We all know that trees are alive and that they are a very vital part to the Earth and all of its inhabitants, but not everybody realizes that trees have spirits. There are differing theories about these spirits. Trees may just be a home for wandering entities. Or, the trees may have their own spirit. A spirit that keeps on growing until it is time to move on.
There are many old laws and legends about trees and their spirits. Practically everywhere in the world there has been one form of tree-worship or another. In pre-Christian Europe, trees and forests were widely worshipped. The early Celtic and Nordic people of western and northern Europe especially. Druids would select sacred tree groves as the best sites for their rituals. Robert Graves, author of the famous book The White Goddess, observes that trees were widely associated with arcane wisdom and ritual magic among early European peoples. He suggests that the Celtic term druid may be traceable to the Sanskrit taru-vid which means "tree-knowing".
Sometimes it is the souls of the dead which are believed to animate trees. The Dieri tribe of Central Australia regard as very sacred certain trees which are supposed to be their fathers transformed; hence they speak with reverence of these trees, and are careful that they shall not be cut down or burned. Some of the Philippine Islanders believe that the souls of their ancestors are in certain trees, which they therefore spare. If they are obliged to fell one of these trees, they excuse themselves to it by saying that it was the priest who made them do it. The spirits take up their abode, by preference, in tall stately trees with great spreading branches. When the wind rustles the leaves, the natives fancy it is the voice of the spirit; and they never pass near one of these trees without bowing respectfully, and asking pardon of the spirit for disturbing its repose.
Trees and their spirits are believed to give rain and sunshine. The make the crops grow. They make the herds multiply and bless women with offspring. We are connected to trees in more ways than we know.
This image is now available for prints, canvas prints, framed prints, and greeting cards on my site at Fine Art America
This tree stands in the midst of a pasture at the base of the Catskill Mountains, near Kerhonkson, New York, USA. The red streaks seem to be a fluid of some kind that has run down the length of the standing tree, headless today, yet filled with spirit.
Composed in Photoshop with filters, layers, adjustments, and original textures.