Kauri – Courage
Genus: Agathis – Family: Araucariaceae
The ancient spirit of the kauri encourages us to take action and move forward with any plans or adventures we may be contemplating. This is a time of creative energy and motivation that will help us shift the direction of our lives by opening new opportunities for growth.
Kauri is the Maori name for Agathis australis, trees that are native to New Zealand. A giant kauri tree called Tane Mahuta, or “Lord of the Forest” is estimated to be between 1,250 to 2,500 years old. In the Maori creation myth, Tane Mahuta is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuka the earth mother who embraced each other so tightly that their children struggled to grow. Eventually Tane summoned his inner strength and separated his father from his mother to create enough space for the light to shine in. He held this space open until his mother was clothed in flora and fauna. The birds and animals became his children. This story of the kauri’s spirit exemplifies the importance of creating space for life to grow.
Kauri is an ancient species that has in part survived by creating the personal space it needs to grow. Kauri trees produce a protective layer around their base by continually shedding its branches and flaking bark, which can be 4-5 feet deep. This prevents vines and parasitic plants from growing around it and choking it out.
The kauri’s ancestors lived during the Jurassic period between 190 to 135 million years ago. Agathis is a genus of 22 coniferous evergreen trees that were native throughout the world, but are now limited to a small area in the Southern Hemisphere. Kauri are considered to be one of the oldest and largest trees in the world.
Since Kauri trees could live to exceed 1000 years old, their timber was popular for construction and shipbuilding. At maturity, a kauri can be 164 feet tall with a girth that rivals giant sequoias. It has a large and imposing crown, which is why it is the Lord of the Forest.
Heavy logging of kauri began around 1820. Today only 4% of uncut forests remains. Today the largest virgin forest is in the Waipoua Forest of Northland, New Zealand. This protected sanctuary is one of the most ancient forests in the world.
Message: The kauri spirit reminds us that it takes courage and action to let go in order to create the personal space we need to grow. Personal space is actually hardwired into our DNA as an instinctual survival mechanism. Some call it our second skin. This sense of space is actually our energetic anatomy that controls our survival instincts. To survive we must release what holds us and we define our boundaries and trust our instincts. Life often asks us to compromise but some things are non-negotiable, it is important that we stay true to our core. From this place of clarity, we can take the necessary action needed to create a healthy environment for growth.
Challenge: Clinging to unhealthy habits, situations or thoughts. Creating an unhealthy environment for ourselves and those around us. Not setting clear boundaries that support us. Not letting go of what is holding us or clearing the space we need to grow.
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