Trees have stood on earth at least 300 million years before Homo sapiens began to walk. Trees helped mankind create a world unlike anything that ever came before. They stirred the imagination and the soul of mankind to dream and invent. The creative and dynamic relationship between humans and trees sparked an evolutionary pattern that has catapulted our dominance to the point where the scales could now easily tip.
We are standing on a precipice where we must care for the trees if we are to live on.
It is easy to forget the role that trees played in paving the way for humans to move forward as a species. Their history has been basically wiped out because trees decompose overtime. Unlike stone, that can stand the test of time, the stories etched in trees must be accessed by connecting the dots hidden in plain site.
Most of these early stories were passed on in the oral tradition. As languages evolved humans created ways of recording their words. Stories began to be “etched in stone” through the use of pictograms, hieroglyphics and early alphabets on stone pillars.
The Djed Pillar is a symbol of the Tree of Life used in Architecture. It is associated with the Osirian resurrection story. Osiris was seduced by his brother Set (God of Chaos) to lie down in a beautiful wooden chest. Set immediately closed it and threw it into the Nile. It floated down the Nile and across the sea until it was deposited at the foot of a Sycamore, Tamarisk or Acacia tree. As the tree grew, it enclosed Osiris within its trunk. The tree was later cut down and used as a pillar in the palace of the King of Byblos in Syria.
950 BCE King David’s son King Solomon built the first temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Two 27 foot, bronze pillars named Jachin (right pillar/masculine nature) and Boaz (left pillar/feminine nature) stood on both sides of the entrance mirroring each other and creating one main entrance. These pillars were modeled after the Djed pillars and the concept of the Trees of Life and Knowledge.
Trees helped us write the some of the most epic story of our time.
What came first? Time or Trees?
The Earth has two geographic poles: the North Pole and the South Pole. The Earth wobbles on its axis (pole.) Earth also has two magnetic poles: the North Magnetic Pole and the South Magnetic Pole. The precession of the equinoxes is a rotation of approximately 26,000 years called a Platonic Year, during this time the Earth’s Pole Star changes.
Polaris (Stele Polaris – Latin for Pole Star) is our current North Star.
In total we have 6 different stars that take turns being our Pole Star. The next Pole Star will be Gamma Cephei – 3000 AC, Iota Cephei – 5200 AC, Denab – 10,000 AC. The two previous were Thuban – 3000 BCE in the constellation Draco, and Vega – 12,000 BCE in the constellation Lyra.
By observing the shadows cast by the sun on a tree, trees became mankind’s first sundial. By looking up to the stars and searching for a “hitching post” these early astronomers discovered the North Star in the Northern Hemisphere and were able to record the movements of the sun and stars which gave way to the creation of time, calendars, astronomy and math.
Wooden tree poles were originally erected as timekeepers and astronomical markers.
But as wood decayed standing stones and obelisks were erected that still stand today. Eventually trees were replaced megalithic structures that could literally “stand the test of time.”
A solar year (approx 365 days) inspired the definition of a circle as 360 equidistant points of light equally spaced around a center point. That center point was originally a tree or stone pillar. Circles transcend the linear world they contain, creating unity and infinity.
Therefore it was trees that helped inspire and guide man to create time, math and architecture.
“Let us step out of the circle of time and into the circle of love.” – Rumi