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Archive for March, 2013

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This image is of the tree spirit key of elder, using the colours that express the energy manifestations of the tree.

ELDER

Calm, love, forgiveness, self-worth, transformation, waste-not, want-not, whole-hearted, harvest home.

Whole hearted
No waste
No want.

Whole-hearted
Weaving harvest
Heal all hurt.

Whole-hearted
All hurt healed
Harvest home.

Whole heart
All hurt healed
Harvest home.

In some books elder is not even considered to be a tree but a shrub. Like other small trees like hazel and lilac, it tends to form a multi-stemmed bushy shape, only occasionally becoming a single trunked tree. Elder thrives on nitrogen-rich soil. Wherever there is organic debris -rotting organic matter – elder can be found. This quality makes it a common sight around human habitations, and its key characteristic is the ability to transform what has been discarded or is unwanted, or even disdained.

One of the biggest lessons in life is that one being’s waste is another being’s food , one being’s food is another’s poison, one being’s good is another’s bad. Aggravation, sorrow, pain and hurt are all symptoms of the inability to transform powerful energies within our body. Healing requires the transformation and harmonisation of such factors.

The elder has always been recognised as one of the most beneficent of healing trees. Throughout the year it produces healing medicines and useful dyes. The flower-heads that open wide as dinner plates in early summer are soothing and healing for coughs, colds and infections and they bring down fevers by encouraging sweating. They also make delicious wine and, dipped in batter, make a delicious meal. When they ripen to bue-black berries they can be turned into jams or dried to supply a good source of Vitamin C throughout the winter months. Although the wood is very close-grained and can be used as a substitute for boxwood, elder has a large pithy core of spongy cells that can easily be hollowed out to form pipes, tubes, straws, peashooters an so on. The pungent, strong smelling foliage can be aggravating and emetic, but elder transforms this overpowering quality into the delicate blossoms and fruits of summer.

Breath:

Breathe in to the solar plexus and then up to the heart and lungs.
Breathe out through the arms and hands, legs and feet simultaneously.

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Tree: Roots and Branches.

This simple visualisation allows grounding and centring before then opening up awareness to more universal types of energy.

Begin by relaxing your body. Allow awareness to sink downwards to your contact with the ground.

Extend your awareness beyond the physical body to make searching roots that spread deeper and wider with each exhalation. Continue this process until you feel really secure and well-rooted.

Now with the intent to hold that sense of rootedness, focus on the top of your head. Feel the energy of the sun and the vast spaciousness of the universe gently drawing up your energy. Mould that expanding energy into the form of boughs and branches, growing in an ever-widening dome upwards and outwards.

Once you have a clear sense of these spreading branches, see if you can maintain in your awareness both the root system below your feet and the branches above your head. If it helps, you can visualise your body as the tree trunk holding in place and focusing the energy of root and branch.

When the imagery is comfortable and stable begin to sense and integrate the energies that each outgrowth of your awareness is receiving and releasing into its surroundings.

When it is time to stop, allow the imagery to fade and sit still to integrate the experience before resuming normal activity.

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copper beechA4

COPPER BEECH CHARM

In the darkness

glimmer rainbows

In the emptiness

and hollowness,

comfort.

In the Earth,

a blessing for everything

In the light,

a balm, a cradle.

In the shadow,

a rest, a murmur.

In my shade an answer,

a seed.

copper beech closeup

A6copper beech

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69essence hackberry

Tree Roots Visualisation

A simple way to ground and centre your energies, reduce thought and mental activity and become connected to your surroundings:

Settle in your seat so you are comfortable. Have your feet uncrossed and firmly placed on the floor.

Take a few slow, deep breaths and allow yourself to relax further into your seat.

Lightly put your attention on your body. Feel its solidity and its weight. Become aware of the pull of gravity downwards and let your mind settle on the feel of that pull.

Now allow your awareness to flow downwards beyond your feet and begin to sense, see or feel that energy as roots growing and extending downwards into the earth. See them reaching out in a widening circle around you.

Feel those roots of energy as they search deeper and deeper, establishing you firmly and securely upon the surface of the planet.

Allow gravity and the magnetic attraction of the earth’s heart to draw your roots deeper and wider with each breath you breathe.

When you feel that you are secure and well-rooted, begin on your in-breath to draw sustaining energy back along your root-paths into your body.

Feel the nutritious and life-giving energy of the earth slowly fill the whole body as it travels upwards from the very root-tips of your earthed awareness.

Continue to draw the energy upwards with your in-breath. On the out-breath allow that root system to strengthen and spread deeper and further outwards from your place.

Remain in this pattern of feeling and growing for as long as you like.

When ready, slowly allow the images to fade. Become aware of your physical body, your surroundings. Take a few deep breaths. When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes. Take a while before resuming normal activity.

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ivy

I have worked with the Ivy Spirit quite a lot recently. It has been one of the main plants to be explored in groups who were starting off learning about Tree Spirit Healing. It has a lively, easily recognisable energy and provides a great support to those who make a good connection to its energy. Here is one way to become a little more familiar.

THE IVY DOORWAY

“Ivy is a plant that behaves like an animal – specifically a snake, which it so obviously resembles. It creeps and wriggles throughout the undergrowth. it wraps itself around tree trunks. A image of the deep forest: mature old trees within a darkened, clean forst floor. As though in a time-lapse film nothing much changes except the flicker of day and night, the occassional leaf fluttering down into the humus. And then a movement at the corner of sight: a thin, snake-like tendril wriggles its way into view. It writhes and twists ans scrabbles as though sniffing out something. As time flickers on, the tendril thickens to become python thick; aerial roots, like legs, support and stabilise; new tendrils spread outwards across the floor searching more of that essentil food: light. Soon a wave of ivy, a tide of shiny green, is washing up the tree trunks and as time flickers forward the main Ivy Snake wriggles on out of sight, deeper into the forest silence.

“Ivy is a tree that moves, a vegetal snake, a green sea of leaves. It can become a gatekeeper and a useful guide…..

“unless you travel via the intermediary of Ivy or some other, similar tree spirit, it is not easy to gain access to the deeper levels of Tree Wisdom that is the Deep Forest….

” The serpent, the wise snake, is the ivy that lives in the duality of dark and light, summer and winter, intoxication and sobriety, life and death. Only a teacher who has travelled every possible path can know every step of the way and be for us a safe guide.”

(from “Tree: Essence, Spirit and Teacher”)

The Ivy Doorway is a process that combines chant and vision.

What is needed: a black and white image on card or thick paper.

1) First, create an image of a doorway with a semicircular arch, within which is silhouetted a large five-pointed ivy leaf. The archway is black and the leaf is white.

2) Position the image so that it is slightly above your eye level, but that causes you no strain to keep it in easy view.

3) Have a clear intention: ‘to open the Tree Doorways’ and then gaze easily at the image whilst chanting or mentally repeating the Ivy mantra:

KI JAA OH TRRRI

KI JAA OH TRRRI

…..

…..

4) When your eyes tire, simply close them for a while and continue with an internal visualisation of the image.

5) A time will naturally come when you feel a shift of awareness. When this happens simply relax and allow the experience with the Ivy Spirit to unfold.

6) When you feel it time to return to your normal awareness, say thank you for whatever experiences have been brought to you, and bring your awareness back to your body. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

ivy spel mat words 2

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Ivy clad

And if I am a worm, I am the worm of the world
Enwrapping the roots, gnawing my fill.
So tell me then: which came first, life or death?

Well, (you might say) , first came life
For how could an end come before a beginning?
But I say:
Call death by a better name,
Call death “change of state”, in a more proper understanding,
And see then death arising first,
For how could life arise
Without a change from nothing to something?

But again, this is only one eye’s view:
Light without dark, sun without shade
So cannot be.
Life is change and dies remaining still,
Death is at the heart of life
As life is nothing without death.

So let me be the parasitic worm, the cloth of graves,
The burden of the ancient.
I walk in light and shade, deal death to live,
Bring change to remain.
I am the worm that weaves the world,
A stitch in time, a fearless heart
That will not needlessly divide.
Clasping the axis, seeing the round view.

A heart in light
A star in darkness
A rope to reach
A road to follow.

Ivy clad:
The world wreathed in glory.

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IVY. ( eye vee why)

I
No mistaking that first eye, seeing straight.
An arrow dividing light from dark,
Both equal offspring of the sun.

V
Opening iris: understanding mind.
A mouth to engulf, to hold firm
Sharp advice.

Y
Tongue tasting life,
A right rod to divine, chooser of paths,
Division sign
Conciliator, binder.

Slow spinning searcher.

Heart and stars of winter’s world tree.

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