1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Tree Lore

Discussion in 'Sacred Texts, Folklore, and Mythology' started by JustGeorge, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    In recent times, many of our cultures are beginning to respect and value trees with a renewed gusto. Most of this is from an environmental standpoint and a desire from self preservation. After all, if they go, we go.

    But most people enjoy trees. They add value to our cities and properties, and provide food for our families. A well known tree can become like a friend, providing shade and comfort through a lifetime.

    For others, some trees hold a deeper significance. We're all familiar with the squirrels and birds that take up residence in them, but some cultures have stories of mythological creatures taking up residence in them. I thought this guy was rather notable:
    kapre_with_little_girl_by_mau_i-230x300.jpg
    From the Philippines, we have the Kapre. Much larger and a lot grislier than your ordinary man, they apparently sit in the tops of large trees and smoke, wanting to attract the attention of humans, whom they can then prey on.

    It seems these beings belong in the 'Bigfoot' category, largely believed to be local lore, but with some claiming to have seen them.

    Among some tribes in India, the Sal Tree is revered and celebrated in the Sarhul festival.

    From Worship of Sal Tree - Sarhulfestival.org :

    2_03_34_38_Sarhul-Festival_1_H@@IGHT_435_W@@IDTH_800.jpg



    And some cultures fight to keep their tree lore alive. In South Korea, the Dangsannamu was worshipped in some villages as a village guardian. Though there are protections in place for these trees now, many were lost in the 70s when the government sought to dispel superstition, and some from Christians trying to discourage the practice.

    village-guardian-deity-tree_Encyclopedia-of-Korean-Folk-Culture-copy.jpg


    Is there any tree lore or festivals in your area? Are there any tree stories that are dear to your heart?

    Hoping @Quintessence or @The Hammer might weigh in here, as I know Druidry is full of tree lore.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. Ashoka

    Ashoka At Your Seva

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    551
    Ratings:
    +123
    Religion:
    Shaiva SIddhanta
    Lunatisidhe are said to be the spirits of Blackthorn trees. They aren't too fond of humans, mainly because they cut down their trees to make staffs. It's said that they will become angry and attack you, and squeeze your skin until it is blue. Their name comes from the fact that they worship the moon.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    I wouldn't be fond of humans either, if I were them!

    That's very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    Just found this on the Blackthorn tree; has a lot of interesting information:

    Blackthorn: Dark Mother of the Woods, Crone of the Triple Goddess, Witch Wood
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    32,662
    Ratings:
    +17,276
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    Dakshinamurthi meditates under the Banyan tree. Some banyans are massive, with many trunks and roots going all which directions. Hindus honour them for this vastness.

    I also admire fruit giving trees of any kind ... apples, mango, and many more.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,803
    Ratings:
    +5,301
    Religion:
    Druidry
    I needed this today thank you. Very informative on modern tree lore/practices I was unaware of.

    One bit of tree lore is Yggdrassil, the World Tree in Germanic/Norse myths, said to be the Axis Mundi, or link between the 9 worlds.

    In the US we also have Arbor Day, and while not a celebration, per say, I'll always plug it so people plant trees. ;)

    Arbor Day Foundation Programs inspire people to plant, nuture, and celebrate trees
     
    #5 The Hammer, Apr 11, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
  6. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,728
    Ratings:
    +1,593
    Religion:
    Christianity
    I was just recently reading again a regrettable story of an overly zealous 8th century missionary named St. Boniface.

    Donar's Oak - Wikipedia

    They cut down a tree sacred to Germanic pagans :(

    Sorry for the downer!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
  7. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    Banyans are beyond beautiful...
    banyan-tree.jpg

    In one of the books I have around here, there's instructions on how to build Yggdrassil as your Winter Solstice tree... it was definitely the most awesome idea for a holiday tree I'd seen.

    I see they used the wood for a church... is the church still standing?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,728
    Ratings:
    +1,593
    Religion:
    Christianity
    Surely not, as I can't imagine a wooden structure lasting that long there. But anyway, the precise location is in doubt today.
     
    #8 Regiomontanus, Apr 11, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
    • Like Like x 1
  9. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    The cutting of the trees is so symbolic... As it mentioned in the article, when Christianity began to spread through Europe, it did cut down the trees. Not simply for wood, but to 'dethrone' the Old Gods, and to resurrect their new one in their place. The Oak in particular was sacred to so many Gods... Thor, Perkunas, and Taranis come to mind. And many ancient people did worship in groves... cutting down their trees was defiling their places of worship.

    And the advocating for the right to keep sacred groves still goes on today, it appears. I found this article when I was searching for the other:

    Protecting sarna, Jharkand's groves of faith
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    32,662
    Ratings:
    +17,276
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    • Like Like x 2
    • Creative Creative x 1
  11. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    32,662
    Ratings:
    +17,276
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    Kauai
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2019
    Messages:
    1,534
    Ratings:
    +2,023
    Religion:
    None
    Hmmm... Up here in the PNW, red cedars hold a special place in the hearts of many first nation folks. In pre contact times, they'd travel long distances to find the perfect tree to harvest long strips of it's bark from, and they'd pulverize the inner bark fibers to make cloth that they'd weave into their clothing. When you go walking in the woods, you can find signs on trees that they'd harvested from long ago.

    [​IMG]

    Folks still do it to this day, too. Apperently the bark fibers are even softer than cotton, from what I hear.

    [​IMG]

    Red cedars have also been used in the construction of long houses, fortresses, totem poles, and canoes due to how tough and long lived the wood is.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and as for the clothing...

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,803
    Ratings:
    +5,301
    Religion:
    Druidry
    Yeah, this one irks me.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  15. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    Wow! That is awesome! I had no idea people made clothes from the Red Cedars!

    The fact that you can see which trees were harvested so long ago gives would give one a real sense of connection with people throughout time...

    I find it fascinating how one tree may see so many generations of people, and even more of animals...
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    23,691
    Ratings:
    +6,843
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Interesting you ask. A few days ago I got this article about the spiritual significance of trees in my e-mail. The article concludes as follows:

    These few examples, and many more too numerous to mention, show how the spiritual significance of trees — wondrous creations of God, essential in the world of nature, and a source of inspiration to countless artists — help us better understand religion and the spiritual truths within all of us. As Kilmer wrote, “only God can make a tree.”

    The Spiritual Meaning and Significance of Trees
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    I remember reading something(I wish I could remember where) about someone showing another the seed of a mighty tree, to show how something so big came from something so small. But then he goes farther, and cracks the seed open, to show there was nothing inside. "So where does it come from?" He asks.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    23,691
    Ratings:
    +6,843
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    What you said about "nothing inside" just reminded me of the seed giving way to the tree, which is part of a chapter describing the significance of Jesus' sacrifice. Below is an excerpt from that chapter.

    "But Christ, Who is the Word of God, sacrificed Himself. This has two meanings, an apparent and an esoteric meaning. The outward meaning is this: Christ’s intention was to represent and promote a Cause which was to educate the human world, to quicken the children of Adam, and to enlighten all mankind; and since to represent such a great Cause—a Cause which was antagonistic to all the people of the world and all the nations and kingdoms—meant that He would be killed and crucified, so Christ in proclaiming His mission sacrificed His life. He regarded the cross as a throne, the wound as a balm, the poison as honey and sugar. He arose to teach and educate men, and so He sacrificed Himself to give the spirit of life. He perished in body so as to quicken others by the spirit.

    The second meaning of sacrifice is this: Christ was like a seed, and this seed sacrificed its own form so that the tree might grow and develop. Although the form of the seed was destroyed, its reality became apparent in perfect majesty and beauty in the form of a tree."

    Some Answered Questions, pp. 120-121
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Messages:
    2,276
    Ratings:
    +4,210
    Religion:
    Hindu
    That is a really intriguing way of putting things. I hadn't thought about the story of Christ's sacrifice like that.

    I am reminded of another story, of course one in which I can't remember where I read it at, just that I did. But basically, a woman walks by a Christmas tree farm frequently, feeling disgusted at all the wasted trees. After all, they're grown and cut, and then discarded. For years this went on for her, until, one day, enjoying the solitude of the area, she realized those trees served a deeper purpose. The peace she felt, and the atmosphere that they sustained gave others a very unique experience. From that point on, she vowed she would be appreciative of the sacrifice the trees made, and would no longer harbor hostilities when she walked though.

    I think the story has stuck in my mind because it is something I am working on personally... not with commercial tree fields, but cornfields. I get very bitter about them... but I have to recognize they, too, give something unique.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    23,691
    Ratings:
    +6,843
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    That is similar to the story of the Christ sacrifice.... Something had to be sacrificed so something else could grow.
    I believe that for spiritual growth worldly things must be sacrificed, and that just reminded me of these verses:

    John 12:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    Speaking of cornfields, I remember the large cornfields from when I lived in Indiana, I always liked the cornfields. We do not have many here, just a few small ones which bring back memories.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...