Fir – Rising – Eight of Evergreens (Wands)

Genus: Abis – Family: Pinaceae

Fir trees represent a time of positive forward movement, when previous obstacles no longer hold us back. Fir is one of the nine sacred woods in the Celtic culture. It was seen as a tree of honesty, truth and forthrightness because of its straight trunk.

The genus name Abis derives from the Latin word Abies, meaning “rising one.” Firs differ from other conifers because of their erect cylindrical pinecones that seem to rise from the branches like candles. The word “fir” is interrelated to the Old English word “firgen” for “forest.”

Fir trees are a genus of 48-56 species that are found throughout North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Firs are coniferous evergreens that can grow to a height of 30-200 feet. They are most closely related to the genus Cedrus (cedar) in the Pinaceae family. Their green needles appear flattened and their wood is aromatic.

Hans Christian Anderson’s story titled The Little Fir, speaks to the desire to rise and be seen without truly understanding what that means or the eventual consequences that may follow.

Firs were identified as Christmas trees in Germany during the 1600s. Legend has it that Martin Luther, the religious reformer, walked through a forest of fir trees on a clear winter night. As he looked up, he saw thousands of stars glittering through their branches, which inspired him to set up a candle-lit fir tree in his house. He saw the candles as symbols of the stars. The most well-known firs grown to be Christmas trees are silver, balsam, nordman, fraser and noble fir.

The Douglas fir, one of the tallest evergreens on earth, is not actually a fir tree; it was placed into its own genus Pseudotsuga, which means false hemlock. Douglas firs reach heights of 330 feet and live in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

Message: The spirit of the fir tree encourages us to see and be seen as we stay true to ourselves during a time of rapid change. Now is the time to rise up and take action on something that was set in motion long ago. Stand tall and appreciate every moment by remaining open to new ideas. Now is not a time to worry or be jealous of what others have accomplished. By rising above petty issues we are able to see the true opportunities that are in front of us now.

Challenge: Hiding from yourself or others. Wanting to remain unseen even when you are needed to take a stand. Not believing in your potential.