Plane – Counsel – Wisdomkeeper of Hardwoods (King of Swords)

Genus: Platanus – Family: Platanaceae

Plane is advising us to be impartial as we study all aspects of a situation and to seek truth based on facts. This is a time of allowing our intellect versus our emotions to lead when providing counsel.

Platanus orientalis, commonly known as the oriental/eastern plane was cherished by the greatest minds of ancient Greece. Homer, Hippocrates, Socrates and Plato all sought the shade and counsel of plane trees that were venerated as sacred and divine. In their presence one could explore matters of the soul, love and truth. Platanus is derived from the Greek word platys, meaning wide or broad, describing the planes wide leaves and broad canopy. In Plato’s Phaedrus, he chronicled a discourse between Socrates and Phaedrus where Phaedrus swears a solemn oath in the presence of a plane tree, as a god. In Plato’s Timaeus, Plato portrays humans as heavenly plants. Planes trees were planted throughout Plato’s Academy in Athens, Greece – as trees of higher truth and integrity.


Around 486 BCE King Xerxes of Persia was captivated by a plane tree on his quest to conquer Greece. This distraction cost him the war, which allowed the Athenian Empire to flourish. Beloved planes, known as chinar or cenar were planted in Persian gardens, shrines and holy places. The Kashmiri name for chinar is booyni; the sacred tree of the goddess Bhavani, “giver of life”.

Platanus is an ancient genus of trees native to the Northern Hemisphere, fossil records date them back 115 million years. Plane trees can reach heights of 98-164 feet and live to be 2000 years old. As they age, they often become hollow thus creating space for other life to grow.

Platanus occidentalis, American sycamore or buttonwood is native to eastern North America. Platanus racemosa, western sycamore, is native to California.

London Plane, Platanus acerifolia, is a hybrid of Platanus orientalis and Platanus occidentalis.

All plane trees feature distinctive bark that sheds in patches. The highly mottled bark of London planes inspired the use of camouflage on clothing. Its ball-shaped seed pods and large canopy were inaccurately associated with the Egyptian sycomore fig, Ficus sycomorus, which is why many planes trees are known as “sycamores”. Because of this association, and that its lobed leaves resemble maple leaves, the “type species” in the maple genus was named Acer pseudoplatanus “false plane” or sycamore maple.

The beloved plane, which inspired some of the greatest minds on earth asks us to seek the deeper meaning of life to find our hidden truth.

Message: If plane has appeared in our life we are being asked to provide an objective point of view to those in need of advice or help. This is a tree of diplomacy and education that guides us to seek truth based on fact and logic. The appearance of plane tree could also indicate a time to pursue higher education or to apply our knowledge in a new way. Now is a time to engage in intellectually stimulating conversations that expand our worldview. Plane may be encouraging us to seek counsel if we are struggling with a decision.

Challenge: Not feeling intellectually stimulated or shutting ourselves off from the world.

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Tree Spirit Tarot – Return to the Garden of our Soul

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