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Beech

Beech

Today’s card is the Beech, also known as Fagus sylvatica in scientific terms. The beauty and feminist you of this tree is undeniable. Traditionally, the beech is called the Queen of the Forest, allowing her to share a place of honor with the mighty oak, King of the Forest. Local British tradition associate this tree with the serpent, creature of cunning and ‘knowledge requested’, probability because of its serpentine root system, which reveals itself due to soil erosion across the ground when they are living on a hill. Several altars can still be found in the French Pyrenees dedicated to the beech and it is said that no bad luck can befall ‘he who shelters under its branches’. It was also said that it heightened the effects of magick cast under its branches and all prayers uttered under it would come true. Once upon a time, Druids were known to carry slivers of beech wood and leaves as a talisman for good luck and prosperity.

The thin leaves of the beech tree were thought to be the first form of paper and they were bound together to form books. In fact, this translation proves out over several cultures. In Germany, it is called ‘buche’ and in Anglo-Saxon it was known as ‘bok’ both leading to the modern English word for book. Thus, the beech was associated with learning and study and was associated with various Gods of learning. Thoth, the god of writing in the Egyptian pantheon as well as Hermès from the Greek, Ogam in the Celtic, and Odin in the Norse all held this tree as sacred. Beds were often made by stuffing the mattress with dried beech leaves. Because of the soft rustling noise they made when you laid on or rolled over them, this type of bed was called lits de parlement, or ‘speaking bed’, in French. Asking a question before falling asleep for the night would cause you to dream of the answer throughout the night.

This card is a crossover card, and indeed, can represent death. The Ogam, Phagos, is interpreted as ‘crossing over’ and the Green Man wisdom here is ‘What Lies Beyond the Threshold?’ Crossings are often fearful encounters; each ‘death’ that we experience in this life, be it the death of old habits and thought forms or the physical loss of a friend of loved one, demands that we accept change, stepping into the new world of the unknowable. When this card appears, it is enticing you with new experiences or offering to provide you with an additional skill. Since this is a gift of revelation and experience, this card is actually a gift. This card asks you to make that leap necessary to seek revelation and increase your knowledge. It is awaiting you!

Today, may your leap into the unknown land you in a better place than when you started!