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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in trees

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating Tree Flowers

Early spring brings the blossom – blackthorn, cherry, and other fruit trees. Suddenly, hedges and gardens erupt with scent and blossom, and it’s a sure sign that winter is behind and sunnier days are coming.

One of the great joys of seeing wild fruit trees in bloom is the promise of wild fruit later in the year. What you can see in the photos, are wild plum flowers. The photos in this blog are mine – I’ve recently become acquainted with a camera, so these are very much ‘learner shots’ but enough to give the idea... The flowers are on a wild plum tree that grows beside a cycle path. The cycle path in question used to be a railway line so I wonder if the plum trees (there are three) started life as stones thrown from a train.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating blackthorn

Imbolc tends to be associated with snowdrops – which is reasonable enough because they do reliably turn up at this time. We don’t talk about blackthorn much, but for me it is the tree of the festival. Blackthorn can come into flower around this time of year, too (in my experience) and it’s an ogham tree as well.

The Woodland Trust site has blackthorn down as flowering between March and April so it may be in part about where you live. The Woodland Trust covers the whole of the UK, and I’ve never lived further north than the Midlands. There are significant regional differences. I’ve always seen blackthorn as one of the first flowerings in the year. There was a roadside tree on the way to my Midlands ritual place that always came into flower around the time of Imbolc rituals, which gave me the association. At present I’ve got a wild plum locally that flowers very early and is likely to open any day now. It points to the way in which tree events can be very specific and local, depending on microclimates, and the unpredictable nature of trees.

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Yes!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating winter trees

For those of us who live in landscapes with deciduous trees, winter creates opportunities to appreciate them in different ways from summer. The loss of leaves means that tree shapes become truly visible. This is especially true of field trees, whose solitary positions make them easier to appreciate. Field trees have much rounder forms than their woodland counterparts, but in the woods, winter reveals the patterns of branches and the sky above.

Trunks and bark become more visible in the winter – and there’s such an array of textures, subtle colours and surfaces. Fungi on trees are more present at this time of year, and resident moss and lichen is easier to spot. I’ve blogged over at Druid Life about my favourite winter tree exposure.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
We need trees

Trees

This is such a huge subject it has books all to itself but I will cover just a little about our lovely trees.

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  • Rachel Patterson
    Rachel Patterson says #
    Hi Brendan, glad you found the post!
  • Brendan
    Brendan says #
    Trying to figure out the site and stumbled upon this post! I am an avid tree hugger

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A Soul's Companion

   I grew up in a house surrounded by trees. The backyard maple was a favorite perch for reading the afternoon away when I was a child. Before I climbed I was careful to loop a rope around the branch above me so I could pull a basket of apples and books up after me. The willow tree often found me seeking faeries among her branches, and later, after I had deemed myself too old for tree-climbing, reading or drawing, imagining myself one of the elegant ladies I read about so often in my beloved faerie tales. More and more I would seek the willow, both a source of wonder and magick as the Pagan Path opened before me. My greatest heartbreak at leaving home was that there were no trees near my new apartment.

   Four apartments later, I now have some trees, not many, but enough for the dryad-at-heart to feel satisfied if not happy. A leggy young maple grows against my back steps, towering over a neighboring lilac bush much in the manner my nineteen year old son towers over me. Indeed, in tree years, the maple may very well be his contemporary. The grapevine that coated the back of my building, lush, leafy, gorgeous; the grapevine that grew so prolifically that one of my kitchen windows had a beautiful green screen was torn down earlier this year, a sacrifice to the siding that needed to be replaced. (Probably due to said grapevine. I'm no fool.) She has taken her own back, however. A newer grapevine grown from sturdy roots has wrapped herself around the lower railings and is beginning to wind herself around the maple. Outside my bedroom window grows my favorite of the trees, a crab apple, so close to the building that her branches tap the window every time the breeze sets her dancing or a bird leaps amid her branches.

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This May I was blessed to be asked to teach at a wonderful event at Dunderry Park in County Meath in Ireland. 'Animystics' was a two day event that wove together various Celtic traditions and earth based practices to really deepen our connection to the earth and our own souls. My session was all about connecting with tree spirits, and the tradition of the Bile, or sacred tree, clan totem and representative of the world tree in the Celtic Traditions. Standing there, in a field on a beautiful May morning, I was struck again by how such simple acts as breathing and being present to nature can restore our balance, and by extension our connection to our own sovereignty, our own souls, and the soul of the earth Herself. Dunderry is just a few miles from the hill of Tara, said to be the ancient seat of the semi- mythical high kings of Ireland, and I felt the ancient ancestors, with their passionate love of the land reach out to us, to remember, and honour Her again as a way to restore ourselves in these often troubled times.

Tara is such a special place, a wide green hill that overlooks a vast and verdant landscape. On a clear day it is said you can see all of Ireland from it's summit. Once an Iron Age hill fort, it is also home to a Neolithic burial mound, 'the mound of the hostages', granting access to the womb of the earth, the realm of the sidhe, and the Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny, said to have been brought from the otherworldly city of Falias by the Tuatha de Danann, the Irish gods. The Lia Fáil is said to cry out when the rightful king stands upon it. Once it stood beside the mound, but now it stands sentry a little further off, overlooking the wide plains below. Whether this solitary monolith was truly the ancient mythical stone will always be up for debate, but standing there touching its weathered grey sides, sensing the endless generations that have come here, and used this as the touchstone, the still and central point to anchor their spiritual and earthly selves together, to find that link to sovereignty in a world that tries to take so much soul and so much power from us, is always a healing and humbling moment.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the greening

In my part of the world the green returns somewhere between the standard Pagan festivals of the spring equinox and Beltain. It’s something I quietly celebrate, because the return of colour to the world, and the return of leaves is something I find uplifting. It’s not an event, and it’s impossible to ascribe a reliable date to it. The greening happens in response to light, temperature, and the mysterious whims of plants.

Underwood tends to leaf first – I’m seeing elder and hawthorn leaves. Weeping willows are in leaf, osier willows still have bare branches. Chestnut is underway, ash isn’t particularly. Each tree comes into leaf in its own time. Other plants all have their own unique relationship with the seasons – early spring flowers are going over, a new set of plants are flourishing, the woodlands are green with the leaves of garlic and bluebells, while the fields and hills brighten with new grass.

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