Painted by Laurie Evans
From all quarters, life on this precious Eairth is desperately calling for the rising of the rooted Feminine—in both women and men.
Eairth* and all her creatures are gasping for breath.
We lose between 1 and 300 species every day (low to high estimates), and it is widely thought that we humans are causing the sixth great extinction, presently underway.
Our Eairth home is warming and her interconnected life systems are responding by creating chaotic and destructive weather patterns which make it less hospitable for all life, humans included.
Our human family is forgetting not only our connection to Eairth, but to each other with the rise of more and more nationalistic movements across the world.
And meanwhile, we continue business as usual, as if the worn-out industrial-growth society could ignore the problem and continue consuming more and more…
We pour more money into unsustainable practices, trying to get the last bit of fossil fuel out of Eairth with complete disregard for Gaia’s life systems** that are being broken in the process.
We pour more money into genetically engineering seeds and animals and genes as if we could do better that Gaia that has been evolving and supporting us for 4.5 billion years…
We need to wake up and
let the rooted Feminine
consciousness rise up and
inform our lives,
our actions, and our world
before it is too late,
before we lose the freedom we celebrate on July 4th—especially the freedom to be alive
on this precious planet.
The beautiful image at the top of this blogpost, painted by my dear friend Laurie Evans, can give us an image to hold before us, to live with.
Can you feel how rooted she is? Rooted in tree and freely branching, leafing, flowering into life.
Before growing tall, tree roots take time to grow deep—up to 200 feet deep—into the earth. There they receive nourishment and stability from the depths, from deep sources of water and minerals and stone.
What deep sources of nourishment do you have, to fill your well, to root you in your deepest Essence?
The Feminine embodied consciousness knows the value of turning within, of the nourishment of inner life.
When we are deeply rooted inside, we discern Truth and are not swayed by the opinions of others. We choose healthfully for all life. We value our spiritual practices as a way of sustaining connection to soul including the anima mundi, or, world soul.
Tree roots also spread wide—at their widest, three times the width of their crowns (and mature crowns spread up 590 feet wide, so you do the math!). In his astonishing book, The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben describes how this wide root network is the primary way trees communicate with and feed each other.
And even more beautiful, trees communicate through symbiotic relationships with special types of funghi that grow on their roots! The funghi receive sugars the trees produce from photosynthesis and give back water and minerals, as well as communication networks that Peter refers to “the wood-wide web.” They can transmit messages to other trees along these root network systems—about danger and sickness, and the need for nourishment.
What wide root networks do you have, that you feed and that feed you? Our interconnections with others are necessary on the path of awakening. We need to support each other—to be warned of danger ahead or when we lose our way, to be reminded of the need for true nourishment…
The Feminine is relational.
When rooted in our Feminine nature, we do not over-give or lose ourselves. We do not stay too long in relationship. We do not forget ourselves and wind up exhausted and burned out. We stay connected and know that each person brings a gift to the table.
Tree nature has intricate, indigenous lifeways that guide natural tree growth. What we could call tree instincts respond as needed in the moment without question—sending sap, messages, and energy. Their instinctual tree-wisdom arises to meet life, with utter faith that their response is in alignment with Gaia’s rhythms.
How do you trust your instinctual, indigenous nature? We humans have life-intelligence inherited from our animal ancestors. This native wisdom helps us stay rooted and alive as part of the interconnected web of life. It tells us when we are hungry, in danger, in need of bonding or of the shelter of a friend.
Rooted in the Feminine, we trust our instinctual intelligence to guide us.
We know ourselves as embodied—as earthly, incarnate, with a body that needs tending, a heart that needs loving, and a mind that needs opening. The Feminine knows the value of the body and does not try to transcend it and the greater body of Eairth, but to live more fully embodied, more fully incarnate, here, in this life, exactly as it is right now.
Trees know how to not only root, but how to branch and leaf and flower and fruit and seed!! Their circulatory system pumps sap nourishment from the sun through the leaves down to the roots, and from storage in the roots, back up when it is needed. A healthy sap-system supports not only inner, but outer growth. Mature trees release their seed, give away the fruits of their growth—in flower, fruit, or seed—so that their essence can live on even after they release their standing forms to the earth.
How are you called out, once your well is sufficiently filled, to branch, to leaf, to blossom? What have you been developing deep within yourself that calls for expression, that wants to be given away as a gift for others? It needn’t be big to be of service—we’re not all meant to be Michelle or Barak Obama, Joanna Macy or Brian Swimme! But we are all called to be ourselves and of service to the world. Maybe it’s random acts of kindness, or a listening ear, or maybe you’re called to protest or form a PTA or help save a river.
As John O’Donohue says in Eternal Echos, “The wisdom of the tree balances the path inwards with the pathway outwards” (p. 149). When we are deeply rooted in our inward path, the pathway outward is a natural outcome. The rooted and rising Feminine is not about just doing our spiritual practices!! Yes, that’s crucial to keep the root well-nourished, but we are also called to give birth—to blossom and give of our fruit.
The Feminine within us all feels the call to embody our Truth—to birth it in our daily lives and to be of service to Eairth, to others, to the world…
As I was writing this blogpost, a big, welcome storm blew through. I was sitting on the front porch in the early morning watching the graying sky on the horizon, feeling the wind gaining strength, blowing my hair and clothes. When the storm landed, the trees started dancing with the wind—not just their leaves and branches, but their trunks, too. Being deeply rooted, deeply belonging to Eairth, trees have faith in their foundation and solidity.
Buffeted by stormy winds, trees stay flexible and participate with the storm. Not resisting—simply responding to the wind, they become its dance partner.
How flexible are you when the storm hits? (Because it always will!) Are you able to sway with the wind and trust your nourished, deep and wide roots?
The Feminine knows the value of fluidity, of responding to life flexibly.
She is not stuck in fixed opinions and beliefs, but knows that everything life brings is worth interacting with, worth considering. She feels deeply, responds, and flows with the winds of life.
Trees root in one place for their whole lives. Because of this, they know the value of patience, of endurance, of trusting time. Storms come and go, predators cause damage and may even cut them down. But they persevere, even in death, knowing that right here is where they belong.
How do you find belonging in these times of disrupted families, ever-growing screen-time, and lack of Eairth connection?
The Feminine knows how to make home, to create the shelter of belonging wherever we are—
in the city or country, in a house or tent, with yourself or with others. This is the part of us that knows how to belong to ourself, to others, and to Eairth. And in that belonging is the safety and shelter of home.
Like trees, rooting,
we freely rise.
Nourish your roots, trust your instinctual intelligence, be of service, be flexible, and create a shelter of belonging for all Eairth, for all life.
Together, with the rooted and rising Feminine in each of us, we express our freedom, and heal our relationship with ourselves, with each other, and with Eairth.
The trees do everything totally.
They don’t hold back.
They fruit completely.
They stretch to the sun completely.
They give their all. They drop their leaves completely.
They disappear into the ground
and root themselves down completely.
They’re total. They’re total permission.
If you want to learn how to live, learn from trees.
~ Clare Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters
What do you need to learn
from the rising Feminine
nature of trees in
this season of your life?
* Eairth = earth and air together, our planet home, first heard from Thomas Berry (I think!)
** Gaia = the self-regulating living system of our planet
4 thoughts on “Freedom to Rise like Trees”
Wow Katy!!!! Your beautiful words, wisdom and truths give breath to my psyche, soul and being. With love, I thank you!
And your beautiful painting gives breath to my words, wisdom, and truth, as well as my bodysoul! ❤
This was so beautiful and helpful. Thank you
I’m so glad to hear this, Lindsay! What struck you?