The Standing People; Part One

Study Circle
Cycle 1
Sacred Discourse
The Standing People; the Moon Trees, Part 1

R.J. Stewart in his book The Underworld Initiation talks about the
"Archetypal Tree," or the "Tree of Trees." He explains that this is the
original root
Tree from which all other trees emanate. It is the Faery Tree... the Tree at
the base of all the other mystical tree-symbols such as Kabballah, Yggdrasil,
the Tree in Eden, the Hanged One's Tree in the Tarot, (Yes even the Crucifix
is called a Tree ), The Tree in Womanrunes, the World Tree, Axis Mundi, the
calendar Trees... the oldest of them all. I agree with Stewart's suggestion
one of the reasons all trees are endangered now, is that we have forgotten to
invoke the archetypal Tree. If our inner landscape is denuded of green
growing life forms, it follows that the outer landscape will also be.

I thought, well then, what we need to do to help remedy this situation is
start remembering this Tree. This is a priestessly thing to do... not that one
cannot also tend to the living trees in the environment, plant more trees
where they are needed (and hail to the African sister who risked life and limb
bring a million trees back to her devastated continent, was beaten and
ridiculed for it, but later awarded the Nobel prize!)... and so on... but we
to remember the Inner planes where work also needs to be done. The priestess
in us remembers to ritualize, visualize, affirm, strengthen, nourish,
invoke... on the Inner. And what better way to reclaim and nourish the Tree of
than with poetry and song, for these are the flowers of our inward meadows...


Once a man of history
Murdered an ancient Alder Tree
She screamed and bled
As she fell to earth
Uttering a loud
And angry curse:

"Henceforth a hunger
Dire and dread
Shall burn in you
From toe to head
No matter if you consume
All you see
Satisfied you'll never be!
Satisfied you'll never be!"

The man looked up
From the corpse of the Tree
To see what mortal
Ne'er should see
The Old Hag Famine
Floating there
Haunting him with
Moans so drear...
Haunting him with
Moans so drear....

He fled in horror
O'er the plane
But in his gut
Rose such a pain
"I must have food!"
He cried in fear
And gobbled all that
Came him near...
He gobbled all that
Came him near....

He gobbled cows
And flocks of sheep
He gobbled whales
From the ocean deep
He gobbled bears
And birds and bees
He gobbled elephants
And trees...
He gobbled elephants
And trees...

Whole crops of wheat
And corn ate he
But his hunger sated
Ne'er could be
Until at last
He sealed his doom
When his wretched self
He did consume
His wretched self
He did consume...

Now comes a time
Of Herstory
When we rebirth
Reclaim the Tree
The Tree of Trees
The World Tree
Aine, the Tree of Trees....
Aine, the Tree of Trees....

-through Shekhinah
Aine, one of the Faery Queens and correllate/guardian to the Faery
Tree, or Gateway to Faery... pronounced "oonya" with a short "o" as in "book"...
sort of. LOL don't you love those Celtic names?!.

The Alder, fourth tree in my version of the Tree Calendar, I have come to
call the Menstruating Tree. She actually bleeds red sap when cut or injured.
England there is a gigantic Alder under which sleep and worship many sheep.
There is a yoni shaped knot in her trunk that continually bleeds red sap.
Monica Sjoo, one of the great women of the Goddess movement and monumental
artist... has a picture of this Tree in her slide presentation. It was upon
viewing this when she brought her slides to my area, that I found out about this

Beltane or Diana or the holy day understood as the Menarche of the Goddess
--- often falls during the Alder Moon... and will this year on Alder 22 and 23
waning...Hecaday and Sunday... April 30th/May 1st, 10,005.

The wood of the Alder makes great charcoal, used for sustaining fires, and
the tradition of charcoal makers goes way back. Thus the Alder is a Fire tree
and offers Fire magick. Receive a wand from Her (with prayers and permission
of course) for making your firesick, and your fires will burn well. Linking
this awareness to the time of Menarch, when the Goddess begins to Bleed and
become Whole-Unto-Herself... and the Alder takes on the image of a Power Tree.
Perhaps Alder is the wood the Queen of Wands holds... Menarch is a time of
sexual awakening, and that energy is also very prevalent at Beltane or Diana's
Could be that it was the Alder folks danced around once upon a time, and it
evolved into what we now call the May Pole... the dance of the May Pole with
it's woven ribbons and intricate steps carries deep significance in this
light. The Weavings of the Goddess that put all things together...the Weavings
the Blood that nurtures Life... the time of a Maiden's coming into Womanhood
when her womb, her creative center can make new life, and the Fires of her
sexuality begin to stir as the Year heats up.

Wands can be received from all the Tree people, and each kind of Tree will
influence its magic...

The song/poem above is based on an actual traditional Irish folk legend. In
the story it is said that a tree nymph or spirit dwells in this Tree, and it
is she who curses the man when he cuts down her living home. This tree was
considered very sacred by the people who passed it by, and any harm to it would
be bad luck indeed.

I think this tale, old as it may be, is an amazingly apt allegory for the
addictive, irresponsible and insensitive aspects of patriarchy.

I love that Native Americans call the trees The Standing People. I love the
Ents, the Tree People of Tolkien mythology, who do everything very
slowly...taking a week or two to say Hello. :0) I love the legend of Orpheus,
of whose
music it was said, would cause the trees to pull up their roots and follow...

It seems the Goddess has called on me to be a voice for the Trees, since they
have no voice in human society, except through us.


I am Tree

My trunk and my branches are my bones
Holding me erect and firm
My leaves are my hair
Whispering and flowing through the air
Telling you secrets that you can hear
If you dare...

My sap is my blood
As precious and vital as your own
With my endmost twigs I reach
And touch you...
Touch sky...
Touch star...
With my roots I join the Wheeling Dance
And plug in
To the vastness
Of it all.

I am Tree
I am Treeness

As precious and vital to you
As your blood and breath and bone
I am your home.

Rest in me.
Take shelter
Breathe of my breath
Feed of my fruits
Take sweet inspiration from my flowers
For I am the pure love of goddess
Yours for the taking.

Take a fair share
Without guilt or shame
But remember
And give back

But most of all


Poem "Do You Use Wood?"
by Shekhinah Mountainwater
Santa Cruz, CA 1999
All rights reserved

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