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Author Topic: Thanking a tree spirit?  (Read 1507 times)

Ashmire

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Thanking a tree spirit?
« on: May 30, 2017, 10:19:58 pm »
As I mentioned in my intro post a few days ago, I recently acquired a wand (something I've not made much use  of before) in what seemed like a direct gift from the tree itself.

  I was assessing a dead branch,  thinking in the back of my mind I ought to look up any folkloric or metaphysical associations with this kind  of tree, when suddenly the entire thing, longer than my height, came off in my hand, with so little pressure I can't imagine how it didn't fall by its own weight, despite not looking particularly rotted at the point of breakage.

  On closer inspection, I noticed a section of the wood which seemed like it was unusually tough wood for this kind of tree( also has a char-like pattern on it that made me wonder if it took a lightning strike somehow---I'd expect that to do more damage but I can't think what else would leave scorch marks several feet up a living tree in a fenced yard.  Maybe careless fireworks.), and seemed moreover to form a grip perfectly fitted to my hand.

  At that point I felt moved to go get my Japanese saw ( I have recently taken up woodworking, and Japanese saws are apparently usually preferred for fine furniture and cabinet making) and carefully remove that section, whereupon I set it on my altar with a feeling I should await further instructions before shaping it more.


Anyway, I am just wondering, is it customary, do you think, to make some kind of formal thank offering, or do I just think grateful thoughts at the tree and continue to care for it as best I can, or what exactly?

   I also am not sure how to use a wand, but I am a little more optimistic about figuring that part out intuitively​ now I have one that feels appropriate.

If it matters, it's a quaking Aspen. 

Aside from a few things I read online that sound fitting for me, though I am not sure how well-founded historically,  it's a tree of considerable local significance as it was recently made our State Tree due to the fact we have the world's largest​ grove of them---which also counts as the world's largest living organism because of the way they grow from an interconnected root system.

Jenett

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 09:56:00 am »
Anyway, I am just wondering, is it customary, do you think, to make some kind of formal thank offering, or do I just think grateful thoughts at the tree and continue to care for it as best I can, or what exactly?

Many people do. What the appropriate offering is varies a lot (by personal preference, tradition, and some practical stuff.)

Some people pour a small amount of water. Some people leave a penny (the copper's actually sometimes good for the soil). Some people apply a suitable amount of fertiliser (sometimes fertiliser sticks work well for this.) Some people might pour a nutrient-rich infusion (like nettles). Some people leave a little bit of their hair or tobacco.

Quote
I also am not sure how to use a wand, but I am a little more optimistic about figuring that part out intuitively​ now I have one that feels appropriate.

This depends on what you're doing - my tradition uses wands for invocations and for quarter calls, and for some kinds of manifestation-type magic. (Glad to talk about those in a little more detail if you're curious.)
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Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 12:42:56 pm »

Anyway, I am just wondering, is it customary, do you think, to make some kind of formal thank offering, or do I just think grateful thoughts at the tree and continue to care for it as best I can, or what exactly?

   I also am not sure how to use a wand, but I am a little more optimistic about figuring that part out intuitively​ now I have one that feels appropriate.


I like to do something practical for the tree rather than leave coins/crystals/whatever for it.  Humans leave enough litter as it is. So I will clear rubbish from around it, maybe trim back creepers if they are strangling it and verbally thank it.  Maybe a splash of water too.  In the developed countries we tend to forget what a precious resource water is and how vital it is to life.

Yei

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 06:29:14 pm »
As I mentioned in my intro post a few days ago, I recently acquired a wand (something I've not made much use  of before) in what seemed like a direct gift from the tree itself.

  I was assessing a dead branch,  thinking in the back of my mind I ought to look up any folkloric or metaphysical associations with this kind  of tree, when suddenly the entire thing, longer than my height, came off in my hand, with so little pressure I can't imagine how it didn't fall by its own weight, despite not looking particularly rotted at the point of breakage.

  On closer inspection, I noticed a section of the wood which seemed like it was unusually tough wood for this kind of tree( also has a char-like pattern on it that made me wonder if it took a lightning strike somehow---I'd expect that to do more damage but I can't think what else would leave scorch marks several feet up a living tree in a fenced yard.  Maybe careless fireworks.), and seemed moreover to form a grip perfectly fitted to my hand.

  At that point I felt moved to go get my Japanese saw ( I have recently taken up woodworking, and Japanese saws are apparently usually preferred for fine furniture and cabinet making) and carefully remove that section, whereupon I set it on my altar with a feeling I should await further instructions before shaping it more.


Anyway, I am just wondering, is it customary, do you think, to make some kind of formal thank offering, or do I just think grateful thoughts at the tree and continue to care for it as best I can, or what exactly?

   I also am not sure how to use a wand, but I am a little more optimistic about figuring that part out intuitively​ now I have one that feels appropriate.

If it matters, it's a quaking Aspen. 

Aside from a few things I read online that sound fitting for me, though I am not sure how well-founded historically,  it's a tree of considerable local significance as it was recently made our State Tree due to the fact we have the world's largest​ grove of them---which also counts as the world's largest living organism because of the way they grow from an interconnected root system.

Well you could always do this:

Get some card. Something you can write on, and preferably recycled. Then write a prayer on it. If your faith allows it, you can sprinkle it with a bit of your own blood. Then burn it. Take the ashes and sprinkle them around the base of the tree.

Ashmire

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 01:06:22 am »
Well you could always do this:

Get some card. Something you can write on, and preferably recycled. Then write a prayer on it. If your faith allows it, you can sprinkle it with a bit of your own blood. Then burn it. Take the ashes and sprinkle them around the base of the tree.

I like the idea, but I have been told that, while in most places ashes are good for the soil, in this area our soil is so strongly alkaline that many things won't grow at all and ashes will make it worse.  Maybe a bit of composted fruit might be appropriate.   

Sefiru

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 08:14:24 pm »
I like the idea, but I have been told that, while in most places ashes are good for the soil, in this area our soil is so strongly alkaline that many things won't grow at all and ashes will make it worse.  Maybe a bit of composted fruit might be appropriate.

You could just bury the note. Paper is usually compostable, after all.

Oroboros

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 10:18:50 pm »
I like to do something practical for the tree rather than leave coins/crystals/whatever for it.  Humans leave enough litter as it is. So I will clear rubbish from around it, maybe trim back creepers if they are strangling it and verbally thank it.  Maybe a splash of water too.  In the developed countries we tend to forget what a precious resource water is and how vital it is to life.

I second this approach, and as also mentioned maybe some fertilizer or something to that effect and say "Thank You."

I don't use a wand in  my practice, so I can't really comment on that part.

Yei- I'm all for the use of blood in workings.  But I am curious your rational for using it in this situation?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 10:20:59 pm by Oroboros »

Yei

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 02:52:11 am »
Yei- I'm all for the use of blood in workings.  But I am curious your rational for using it in this situation?

Blood has several qualities that make it ideal for an offering of this type.
1) Blood is nutritious. Ever hear of blood and bone? Bloodmeal is very nutritious (rich in nitrogen) for plants. Thus it can be used to feed the plant. Obviously this offering is only a symbol, but the spirits will understand.
2) Blood is life, so by giving the plants blood, you are transferring life from yourself to the tree. This is obviously metaphysical, but again the spirits will understand the message.
3) Blood is sacred water. Blood is mostly water anyway, but it also serves as a link between the different parts of our bodies. When outside the body, it can (depending on the situation), act as a binder between different elements of the world, just as water does. So offering blood creates a link between your world and the world of the tree (not literally though).
4) Its cheap and plentiful.

Altair

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 05:41:04 am »
I don't use a wand in  my practice, so I can't really comment on that part.

I don't either, but the story of how Ashmire got the wand is great. I too would consider it a gift from the tree. And though I don't know any tree lore about quaking aspens (maybe some can be found among Native American tribes?), they are distinctive, iconic trees that loom large in the psyche, IMHO.

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I'm all for the use of blood in workings

Wandering a bit off-topic, but I've only tried it once, and I could barely do it! By the time (after multiple arduous, painful efforts) I got the pin deep enough to squeeze out a little smidge--I can't even call it a drop--from my finger, I was DONE. Maybe I'm just a massive wimp.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Ashmire

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 09:40:02 pm »
This depends on what you're doing - my tradition uses wands for invocations and for quarter calls, and for some kinds of manifestation-type magic. (Glad to talk about those in a little more detail if you're curious.)

Not sure why I didn't respond to this part earlier, but please do feel free to info-dump if you don't mind!  Thanks!

Jenett

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Re: Thanking a tree spirit?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 08:55:42 am »
Not sure why I didn't respond to this part earlier, but please do feel free to info-dump if you don't mind!  Thanks!

I am not currently up for random info-dump without some questions  to get me going, alas.

(My home computer failed two weeks ago, I just got the replacement Tuesday, and most of my processing is taken up with figuring out if I can get the backup to behave and/or setting the new machine up and catching up on stuff I'd meant to do while I didn't have a desktop at home and probably will be through sometime next week at the earliest.)
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