The Personhood of Trees

Here’s a great post on the sacredness of trees with some great pictures also. Enjoy!

animist jottings

Sacred Trees

The Tree of Life is, of course, a fairly ubiquitous symbol.  Anne Baring and Jules Cashford describe it as a primary image of the goddess, in whose immanent presence all opposites are reconciled.  ‘Growing on the surface of the earth, with roots below and branches above, the tree was the great pillar that united earth with heaven and the underworld, through which the energies of the cosmos poured continually into earthly creation’.  The serpent was the guardian of the tree, and of the life force in its rising and falling sap, and thus consort of the goddess.(1)

In Celtic lore the first woman was said to have been a Rowan and the first man an alder.  Single trees were the locus of shamanistic activities across Northern Europe.  For both the ancient Greeks and the Celts each deity had their own tree.  The Oak was sacred to the sky…

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