The tree in this article is special because it came as a seedling from Westonbirt Park the #NationalArboretum in the county of Gloucestershire. The mother tree is reported to have come from the Greek island of Cos. It was supposed to have been a seedling from the great #PlaneTree that #Hippocrates sat under.
This is one of the leaves from it. In America it is known as a Sycamore. This particular tree grows in a lovely arboretum near me in the county of Cheshire. It is in a village called Swettenham which means ‘Sweet Home’ in Saxon. I have several generations of my family buried there. You could say I’m a Cheshire native born and bred. The family name is Viking originally so sometime in the distant past we sailed the sea looking for a Sweet Home to call our own.
I’ve had a couple of friends recently who have been quite poorly so I thought it would be nice to send them leaves from this special tree. So, I went to visit it, said hello and got the leaves I needed. I also got a fallen twig too that is now sitting in my house.
It made me wonder if the #RodofAsclepius was made from a Plane Tree. In Greek mythology, the plane is a symbol of regeneration. The bark regenerates, by flakes, as the skin of the snake. So I rather think it was. The Rod of Asclepius takes its name from the Greek god #Asclepius, a deity associated with #healing and medicinal arts in Greek mythology. It is often confused with the #caduceus has two snakes twisting up its length while the rod has one snake twisting up its length.
The original #HippocraticOath began with the invocation "I swear by Apollo the Physician and by Asclepius and by Hygieia and Panacea and by all the gods ..."
Later I got out my spindle and wove some red thread. I weave it out of pure wool and it is woven with my prayers and #blessings. To me it feels like a simple yet fulfilling thing to do. The red symbolises life and the thread in this case a weaving of friendship and good wishes. I like to tie this biodegradable thread to offerings I make to give thanks. It is just a small simple way to show friends I care.
Platanus is derived from the Greek word platys, meaning wide or broad, describing the planes wide leaves and broad canopy. The plane tree has inspired some of the greatest minds on earth to seek the deeper meaning of life, beauty and truth. The stories and people attached to this tree are many. Below is a video I made of the plane tree at Lovell Arboretum.
It is said by some that ‘White Man’ has no ‘medicine’ but I disagree. Everyone has #medicine, it’s just that many have forgotten. Our histories have become about possession and dispossession instead of about community and connection with the land. Now we have this situation where our fellow beings are in free fall because we don’t respect the earth.
This is what we need to do in our communities, gather the pieces of our old stories and wisdoms back together and renew our connections. I think that there are many people who need to do that with themselves too. Anyone who knows anything has sat under a #tree. (We will explore this further in future articles.)
Below is an image of the original Hippocratic Tree in Cos.
Buddha sat under a tree. Hippocrates sat under a tree. These are wonderful stories. There are some good stories out in the world, some call them fairy tales. Some of them date back 5,000 years. If we are going to have stories we would do well to listen to the old ones rather than inventing these new ones about politics and war. (This is something I will be developing on this site with a compendium of stories, poetry and quotes.)
Here is another image of the original tree. Plane trees hollow out eventually and can sometimes live up to 2,000 years old.
If folks want to know something all they have to do is go sit with a tree like Hippocrates did. The wonderful thing about plane trees of course is that they can be found in cities around the world as well as out in the country meaning that folks can connect with them even in the middle of a busy built up area. The London Plane is popular in this setting as it as it is able to resists pollution so well and of course transforms this pollution into fresh air. It is good that even in the cities we can connect to the healing power of this wonderful tree.
Hippocrates family tree I find somewhat confusing but it is said he descended somewhere down the line from #Apollo amongst others. I think that Hippocrates witnessed the tree and the tree witnessed Hippocrates and the world witnessed them both.
In #AncientandSacredTrees the emphasis is on our personal connections with trees and our sense of the #sacred. This sense is personal to each of us but brings much comfort and healing to many. Trees are gateways to so many things. In particular I see them as guardians of the land. I think if people were to feel the pulse of the land once more then they would have an acute sense of knowingness. Of knowing Where they are and of knowing Who they are.
Land is Medicine. Trees help us to connect with nature and the land. Trees are medicine and with the rise of #forestbathing and #greenprescribing they are finally being recognised by the medical establishment as the healers they are.
I like the story of Hippocrates, it has gods, a tree and a human all mixed up and somehow indivisible...
I like that very much.
I hope you enjoyed meeting the grandchild of Hippocrates Plane Tree. If you did its FREE to join us here at Ancient and Sacred Trees! Do you have a favourite plane tree or a particular tree you find healing for you?
Blessings from Amanda Claire
PS I am developing 'Tree Tours' on this site so folks who can't get outside perhaps because they are ill, disabled, stuck in an office, etc can connect with nature. Even just a picture has a proven effect on our well being. Tree tours is full of short films by AST members. I'm also going to be doing a few films of my own and soon our You Tube channel will be up and running as well :-)