Larch – Connection – Four of Hardwoods (Swords)

Genus: Larix – Family: Pinaceae

Larch is reminding us to rest and recover. Its appearance indicates a time of connection and rejuvenation by seeing with our heart.

In the Tungus Evenki language of Siberia, the larch tree was called Tuuru, meaning “World Tree.” It was seen as a cosmic ladder that connected Earth to the North Star. This connection worked like a “hitching post” that helped shamans accurately navigate the night skies, thus encouraging travel within the inner and outer realms of reality.

The Tungus word ša– “to know” is the root word for shaman, as “one who knows.” Some say shaman means “one who sees in the dark.” Shamans would enter a trance state and travel through the Tuuru in the upperworld/branches, middleworld/trunk and underworld/roots to connect with the spirit world for insights. The Tuuru was also the tree that nurtured the “souls” of young shamans until they were ready to become human.

In 1894, an 11,000-year-old wooden idol was discovered in a peat bog on the eastern slope of the Middle Ural Mountains in Russia. The Shigir Idol stands at 17.3 feet tall. At the time it was made, this larch tree was already 157-years-old. It is now the oldest known wooden sculpture in the world, twice as old as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids.

It features a carved head and face at its top with six other faces engraved throughout its long flat rectangular body. The linear and angular etchings have yet to be interpreted, but appear to contain a story that connects us to a time long forgotten.

Larches are unique because they are deciduous conifers that grow up to 148 feet tall. They are considered a pioneer species native to the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere. They are the dominant trees in the boreal forests of Siberia and Canada reaching further north into the polar ice than any other tree. There are 10-11 species within the Larix genus, which includes the North American tamarack, Larix laricina and Siberian Larch, Larix sibirica. Its timber is hard, durable, waterproof, and rot resistant.

Message: When larch appears, we are entering a time of connection to the multi-dimensional world that surrounds us. Larch reminds us that when our world seems to be of spinning out of control we can always connect to our core. Our core is our soul, and our soul knows that this is but another moment in time. Now is also a time of remembering, honoring and healing where we have been, where we want to go and where we are now. This aspect of larch teaches us the importance of honoring and understanding our personal and collective history. By connecting with this wisdom, we can learn from it and potentially not make the same mistakes over and over again. Larch is here to nurture our soul until we are ready to see that we are the one we have been waiting for.

Challenge: Fearful of the dark or the unknown. Feeling isolated or disconnected from our dreams.