I have always loved trees. Trees frame my journey from childhood to present, those that have held me, hugged me, spoken to me in surprising conversations and have become my teachers. I feel a kinship to them same as any family or friend. I can map my life by the trees I knew and lived by, and so I pay close attention when trees show up, when they speak.
Every morning I spend time in a meditative state in front of my altar. During this time I sit in stillness, and I usually journey to my home in non-ordinary reality, the dimension my ancestors knew as the Otherworld. This is the time I ask for guidance or messages from my spirit guides and teachers, or am just with them in simple friendship and gratitude. For the past week as soon as I arrive to meet them, there has been an immense sequoia in the middle of our circle.
Since I work with trees a lot, I am used to new ones showing up and we talk and get to know one another. But what made this different was the immense size and energy it held! Every morning I greet it and open my heart to its presence. As I engaged with it, I didn’t receive much information at first. Instead of a dialogue, the information was coming in through my felt-sense, primarily in my body sensations and then through synchronicities.
One of these was a recent news article that highlighted an unusual art piece at the local University. The sculpture is an 80 foot tall movable creation being held by three giant sequoias. The artist, John Grade, was visiting the campus to look for an inspired location for the sculpture he had in mind and when he saw the trees, he knew they were the ones. I feel that they reached out and communicated to him in some way to get his attention. I also feel that he had the wisdom and grace to ask them for permission to hold his sculpture. That they are holding it shows that they agreed, as I'm sure a lot can go wrong creating an art piece this size if the trees and the nature spirits are not agreeable.
Why would they be agreeable? Well this is the gist of the message coming in from my new sequoia friend in the mornings. They see collaboration and co-creation with humans as the way that they can break through our human-centrism and self-absorption so that we can fully realize our inter-connectedness to everything. The stronger our connection to nature, the more we will respect and protect it from exploitation and destruction.
And they enjoy the partnership that happens with projects like these. It provides lessons and spiritual growth for them as well. It strengthens the web of all life.
These same trees got my attention as soon as I saw them when I first walked across campus years ago. Freshly arrived from three decades in the desert, I had never seen such amazing trees. I stood in the middle of them and their lower branches hung on the ground and hid me from students walking by. I felt welcomed and cozy. I could have curled up next to them and stayed for a long time.
So I felt called to visit them again after meeting my new sequoia friend in the Otherworld. The late afternoon autumn sun lent its dappled light to the pieces hanging in the trees. I assessed the straps that held the netting the pieces were secured to, the small lamps high above that would light it at night, the thoughtfulness of the protective mats underneath to protect the ground and roots from the increased human activity beneath them. Then I tuned in to the trees and nature spirits. How did they feel? Did they have any specific messages to share?
A myriad of feelings swirled from the nearby faerie folk, from joy and amusement to exasperation and indifference. The elemental sylphs seemed to really enjoy playing in and around the hanging pieces. And the trees relayed this message:
One of the gifts we bring to humankind is that of heart chakra opening. We remind humans of how the energy of connection feels. We remind you of the feeling of reverence. We are - and all trees are - portals to the collective presence of nature kinship. We three who are holding John's sculpture are antennae broadcasting the energy of partnership, transmitting reverence. It's that simple.
With reverence, and gratitude, I sprinkled an offering of flower petals and herbs around the trunks before taking my leave.
The sequoia is still there in the morning stillness in my Otherworld circle. Its loving presence is a remarkable gift, and it is teaching me to broadcast loving presence from within myself.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
FAIRY CONGRESS - Offers a summer weekend gathering in person with workshops, circles and of course faeries and nature beings! They also offer a winter virtual weekend with amazing guest speakers like Orion Foxwood, David Spangler and R.J. Stewart. I highly recommend joining the online network to participate in monthly workshops, circles, and book clubs.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Owner Valeria Pearson lovingly created SOLE TO SOUL YOGA studio with a community focus. There are classes for all levels and events that lift the spirit. I am delighted to partner with her to offer a kirtan chanting circle once a month.
My friend and herbalist mentor, LAWRENCE BIRCH is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
ROGER WHEELOCK and GAYLE RUTH are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association. Roger has a practice in Asheville, NC https://www.communityshaman.com/
NEW WORLD KIRTAN = Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -