The Tree of Life

needs nourishing

For many the Tree of Life
is always an Evergreen
Yet when I see
almost overnight
the hundreds of buds
on a fruit tree opening
with blossoms so lovely
they take one's breath away,
I rush around,
Grabbing the hand of anyone I can find
Dragging them to the flowering tree
saying "look, look Spring has arrived"
And while dazzled by all its beauty I wonder
"to what imperative 'Now' these buds did answer and open wide"
And sit myself down beneath the Tree
shake it ever so very gentily
and blossoms upon my body do fall.
How surely this Flowering Tree
glorifies the seasonal cycles by which change.
One small prayer have I...
that under such a Tree of Life
I shall dwell for Eternity.

--Carol Proudfoot-Edgar

A chapter on the Tree of life from the book:
Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles and Celebrations
written by Donna Hemes


As is written in the description of the Midwestern Shamanic Gathering on Shamanic Circles website, there was an Axis Mundi at this recent gathering. This was a pole, approximately seven inches in diameter, erected in one end of a large grassy, ceremonial field.

This pole was raised as part of a ceremony invoking the spirits of the land, following dreams by Myron Eschowsky and Don Cochrane, an archeologist who works with the spirits of place.

The participants were invited to tie whatever they saw fit around this Axis Mundi. An altar was set up at the foot of this pole also. There was also a mat at the base of this pole for one to sit in the shadow of the this World Tree and journey/meditate

World Axis

Peoples from many cultures believed that an axis unites sky and earth, or the three shamanic worlds, the lower world, the middle world and the upper world. Such an axis, symbolizes the interrelationship of all levels or realms of the cosmos known to humans, and represents the center around which they are organized. Tree has been the most common form for the Axis Mundi (The World Tree) There have been other forms as well, such as the column, pillar, high mountain, to name a few.

In the book:" Rites and Symbols of Initiation", Mircea Eliade gives many descriptions how various Asiatic Shamans used the World Tree in their Shamanic Ceremonies and initiations. This book is worth reading for an initiate on shamanic path.

Pirkko Miller
Shamanic Circles

(picture by Cid Freitag)

The Tree of Life.

In Costa Rica, there is a particular type of tree, the natives call "The Tree of Life": because its branches and trunk are home to over 200 species of orchids, insects and birds. The Mayans worshipped this tree and believed that the Spirits of the 'Yet to be Born' arrived to this life through the roots of this tree. It is said that one can hear the Spirit Voices of the 'Yet to Be Born' when one sits quietly next to one of these trees.
photo submitted by Lanz Lowen