December 28, 2011

Decorating with Birch

Lately I have been so into decorating with birchwood.  My curiosity of this new decoration itch has led me to do some research on the meaning and symbolism of the Birch Tree, which I found equally interesting and it made me fall it love with the decor even more.

"Birch tree meanings include new beginnings and cleansing of the past. Birch trees are also associated with vision quests. The common name birch is derived from an old Germanic root meaning "white, bright or to shine." The birch is considered the national tree of Russia, where it used to be worshipped as a goddess during the Green Week in early June."  (This explanation is courtesy of

Another website explains the symbolic meaning of birch trees as several different meanings. The 4 that meant the most to me were:  

1) that in celtic mythology the birch is a symbol of renewal and purification.  2) that in Siberia, shamans use the tree for initiation rituals. A candidate carves nine notches in the trunk of a birch to represent the nine steps to heaven of shamanic folklore.  3) German folklore, the birch is regarded as a tree of life and was traditionally used to make maypoles, around which lovers danced.  Welsh folklore associate the birch tree with love, too - lovers met under a birch tree.  And finally - 4) Protection...In the Sweedish city Umea, according to popular legend, the silver birch tree halted a fire that nearly burned the city to hte ground in 1888.  Silver birch trees are now planted all over the city.  In Celtic mythology, the birch was used to protect against evil.  Babies' rattles and cradles were made of birch. (Full explanation can be seen here and is quoted mostly identical to the website).

Well.  All of that being said (or read) it is just no wonder I am so into this lately.

Like these candles in assorted the room a warm, rustic glow.

Or these - tall Birch Branches that I just picked up at Michaels. Mine are much shorter (about 6') and thinner (2' diameter) and I plan to arrange them in a vase in a corner.  One of my friends has this in her home and that is where I originally found the idea which I will try to emulate...but my friend has this type of birch decor all over her home and it makes it feel just enough rustic, woodsy, earthy.  I fell in love with it instantly and knew I had to create something like it as well.

Candles, Birch Branches. Birch Tree