Blurb picked up from "Aromatherapy for mind and body" by Carol and David Schiller, Sterling Publishing In New York 1996
In 1982, biologists Dr. Gordom Orians and David Phoaes conducted a research project for the University of Washington. They deliberately placed caterpillars and web worms on willow and alder trees to determine how the trees would respond to these predators. Within hours of the infestation, the chemical composition of the leaves began to change. Chemicals known as terpenes and tannins were produced and the protein content became altered. This caused the leaves to become indigestible. The insects starved and began to die. However the most remarkable discovery was that nearby trees which were not being attacked by the insects began to produce the same defenses even though the trees were at a distance from one another and there wasn't any physical contact between their root systems or branches. The scientists concluded that the infested trees communicated with he other trees by releasing airborne chemicals known as aroma molecules.
Anonymous English poet writes:
Beechwood fires are bright and clear if the logs are kept a year Chestnut only good they say, if for long 'tis laid away But ash new or ash old is fit for queen with crown of gold.
Birch and fir logs burn too fast blaze up bright and do not last it is by the Irish said Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread Elm wood burns like churchyard mold E'en the very flames are cold but ash green or ash brown if fit for queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke fills your eyes and makes you choke applewood will scent your room with incense like perfume oaken logs if dry and old deep away the winters cold but ash wt or ash dry a king shall warm his slippers by
Poem found in an abandoned house, anonymous author:
oak logs will warm you well, that are old and dry logs of pine will sweetly smell but the sparks will fly.
Birch logs will burn too fast Chestnut scarce at all Hawthorn logs are good to last cut them in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax you may burn them green Elm logs like to smoldering flax no flame to be seen
Beech logs for wintertime yew logs as well green elder logs it is a crime for any person to sell
Pear logs and apple logs they will scent your room cherry logs across the dogs smell like flower of broom
ash logs smoote and grey burn them green or old buy up all that come your way worth their weight in gold.
Trees are social within the natural environment they grow in woods with a wide variety of species going to make the whole. Dependent on elements of air, water, fire, earth for survival. Trees each aim to achieve greatest height. So it may get more light. tree's growth depends on strengthening of its trunk to provide support and anchoring of its rots firmly in the soil. To be able to grow or progress we require firm foundations like the roots of the tree and strength from experience like the trunk if our aspirations are to reach the light like the leaves.
STORY OF THE SACRED TREE (Judie Bopp, Micheal Bopp, Lee Brown, Phil Lane, four worlds development project, Alberta, Canada 1984)
The sacred tree represents Life cycles of time, the earth, the universe. Meanings of the tree reflect teachings of the wheel. The centre of this wheel is the symbolic centre of creation and of the tribe.
Song- sung on behalf of Sacred tree chosen for sundance
I am standing in a sacred way at the earth's center beheld by the people seeing the tribe gathered around me
Lame deer - seeker of visions by John Fire, Lamedeer and Richard Eros, Simon and Shuster, New York 1972
For all the people the Creator has planted a Sacred tree under which they gather, there find healing , power wisdom and security. Roots: spread deep into the body of Mother Earth Branches: reach upward like hands praying to Father sky Fruits: good things the Creator has given to the people. Teachings that show the path to love, compassion, generosity, patience, wisdom, justice, courage, respect, humility and many more.
The ancient ones taught that the life of the tree is the life of the people. If the people wander too far from the protective shadow they forget to seek nourishment of its fruit or if they should turn against the tree and attempt to destroy it , great sorrow will fall upon the people. Many will become sick at heart, lose their power cease to dream dreams and see visions begin to quarrel among themselves over worthless trifles, unable to tell the truth and to deal with each other honestly. Forget how to survive in our own land, lives will become filled with anger and gloom. Little buy little they will poison themselves and all they touch. It was foretold that these things would come to pass but that the tree would never die. As long as the tree lives the people lives. It was foretold that the day would come when the people would awaken as if from a long drugged sleep; that they would begin timidly at first but then with great urgency to search again for the Sacred Tree.
Knowledge of its whereabouts and of the fruits that adorn its branches have always been carefully guarded and preserved with in the minds and hearts of our wise elders and leaders. These humble loving and dedicated souls will guide anyone who is honestly sincerely seeking along the path leading to the protecting shadow of the sacred tree.
4 great meanings of the Sacred Tree. Protection, nourishment, growth, wholeness These categories are movements in the cycle of human development from birth toward our unity with the wholeness of creation.
Shade from sun, source of material for homes, ceremonial lodges, physical and spiritual protection, fire wood, bark represents protection from outside world, material, for kayaks and canoes, gathering place and central pole of unity for people
Symbolically; gathering place for different tribes and people of the world. place of protection in the world, place of peace and contemplation centering. Womb of protection which gives birth to values and potentialities of unique people, the beginning of our wholeness emergence of the seed of our potentialities,
Nourishment we need to live and grow represented by the fruit of the tree. On one lever the fruit of the sacred tree represents the nourishment a mother gives to her children and all the care children should receive as they are growing up. Deeper meaning is that the fruit is the nurturing human beings receive through interaction with the human physical and spiritual environment. 'these environment are often symbolically represented by the mother. Hence interactions with the tree and eating the fruit of the tree symbolically represent our interaction with all the aspects of life that nourish and sustain our growth and development. Leaves represent people fall to the earth and provide nourishment for the continued health and growth and the future flowering of the sacred tree. Symbolically this represents the passing of the generations and the spiritual teachings they leave behind for the health and growth for those that dome after them. This symbolic meaning of the tree emphasizes the necessity of using the accumulated wisdom of the past to nourish the present and to plan for the future. This wisdom arises from the hard won experience of countless generation and is taught through the songs, dances stories prayers and ceremonies of the people. Thus this wisdom provides nourishment for the development of each generations potentiality.
Sacrfive symbol leaf sacrifice themselves for the future of the sacred tree like the ceremonial sacrifices made on behalf of the life of the tribe and the health of the community This teaching reflects the belief that peoples growth during their life is equal to their service and sacrifice to others. Giving sacrifice not only provide positive service for community also create further growth in individuals during his existence in creation.
symbolizes importance of pursing life experiences which provide positive growth and development. Tree grows from its central core outward and up. This inner growth symbolizes the need of all humans to have for an inner life., We grown in the qualities of the 4 directions. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually as a result of inner reflection and change. Changes in a human often occurs internally and are then manifested in the personality of the individual. These changes are often hidden from view while they are occurring just as the inner growth of the sacred tree is hidden. However we can see the results of this inner growth in the exterior of the tree. thus our outer life can be understood as a reflection of the development of our inner being. By deepening and developing the qualities of the 4 directions within ourselves we grow to reflect these spiritual qualities in our daily lives. This is one of the primary spiritual teachings of the medicine wheel represented symbolically in the sacred tree. Root/limbs- grow toward 4 directions. This also represents growth in the spiritual qualities and teachings of the medicine wheel. The growth of these roots and limbs can also be seen as a representation of these qualities reflected in our life's work. Sacred tree teaches us the importance of having great respect for our inner spiritual growth as human beings. the inner growth of the sacred tree sends forth its roots and limbs as if in prayer to the 4 directions. Our own inner growth is manifested in our daily life and affects our relationship tot he 4 directions. Symbolically this represents the 4 dimensions of learning and the development of the 4 aspects of human nature represented on the medicine wheel. Another sense the growth of the tree represents cycles of time and of life. The changes in the sacred tree during the changing seasons of the year represent the many changes in our life as we grow and develop in our relationship to creating a life long process that reaches beyond life. Rooted in mother earth but teaches up to limitless universe . symbolic growth developed through struggle/self determination is ever rewarded by development of many new wonderful gifts for ourselves our community.
The unity and centering of the qualities of the 4 directions in the human being. This meaning is reflected in the words of Lamedeer about the sacred tree chosen for the sundance pole. Represents the great spirit as the center pole of creation, a center for balancing and understanding ourselves as people. The teachings of the sacred tree provide a foundation for organizing our values and a safe path for developing and protecting the wholeness of our being. This balance and understanding is based on the unity of the elements of creation brought to life in the tree. This unity is achieved in ourselves by understanding and balancing the opposite yet related qualities of life and in our process of growth as human beings. From one point of view the unseen roots in mother earth represent the invisible aspects of our being and the part of the sacred tree above ground represents those aspects that are visible. When we understand and balance these parts of our self the tree of our being will grow rich with abundant fruit that contains the seeds of yet further growth development and wholeness. We begin our lives with wholeness but we are experiences as individuals, in our families, tribes and from society that sometimes shatter And fragment this wholeness. If we have been hurt this wholeness can be restored and its development enhanced through the natural healing processes and spiritual lessons contained within the teachings of the sacred tree.
Wholeness* all things are interrelated. Everything in the universe is apart of a single whole. Everything is connected in some way to everything else. IT is therefore possible to understand something only if we can understand how it is connected to everything else.
Change* all creation is in a state of constant change. Nothing stays the same expect the presence of cycle upon cycle of change. One season falls upon the other. Human beings are born live their lives die and enter the spirit world. All things change. There are 2 kinds of change. The coming together of things ( development) and the coming apart of things ( disintegration). Both of these kinds of change are necessary and are always connected to each other. Changes occur in cycles or patterns. They are not random or accidental. Sometimes it is difficult to see how a particular change is connected to every thing else. This usually means that our stand point ) the situation from which we are viewing the change) is limiting our ability to see clearly.
The seen and the unseen* physical world is real, spirit world is real too are aspects of one reality. Separate laws which govern each of them. violation of spirit laws can affect physical world vice versa. a balanced life is one that honours the slaws of both these dimensions of reality. Human beings are spiritual as well as physical. Human beings must be active participants in the unfolding of their own potentialities. doorway through which all must pass if they wish to become more or different that they are now is the will (violtion) A person must decide to take the journey. The path has infinite patience. It will always be there for those who decide to travel it. Anyone who sets out ( i.e. makes a commitment and then acts on that commitment) on a journey of self development will be aided. There will be guides and teachers who will appear and spiritual protectors to watch over the traveler. No test will be given that the traveler does not already have the strength to meet. the only source of failure on a journey will be the travelers own failure to follow the teachings of the sacred tree. human beings can always acquire new gifts but they must struggle to do so. Timid may become courageous, way may become bold and strong, insensitive learn to care for the feelings of others. 4 dimensions of "true learning". These 4 aspects of every persons nature are reflected in the 4 cardinal points of the medicine wheel. These 4 aspects of our being are developed through the use of our volition. It cannot be said that a person has totally learned in a whole and balanced manner unless all 4 dimensions of her being have been in the process. Human beings must be active participants in the unfoldings of their own potentialities.
Spiritual dimension of human development may be understood in terms of 4 related capacities.
1) capacity to have and to respond to realities that exist in a non-material way such as dreams, visions ideals spiritual teachings ,goals and theories.
2) capacity to accept those realties as a reflection ( in the form of symbolic representation) of unknown or unrealized potential to do or be something more or different then we know,
3) capacity to express these non material realties using symbols such as speech art or math
4) capacity to use this symbolic expression to guide future action directed toward making what was only seen as a possibility into a living reality.
THE RIDDLE OF THE TREE IN MAN (David Appelbaum, parabola fall 1989, vol.XIV number 3)
My many fingers stretch to all direction your eye can see, but I point at only one thing. Who am I? (Algonquin)
What is a tree? Today we tend to think of it's beauty, or ecological value. In some tradition the tree play a different role. It is itself a riddle. This evening I saw a maple tree in winter twilight. Its branches rose and spread from a single trunk. From a bough grew lesser limbs which forked into twigs. They opened and moved in every direction. the lace-work against the sky seemed a mirror of the roots hidden own below the frozen earth. The pattern left me with the impression they reached for something. As I pondered the riddle of what they sought opened to include me and how my life also branches and goes in many directions. What one thing does it point at? Who am I, really? The riddle of the tree has an action. It unveils what is concealed by foliage. When something is stripped of everything inessential a hidden aspect appears. It has to do with the way roots dig into the soil the trunk rises vertically above them limbs extend from the body and the crown touches the air. The aspect makes visible the lines of growth and decay. We perceive where the new seasons buds lie dormant how they are nourished and where rot is setting in. This is great knowledge: how to shed our pretensions and return to an unadorned quiescent state; how to ten the ground without disturbing vital inner processes. The intimate relation between the hidden self and the tree appears in Norse myth. There the tree is the stuff of creation. Adam, original man is made from a tree. Snorri STurluson author of the Prose Edda writes:
And they fashioned man and woman from two trees to which they gave spirit and life, wit and feeling and then form, speech hearing and sight clothing and names.
The tree addresses us with a riddle. The riddle takes many turns and goes in many directions. How do these point out the way of returning to our original nature? The facts of a trees life can strike us vividly, when I was young boy the family goat girdled an apple tree on our farm./ the tree died. How could that be when its strong wood was barely scratched? To cut down the tree would have taken a mans labor but to kill it the goats teeth were enough. the life was a delicate thing , quite different from its tough timber. What was that life that was so fragile? It is paradoxical that the trees sensitive tissue lies just beneath its lifeless outer skin the bark. The phloem like veins carry water and minerals up from the roots and food own from the leaves. the phloem is the vessel of the trees life. In our lives too we mistake the appearance for the reality. The person we are concealed behind an outer crust is quite different from the one who speaks in our name. Just inside the experiences circulate which nurture growth and all parts of our ramified nature are fed. Without the protection of a toughened surface that lifeline would be at the mercy of violent external forces. Our confusion is the one that suffered as a boy: not seeing where life flows not separating the outer man from the inner the bark from the phloem.
the trees growth pattern is equally surprising. Examine the rings of a first growth tree. Each year adds a new layer of phloem. some layers are stunted some more ample; the newest is farthest from the living core, the pith, a spongy storehouse of nutrients. The new circle has more circumference more volume yet the bark is still seamless. It too expands to keep the life hidden. the trunk is the mid-point of the riddle the first part grasped,. It is the channel which sustains the trees life. root and leaf maintain each other and the whole. So far tree and riddle appear as a funnel open at both ends. I see locust uprooted by a storm and other facts are revealed. There is the enormous holding power of the root the anchor. then there is also the incredible filigree of the hiar roots. They are not meant to be exposed to air and light and quickly whither ;instead their purpose is to suck water an minerals from the soil in the dark. They too point in many directions. But always they funnel back to the trunk. What is the root? For the tree a peculiar kind of opening to the inside. The root is a mouth that swallows the earth and the raw materials of food. but the root does more than engorge materials: it lets other substances out. compounds which modify and lay claim to the territory are discharged. The root provides a means of exchange between the tree and the planet. The importance of this fact belongs to one of the open ends of the trees riddle.
The idea of exchange is that something is taken and something is given back. Exchange is a precise kind of reciprocal openness/ By its action both sides help maintain the others life. The arrangement is necessary because no life form can survive in isolation. Take the locust tree: the roots took in food;what they gave back is clear by inspecting the upturned trunk. earthworms and grubs cling to the clots of soil. Boring insects honey comb the ground around the larger roots. Tunnels of moles snakes groundhogs raccoons and chipmunks are visible. Moss and lichen grow. The root system transforms the ground making it inhabitable. Life for many new species is made possible. This is the trees end of the bargain. The roots provide another good example of reciprocity. Innumerable small white nodes cluster housing colonies of bacteria that are nourished and supported by the roots. Their unique function is to fix nitrogen in the air;they convert the gaseous element to a water-soluble compound. The nitrate in turn sustains the trees life. Without it the tree could not make food for itself nor would the earth under the tree be habitable. The exchange has even wider effects: many plants have no relation with nitrogen- fixing bacteria yet they require water soluble nitrogen; so their food depends indirectly on the mutual arrangement in the trees roots. As finely interconnected as the root in itself the interdependency of life forms on the root is an even finer interconnection. Our own unseen roots similarly sustain an inner growth. The seek the direction of the new the untried the not yet explored.
THE SECRET OF THE WOOD/Chinese ( retold by dm Dooling in 'a way of working' -New York: parabola books, 1986)
Once, Chuang Tzu tells us, there was a master craftsman who such beautiful things out of wood that the king himself demanded to know the secret of his art. "Your highness," said the carpenter, " there is no secret ; but there is something. this is how I begin: When I am about to make a table, I first collect my energies and bring my mind to absolute quietness. I become oblivious of any reward to be gained or any fame to be acquired. When I am free from the influences of all such outer considerations, I can listen to the inner voice which tells me clearly what I have to do. when my skill is thus concentrated I take up my ax: I make sure that it is perfectly sharp that it fits my hand and swings with my arm. Then I enter into the forest. I look for the right tree: the tree that is waiting to become my table. And when I find it I ask: 'What have I for you and what have you for me?' Then I cut down the tree and set to work. I remember how my masters taught me to bring my skill and my thought into relation with the natural qualities of the wood. " The king said" when the table is finished it has a magical effect upon me; I cannot treat it as I would any other table" "What is the nature of this magic?" " Your majesty." said the carpenter," what you call magic comes only from what I have already told you."
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds. ---Black elk
hast thou not seen how God struck a similitude? a good word is as a good tree-- its roots are firm, and its branches are in heaven; it gives its produce every season by the leave of its Lord So god strikes similitudes for men; happily they will remember. And the likeness of a corrupt word is as a corrupt tree-- uprooted from the earth having no establishment. god confirms those who believe with the firm word, in the present life and in the world to come' and God leads astray the evildoers; and God does what he will. Hast thou not seen those who exchanged the bounty of God with unthankfulness and cause their people to dwell in the abode of ruin?
NYMPH, Greek mythology link, http://www.google.com/earch?q=cach;hsa
"a chattering crow live out nine generation of aged men, but a stag's life is four times a crow's and a raven's life makes three stags old, while the phoenix outlives nine ravens, but we the rich-haired Nymphs, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder, outlive ten phoenixes." \Hesiod, quoted by Plutarch, Obsolescence of Oracle 415c
The Nymphs are female spirits of nature who though living many years are nevertheless bound to die; some talk however as if they were immortal. Different kinds can be distinguished: OREADS (mountain Nymphs), DRYAD ( Nymphs of the oak), HAMADRYAD( tree-nymphs), NAIADS ( water nymphs), MELLIADS (Nymphs of the ash-trees),HELEADS (Nymphs of the Fen), EPIMELIADS (Nymphs, protectors of the sheep), NEREIDS & OCEANIDS ( sea-nymphs).
The nymph could be aggressive in their love as it is proved by the abduction of Hylas or by the killing Hymnus. They had the divine power of changing the shape of things: this same Hylkas was turned into an echo and some women were transformed into Nymphs by the Nymphs themselves. The nymphs were often nurses of the gods.