Sacred tree – for as long as there have been humans, the tree has been a part of their homeland.
It has always been more than just a part of the landscape.
It was an organism with multiple symbolic relationships, a sacred being.
The elemental force of life is revealed in the sacred tree as an expression of life.
Its roots absorbing the forces of the earth, its leaves breathing, the flowing of its sap, the swelling of its fruit.
The tree presents itself in the perpetual cycle of life and death.
Tree of life
In the depictions of paradise, we figuratively encounter the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Trees have become symbols for overcoming death.
In literature, skulls have been added to
trees of life, for example in Dante’s Pelerinage or in the visions of Seth in the Legend of the Cross.
Shamans stylised and abstracted it as one of the most essential shamanic symbols.
It is often accompanied by animals wreaths and springs etc.
Christian tree symbolism has been influenced by the ancient oriental symbolism of the cosmic tree.
In ancient Mesopotamian representations, the astral symbols of the goddess, such as the crescent moon, rosette and star, were added to the sacred tree to emphasise its importance.
In Old Testament imagery, trees indicate sacred places.
Sacred trees were associated with the fate of people, they were known to influence human history.
But not only the Old Testament and the New Testament have a rich
Tree of Life mythology.
Numerous stories, legends and tales tell us of trees.
The pain-eating Greek hero Heracles in his Nessos robe, for example,
tears up a tree.
In the Tristan novels (Gottfried of Strasbourg) Brangain is abandoned
in the forest and Isolde attempts suicide under a tree.
But the tree has always been a symbol of fertility, abundance, health and happiness.
A sign for love and mercy, for the spiritual light and for the wisdom in the divine field.
Trees with a healing effect
Trees with a healing effect were associated with the great mothers,
with the primordial mothers.
It was taken for granted that these were trees with an energetic effect.
All life emanated from the mothers – as it did from the trees, which were considered an inexhaustible source of fertility.
Trees were considered to have spirits, in them dwelled those spirits which today we call elemental beings, landscape angels, etc.
Our ancestors felt part of nature, there was no separation.
Today we are again looking for spiritual ways to connect with sacred trees.
The original sacred trees are no longer standing and we can only grasp them symbolically and connect with them spiritually.
Our ancestors used to bind demons in various animal figures made of wood or stone. Some of these stone animals can still be seen on the outer walls of churches.
The significance of trees today
Trees are not only the focus of our attention at Christmas time.
Throughout the year we hear about forest dieback, about the threats of the ecocide.
And yet, as a shaman I believe that deep in the soul of every human being there is the knowledge of the trees sacredness, of their spirituality.
So what do we have to deal with?
The human being, the whole of humanity is struggling with new demons today.
They belong to the lowest level of the cosmos and are counterpoints to the world of light.
These dark forces are slowly and invisibly trying to destroy nature and thus deprive human beings of their livelihood.
Many of our fellow human beings are standing on the earth like trees without roots, cut off from it.
The danger here is to become free prey to the demons and to sink into all kinds of fears.
And we need ways to withstand the old demons as well as the new ones.
The power of the ancestors
One of the activities we recommend at the
Shamanic Centre Europe is:
Capture your personal power in your centre.
Deepen your relationship with trees. Connect with them and their power.
Try to contact your ancestors from times long past.
Unfortunately, biological ancestors do not help, or only rarely.
Try to get back into the rhythm of the seasons.
Root yourself deeply in the earth, as brother tree does.
Start meditations where you travel along the trunk of the tree into its crown or along its roots deep into the earth.
Or travel along its branches to the sacred places of the four directions. Pray
Embrace people, animals, plants and trees.
Embrace all that you love.