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 came across a magnificent plane tree on his way to Greece. He adorned it with gold bangles and set a guard to watch it for ever after. As a beloved tree, planes also called chinar or cenar were planted in Persian gardens, shrines and holy places. The Kashmiri name for chinar is booyni, they were the sacred tree of the goddess Bhavani, the giver of life.
Platanus, is a genus of trees native to the Northern Hemisphere; all species except for one are deciduous. Planes can reach heights of 98-164 feet and live to be 1000 years old. As they age, plane trees often become hollow thus creating a space for inner reflection. Fossil records date plane trees as far back as 98-113 mya. Platanus occidentalis, commonly called American sycamore or buttonwood is native to southeastern United States while Platanus racemosa, commonly known as western sycamore is native to California. Platanus acerifolia, or London plane, is a hybrid of Platanus orientalis and Platanus occidentals. All species feature lobed leaves that resemble maple trees.
The highly mottled bark of the London plane inspired the German camouflage pattern used to this day so one can hide in plain sight.
The beloved plane tree has inspired some of the greatest minds on earth to seek the deeper meaning of life, beauty and 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.