I Talk to the Trees
by a passage from Gerry Spence's book:
"From Freedom to Slavery".
"From Freedom to Slavery".
By George Knowles
strikes an unholy bargain at birth. The
contract reads: “Give me life and I will agree to death.”
We awaken in life to find ourselves trapped on a boat floating down an
uncharted river with a horrible waterfall at its end.
We possess no map to tell us where we shall face the falls, but we know
the falls are there. We know no one
ever survives the trip and we are afraid, yet we cannot get off the river.
We can only moment-by-moment attempt to avoid its rapids,
its hazardous back currents. Despite
the exquisite beauty of the river and its placid bends, often we fail to enjoy
the trip for we know that just ahead, perhaps around the next bend, we shall
face the falls, those horrible falls.
lived alone for most parts of my life and have often felt lonely, even though a
host of living things surround me. My
loneliness as always is born of my separation from myself, and therefore my
separation from all other living things as well. I remember when the summer is gone, when the robins had gone,
and when the shy slate-colored finches had gathered and gone.
When the blue harebells have dried and twisted toward the earth, and when
the parachute seeds of the dandelions in the meadows have long since blown away,
and their stems stand straight and stiff, the leaves of the elk thistle are like
curled brown memories. This is when I feel the sharp teeth of loneliness gnawing at
my heart, and I try to comfort myself with reason, but reason is not too often
We are all of us alone, I reasoned. Alone we struggled from the womb, and alone we float down the inescapable river of life. Alone we face the falls, those horrible falls, where alone we shall wheeze out our last mortal gasp. I looked out the window just then at a tree alone in the garden, and something compelled me to walk out to it. Suddenly I wanted to talk to a tree.
To talk to a tree is strange, is it not? Yet no one thinks it odd for man to speak to something he cannot see or touch, something he calls “God”. No one thinks it bizarre that we listen too and are impelled into strange actions, like buying soft drinks because of an image on TV, something we cannot touch. Yet if we were to shake hands with a tree, something real with its roots in the ground, something that lives, grows and rustles in the wind, something in which living birds nest and hatch their young. If we were to touch a tree and to speak to it, we might be considered very peculiar indeed. The tyranny of viewpoint, most often not our own, constricts us as surely as a horse's hobbles.
Indians thought it ordinary to communicate with animals, plants and trees.
Walking Buffalo of the Stony Indians Tribe in Canada said, “Did you
know that trees talk? They talk to
each other and they'll talk to you if you listen.
I have learned a lot from trees, something about the weather, something
about animals, and something about the Great Spirit.”
that my neighbours would have thought me quite daft had they seen me talking to
this tree. But I was alone, and
alone one has the right by that reason to do as one pleases. Alone one is free, or ought to be, and so I thought I shall
see how it is to speak to a tree. I
looked around first just to make sure none of my neighbours where around, but no
one was watching and no one would hear me.
Yet still I had a difficult time bringing myself to do this simple, harmless
We are as free as the barriers we have constructed around our minds permit us to be. Indeed, as we perceive it, insanity may be simply the elimination of all of the mind’s barriers. We know that trees do not talk, but how do we know? I might conclude that my neighbours also do not talk. I have never heard them speak, but that is because I have never spoken to them.
If I was
to judge the ability of the human race to communicate based on my experience with
my neighbours, I should likely conclude that the species is mute.
In the same way, since I have never spoken to a tree, how could I
possibly expect a tree to speak to me? Still,
this was indeed strange behavior, this talking to trees, and I decided I would
not mention it to my friends and family who already thought me strange enough.
around once more to make sure that no one was watching.
Then suddenly I reached out and grasped the lowest limb of the tree, like
one shaking hand’s. Then speaking out loud I said, “Tree, I just dropped over to say
It was easy. There was no
parting of the clouds, and no voice descended upon me saying, “Now you have
done it! I have patiently
endured your faithless pronouncements against me and against my faithful, but
talking to trees - this is finally too much!”
I said, “I've seen you almost every day outside my window, and have often
admired you, but for some reason I've never stopped over. People are like that, you know.”
The tree said nothing back, but I had a sense that somehow my words were
being soaked up and listened too. I've
been with people many times and said things that never were soaked up, things
that were important to me, but when I offered them to others, my opinions just sort of lay
there in a puddle ignored.
lucky to have your friends with you all the time, and
you’re kids and your family,” I said to the tree, “you
have your roots all tangled up together and your capillaries all entwined,
you’re cheek to cheek with those who are closest to you all summer long.
And when the wind blows, your leaves caress each other.
Must be quite something to have ten thousand leaves to feel with.”
I looked up just then but the tree's leaves had already fallen. After a minute I just came out with it, “I felt lonely today, that's why I'm out here speaking to you,” I said, and tears came to my eyes. I didn't feel ashamed crying in front of a tree, although I have always felt shame in crying in front of people. “Thanks for listening to me,” I said, “That's what friends are for” and gave the tree a loving pat. But the tree didn't answer.
don't think people understand me,” I said.
Still the tree didn't answer. But
in the utter silence of the garden I heard a clear response.
Each of us, just like the tree and I, must find our own answers, that is freedom. A
tree's answers would not do for me, for it moves with the wind and with the
seasons. Its feet are in the soil
and it’s part of the earth. Its
wisdom is, perhaps, too great to be imparted to the likes of me. Yet somehow I felt very wise after having listened to the
“Thank you tree” I said, “it helps a lot to have a true friend to talk to.”
by a passage from Gerry Spence's book:
Freedom to Slavery”.
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
Mythology) / Esbats &
Full Moons / Links
to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft
Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
Sacred Space / Pentagram
- Pentacle / Marks
of a Witch / The Witches
Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders and Elders)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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