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I Talk to the Trees

By George Knowles

Inspired by a passage from Gerry Spence's book: "From Freedom to Slavery".

Mankind strikes an unholy bargain at birth.  The contract reads: “Give me life and I will agree to death.”  We awaken in life to find ourselves trapped on a boat floating down an uncharted river with a horrible waterfall at its end.  We possess no map to tell us where we shall face the falls, but we know the falls are there.  We know no one ever survives the trip and we are afraid, yet we cannot get off the river.  We can only moment-by-moment attempt to avoid its rapids, its hazardous back currents.  Despite the exquisite beauty of the river and its placid bends, often we fail to enjoy the trip for we know that just ahead, perhaps around the next bend, we shall face the falls, those horrible falls. 

I have lived alone for most parts of my life and have often felt lonely, even though a host of living things surround me.  My loneliness as always is born of my separation from myself, and therefore my separation from all other living things as well.  I remember when the summer is gone, when the robins had gone, and when the shy slate-colored finches had gathered and gone.  When the blue harebells have dried and twisted toward the earth, and when the parachute seeds of the dandelions in the meadows have long since blown away, and their stems stand straight and stiff, the leaves of the elk thistle are like curled brown memories.  This is when I feel the sharp teeth of loneliness gnawing at my heart, and I try to comfort myself with reason, but reason is not too often comforting.  

We are all of us alone, I reasoned.  Alone we struggled from the womb, and alone we float down the inescapable river of life.  Alone we face the falls, those horrible falls, where alone we shall wheeze out our last mortal gasp.  I looked out the window just then at a tree alone in the garden, and something compelled me to walk out to it.  Suddenly I wanted to talk to a tree.

To talk to a tree is strange, is it not?  Yet no one thinks it odd for man to speak to something he cannot see or touch, something he calls “God”.  No one thinks it bizarre that we listen too and are impelled into strange actions, like buying soft drinks because of an image on TV, something we cannot touch.  Yet if we were to shake hands with a tree, something real with its roots in the ground, something that lives, grows and rustles in the wind, something in which living birds nest and hatch their young.  If we were to touch a tree and to speak to it, we might be considered very peculiar indeed.  The tyranny of viewpoint, most often not our own, constricts us as surely as a horse's hobbles.

The Indians thought it ordinary to communicate with animals, plants and trees.  Walking Buffalo of the Stony Indians Tribe in Canada said, “Did you know that trees talk?  They talk to each other and they'll talk to you if you listen.  I have learned a lot from trees, something about the weather, something about animals, and something about the Great Spirit.” 

I'm sure that my neighbours would have thought me quite daft had they seen me talking to this tree.  But I was alone, and alone one has the right by that reason to do as one pleases.  Alone one is free, or ought to be, and so I thought I shall see how it is to speak to a tree.  I looked around first just to make sure none of my neighbours where around, but no one was watching and no one would hear me.  Yet still I had a difficult time bringing myself to do this simple, harmless thing. 

We are as free as the barriers we have constructed around our minds permit us to be.  Indeed, as we perceive it, insanity may be simply the elimination of all of the mind’s barriers.  We know that trees do not talk, but how do we know?  I might conclude that my neighbours also do not talk.  I have never heard them speak, but that is because I have never spoken to them.

If I was to judge the ability of the human race to communicate based on my experience with my neighbours, I should likely conclude that the species is mute.  In the same way, since I have never spoken to a tree, how could I possibly expect a tree to speak to me?  Still, this was indeed strange behavior, this talking to trees, and I decided I would not mention it to my friends and family who already thought me strange enough. 

I looked around once more to make sure that no one was watching.  Then suddenly I reached out and grasped the lowest limb of the tree, like one shaking hand’s.  Then speaking out loud I said, “Tree, I just dropped over to say hello.”  It was easy.  There was no parting of the clouds, and no voice descended upon me saying, “Now you have done it!  I have patiently endured your faithless pronouncements against me and against my faithful, but talking to trees - this is finally too much!” 

Tree,” I said, “I've seen you almost every day outside my window, and have often admired you, but for some reason I've never stopped over.  People are like that, you know.”  The tree said nothing back, but I had a sense that somehow my words were being soaked up and listened too.  I've been with people many times and said things that never were soaked up, things that were important to me, but when I offered them to others, my opinions just sort of lay there in a puddle ignored.  

You're lucky to have your friends with you all the time, and you’re kids and your family,” I said to the tree, “you have your roots all tangled up together and your capillaries all entwined, you’re cheek to cheek with those who are closest to you all summer long.  And when the wind blows, your leaves caress each other.  Must be quite something to have ten thousand leaves to feel with.”  

I looked up just then but the tree's leaves had already fallen.  After a minute I just came out with it, “I felt lonely today, that's why I'm out here speaking to you,” I said, and tears came to my eyes.  I didn't feel ashamed crying in front of a tree, although I have always felt shame in crying in front of people.  Thanks for listening to me” I said, That's what friends are for” and gave the tree a loving pat.  But the tree didn't answer.

I don't think people understand me,” I said.  Still the tree didn't answer.  But in the utter silence of the garden I heard a clear response.  Each of us, just like the tree and I, must find our own answers, that is freedom.  A tree's answers would not do for me, for it moves with the wind and with the seasons.  Its feet are in the soil and it’s part of the earth.  Its wisdom is, perhaps, too great to be imparted to the likes of me.  Yet somehow I felt very wise after having listened to the tree.  

Thank you tree” I said, “it helps a lot to have a true friend to talk to.”

The above was inspired by a passage from Gerry Spence's book:

 “From Freedom to Slavery”.


The Teachings of the Tree

* Have a position with deep roots in your understanding of it, and stand firm in your place within the world.

* Reach upward to touch lofty things, and outward to extend yourself to the world.

* Provide shade for those who need rest, and shelter for those who come to you.

* Bear fruit, and be abundant.

* In the Winters of your life, conserve your resources.

* In your Springs, take advantage of the opportunities for new growth.

* In your Summers, expand, thrive, and reach new heights.

* In your Falls, release what no longer serves, make preparations, and await renewal.

* When all is said and done, leave behind some seeds.

By Raven Grimassi

Best wishes and Blessed Be


Site Contents - Links to all Pages


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A Universal Message:


Let there be peace in the world  -   Where have all the flowers gone?


About me:

My Personal PageMy Place in England / My Family Tree (Ancestry)


Wicca & Witchcraft


Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is Wicca What is Magick


Traditional Writings:


The Wiccan Rede Charge of the Goddess Charge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches Chant The Witches Creed Descent of the Goddess Drawing Down the Moon The Great Rite Invocation Invocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of Chivalry A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality


Correspondence Tables:


IncenseCandlesColours Magickal Days Stones and Gems Elements and Elementals




Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /


Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /


Other things of interest:


Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 Doreen Valiente Witch” (A Book Review) /   


Sabbats and Festivals:


The Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)


Rituals contributed by Crone:


Samhain / Yule Imbolc Ostara /  Beltane Litha Lammas Mabon




Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing




Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) /  AntelopeBatsCrow Fox Frog and Toads Goat / HoneybeeKangarooLion OwlPhoenix Rabbits and HaresRaven Robin RedbreastSheep Spider SquirrelSwansUnicornWild Boar Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat /  Rats /  Unicorn




In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder


Sacred Sites:


Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /


Rocks and Stones:


Stones - History, Myths and Lore


Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:


Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble


Wisdom and Inspiration:


Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /


Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:


Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark


Old Masters of Academia:


Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras





A "Who's Who" of Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)


Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)


Pagan Pioneers:  Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others


Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa Aidan A KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /   Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda MetteyyaAllan Kardec (Spiritism) /  Alphonsus de SpinaAmber KAnn Moura /  Anna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman SpareBalthasar Bekker /  Biddy EarlyBarbara Vickers /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristopher PenczakChristina Oakley Harrington Cornelius Loos /  Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-NowickiDonald Michael Kraig Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edain McCoy /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne /   Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Heinrich KramerIsaac Bonewits Israel RegardieIvo Domínguez Jr. /  Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick /  James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJean Bodin Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer  / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /   Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim  -  the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John Score /  Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" /   Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceLodovico Maria Sinistrari Ludwig LavaterMadeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMichael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" /  Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” /  Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMartin Antoine Del Rio Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillOlivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis /  Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPaul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school /  Peter Binsfeld /  Philip HeseltonRaven GrimassiRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Richard BaxterRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Rossell Hope Robbins /   Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWalter Ernest ButlerWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  



Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)



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