There are plenty of trees in the world and many of them have meanings and symbolism that is specific to them. You’ve got the mighty oak as well as the small and elegant dogwood tree. In addition to having their own symbolism, we tend to attach ourselves to different objects base on their symbolism and trees are no different. We might call one our spirit tree, but in other cases we find ways to represent that idea in a more visible way like getting a tattoo.
Today we are going to be talking about the wonderful birch tree and the things that make such a desirable object for being tattooed. The birch is thin with white bark that almost flakes off. It is a truly unique tree and therefore, there is a great deal of meaning behind the birch tree tattoo. It grows up to 50 feet in height so this would categorize it as a medium sized tree. However, under the right conditions, the birch tree can grow to upwards of around 80 feet tall. The leaves of this tree are elliptical or oval in shape. The leaves are serrated on the edges. In color, the birch can be black, silver, white, grey or yellow. You will find smooth bark on the young birches but as it grows older, the bark will peel off in long strips that come off horizontally.
In this post we are going to get into the symbolism of the birch tree and what it represents, as well as talking about the birch tree tattoo and what it means for those that get the tattoo. We will also get into some different variations of the birch tree tattoo and talk about the symbolism in these variations. Birch tree tattoo meanings should be a subject that you feel much more comfortable about by the time you finish reading this.
Birch Tree Tattoo Meaning
Birch trees are said to be some of the first to re-colonize the ice covered, rocky landscape after the last ice age. Because of this, the birch tree is referred to as a pioneer species. Those with the birch tree tattoo have this to represent their toughness and ability to bounce back. Because it was one of the first trees to grow again, it shows how durable and resilient this tree is.
Similar to Celtic mythology, the birch tree is said to represent purification and renewal. In the Celtic tree alphabet, the birch, or Beithe, is the first tree listed. During the festival of Samhain, the birch tree was celebrated during the beginning of the Celtic year. This is also a time for purification. To add to this idea of purification, people used to gather twigs from the birch and use them to push the spirits of the old year out and welcome in the new spirits. Even in times like these, gardeners will put a birch tree in their gardens to make sure all is pure.
The birch tree tattoo is also a symbol of fertility. One of the reasons that this is so is because the birch tree is one of the first trees to grow leaves in the spring and therefore, it is a representation of new growth and new life. The birch tree is celebrated during the summer of the Celtic year. The Anglo Saxon goddess, Eostre, was celebrated through the birch tree between Beltane and the spring equinox. In the folklore of Scotland, it is said if you herd barren cows with a limb from the birch, they are bound to become fertile again.
The word ‘bhurga’ is Sanskrit and said to used to describe the birch and also means ‘tree whose bark is used to write upon.’ The bark is used for paper while the wood can be used in many ways as it is straight-grained, heavy and tough. This makes this kind of wood great for handles and other things that get used a lot. Because of these reasons, the birch tree tattoo symbolizes durability and toughness.
Birch Tree Tattoo Variations
When looking at the different variations of the birch tree tattoo, you should look at the style and design to try to determine the meaning behind the tattoo. Most people will tell you what it means to them but there are different ways to represent this idea in tattoo form and below are a few versions of the birch tree tattoo that we enjoy.
Watercolor Birch Tree Tattoo
The watercolor birch tree tattoo doesn’t have any new meanings but might reinforce the end of an era. The watercolor style works great with trees and when the leaves start to turn colors the mix of colors mix without boarders if you look from a distance. This is the first stage of the purification which will come in the spring time when the birch tree sprouts new buds. Not only does it symbolize the start of the end, it also looks great.
Celtic Birch Tree Tattoo
The Celtic birch tree tattoo is a popular way to have the birch tree tattooed as there is so much lore that surrounds this tree in Celtic folklore. You will often see this tree tattooed in the Celtic style with the Celtic knots being used as the trunk with Celtic lines branch off the trunk. This tree is a powerful image and a popular choice to represent trees in the Celtic style of tattooing.
Birch Tree With No Leaves Tattoo
The birch tree is often depicted in tattoo form as not having any leaves. In most cases this is a representation of the new year coming and new growth. It is a fresh start for those that have this tattoo and for those of us that want to move forward in life, this tattoo is a great choice.
When looking to get your own birch tree tattoo, look for an artist that has experience in tattooing in the style you are looking for. Fortunately, most artists have their portfolios online so when you see what you like, go talk to the artist and see if you hit it off.