Sunday 14 August 2016

Pagan Eye: Yew Hedge Gate and Silver Birch

Yesterday afternoon my hubby and I decided to go to Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, particularly to walk in the lovely gardens. We wanted to get out to take our minds off the death of our beloved cat Pharaoh.

As well as being a place where Darwin's family relaxed and providing food for their table, the gardens were the famous scientist's ‘outdoor laboratory’. He spent many hours there conducting experiments and just walking to think. Walking to think and talk over ideas is also something I love to do with my husband.

We sat down for a rest on a bench near this gate in a yew fence. Magically, yew trees represent death, but also healing, resurrection and reincarnation. Beyond the gate lies a silver birch tree - the tree of new beginnings. Birch appears on the Death card in my favourite tarot deck - the Robin Wood Tarot, to symbolise new life returning as the seasons turn.

I saw this view just after my husband and I had come to the decision to take our loss as sign to make the most of the moments we have, because we never know what will happen in the future, and also a reminder that after a death, life goes on. After passing through the gate of grief, there is always a new beginning.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself.

Down House is in Kent and is managed by English Heritage. The photograph is copyright Lucya Starza. If you wish you use it elsewhere, please credit Lucya Starza and

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