“One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul” – Henry David Thoreau
Welcome to Tree of Life Awakening.
My goal is to create a nurturing, educational and inspirational place for you to land and renew your soul. I believe trees have been silently guiding us on our journey through life from the moment we took our first breath. I also believe that we are all, metaphorically, living Trees of Life who are just beginning to awaken to our true nature.
We are not separate from trees and nature, in fact we are intrinsically interrelated and interdependent. We would not be here today if it were not for trees and their desire to evolve and support us. They are the ones who came before us and created the right environment for us to live on this earth. We have been co-evolving with trees ever since.
My hope is that we awaken from the amnesia of separation and remember that we all belong to one another. By awakening within we also expand our awareness of our enduring and intimate relationship with trees.
“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” – Hermann Hesse
When great apes left the embrace of trees and began walking on earth to explore, trees were there to encourage them just as parents would. As we evolved trees were the ones that nourished us. They challenged us to learn how to receive their gifts of food, wood and fire. The more we learned from them the more we realized they offered the raw materials for tools, shelter, clothing, paper and medicine. Trees even helped us become conscious of life itself.
Trees literally provided the “spark” that ignited our imagination and sense of wonder. They inspired us to create art, music, language, math and time itself. There is no other single species on earth that gives more of themselves unconditionally than trees.
Trees are an archetypal symbol for the human psyche.
During the mid 20th Century, Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung (1875-1961) pioneered the field of behavioral psychology. He studied concepts such as individuation, the conscious and unconscious self, the collective unconscious, as well as the concept and identification of psychological archetypes. Jung felt that the human psyche was, “by nature religious,” and what set man apart from other species was their search for meaning in both life and death. He theorized that the human psyche individuated or separated the self from its soul in search of its unique purpose in life. Yet during this quest for purpose the psyche ultimately longed to reunite with the soul to feel whole. He felt that trauma enhanced this sense of separation. It could also prevent the psyche from rejoining the soul to feel complete.
The word archetype, “original pattern from which copies are made,” actually dates back to Plato. Plato, a Greek philosopher (424–347BC), identified archetypes as ideas in pure mental form that were imprinted into the soul before it was born. They are shared fundamental characteristics or experiences felt among all humans.
Carl Jung, identified mandalas as the archetype of wholeness and trees as the archetype of the human psyche.
Humans started sensing their spiritual nature over 35,000 years ago as they sat around wood fires and looked up at the night sky.
As they looked up though the branches they saw the sun, moon, planets and stars and began to wonder beyond themselves. Trees were seen as bridges between the past, present and future. They provided a way to connect with the spirits of deceased families and friends.
The branches of a tree reach to the heavens, the upper world, the place of our future or super-conscious mind that dreams the world into being.
The trunk of a tree stands in the present or middle world of our conscious mind that makes us aware of our immediate surroundings so we can move forward.
The roots anchor our body in the lower world of earth where we sense the stories held in the subconscious mind of our ancestors that came before us.
The World Tree is also known as the “Axis Mundi.” The Axis Mundi represents a giant tree or pole that runs through the earth’s core. Earth revolves daily on this axis.
The Anima Mundi is the World Soul that is the collective soul of Earth.
There are thousands of stories about trees and the Tree of Life. They are etched in our hearts to remind us of our shared roots. Unfortunately some stories tried to separate us from this sacred knowledge and our intrinsic relationship with trees.
The story of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge resides deep within our cellular memory.
Genesis 3:22 – “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
This story represents our “original wound” of separation that we are now healing. The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge exist as one within us. It is both male and female, dark and light, knowledge and mystery, life and death.
“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” – William Shakespeare
One of the greatest lessons that trees teach us is that of life and death. They show us the great cycle of life through the seasons of the year. They teach us impermanence and the importance of letting go.
They release their leaves in fall (death), draw on their inner resources in winter (rebirth), sprout new life in spring (birth) and spread their branches in summer (life.)
Yet eventually, each and every tree experiences a larger more permanent physical death just as humans do. Once their vital life force leaves they gradually decompose and become one with the earth from which they came, but the spirit of the tree lives on.
This transient physical nature of trees reminds us of our own fragility as humans yet reminds and empowers us to make an impact during this lifetime.
In many ways trees are our ancestors, and their spirits guide us through life and death. The rings of a tree mirror the organizing principal of life. The core of a tree is called the “heartwood,” a reminder to live from our hearts.
Native Americans call them the “standing people.”
Over the course of human existence mankind has created Gods and Goddesses beyond themselves as a way to reflect their own desires and dreams of immortality. These are actually projections of our humanity onto the universe around us. There are over 10,000 names for God. When we begin to see that we are all the names and faces of god, we will begin to heal the stories that separated us and honor the weaving of cultures that created us.
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” ‐ Albert Einstein
Our bodies can be seen as living Trees of Life. Our legs and feet represent the roots, our torso represents the trunk and our arms, neck and head represent the branches.
The Tree of Life is a reflection of ourself and our connection to everything and everyone. By becoming more conscious of trees, we become more conscious of ourself.
I invite you to explore this site and read the many Tree Stories that have shaped our collective memory. Learn a few Tree Facts and enjoy some inspirational quotes.
Thank you for taking the time to open yourself to the wonderful world of trees. Together we can help each other grow in love.
“The Tree of Life lives within each of us, helping us awaken to our true nature. Let us reach out with branches of compassion, connect with each other through our shared roots, and hold space for all to grow and feel loved.” – Laural Virtues Wauters
To learn more visit: www.lauralwauters.com