My first experience with a tree spirit happened on a sunny autumn afternoon in Holzhausen Park, Frankfurt, Germany. I was six years old.
Holzhausen (wooden house) was originally the grand country estate of the Holzhausen family who built it in the 1400s. This wasn’t a manicured park in the classical sense; it was more like a forest garden filled with old oaks, ash, maple, beech and chestnut trees. As I walked among the trees with my younger brother I sensed someone watching me. I looked to my left and saw a woman standing within the trunk of an old tree. In the days and weeks ahead the “tree spirit”, which is what I came to call her, appeared to me several more times. Each time was an entirely different experience, yet I could sense her speaking to my soul. During one of these encounters she revealed my life purpose, “to help people understand each other better.”
Soon after this revelation my father told us we were moving to the United States. Immediately after we settled into our new Midwest home I began searching for the tree spirit, hoping she had followed me across the ocean. I stood before every old tree and opened my heart, praying for her to reveal herself, but she didn’t. Eventually these new American trees became my first American friends. The cedars/arborvitaes were sweet and protective; the weeping willows were mothering, while the oaks, elms and ash felt like grandparents encouraging me to crawl into their embrace.
My parents, who had adopted me as an infant, passed away early in my adult life. Mysteriously a door opened that reunited me with my birth mother Karin. I soon learned the true story of how I came to be in this world and discovered that my birth name was Carmen Sylvia, which meant “guardian tree.”
The morning after 9/11/2001, the tree spirit of my childhood appeared to me once again. I now sensed the urgency to work with her as the Tree of Life. I felt electrified as I imagined untangling the shared roots of world belief to heal the fear and separation that surrounded me. I immersed myself in researching the origins of belief and world religion from 40,000 BCE to present day within each continent.
I was fascinated to learn that all beliefs were originally inspired by mankind’s interpretation of the natural world. This led me into the teachings of the Kabbalah and the Biblical Tree of Life.
Carl Jung saw trees as the archetype of the human psyche as he pioneered how various archetypal stories were held in the collective unconscious. The ancient story of the Tree of Life versus the Tree of Knowledge is the archetype of our internal struggle to “find ourselves”. This process, also called individuation, occurs when the psyche self-creates the illusion of separation from its soul. Eventually the psyche seeks out the eternal wisdom of the soul and begins the journey of reconnection. This desire to feel whole has inspired countless stories that reflect our true nature and our interconnection with tree spirits.
My sense of wonder regarding the origins of stories has driven me to research and dig deeper into the hidden or esoteric meaning found in the roots of language. This desire led me to understand trees in a new and more meaningful way.
In 2007, I left my career to pursue my soul’s calling. I traveled to Frankfurt Germany and reconnected with the ancestral roots of my birth mother and the tree spirit of my child hood. Sadly the tree had been hit by lightening the year before but the other trees welcomed me home in their embrace. I thanked them and the park for all the dreams they inspired and the truth they held for me and my healing journey.
Over the course of the past twelve years I have written three books, each was inspired by my Tree Spirit.
The Guardian Tree – The true story of Carmen Sylvia, is my autobiography. It is divided into 22 chapters based on my personal healing journey.
Mandala Chakra – Awaken the One Within, was inspired by the seven chakras and how we hold mythic maps within us that guide us on our journey of awakening and becoming whole.
Tree Spirit Tarot – Return to the Garden of our Soul, tells the archetypal stories of 78 trees as they relate to the Tarot. Trees are wisdom keepers who hold space on our journey to oneness.
The tree spirit within me honors the tree spirit within you as we walk this journey of awakening and returning together in love.
Namaste (respect) and Munay (love) to all.
Bio: Laural has earned both a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication Arts. Laural is a graduate of the Four Winds Healing the Light Body School of Energy Medicine. She received her certification as a mandala facilitator through Rajita Sivananda (Judith Cornell Ph.D.) Laural is a mesa carrier in the Andean tradition based on the teachings of Adolfo Ttito Condori.
Laural is currently a faculty member at Hawthorn Institute in Williams, OR.
For more information visit: lauralwauters.com