Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 5 - The Twelfth Holy Night - The Need for a Tree Image

I went to bed with a topic planned for the Twelfth Message. Not surprisingly, I woke in the morning with a quite different inspiration - a tree.

Our souls need an image of a Tree. A trunk, simple, straight and solid. Branches and roots, twisted, reaching deep and high, weaving, feeding and nourishing, budding, leafing and fruiting. Sanctuary to birds, bugs, serpents, squirrels, spirits and sleeping possums. Source of great myths and mysteries. The tree of knowledge and the tree of life. The Bodhi Tree of Buddha. Your Soul’s Tree.

Jen Delyth©1990

I googled for tree images and found these two beautiful drawings by Jen Delyth, Welsh artist. Her website, is filled with amazing Celtic Art.

Jen Delyth©1990/2002

What thrilled me, and I hope thrills you, is the way the branches and the roots weave together. In our souls, spirit weaves into matter and matter weaves into spirit, especially when your core, your I am I, is strong like a tree trunk.

The Tree has been an archetypal image through the ages. Now it is an archetypal image for the individual. Imagine your own soul's tree image.

Is your tree like an oak, a willow, a cedar, a gingko, a cherry, a walnut, a birch, a dogwood? Why? Or is your tree something fantastic - your own special tree. How deep do the roots go? How high do the branches reach? Do the roots and branches spread out wide? What lives in your tree? Does your tree tell a story, a myth or offer certain gifts? Does it bring life? Does it bring knowledge? Does it set you free? or provide an embrace of compassion?

Tonight, imagine your Soul’s Tree. It is the source of the growth of your wonder and your wisdom. Tend to your tree with love. Feed it with freedom. Burrow into the roots and build nests in the branches.


  1. What a wonderful inspiration for the twelfth holy night and a coincidence (or maybe not?) as I just bought a blank canvas and paint this weekend to paint a tree to hang behind my Buddha statue. I have been thinking a lot about trees since the first holy night topic of nature and soul. The ice storm in December left us with such a vehement destruction of trees, but it was mostly the rigid ones, where as the flexible birches 'went with the flow' and bent, almost like bowing to the forces of nature and then slowly moving back up. A tree is a symbol in so many ways, thank you for picking it!

  2. Yesterday, self-parody. Most excellent. Today--the tree. Thank you for those exquisite Welsh designs. Consciousness saturates our body, and our body consciousness. No duality.

    I'm in newspaper editing deadline mode so I will carefully wrap these last two meditations and place them gently in a safe box for later.

    Thank you, Lynne, and to all who posted here.

    Next year, same time, same place.

    Kate, NM

  3. Dear Lynn,

    I am amazed and enchanted with your this year's messages. I decided to let this year's winter festival unfold for me whichever way life goes and it did in silent and profound way... I was first surprised and than thankful to see you did the same thing. I started reading your posts with curiosity about which psychological needs you will write about, and immediately in the beginning, I realised you offered much much more... thank you for broadening this perspective. I live on the other end of the world, and still, I feel connected to this amazing source from which your ideas and your thoughts spring. Thank you for making me feel not alone. :) It is more than synchronicity - it is the beautiful and deep and I feel that with words it is hard to say how much your words touched me - awakened me, surprised me, made me laugh, and felt so familiar and warm at the same time.

    Today, when I read about the need for the trees - it feels magical. I gave birth this year and spending lots of time in the park and walking with my son, I had many many silent hours in nature. This autumn, maybe for the first time since I'm 'grown up' I felt the trees. And than the magic came this winter, when the trees showed their bare beauty, and just before Christmas, I wrote down how enchanted I feel watching the trees, stretching their hands towards the sky. And so preocupied with the trees, to meet them in your holy nights' message is wonderful.

    Thank you, thank you, tree you
    Jasminka, Croatia

  4. "We must find some place upon the Tree of Life high enough for the
    passion that is exaltation and for the wings that always on Fire."
    William Bulter Yeats

  5. Today I would be a blue spruce. They are aromatic, and they enhance the barren winter landscape with wonderful color and fullness. In the spring I would be a blossom loaded fruit tree. In the summer, a shade producing oak would I choose to be and in the fall a sugar maple. Till next year. Thank you. SCS

  6. Tonight I feel some of the sadness of goodbye, for the end of the Christmas is near. And not just goodbye to Christmas, but to all of last year. Only now does it feel complete, time to turn with total focus toward the new unfolding. January 1st never seems like the actual New Year.

    Of all the Twelve Holy Night messages, I'm sure this is my favorite. Just before checking my email, I was on Jen's site looking at those very tree images on decals for a birthday present! A little synchronicity wink from my angels.

    After spending the day pruning fruit trees, it's great to be gifted with a night to contemplate how richly I'm blessed by the lives of trees. I would take all the images of trees and bring them so alive in us that they begin to flourish and surround us with forests and orchards once again.

    Meanwhile, I turn to the only divinational card deck I use, the Celtic Tree Oracle, beautiful renderings of the ancient druid tree archetypes, and draw a Tree for the coming year...

    It is Hawthorn, in which I hear a call for pause and self-reflection, a period of cleansing and restraint, of purification and patience. And always, the invitation to come deeper into the grove.

    The Holy Nights are another Grove that has been a wonderful mid-winter shelter for this soul. Many thanks to Lynn and all...

    "Great forests must flourish, and man must see to this if he wishes to continue to live on this planet. We are, indeed, the skin of the Earth, and skin not only covers and protects, but passes through it the forces of life."

    -Leland Cypress Deva
    from Dorothy MacLean "To Hear the Angels Sing"