Guides and allies are revealed to us in different ways and in many forms. Amongst my allies are spirits, ancestors, stones, animals, plants and trees. One of my teachers connected to a mountain for guidance.
I often find guidance in my relationship with trees, which some indigenous folks call the Standing People. I am fortunate to live in an urban area with access to a huge variety of evergreen and deciduous trees in parks, and can always find a tree ally and guide for support when needed. And I have a few trees that I visit regularly.
I have always loved meditating and grounding with trees, a practice that many have done in many ways around the world. Recently I watched the documentary The Babushkas of Chernobyl, and was delighted to see one of these amazing elder women share how she connects energetically with a birch tree for its medicine.
I often work with Oak, which many Northern Hemisphere cultures consider to be a sacred tree. The Druids for instance, include it in their Sacred Three along with Ash and Thorn. Oak is strongly associated with strength, endurance, good fortune and — in spell craft — with protection and healing. Many European countries have adopted Oak as their national tree.
In your locale, or your ancestral cultures, what trees are considered strong or sacred?
Be a Tree: A Meditative Exercise for grounding, healing and meditation
This exercise can support you in relaxing, meditating, connecting with Mama Earth’s grounding energy and Father Sky’s illuminating spiritual energy, receiving the wisdom of the tree, and nourishing your chakras.
I work with Oak, but if Oak doesn’t resonate with you, or is not indigenous to your environment, choose a tree that is strong and sturdy for this exercise.
If you do not have physical access to a living tree, consider connecting to a tree energetically. Tap into your consciousness and deep inner wisdom, and imagine your tree ally revealing itself to you. Take note of how it appears in your mind’s eye: its height, the thickness and colour of its trunk, the texture of its bark, how its branches spread, the shape and colour of its leaves (if present). Are there blossoms or berries or fruit? Can you see its roots and how they spread, perhaps widely or deeply? Can you define the season based on its appearance? Is your tree home to birds or other animals? Is it in community with other trees, perhaps the same species or even other species? What can you notice about the locale? Hold that image of your tree in your mind (perhaps even journal about it, or draw it) so you can easily connect with it in meditations such as this tree meditation exercise. Perhaps this is a sacred space to which you can return for other meditations and journeys.
Begin by looking for a tree ally in a place you are comfortable, and can safely, sit and meditate.
As you walk amongst the trees, follow the energy that is calling to you. Once you have identified your tree, ask it for permission to sit with it and work with it — “May I work with you today?” — and if the answer is “yes”, place a small offering in gratitude. It could be a strand of your hair, a pinch of herbs, some wild flower seed, etc., whatever comes from your heart and will also be safe for the environment. It could also be an energetic offering such as an affirmation or blessings. If the answer is “no”, thank the tree and look for another one, repeating the process until you receive a “yes”.
Now that you have identified your tree and given an offering, take a moment to sit and connect with it. Get comfortable, relax, and breathe deeply. If possible, lean back on its trunk, letting the tree support you. Feel its energy, raising your awareness to its energetic qualities.
Option 1: Mantra Meditation with your tree ally
You could choose to simply sit and meditate with the tree, perhaps using a short mantra as you inhale and exhale: inhale with a short meaningful word (e.g. tree, or ally) and exhale with another word (e.g. wisdom, or heart).
I love using this simple Kundalini mantra, Sat Nam. Sat means truth. Nam means name. Together, Sat Nam essentially means something deeper: “I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”
Continue until the connection feels complete, or until the end of a set time (10 minutes, etc). Thank the tree for its time, connection and support.
Option 2: Self-Guided Meditation with your tree ally
Alternatively, or in addition, you could use this simple guided meditation once you have relaxed and grounded:
As you lean back against the tree, imagine your head and body as the trunk of a magnificent oak, your arms and hands as its branches, your legs and feet as its roots.
Feel your roots connect with the energy of Mama Earth, and your ancestral and/or animal guides, as your energetic roots find their way deep into her energetic core. Raise your awareness to the qualities of that Earth energy, and how it feels as you connect. Keep that in your memory.
Imagine that energy as a golden elixir, rising up from the Earth to nourish and heal you just as the tree is nourished by its sap. Feel that elixir nourish your chakras and your body, from root to crown, extending through to the tips of the branches and leaves of your arms and legs.
Feel your branches connect with the energy of Father Sky, and your spiritual and/or other allies. Raise your awareness to the qualities of that Sky energy, and how it feels as you connect. Keep that in your memory.
Imagine now that energy as a teal or white light. Breathe it in and sense it entering through your crown, coursing through to your root chakra and connecting, mingling, blending, with the energy from Mama Earth.
Lean even more into the tree as it too connects with Earth and Sky. You are one with the tree. You are one with the Sky and Earth.
What does it feel like to be a tree, to connect to the Earth and Sky?
Continue to breathe deeply, in alignment with with the energies of Tree, Earth and Sky.
When your time with the tree feels complete, take a moment to ask the tree if it has any wisdom, any medicine, for you today. Know that the wisdom may come immediately or may come to you at another time.
Finish your meditation, our journey, by giving gratitude to the tree and any other allies who have supported you.
Consider journaling notes and thoughts from your experience, and the wisdom received.