To behold a Tree...

When out walking in our streets, or in the countryside how many of you take in the splendour of a tree, and really behold that tree? To 'behold' is to see, so how about really seeing..........the amazing root structure holding the tree in place, every crack and shape within the bark, the insects scrambling along the surface of the trunk, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the colours of each leaf as they lie one atop of the other, the vastness of the tree and canopy as it spreads forever upwards and outwards, the playfulness of the birds as they dart in and out of the branches, the way in which the leaves move when the wind blows through. How many of you stop and really 'behold a tree'?

I am constantly stopping and seeing the trees. Working in energy medicine I have that wonderful training that allows me to 'see' more of the Spirit of the tree. The energy of any tree will either welcome you in or tell you stay a safe distance; depending on the site you are visiting the trees and also if you are treating the tree with respect or not!

Trees are like people, some like our company (Oaks, Birch, Beech), others you need to listen to more carefully as they need to get to you know a lot more before they share their energy with you (Sycamore). When visiting a tree I will always ask permission from the Spirit of the Land before walking to any tree.....a simple mark of gratitude for allowing me to be on that land, and be welcomed by all who dwell there. I then ask to enter the energy of the tree I wish to visit......or I should say the tree that draws me in! Trees, like all plant species know what medicine you need and therefore will tug and pull at your energy without you realising...ever wondered why you are always drawn to a particular rose or certain tree or plant - it is the energy of that plant calling you to come and listen to the medicine it has for you. By accepting their invitation and politely asking to be in their presence, we are showered with amazing gifts of healing and wisdom.

Certain trees have had massive influences throughout my life, and their medicine/wisdom coming to me during significant times. I always remember as a child at Primary School we were asked one day to go out and take bark rubbings of the trees in the playground. Lots of unusual trees out there but I was definitely drawn to the Silver Birch. I used to collect the peeled bark every year during Primary School and loved touching and feeling the delicate tissue on the outside. The bark rubbing that day took me ages.....I wanted to really get the impression of the bark; the slight imperfections on the smooth surface. I loved that tree, visiting the tree every day and sitting next to it on a sunny day. Its medicine to a small child was really to take note of nature, to not just 'see' but feel too, and it was a constant companion too.  The tree was cut down in my last year at Primary and I felt devastated. No-one understood the pain I was feeling.

In my later teens I remember a very huge oak tree in South-West Scotland on an estate where I used to help out the local Ranger. I always stopped by this tree every time I worked on the estate, always having my morning tea break with this tree. One morning I started to really 'see' the tree, to look at its bark and notice the long scratches from antlers on one side of the tree, the heavy moss and lichen on the other side, the way in which the roots formed a perfect seat for me to sit comfortably and the noise of the woodpecker above me as I took my break...always in that tree. I later learned that that particular Oak tree was probably 450-500 years old and was the oldest Oak on the estate. It drew me in, its presence, its strength and support was exactly what I needed at a time when I was about to fly the nest (18 years old) and leave the place where I grew up for the busier climes of South-East England.

Roll forward the years and more recently a beautiful Maple tree took me and taught me her wisdom. In a beautiful, secluded woodland in Somerset I first met this Grandmother Maple. Grandmother? Well her boughs reached out to bring me in to her embrace and her energy was very much of an elder giving you that support. I went back several times to visit this tree to really 'see' this tree and learn her wisdom....and then the Grandmother Maple essence was created.

Essences capture the energetic vibration of the plant, tree, place where your intention is set. With the Grandmother Maple she approached me in dreams for 5 consecutive nights so I knew an essence had to be made. The way in which the essence is made is magical.....bringing in the Spirit of the Land, the elementals of the place, the water that is used to co-create the essence, and then there is the energy of the tree itself. Sitting co-creating this essence opened up the world of her medicine at that time.......Her embrace offered safe shelter, warmth, love, a feeling of being protected, cared for.  She showed me my Grandmother in her living room, the fire on, feeling safe and warm....then my Grandmother grew, like a tree filling the house and beyond - showing me the many insects and animals that take safe shelter within her - I was surrounded by so many wonderfully bright insects, and the birds within her branches were singing their hearts out.  I was also shown the Algonquin elders who came to honour the tree and all she gave to them; wisdom and medicine...the connection to them was very strong.  Her bark was peeling, removing toxins within her, and underneath the most beautiful patterns on the bark. All this whilst I sat and listened and beheld the tree.  This tree provided a huge 'Hug' in a Bottle, x.

All trees, if you take time to 'see' them will offer you the chance to really know them. Take time to connect in with the trees, and listen for their medicine they have for you today.

So for those of you who have never truly 'beheld a tree' here are some tips:

  • Connect in with a tree that really draws you in (remember to ask permission from the Spirit of the Land and the tree before working with the tree - respect),

  • Start to observe with the eyes the actual tree - look at the bark, the roots, the ground around the tree, look up into the branches, look at the leaves, leaf shape and how the sunlight shines through the leaves;

  • Start to feel the tree - with eyes closed start to touch the bark of the tree. Feel every crevice every bump on the bark of the tree. Feel where the roots go deep down into the ground, and feel up as high as you can reach. When our main sense, our eyes are closed down, touch becomes very powerful indeed. Start to feel the tree.

  • Next start to smell the tree.....go on sniff the tree! What does it smell of? Walk around the tree and have a good sniff.

  • Next lie down next to the tree and look up into the canopy....what does if feel like to be this tree? Imagine you are at the top of this canopy what does it feel like? Can you feel the roots breathe and move beneath your body?

  • Whilst lying next to the tree your sense of smell may be different. Can you pick up the smell of the tree? Some Pines and Fir trees are very potent after 2-3mins in their presence, something that you don't necessarily pick up straight away.

  • Allow your senses to soak up the essence of the tree....enjoy its medicine, its wisdom.

  • And when you feel its time to come away, always give thanks to the tree.......give the tree a hug and say thank you, x.

  • Give thanks also to the Spirit of the Land before you leave the woods or site of the trees.

Advice from a Tree

Dear Friend,

Stand Tall and Proud

Sink your roots deeply into the Earth

Reflect the light of a greater source

Think long term

Go out on a limb

Remember your place among all living beings

Embrace with joy the changing seasons

For each yields its own abundance

The Energy and Birth of Spring

The Growth and Contentment of Summer

The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall

The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter

Feel the wind and the sun

And delight in their presence

Look up at the moon that shines down upon you

And the mystery of the stars at night.

Seek nourishment from the good things in life

Simple pleasures

Earth, fresh air, light

Be content with your natural beauty

Drink plenty of water

Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes

Be flexible

Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!

Ilan Shamir

Go and make friends with a tree xxx

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Being self-employed has its ups and downs.....I'm my own boss, which I love....I can take time out when I'm not feeling great, which I need......but I do pack in a lot of hours in the evenings and wee