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         Tiyana in the rainforest, 1993     











I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.

Black Elk (1863-1950), Sioux Medicine Man
















If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.

Eleonora Duse (1858-1924), Italian Actress





The beauty of the trees,

the softness of the air,

the fragrance of the grass,

speaks to me. 


The summit of the mountain,

the thunder of the sky,

the rhythm of the sea,

speaks to me. 


The strength of the fire,

the taste of salmon,

the trail of the sun,and the life that never goes away,

they speak to me.

And my heart soars.  


Chief Dan George (1899-1981), Native Canadian Indian, Academy Award-Nominated Actor and Author






Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

Martin Luther (1483-1546), German Theologian


I had several interesting experiences with trees which seem to indicate a silent but very specific communication between us, with psychological and/or physical healing outcomes which were at the time highly significant for me. (See also my article Healing Depression and Feeling Suicidal by Communication With a Tree.)







Few years after I migrated to Australia, still feeling very uprooted, in Sydney Botanic Gardens I climbed on a big tree (without being aware that it was forbidden) standing alone in the middle of a big grassy area (photo above). It reminded me of how much I loved being on trees in my childhood. As I leaned against one of its huge branches, I heard a strong and clear male voice as though from the outside (not within my head) saying, “Welcome back home!” which stunned me and I burst out crying. I sobbed out my sense of not yet feeling settled in Australia, even though I had already lived there for about four years and had lived in my own unit. 


I looked around, but there was no human being anywhere in sight that could have spoken to me. Besides, even if there was anyone, he would not have possibly known that I was so intensely longing for a sense of being at home, since I had never spoken to anyone about it. It was the very first time in my life that I had heard some voice from an invisible source as though from the outside. 


I was familiar with the psychiatric idea that ‘hearing voices’ from an apparently nonexistent source outside of oneself was one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, but I was normally functional, very rational and sure that I did not have any mental illness.


Besides, this voice was not giving me any strange impulses, only helped me tremendously to release my withheld grief. It was deeply healing, not dis-easing my mind. 


This time I definitely did not consciously ‘talk’ to the tree in my mind, as I did in the refuge and I could only attribute the voice that I ‘heard’ to some unseen ‘presence’, to which I felt very grateful. This experience made me feel very much looked after by an invisible, strong natural ally, as I felt all my life (and I thought that was what people referred to when they would say, “You are lucky!” even when I did not feel so at all). That feeling was a major part of what I was referring to when I thought of  ‘being at home.’ 





Once I was tired at the end of the day, had sore, a bit bloated and heavy ankles and feet, but wanted to quickly get fitter for en energetic international folk evening dance. After having had the above two experiences with trees, I thought I could ask the big trees in front of the hall in which the dance had already started to help me. I laid down on my back on the bench under those beautiful, mighty trees, and connecting visually with them, I asked in my mind, “Please, can you give me everything that you have for me?” hoping that they would instantly rejuvenate me. 


I felt an immediate strong and quite unpleasant, almost scary push downwards all over the top of my body, as though a very big and heavy force was pinning me down to the bench. Realizing that I would have been foolishly impatient, I quickly apologized to the trees for having been greedy, took back my original , “Give me everything...” (which might have included trees falling on me), thanked them for the lesson, and asked much more humbly and much more specifically, “Please, dear trees, can you help me regenerate so that I feel rested and can happily dance tonight?”. 


That proved to be a very appropriate thought communication – I immediately started feeling a gentle but highly affective refreshing sense of being cleansed from tiredness everywhere in my body, and especially in my feet and ankles. In about five minutes, I got up feeling just as I expected – well rested, fit, light and bouncy on my feet, and I enjoyed very much several hours of dancing. 


In this case, I was convinced that I did communicate meaningfully with the trees and that my strong sensory perception of their energy descending on and into me was not due to my expectation, imagination nor auto suggestion. At first I expected that trees would always give me only healing energy, and yet they gave me something else, which I did not bargain for, but received nonetheless, apparently due to how I formulated my request. If in the second round I received from trees exactly what I wanted, it appeared to be the outcome of their straightforward response to my request.


This experience seemed to confirm my innate sense, which I had all my life, that trees (and other plants) would have had a ‘mind’ of their own, in spite of having been deemed in Western mainstream culture not to have it.





Another time, when I felt sad because of a broken relationship, I was bush walking with friends, on a track covered with stones and fallen branches, so I looked very carefully right in front of me, not to trip over them, while listening to my friends chit-chat. 


All of a sudden, I felt silently ‘called’ from my left. I stopped and looked – there was a big, tall, beautiful, very straight gum tree. I thought, “Hello, beautiful!” and continued walking to the sacred site which was our destination.


After having staid there for about an hour after my friends returned, I was coming back, again looking carefully under my feet, and thinking about the powerful experience I had at the sacred site. 


This time something ‘called’ me from my right. I stopped and looked up – it was that same gum tree. I thought that for some reason, out of all the trees in that bush this one was really keen on me. Feeling loving towards it I responded in my mind, “OK, let’s have a hug!” 


I went to my New Friend The Tree, hugged it, and wanted to put my face onto it too. But countless ants busily moving in all directions right in front of my face made me close my eyes for a moment and think to The Tree, “I would put my face onto you, but I cannot because there are so many ants there!” Then I opened my eyes – and all the ants were now moving just above the line corresponding to the top of my head, not even a single one being in front of my face. I thanked The Tree and lovingly put my face on it. I did not feel that ants were too considerate towards my wish, but that The Tree and I had such a strong direct connection that it kept them away for two of us to be able to connect more fully by touch.   


This time, I was definitely not even thinking about nor looking at the trees, but paid a lot of attention to the stones and fallen branches under my feet, to what my friends’ were talking about and on my return to my profound experience at the sacred site. Unless that particular tree would have called my attention both times, I would not have even known that it existed. 


Also, I did not ask that the ants be gone in front of my face, on the contrary, I felt very respectful of them and I did not want to disturb them in their homeland. While I did wish to be able to connect with The Tree by my face too, I have over-ridden myself that wish by my clear-cut decision to leave that territory to the ants. Therefore I deducted that it must have been The Tree that decided not only to call me twice, but to re-organize its own (and possibly the ants’) energy in order to clear so completely and precisely the area for my face to touch safely The Tree.


I felt deeply touched and grateful. As I left that big, beautiful Tree, I realized that my sadness has completely disappeared, as though The Tree has called me to Heal me.




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