Connecting with Spirit in Nature Tree Guardians {part 2 of 3}

Moon 11 | New Moon in Gemini

Did you have access to a tree house when you were a kid? My grandfather built a very simple treehouse in a large California Pepper Tree that held court over our backyard. This little wooden shelter was my haven on many afternoons. It wasn't even that high up off the ground, but something about sitting within the trees branches, hidden from the world's view, made me feel safe… like I was a part of the tree and far away from my troubles in the world below. 


Ever since I can remember, I’ve looked to trees for deep grounding, protection and guidance. Trees have presence. They stand tall - some gigantically so. They convey a different type of energy than other plants because of their size and structure.


Trees offer so much to whatever environment they are in: oxygen, shelter, wood, food and medicine just to name a few. They are home to many animals including birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, even humans - remember Julia Hill Butterfly?


Throughout history humans have worshipped or otherwise mythologized trees. Trees been given deep, sacred meaning throughout the ages and have played an important role in many of the worlds religions and mythologies. Trees are powerful symbols of the cycle of growth, death/decay and renewal as well as symbolizing immortality and fertility.


An ancient cross-cultural symbolic representation of the universe's construction is the World Tree. This is a colossal tree in the earth which supports the heavens with it's branches and reaches deep into the underworld with it's roots, connecting all three realms. In shamanic language these realms are referred to as the upper world, the middle world and the lower world. Whatever lens the World Tree is viewed through it represents the connection that exists with all things, living and dead, embodied or not. It reminds us that we are all one.


Because trees can live for hundreds and even thousands of years I consider them to be planetary wisdom keepers. The oldest living tree is estimated to be 5,063 years old. It is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, located in the White Mountains in California. Can you imagine the wisdom imbued in a living creature of that many years? 


Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi - a sacred fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka - is said to be the southern branch of the original Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BCE and is the oldest living human-planted tree with a known planting date. Oh, to be in the energy field of this venerable tree.


A simple practice


I encourage you to find a way to connect with trees on a regular basis as they contain beautiful healing energy. Whether you are walking in a forest, hanging out in a park or sitting in your backyard, trees offer their presence as a direct source to all dimensions of being.


Meditating with a tree is a fantastic way to get grounded, quiet your mind and connect with spirit. You can meditate with any tree that you like. If you feel called, find a tree that you can sit on the ground with and lean back against it’s trunk. If that isn't possible or comfortable, you can always bring a chair with you and sit near a tree.


The practice


Approach the tree with reverence. Make an offering to the tree if you feel called - a feather, a flower, a rock, a song, a whispered word of thanks - whatever resonates.


Find your comfortable seat with your tree. Close your eyes.


Lean up against the trunk or imagine that you are leaning up against the trunk if you are sitting in a chair.


Feel the tree supporting you as you lean back.


Imagine there are roots extending down from whatever part of your body is connected with the earth. 


Send your roots deep into the earth, rooting yourself into the Mother like the tree you are meditating with.


Feel your connection with Mother Earth and with the tree.


Notice your breath becoming deeper and smoother.


Listen to the sounds around you.


Become still like the tree.


Just sitting and breathing, becoming more and more centered with each breath. 


Listen for any message the tree might have for you in this moment.


Let the presence of the tree ground you in the present moment.


Sit with your tree for as long as you like, opening your eyes whenever you are ready.


When you are finished, give thanks to your tree for her support and guidance. 


Hugging your tree is optional and highly recommended.


If you aren’t able to get outside and meditate with a tree, you can use the meditation above as a visualization. You can also imagine yourself to be a tree during meditation - feeling your roots deep in the earth, your trunk standing tall and your branches reaching into the atmosphere all around you.


I invite you to try a tree meditation the next time you are feeling like you could use some support. Trees are guardians of the sacred. They have much wisdom to share with us when allow ourselves to receive their medicine.


Coming next month:
Moon 11 | New Moon in Gemini
Connecting with Spirit in Nature {part 3 of 3}
Animal Allies



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