: The young birch as decoration

With all these thoughts in mind, I work on my natural jewelry and especially on my birch jewelry . For me, the earrings and pendants represent the power and energy of this tree and the magic of spring in general. And to do justice to this, I work directly with the birch leaves that I collect in nature and from which I make my jewelry. Each birch leaf is therefore unique, just like in nature.

They are unique pieces of jewelry, absolutely one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry that are meant to remind you, as the wearer, that you too are something very special and simply beautiful, just like every single birch leaf.

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