Earth Day is here and I urge everyone to do something special to honor the Earth and All Our Relations. No action is too small as everything we do has a cumulative effect. We are now in a window of time that will make the decision of our survival. I do not believe that it’s too late but I know that we have to start now and everyone needs to do their part.
Walk with the Rainbow. Spider
Song of the Sacred Tree
(From Songs of Bleeding)
The Tree of Life stands at the center of our world. It is a huge tree with a trunk many yards across. Her roots extend deep into the Earth, all the way to the Great Mother’s Womb and the offshoots of the great roots intertwine to weave a lattice under the ground upon which all peoples walk. Creatures that live underground make their homes in the corners of the root lattice and are nourished by the connection of the great roots to the Sacred Womb.
The wide trunk of this Tree can cast a shadow over an entire village. Indeed, it would take a large circle of people holding hands to surround her trunk. The Tree of Life has been here since the beginning of the Earth. Her ancient trunk has grown into crevices where children play by day and animals dream at night. All of the distinctive folds and marks upon her giant trunk are a record of the events that have happened on the Earth. This Grandmother of all trees is very special, for she holds within the many layers of her rings all the wisdom given to us by our Ancient Ancestors and all the wisdom gained through the experiences of our grandparents.
Extending upwards, high up for miles into the sky are the great leafy branches of the Tree of Life. It is believed that her branches reach the whole way to the stars, and the Elders tell us that some of our original Ancestors made the long descent down the leafy branches and furrowed trunk to make their homes upon the Earth. Indeed, the tallest of all trees connects the wisdom of the stars to the gifts of the Earth.
The great leafy branches of the Ancient Tree extend for miles, shading and cooling the Earth. Nests of many types of birds, insects and animals populate her abundant branches. For all of the Earth children, the tree flowers, grows fruits, and provides for all of their needs.
People of all Earth clans once gathered every season to form a circle around her giant trunk and dance under her flowering branches because this Tree of Life reflects all life on Earth. She was respected and honored by all of our Ancestors of every ancient tradition. The songs and ceremonies in her honor were to thank her for her many gifts, and to ensure an abundance of life continuing on into the future.
The Ancient Tree is the keeper of energy and the home of the Spirit Ones. The Guardians reside at the depths of the great roots and the tops of her sky branches. From the beginning of the world, shamans have journeyed through the Great Tree to speak with the Guardians, seeking to bring their wisdom and guidance back to the people. This, the greatest of all plants, not only provides our physical needs but also the way to the healing and protection of the Guardian Spirits. She gives us harmony and balance, if we respect her. We all live under the branches of the Tree of Life.
The Grandmothers are the keepers of the Tree. The wise old women tend to pruning her branches when they lose their life energy, and they also take care of the plants and Earth that surround her giant trunk. They plant the sacred foods at her roots and bring offerings of plants and herbs from the first harvest of their gardens to feed her spirit.
The Grandmothers carry the sacred baskets that are filled the wisdom and gifts from the Sacred Tree. They bring these gifts and this knowledge to the community for all the clans to share. And they take back our give-aways to the Tree, so that with our support she can continue to grow strong.
From the beginning of our world, we have lived within the harmony and abundance of the Sacred Tree. The baskets of the Grandmothers were always full. But, somewhere in time, the people began to let other concerns fill their lives. They took the shade and the gifts of the Sacred Tree for granted. Fewer and fewer of the people returned to the Tree each season to dance and sing to her. Finally, they stopped giving away to the Tree as their gratitude was forgotten.
Now, at the beginning of a New World, the Sacred Tree is very sick. The bark is peeling from her once thick and healthy trunk. The fleshy, healing inner bark is beginning to dry up, as nourishment is choked off. The Sacred Tree can no longer give away the medicinal bark to the people. Many of the lattice roots are gone now, as poisons dumped into the water and buried under the ground have choked off their growth and the lives of many of the creatures who once lived within their weaving. As the small outer roots die, part of the land loses support from the Sacred Tree of Life. This land roughly shakes loose as MotherEarth quakes in her grief over the illness of the Tree. MotherEarth knows that the roots are our foundation of truth. She grieves because we are poisoning ourselves and our families. The great roots are still intact and the spirits cry out messages from their depths. But, who hears their call, their urgent request?
The once great branches are thinning and many of them are now leafless. Flowers and fruits are fewer each season. The branches also suffer the effects from toxins, those we have released into the air. Winds that are filled with hate and destructiveness rise up from the place of the people and also contribute to the wilting of the branches and the leaves of the Sacred Tree. As the branches of the Sacred Tree become thin, more sunlight reaches the Earth and her creatures, creating a warmer environment. The atmosphere thins. Nothing can live without the shade of the sacred Tree. Many of the birds, insects and animals that made their nests in her branches are gone and will never return. Many of her beautiful blossoms will never be seen again. But the way is still open to the wisdom of the stars. Will we listen to this wisdom before these branches, too, are gone?
Perhaps the people have forgotten about the Sacred Tree. Perhaps we have forgotten that if the Tree ceases to exist, so do we. Perhaps the few of us who do look upon her wilting branches feel her pain, but do not know how to help her.
The Ancient Grandmothers are still caring for the Tree. They tenderly prune the branches and knead the bare Earth at her roots. The Grandmothers sing to the Tree while they work, and give her healing and love. They help the displaced creatures find new homes, but only sometimes are they able to heal their hurts. Although they have kept the Tree alive until now, the Grandmothers can not bring back her beauty without the help of the people. They patiently wait for their grandchildren to remember.
The baskets of the Grandmothers are empty now. The Sacred Tree has precious little left to give to us. It is now time for all of the people to make give-aways so that the Tree can be helped and grow strong again. It is the responsibility of all of us to care for the tree, to clean up the garbage around her roots, and to feed her to make her strong again. It is our responsibility to change the winds that destroy life by replacing all of our thoughts with those of love and kindness for all life, at all times.
When all of the grandchildren awaken to their connection as a family, the circle of clans will once again come together to sing and dance around the Sacred Tree. When the people remember the source of their gifts, the Grandmothers will once again carry overflowing baskets to the Tree. If all of us do whatever we can to give back to the Sacred Tree of Life and speak to everyone we know to help them also remember, then, as we enter the New World, the Tree will be a pathway for us as it was for our Ancestors. The Tree will allow us passage into another world of great beauty and abundance. If we forget about the Tree and let her die, the way will not be open for us to enter the New World, and we will have denied the very lives of all of our grandchildren.