The Celtic Calendar for December 24th: Birch Month Begins

The Celtic tree month of the birch begins today and reinforces the Yuletide theme of renewal because the birch was said to be the first of all of the trees to develop leaves in spring.  It is also credited with magickal properties, for it is believed to have the power to exorcise evil spirits, which is why “birching,” or being beaten with birch twigs, was once a punishment. If its wood is included in sleeping drafts, it will ward off nightmares, while a birch broom will sleep away the lingering essence of the old year to make way for the new. (And birch wood was traditionally favored for witches’ besoms, or broomsticks.)

The Yule Log

Bring your Yule log into the house today. It should be oak, in honor of the Oak King, and should be set on fire at dusk, preferably using a sliver of wood from last year’s Yule log. (Stash away a piece of this year’s Yule log in turn: it should protect your home from fire.)

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