I came across a fantastic post this morning entitled The Symbolic Meaning of Trees. In it the author compared and contrasted the symbolic meaning of trees in different cultures and spiritual systems. The following passage resonated most with me:
It also notes that the fruit, shade, and protective nature of trees have caused them to be seen as feminine or maternal symbols; yet, at the same time, the erect trunk is a phallic symbol. Perhaps this is why, for Carl Jung, the tree symbolized the Self, androgyny (integration and equality between the masculine and feminine principles), and individuation.
Androgyny – the integration and equalization of masculine and feminine energies. Many (including myself) attribute this quality to angels and other high beings, and believe that this balance of energies takes place once we are no longer bound to our physical forms. This integration is also something I strive for while in physical form.
There is a beautiful maple tree in my mother’s yard. I used to sit under it on warm, clear summer nights and look at the moon. Its trunk at my back was very grounding, and brought feelings of safety and wholeness. I would often speak with it, asking it where I should go and what I should do once I left home. Its responses were always soft and simple, and invariably it urged me to step outside of my comfort zone and travel far, which I eventually did. I told it how much I’d miss our visits and it replied, “Like my leaves in the autumn, I let you go…”
Courage and how to let go are just a few of the lessons I learned from this wise one. Trees truly are remarkable beings.