Designed by Nuane Tejedor
Overview: This activity is inspired by our Celtic ancestors and attempts to connect us with nature and value trees as living beings.
-Connect with the elements of nature
-Develop communication with a non-human being
-Calm down the mind and train intuition
Background information for the trainer
note: the following text is offered to the trainer, who can mention it to the group if felt appropriate in order to provide some context and background to the activity.
Trees have been worshiped throughout history by different cultures. A tree is a universal symbol and its archetype is a testimony of the existence of a primordial bond that crosses cultures and times.
In the West, the Celts have left the deepest traces because of their close relationship with nature and the knowledge they drew from it.
Trees became the central axis of their mythology. The Celts based their beliefs on nature as it provided them with shelter, warmth and food. The trees were seen as the pure essence of nature.
The druids, Celtic priests, analyzed the signals they received from nature in order to be able to converse with it. They used to summon their gods and goddess through the trees, trying to obtain the favour or «words of wind and earth».
The trees were believed to be a source of energy for the Celtic people, the physical and divine bond with the three points which were represented by:
- The trunk of the tree – that signified the material world where they extracted wood and food
- The world of dreams, represented by the roots of the tree that entered the subsoil, where the secret of the wisdom of the Earth is.
- The crown of the tree and its branches – that were directed towards the sky and were moved by the wind; for the Celts, it was the part of the tree that signified the divine plane of consciousness, the elevated suprahuman plane.
The trees were so important to the Celtic peoples that even the druids and the druidesses lived among them and rarely approached the village and mixed with the people.
- The facilitator gives the guidelines in advance and also supports the team during the process. The team is invited to walk around in silence, allowing themselves to be guided by intuition.
- Participants begin to walk towards nature. They walk feeling the earth under their feet for a few moments trying compassionately to silence out their minds. The participants start moving away from the group and begin to connect with the trees, the majestic and pure beings, which kindly give us oxygen and which teach us great lessons about the roots, the growth and the connection between the sky and the earth.
- Each person in their own time walks until one of the trees calls them, in some way. Maybe it sheds a leaf or moves its branches as you walk nearby. There may be a bird that sings, or the tenderness of a tree which inspires a person because it is a thin tree or they can even feel that it sends out a signal.
- When the participants find a tree-friend, they introduce themselves (it does not need to be out loud, they are very advanced and wise beings) and ask permission to approach it. If the tree gives its permission, the participants may get closer and “make contact”. They can caress or hug it, place their forehead on its trunk, bring their body closer and observe what happens.
- Then, the participants sit on the ground, observe the details, every inch of the earth is full of life, visible or not, and they are invited to observe it.
- They should bring their conscience to the roots of that majestic being, which are usually as large as its visible part. They feel the trees’ roots sinking into the fertile soil, holding the tree tightly so it can touch the sky. Then they observe without judgment their own roots… How they are? Do they allow them to grow tall?
- Now it is time to reflect on the trunk of that being that is next to them. They can observe the signs of its growth, its strength, what sustains it and observe in their lives what it is that sustains them, gives them strength. They can think about the tree trunk of their life here and now.
- Now they raise their eyes to the crown of the tree. What is there? Are there fruits, or seeds, in this season? Observe the different branches of your own life. What expresses your connection to the sky? What are the flowers, fruits and seeds of your life?
- After the reflection still beneath the tree, let your mind calm down. Remain quiet for a while, in silence, without doing anything just being there…
- Before leaving, they can ask if the tree has something to tell them. Ask and listen. Staying quiet and accepting what comes, without trying to rationalise whether it is the tree or their own state of mind that answers. It doesn’t matter really!
- Before leaving it is important to thank the tree, in whichever way feels right.
- To close the activity, the facilitator invites the team to come back together to form a circle. They are encouraged to share and reflect what they have lived and to listen openly.
Questions for reflexion:
What has this activity meant to you?
What did you learn?
What is the meaning of the roots, trunk and crown in your life?
Would you like to share something of your relationship with the trees?