Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

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The birch tree as a totem is associated with the Earth Renewal Moon which falls between December 22nd and January 19th.  One of the most ancient and abundant of trees the birch tree was used for many things by Native American Peoples. The bark was used for writing or painting stories on. The sap was used both as a syrup and a beverage. Teas and medicinal remedies were made from the bark and leaves of the birch. Placing the leaves of the birch tree on hot rocks in a sweat lodge creates a vapor that helps to cleanse the body and get rid of static electricity. To expel toxins the branches can be bound together and used to thrash the body while in a sweat lodge. Birch tea can be used to treat skin conditions, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney, bladder and digestive problems.

birch tree totem

As a totem the Birch tree brings knowledge of ancient traditions and lost wisdom. It opens all energies so they can flow well, helping one’s ability to transmit and receive the powers of the Universe.

birch wigwamSome tribes of the First People or Native Americans refer to the trees that inhabit Mother Earth as the Tall People. The spirits of the Tall People can help us poor two-leggeds if we will listen and open our hearts to learn from them.  The Birch Tree gives us so much of itself for physical purposes and it gives us knowledge from it’s long experience here on Mother Earth.  It offers us shade when Grandfather Sun shines too brightly. A little shelter when rains fall from Father Sky. Many tribes used the bark from the birch tree to provide even more shelter from the elements by covering their homes with the bark.  The picture is an example of a typical wigwam of the Ojibwe.  Canoes were also sometimes made with birch bark.

White Birch Lane

White Birch Lane
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As time passes we will learn about other members of the Tall People and the medicine and gifts they offer us.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related