Below is the audio version of this blog AND a meditation. For quotes from members and pics, see beneath afterwards.
Wassail, #wassail, a wassailing we will go !
Cold, bitter, ice, snow, scouring winds and the bare bones of the earth and trees are exposed. The leaves have all gone, branches stretched out across the sky while their roots dig deeper.
"I really don't know why I love trees maybe the many shapes and colours and they move differently in the wind and many have edible fruits and nuts." AST member Julia Orr
It’s no coincidence so many #ancient #festivals take place deep in winter. The ancients knew a thing or two about the #cycleoflife and our place within it. In the cold and dark when it is easy to feel depressed, introverted and withdrawn, they conjured up fire and fed the #earth, the trees and each other.
#Trees of course know instinctively how to feed and care for themselves … we humans however have a great tendency for forgetting. So, what can trees teach at this often dark and challenging time of year.
They learn to slow down and tend to themselves so that come Spring they will be an embodied cloud of ecstatic bloom that by Autumn will be bough laden with fruit.
An #appletree can’t produce a good harvest unless it goes through a deep dormancy period. There is no summer fruit without winters’ cold.
"I love trees because i breathe and they give inspiration." Simon Cowan
We go within, we dream, we close the doors to others demands like the tree going within for winter. Our heart still beats. Somewhere in a place without words we live like trees. Like trees we grow into different shapes our dreams and stories branching out with twigs holding buds of potential for spring. How is it that a small bare twig can later bear fruit?
What sweet flowering miracle is this that somehow under our bark where no one sees we have such beauty enfolded to ourselves?
My granny had an apple tree in her garden. Old it was, and gnarled and twisting and it scooped me up on the swing sending me heavenwards up into its blossoms. Later it would gift its sweet pie treasure from the oven, golden topped and crisp crusted. The knife would rest a second upon the pastry top before cutting through and sinking down to the bottom of the enamel tin dish. Big chunky apples turned to sweet sauced pieces of deliciousness.
In winter that old tree sat motionless in the garden. Yet come #January the little birds would hop about in its branches and start singing.
"I have grown up with them - a father who loved planting them and a son who continues the tradition." Kay Ross
My grandmother Violet has been long dead these past thirty years, buried in Swettenham Village, Cheshire. #Swettenham is Saxon for Sweet Home. Yet she lives on in my heart and the old tree, now without its’ swing, still stands bearing fruit each year.
Wassail means #goodhealth. It is an ancient custom of blessing trees and driving out demons. The smoke from the fires lit would drive out pests from the fruit trees. The people would drink to the good health of each other and for a tree laden fruitful bounty.
Oh when will this #Winter end that we might blossom and bear fruit?
This might seem to be the question.…but it isn’t.
Oh Winter what is it that you feed us that we might grow?
Inside of each of us a secret place exists that even when we lose our leaves leaving only bare branches, still cannot be seen. As the cold and dark wraps around us like the storytellers’ cloak, inside we make fruit. Oh, it might not be seen, maybe not even buds on the tips of twigs, but somewhere, somewhere ….
Now … are you ready to go outside?
I publish a #forestbathing #treeteaching with #meditation every Tuesday. I call them 'MediTreetions". (If you have seen the rest of this website you will have noticed my weakness for puns). The mediation is available on the audio above. In the newsletter each week an archetype is also explored to go with the meditation and an illustration too along with the usual lovely pics, quotes and more. It is FREE to join us here at #AncientandSacredTrees!
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Blessings from Amanda Group Founder. x
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As the founder of Ancient and Sacred Trees, MA Archaeology student, land/forest guide & healer, I love Mother Nature, history and the healing power of Mother Nature.
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I live with a disability and I'm passionate about enabling people to 'Live With Art And Soul' and connect with trees and nature.
I'm the founder of Ancient and Sacred Trees which is entirely unpaid volunteer run. I'm an MA Archaeology student, artist, teacher, healer and land guide. I love trees, history and the healing power of Mother Nature and sacred connection.