Beech

Beech – Power – Wisdomkeeper Nuts (King of Pentacles)

Genus: Fagus – Family: Fagaceae

Beech heralds a time of prosperity, security and power. We are being asked to use our power wisely and with integrity.

Beech is synonymous with “book” and “letter” in the Old English, Germanic and Slavic languages.

The genus name, Fagus comes from the Greek word phegos meaning beech or oak, based on the root word phago meaning to “eat” or “share”.  The beech family of Fagaceae, shared their nuts, wood and wisdom, nourishing the mind, body and soul of all who lived among them. “Mother Beech” and “Father Oak” were seen as powerful and divine teachers, protectors and providers. The word Druid, (teacher/mystic), comes from the Proto-Indo-European words deru (tree) and vid (knowledge). The “treewise” Druids carved symbols and letters on sticks made of beech as a way to share their wisdom with others. They knew that knowledge was power, especially when rooted in truth. The Anglo-Saxon word treo, means both “tree” and “truth”.

Beech trees are a deciduous climax species that can overpower even the mightiest of oaks. The common European beech, Fagus sylvatica is the most cultivated species in the Fagus genus. It is capable of reaching 160 ft. tall. Beech forests are mystical and magical places with columns of silvery smooth bark topped by expansive canopies. The light that shines through is tinted green by its leaves. It’s thought that Cathedrals were inspired by the powerful sense of peace and awe that a beech forest provides.

The American beech, Fagus grandiflora once blanketed North America before the Pleistocene Ice Age confined it east of the Mississippi. Fagus orientalis known as Oriental beech is native to Eurasia and Eastern Europe. Beech trees can live to be 200-400 years old. European, American and Asian beech are all valuable sources of hardwood used to make flooring, musical instruments, furniture and toys. Its pulp is the sustainable source of modal, a strong yet soft textile that is growing in popularity.

Beechnuts are the seeds within the fruit of the beech; also called mast nuts. These small, triangular nuts form in burs that drop-in autumn. Their edible nuts contain powerful nutrients for improving brain and heart function. Beech reminds us to use our minds for knowledge while listening with our hearts for inner wisdom.

Message: Beech encourages us to step into our power as a person of integrity, peace and wisdom. In a letter written in 1817, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “knowledge is power, knowledge is safety and knowledge is happiness.” What we have learned and experienced is coming together and being transformed into wisdom. Wisdom is something we know deep in our hearts as truth. True power brings peace into our life, our home, our community and our world. This is a time of using our power wisely with love in our hearts.

Challenge: Preoccupation with material success, status and egocentric thinking, “power has gone to your head.”