On the Calendar
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
*Also known as white beech
Common Beech (F. sylvatica)
*Also known as European beech
Often described as stately, the beech tree has a wide spreading canopy. The American beech averages fifty to seventy feet tall with smooth, gray bark. The pointed, oval leaves are about five inches long and have saw-tooth edges. They are dull green on top and lighter underneath. Flowers are clustered together in little yellow or reddish, spiky balls in the early spring and later develop into beechnuts. The common beech is slightly smaller, reaching about fifty or sixty feet tall. Its bark is a darker gray, its leaves are shorter with wavy edges, and its flowers are yellowish-green. The leaves of both trees turn yellow-bronze in the autumn.
The beechnuts are encased in spiny, woody husks. These can be hard to open but give them a few days indoors and they open on their own splitting into four sections. They look like spiny, four-petaled flowers when they open. The edible three-sided nut forms an irregular triangle. Like the hazelnut, beechnuts were believed to impart wisdom. They were also used as amulets.
Use beechnuts in spells to manifest what you seek. Place a few husks on a shelf in the kitchen to attract abundance and prosperity to your home. Eat a few of the nuts to foster creativity and encourage second sight. Save some for Samhain to enhance contact with ancestors.
Beech is associated with the elements fire and water. Its astrological influence comes from Saturn. This tree is also associated with the following deities: Apollo, Bacchus, Cerridwen, Diana, Dionysus, Freya, Frigg, Holle, Loki, Odin, and Zeus.
Figure 29. Beechnut is associated with the ogham Emancoll and the runes
Nauthiz and Perth (shown left to right).