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We are currently under the Birch Moon

Ogham name: Beithe

Beginning the first new moon between 24th December and 20th January

Full moon: Saturday 11th January

Planetary ruler: Sun

Deities: Lugh, Freya, the White Lady, Bridghid

Druidic animal: The White Heart

The Birch tree represented renewal and rebirth because it was the first tree in leaf after the winter.

Birch signifies new beginnings and fresh starts and as such is obviously the first rune of the Ogham alphabet. Traditionally the brush of a besom would have been made of birch twigs, bound tightly with Willow around an Ash staff. This would have been a way of ensuring the magic of the besom was always fresh and new, and since it was the besom that ordinary folk used to clean their homes it would have guaranteed that the ritual spring clean was a spiritual cleansing as well as a physical one. Birch was also said to ward off evil, and strips of the bark may be added to protection spells to guard against psychic attack. Carrying birch is said to ward off the Sidhe (pronouced: She) and prevent kidnapping by faery folk. Babies cradles were often made of birch so that the baby could not be replaced by a changeling.