My mother’s best friend passed away over the weekend and they had one of those incredible relationships you rarely hear about.
They talked every day, mostly on the phone, but also saw each other often. I realized it would be a lovely tribute to my dear mother’s beloved friend to plant a flowering tree she can see to remind her of the gifts of that special bond. I have planted trees for people who passed and confess I even planted one for Michael Jackson which I can see right now out of the window by my writing desk. Michael’s tree is showy and is exploding in bountiful, beautiful purple flowers.
In much the same way that animals, stones, and stars were totemic to early peoples, so were trees. Greco-Roman spirituality had sacred groves, as did the Aborigines in Australia, Hindus in India, Germanic tribes, and the Celts of Europe. To the Celtic Druids, the oak was the major sacred totem tree. Pliny the Elder pointed out that groves of trees were the first temples.
A wonderful way to celebrate our planet, our tribe and engender the ideals of preservation and ecological sanctity of our precious resources is to return to the sacred grove. Essential elements necessary for the ritual are Tibetan Prayer Flags or colored ribbons and colored markers.
Gather your friends and go to a mutually agreed-upon home, park, farm, or forest. Find the largest oak or largest tree with low-hanging branches and circle around it, holding hands while chanting:
We are the wisdom of the stars.
The beauty of this green Gaia.
To the planet that gives us life, we return the gift.
We are one
We are the stars and the stones and the sea.
We are one.
By casting the circle with voice and action, you create a boundary within which magic can take place. One by one, each member of the circle should speak a wish for universal healing, write the wish on a ribbon, and tie the ribbon on the tree. Each flutter of the breeze will speak of your hope and good wishes for our planet. If you are lucky enough to be on the property of a member of your circle, ask if you can leave the ribbons there as the mark of the sacred grove. If you are lucky enough to have gathered at someone’s home or farm and can plant a tree, do plant one and name it and care for it. I am excited to surprise my mother with her tree dedicated to the life and memory of her devoted friend, Marylyn,