The Tree as Symbol in the Song of the World
musings out of Pagan Anthroposophy
Easily the most important way to study is to look at trees themselves. Spiritual literature is full of names given to this expression of the divine in the material world, but words are not the same as seeing, touching, planting, harvesting, taking shelter, home for critters, … the endless Way of the Tree to Speak/Sing without words.
The Mother of All does not need words to Tell Her Stories. She is a Source of the Word. As in, “She has the whole world in His Hands”.
The first grandmother-tree I learned to converse with (see picture one) was often a help. A tree is – in a way – a thought of the Father manifested by the Son. In this link I tell my story of this encounter http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/GrandmotherTree.html [a grandmother tree appears “dead”, which allows it to be a locus of spiritual beings – no longer having to “grow”- but rather they just get to Be.]
She “worded” very slowly in that aspect of the garden of the heart’s mind that learns to listen to the speaking of trees. Tolkien’s Ents were slow thinkers, taking long pauses between phrases during the Entmoot in Fanghorn forest, initiated by Treebeard.
Tree huggers, druids, … in Star Wars VIII an ancient tree is set afire, the fire a sign of something ancient dying, on its way to being reborn
Trees bridge Sky and Earth. The Tree itself is part of a larger organism, which Gelbert Grohmann called: The Plant, in his two volume study. Link to those books here: https://www.amazon.com/s…
The “Plant” is a kind of life-process, manifested by entities out of Faerie, as are the Stone People, the Winds, the Four-legged, and the Winged. Whether an ancient wind-formed pine, or what grows on cheese, and from which we made penicillin, the Plant is not just beauty, but medicine as well.
A recent addition to the lore of trees came through the character Groot (see picture two), as revealed in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Also the fearsome teaching Tree voiced by Liam Neeson in “A Monster Calls” (see picture three).
“Stranger Things” involved dangerous tunnels, full of roots, and darker creatures. “Annihilation” involves the “shimmering”, and a passage through that “barrier?” into a world where chaotic growth was fueled by other-world entities.
The collective imagination is haunted by premonitions of the return of the magical and mystical gates to the Underworld, to Faerie.
Then there is “climate change”, rooted in fears, themselves rooted in human history, that can be expressed this way: Human beings will fuck things up. Guaranteed. While this will not calm all souls, the fact is that the Mother rules all weather, as She does the four horseman, and, the gate of death.
All over the Mother (our Planet) then is a sphere of growth, from seed, to root and stalk, and flower and fruit. Below is the realm of the Stone People, then the Tree/Plant People, wherein are places for the four-legged and the winged to frolic and be cared for.
We are to be the stewards of this sphere of life. Why? We were given hands, uprightness, and speech. We too are a “shape/sign” in the wordless Speech of Existence.
I have been blessed for the last seven years to have a forest begin just twenty feet outside my study window. Since moving here I have been aware of a local grandmother tree (seemingly dead, stark of leafless limb, glorious in pose). Mostly she (Dryads, are the traditional name, and imply a feminine nature) can barely be seen.
One late afternoon I was sitting in my office, and felt the want of going and taking a picture from the deck, and there she was, illuminated in the sunlight of a sun heading for rest. (see pictured four). In picture five we see her in darkness and shadow.
In the totality of the yard and forest, she stands in between the arbor-vitae trees planted by the developers, and the forest. A kind of bridge between human activity, and the Mother’s Way of doing things when left to Her own devices. Note the expressions/gestures of the limbs.
Trees are very good friends, and miss our conversations. Yet, we have to be the ones that reach out. We have to want to go Home, back to the Garden, … the prodigal children on their way to a fairy feast.
For a much longer dissertation on humans and the world of the Plant, there is this: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/…/the-return-of-the-w…/Like