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Druidry - Trees And The Wheel Of The Year

Druidry - Trees And The Wheel Of The Year

Each kind of tree responds to the spring in its own way. Hawthorn, blackthorn and elder tend to be the first to leaf, and even though it’s only February, I’ve seen a few doing just that already. Oak tends to be the last to leaf in my part of the world.

While each tree species is different, every individual tree will respond to spring in its own time. Exact conditions where the tree is will have an impact – how much light and shade there is depends a lot on the shape of the land. A tree in a sheltered, sunny spot will start leafing sooner than one of the same species in a more exposed or sun deprived position.

All too often, I’ve encountered Druids talking about trees in relation to the wheel of the year as though it’s a single narrative. What trees do is diverse. Some trees are flowering already – the beautiful white flowers of the blackthorn are out now. Hawthorns don’t flower until May, oak flowers in June. Hazels have catkins as flowers, alder have totally different catkins. 

It is easy to reduce the cycle of the seasons down to some simple ideas, especially if you focus on the popular eight festivals. However, relating to vague ideas about nature doesn’t bring us into a close relationship with the natural world. To have that, we’ve got to engage with what’s around us. The wheel turns every day, and it is much more meaningful to connect with those everyday shifts.

I think it’s a lot more meaningful to get to know what’s around you than to work with ideas of the wheel of the year. That can be done in really simple ways – listening out for bird song every day. Finding out how the tree or other significant plant nearest to you goes through the seasons. Being alert to the daily shifts in light levels. 

You are not an idea or an abstract concept. You are a living being, experiencing the turning of the seasons in very precise, individual ways. Your journey through the year will be unique to you, and informed by every other experience of the year going on around you. You might be ready to blossom at the first opportunity, or you might need to wait a lot later. You might feel blessed and energised right now, or you might need a lot more sun. Just like the trees, we are all different in terms of how we respond, and no response is wrong.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
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