It is said that the God and Goddess Apollo and Athena sat in a beech tree having transformed into vultures. The legend tells of how the two Gods sat and watched the fight between the Trojans and the Greeks.
The sacred grove of trees of ‘Dodona’, in Epirus, Ancient Greece, is the place where a temple was erected to Zeus. The Beech tree was said to be able to convey the message from Zeus to the worshipper. Revered as the God of Thunder it is thought that the association with the tempestuous weather form stems from here as this place was alleged to have more storms than anywhere else in Europe. The temple was situated by a great Oak tree. The presence of Zeus at the temple was thought to be signified by the rustling of the tree. Large bronze gongs were hung in the tree and the sound that came forth when the wind blew was said to resemble the sound of thunder rolling across the sky. The message from the oracle was thought to be given through other trees that were planted here.
Near Tusculum there was a hill called ‘Corne’ where Pliny tells of a grove of Beech trees could be found. The grove was sacred to the goddess Diana, and it is said that all the trees looked as if they had been neatly manicured, as though ‘art had fashioned them’. The orator Crispus was often said to find peace and rest under the Beech trees, feeding the roots with wine.
Amongst other light shiny barked trees the beech has always been a favourite of lovers shown by the many carvings of names or symbols on the bark.
‘As You Like It’ : William Shakespeare
‘Oh Rosalind! These trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;
That every eye, which in this forest looks,
Shall see thy virtue witness’d every where.
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree,
The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.’
Diviners in search of water hidden underground are known to often use forked branches taken from the Beech tree traditionally called ‘Wishing Rods’ (also Apple, Hazel and Alder). (See Mystical WWW Trees & Divining Methodology). (See Mystical WWW Tree Legend ‘Herne the Hunter’).