I took this one Summer’s day on Paradise Lane, Glastonbury, after paying my respects to the magical Oaks, Gog & Magog ,who live in the field opposite this beauty. The story is from my book ‘Wychwood~Winter’s Child’.
Ellis was aware the sun was hanging low in the sky and would be setting shortly. She would need to make haste to avoid the impending gloom that would descend over the woods once the golden Orb had disappeared into the horizon. As the overgrown path meandered downhill, she kept her gaze fixed upon where she was going, so as to avoid stumbling on loose pebbles. A glint of light caught the corner of her eye. Stopping in her tracks she became aware of a perfect circle of chestnut trees in a little glade. Their branches slowly swaying and leaves quivering and dancing in rhythm to the music of the breeze. Golden Sun light twinkled upon verdant leaves and dappled over the deep brown nuts that littered the forest glade, cracked open from their protective casings. An invitation hung on the air.
Gently stepping over the fallen nuts, Ellis stepped within the circle of trees, noting by the girth of their trunks and the strength of the long outstretched branches, that these were indeed Grand Dames of the woodland. Very old and very wise, gnarled and knotted yet strong proud and beautiful. Their outstretched limbs intertwining and interconnecting with each other, embracing each other in an intricate lattice-work of wood, which seemed to grow tighter and more close-knit as Ellis moved towards their centre.
’Ah the circle is cast!’ she thought.
And within their protective conclave she became aware of a quiet communication,the whispers of the wind danced between each sister tree. With a jolt she realised that the trees were speaking not only to each other, but also to her! They were imbuing her with a sense of themselves, of what it felt like to have roots that sank deep down into the verdant rich dark soil, their root systems mirroring the branches above, all interconnected and intertwined. Ellis felt a tingle in the soles of her feet and with a start realised that she had sunk ankle-deep into the earth. She did not feel any fear, just an awareness that her toes, bones,nervous system and veins seemed to be growing and extending beyond the confines of her flesh. She was growing roots. Roots that meandered through the earth, touching, connecting, wrapping around those of the trees that surrounded her, and it felt good. Ellis raised her arms up high in sheer joy, and once again felt the tingle, and her fingers seemed to elongate, the flesh, veins, bones, nervous systems stretching, stretching up to the tall branches, connecting into those of her sisters around her. For Ellis now felt at one in the circle of the Horse Chestnut sisters.Above her upturned face, the sun in a final swan song burst through the density of the leaves, bathing Ellis in a golden light. It felt so good to pull the light of the sun into her body. She felt it travel through her limbs and trunk, and then as the sun sank on the horizon she became aware that all was momentarily dark. From the deep blackness of this void a light began to appear, whirling before her eyes. The motion slowed to a standstill, and a perfect golden hexagon had formed. Within the six golden points of the star was a silver tree, branches perfectly aligned with the upper points of the star, and root system stretched out in symmetry over the lower points of the star. A blinding flash of light exploded in the centre of her head as the symbol was absorbed through her crown chakra into the very core of her Being. With the words ‘As Above, So Below’ reverberating around the cavern of her mind she knew, in that moment, the cosmic synergy of heaven and Earth. She fully understood the importance of trees, fully sentient beings, working in Divine Service of Source upon the Earth.
Darkness closed in on her.
Stirred to her to her senses by the loud chittering of excited birds, Ellis was surprised to see the Sun rising. She found herself lying curled up on a carpet of springy moss and sweet-smelling chamomile, under the protection of one of the huge Chestnut trees. Stirring to remember how she had come to be here, a whirl of thoughts flooded her mind and senses. Had it been a dream? Feelings of being one with the trees, of having roots that stretched deep down into Gaia’s warmth and received sustenance and grounding; of having strong branches that stretched heavenwards, and feeling the warmth of the sun as it brought life-giving energy down through her body? She recalled the feelings of pleasure of having beautiful leaves, and bearing flowers and fruit that in turn delighted and nourished. She smiled remembering the shelter she gave to the birds of the air and the insects and creatures of the forest and pleasure of wood nymphs coming to dance and play. Most of all, being of service to the Source above and beloved Mother Gaia below.
As Ellis stood and stretched, she noticed a young sapling by the strongest and oldest tree. From one of it’s tender young branches a glint caught her eye. Stretching out her hand, she felt a familiar tingle and there in her palm lay a pendant, formed from a gold six pointed star, on which the form of a tree was wrought in silver.
And the young tree seemed to whisper on the wind, ‘My gift to you, my Mother…’
As above , So below.
© Eily Nash