Welcome to Tree Spirit Wisdom.
My goal is to create a nurturing, educational and inspirational place for you to remember and renew your soul.
I believe trees have been silently guiding us on our journey through life from the moment we each took our first breath.
We are, in fact, intrinsically interrelated and interdependent with trees and their spirits. They are the ones who came before us. They created just the right environment for us to live here on this earth. We have consciously and unconsciously co-evolved with trees ever since. Over the course of our evolution their stories became our stories and our stories became their stories.
Trees were the ones that nourished us. They challenged us to learn how to receive their gifts of food, wood and fire. The more we learned from them the more we realized they offered the raw materials for tools, shelter, clothing, paper and medicine.
Trees literally provided the “spark” that ignited our imagination and sense of wonder. They inspired us to create art, music, language, math and time itself. Countless stories inspired by trees have been written on the very fabric of their being. These stories remain etched deep in our hearts.
The rings of a tree mirror the organizing principal of life. The core of a tree is called the “heartwood,” a reminder to live from our hearts.
The World Tree is also known as the “Axis Mundi.” The Axis Mundi represents a giant tree or pole that runs through the earth’s core. Earth revolves daily on this axis. The Anima Mundi is known as the World Soul representing the collective soul of Earth.
Trees inspired humans to track the circular movements of the sun, moon and stars. They also noticed how the rings within trees mirrored the stars circling above them. These cosmic rings inspired the creation of sacred geometry.
The word “sacred” is synonymous with the concept of “divine” as the “shining ones in the sky.” Geometry is Greek for “geos/earth” and “metron/measure.” Together this translates as the “divine measuring of the earth,” or “divine and earthly measurements.” By measuring the stars and planets in relationship to the earth, sun and moon, mankind gave birth to astronomy, math, calendars and time. Trees were the first sundial that tracked time, tree circles helped to create calendars that gave birth to agriculture and the cultivation of trees for food and medicine.
One of the greatest stories that trees share with us is that of life and death.
They release their leaves in fall (death), draw on their inner resources in winter (rebirth), sprout new life in spring (birth) and spread their branches in summer (life.) Eventually, each and every tree experiences a larger more permanent physical death just as humans do. Once their vital life force leaves they gradually decompose and become one with the earth from which they came, but the spirit of the tree lives on.
For the majority of cultures, certain “elder” trees were seen as sacred ancestors who were revered and often worshipped. Many trees were seen as guardians of the land who served as connectors between the past, present and future. Eventually mankind created gods and goddesses beyond themselves as a way to reflect their own desires and dreams of immortality.
For some cultures, this ushered in a time of harmony, for others it signaled a time of mind expansion, for a powerful few, they saw it as man’s triumph over nature. Each culture began to create their own unique understanding of the universe and their relationship with the cosmos and nature. This led to the creation of numerous mythical stories between trees and humans as metaphors of humanity, creation, life and death.
Honoring trees as “divine beings” was a worldwide practice. The Oaks in Europe, Larch in Siberia, Figs in Egypt, Cottonwoods in North America, Dates in Africa and Ceiba in Meso-American to name just a few. The Hebrew names Elohim, El, Elah/Alah, Elon/Alon, Elat/Alat are synonymous with trees such as oak, ash and pistachio. Asherah means sacred grove.
Genesis 3:22 – “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
This story is seen as the “original wound” of separation, when in fact the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge exist as one within us. It is both male and female, dark and light, knowledge and mystery.
During the mid-20th Century, Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung (1875-1961) pioneered the field of behavioral psychology. He studied concepts such as individuation, the conscious and unconscious self, and the collective unconscious. He classified “archetypes” as aspects of the human condition. Jung felt that the human psyche was “by nature religious,” and what set humans apart from other species was their search for meaning in both life and death. He theorized that the psyche individuated (or separated) itself from its soul in search of its unique purpose in life. Yet during this quest for purpose, the psyche ultimately longed to return home to the soul and feel whole. As a result of his work, Jung saw trees as the archetype of the psyche and mandalas as the archetype of wholeness.
The word archetype, “original pattern from which copies are made” actually dates back to Plato. Plato, a Greek philosopher (424–347 BCE), identified archetypes as ideas in pure mental form that were imprinted into the soul before it was born. These concepts of archetypes, as shared stories are also found in nature.
As monotheism (belief in one god) was enforced throughout the Roman Empire, the stories inspired by trees were banned. The wisdom of nature became as source of fear, which plummeted Europe into darkness for the next 1300 years.
When Old World explorers began discovering the New World, they encountered many “new” trees, with new stories and medicinal benefits. Inspired by these New World trees, scholars and cultural leaders began rediscovering the knowledge and wisdom of trees and nature. This awareness ushered in the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. It is interesting to note that both the Kabbalah (Tree of Life) and the Tarot appeared during the late Renaissance.
There are over 10,000 names for “god,” most are interrelated with trees. It is time for us to learn the stories that separated us and to honor the weaving of cultures that created us.
The trees of the world have been holding onto our stories to remind us that we are the ones who created them. It is time to remember our stories so we can heal ourselves and our world.
I invite you to explore this site and read the many Tree Stories that have shaped our collective memory. Together we can help each other grow in love.
“The Tree of Life lives within each of us, helping us awaken to our true nature. Let us reach out with branches of compassion, connect with each other through our shared roots, and hold space for all to grow and feel loved.” – Laural Virtues Wauters
Note: The physical book and card deck are available for purchase from these suppliers.
Tree Spirit Tarot book: Amazon
Tree Spirit card deck at: Printers Studio
To learn more visit: www.lauralwauters.com
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir