Tree Spirits

I just recalled something that came up in conversation with my wife’s family a while back. I thought I’d share it with you all, as it still tickles me pink.

We were all eating dinner together when my wife remarked that the tree outside our kitchen window “spoke” to her mom the night before. “How did the tree speak to her?” I asked. While she was doing her Chi-Gong in the tatami room the spirit in the tree apparently complained to her that he was not happy about the trash we pile outside our back door right beside him. He was also not pleased with the spicy peppers they had planted next to him. He asked if they could please remove them. They know I’m an atheist, so they didn’t expect me to buy it. I have to admit I found it pretty amusing. We all had a nice little laugh over it together.

The best part is that the next day, I went out only to find the tree drastically pruned back literally to the point of having no leaves or long thin branches left. Dad had decided to prune it back. When I asked about it, my wife explained that it’s actually good for the tree to get a good pruning. It makes it come back stronger. I couldn’t help thinking, “That’ll teach the tree spirit to complain about the rubbish!”

Anyone else heard about tree spirits in dreams, trances or folklore since being here?

Common all over Asia. Leftover from older, animist religions.

Once common all over Europe too (though less so now), and America, and Australia. Nothing strange about it, there are lots of spirits that live in the dark deep places.

Many communities have small temples to worship trees like this one for a camphor tree in Taichung.

We worship trees in India. Ever read the Lord of the rings, talking trees make good legends!

Ever hugged a tree?? Sounds cuckoo, but 'tis one of the best feelings, the older the tree the better. :slight_smile:

Prunining trees, and other plants, properly does make them grow better (as anyone who has ever cultivated the sacred herb knows well). … ees1.shtml

I remember seeing lots of sacred trees in Thailand. To me it makes a lot more sense than worshipping some millionaire hypocrite preacher in a posh urban church. At least trees are honest and only take what they need.

I’m reminded of this famous legal essay that my brilliant Contracts professor in law school introduced me to “Should Trees have Standing?” Here’s how describes his thesis:

[quote]This treatise was originally published in 1972 and immediately became a rallying point of the then nascent U.S. environmental movement and has since become a classic worldwide.

Professor Stone points out that at various periods throughout history certain “things” were regarded as legally rightless, including aliens, children and women. Although each successive movement to confer rights on some theretofore rightless “entity” has first appeared “odd or frightening or laughable,” the progress of the law, and of morals, has been to invite more and more members into an ever-widening community. Professor Stone proceeds to argue for a further widening by proposing that special guardians be empowered to speak for the voiceless elements in Nature: in effect, to give “legal standing” to endangered species and threatened forests[/quote] … rt=10&sa=N

Funny story altogether, but that’s got to be the funniest single sentence I’ve heard in a long time.

At least you can see the tree. I’ll give it this: It’s a step above the imaginary friend-father worshiped by most of your monotheistic faiths.

Mary/Diana statues next to trees are worshipped in Italy. The local ladies take folding chairs and pray in a circle. Lots of this going on in Thailand. There was a big Banyan tree spirit near where I lived. Common to most countries.

tastybrain, no, not historically.

But what about the pepper plants? How do they feel about the tree’s proposal to uproot them?

Did you,perchance, happen to hear any of them mention the name of “Eywa”? (Pantheistic tree-spirit from “Avatar”)

Not sure what you are referring to, Buttercup.

[quote=“Screaming Jesus”]But what about the pepper plants? How do they feel about the tree’s proposal to uproot them?

Did you,perchance, happen to hear any of them mention the name of “Eywa”? (Pantheistic tree-spirit from “Avatar”)[/quote]

Eywa wasn’t mentioned, but the pepper plants were moved a bit away. They were in pots so that wasn’t a big deal.

Not sure what you are referring to, Buttercup.[/quote]

I would say tree worship is a step above the monotheistic faiths in that they are at least worshiping something which has a tangible form in the real world, i.e. the tree.

My local tree spirits are overwhelmed by the cat shit and piss from the neighborhood feral pussies.

I would say ‘no, not historically’. In fact, I did.

I have family in the UK who are Druids.
I have met them several times. On my Mothers side.
Nice enough. Its not a passing fad with them. seems to be longstanding.
They liked to drink a lot. We had that in common.

Not bad folks.

Neo-pagan nonsense. The real druids sacrificed humans on a fairly large scale.

They did not know you, it appears.

I am not rilly a Waelsh. I am a Picto-Saxon. Different tree-bothering practices. But we’re Cafflicks, now. It’s not perfect, but we have better art.