Tree Lore: Beech

by Hawthorn

Beech - Phagos - 
Fagus

Folk Lore
Beech groves have been found in and near important places of power; Avebury and Cerne Abbas to name two. They maybe have been used for food as much as their majestic presence. They have been said to have inspired the building of Cathedrals; the high vaulting arches 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 community 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 referred to the ‘serpent-rooted Beech tree’; good examples of such are to be found at Avebury.

Gods and Goddesses: Saturn, Chronos, Old Father time,
Ceridwen as Henwen, the great white ancient sow, 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 lover’s name upon a beech tree, as many other lovers had done before her. 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.

Magic
Ruling Planet is Saturn (Chronos)
Gaelic/Irish name: Phagos
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 corroborated 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.

Whatever material words were inscribed, took on the power and magic of the gods which is why the Beech tree was held in such awe. Writing made knowledge manifest into the physical world and therefore allowed that wisdom to be passed on to future generations. Beech can help us make wishes, by scratching your wish upon a piece of Beech and then burying it. Say a simple spell or prayer as you are giving it back to the earth and then it will begin to manifest in your life.

Healing
In The Bach Flower Remedies Beech is used against mental rigidity, fault finding, intolerance, arrogance and lack of sympathy.

Meditation
Meditation with the Beech helps us relax and let go of fixed ideas, which hinders us and our development. The tree will helps 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.