People and Trees: Intimately Connected Through the Ages

Trees are considered sacred in many cultures. Tree worship, in one form or another, has been practiced almost universally by ancient peoples in every corner of the globe.Tree of LifeFeatured Image: Tree of Life by Judith Shaw

Trees Speak to the Soul of Human Beings

It is no wonder that trees have captured the human imagination since the beginning of time. Their strength, deeply rooted in the Earth, is an inspiration. Their trunk and branches are a wonder of nature because they stand sturdy and impenetrable most of the time, yet they can flex and sway with the wind when needed.
The whisper of a breeze in their leaves or the sight of ants marching in a straight line up or down their trunks remind us of the magic of nature that trees embody. They live for hundreds or even thousands of years, and so we revere them as keepers of past secrets and sentinels of the future.
Watching their cycles of growth, shedding of leaves, and re-flowering in the spring, people have long perceived trees as powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal. Since the beginning of time, humans have had a sense that trees are sentient beings just like us, that they can feel pain, that they bleed when they are hurt. Trees even look like us. People have a trunk; trees have arms. And so we innately feel a deep connection to them.
Many people say they can feel a tree’s vibrational energy when placing their hand upon its bark. With their deep roots, trees carry significant grounding energy. We naturally feel peace and serenity when walking in the shade of trees or on a forest trail.

Trees Help Us Every Day

A recent study shows that trees remove so much pollution from the air that they “prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone.” When an insect called the emerald ash borer killed off a significant number of trees in the American Midwest in the 1990’s and 2000’s, rates of human death from cardiovascular and respiratory illness increased.
More difficult to quantify is the psychological effect that trees have on people. People who spend time outdoors, or even those who have access to windows looking out at trees, have been shown to have better health than those who do not.

The Universal Tree of Life: Both Ancient and Modern

The concept of a Tree of Life, often symbolizing the connections between all life forms, is found in many religions and philosophies, dating back as early as ancient Egypt. The Egyptian tree of life symbolized creation and represented the chain of events that brought everything into existence.
Fast forward to modern science. The tree has become the quintessential symbol of biological evolution, as its ever-branching image poignantly depicts the unmistakable interconnections between all living species on the Earth.
The beautiful Tree of Life painting at the top of the article was shared with us by artist Judith Shaw. It was inspired by the ancient symbol of the Tree of Life as well as by Sacred Geometry.

91The Tree Leaf and Eternal Life

Consider this beautiful commentary from Thich Nhat Hanh reflecting on a tree leaf:

“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’

… That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf because it is not afraid-it knew nothing can be born and nothing can die.”

thay-2013Cultural Beliefs About Trees

Trees are considered sacred in virtually every place where humans have settled.
There are many profound beliefs surrounding trees that people have held for millennia.
Here are some interesting and touching examples:

  • For the Sng’oi people of Malaysia, a person and a tree can belong with each other, and this relationship is maintained for life. Certain trees and certain people belong together. When a person belongs with a tree, they also belong with its offspring: any trees that grow from the seeds of the first tree, no matter how far the seeds may scatter. The Sng’oi people call upon their intuition to know which child trees have sprung from which parent trees.
  • The World Tree is said to dwell in three worlds: Its roots reach down to the underworld, its trunk sits on the Earth, and its branches extend up to the heavens. Many cultures share a belief that this tree is the Axis Mundi or World Axis which supports or holds up the cosmos. For the Mayan peoples, the Axis Mundi was a massive Ceiba (in other cultures, it is called Kapok) tree that stands at the center of the world. The Mayan beliefs reflect that human souls first came into being as the sacred white flowers on the branches of the Ceiba tree. Souls of the dead Mayan ancestors rose from the roots of the Axis Mundi up through its branches and into the celestial realms.
  • In Germanic regions, it was believed that mankind was created from tree trunks, echoing the perception that people and trees have much in common.
  • In Sweden, some trees were considered “wardens” and could guard a home from bad luck. The warden was usually a very old tree growing on the lot near the home. The family living there had such great respect for the tree that they would often adopt a surname related to the name of the tree.
  • yggdrasil_by_seless-d4caiaxA well-known sacred tree in Norse mythology was Yggdrasil, a giant ash tree that was said to link and shelter the nine worlds that were believed to exist.
  • In Irish and English folklore, fairies would be found wherever Ash, Oak, and Hawthorne trees grew together. Hawthorn trees were regarded as a powerful symbol of protection, and were often planted near houses to ward off lightning as well as evil spirits. On the dawn of Beltane, it was believed that women who bathed in the dew from a Hawthorne blossom would become beautiful, and men who washed their hands in the dew would become skilled craftsmen.
  • Buddhists have a deep reverence for the Bodhi tree, a type of fig tree with heart-shaped leaves, beneath which the Buddha is said to have meditated for 49 days, trying to reconcile his mind to the fact that there was suffering in the world. On the 49th day, he stood and thanked the tree for providing shade for him, and in that instant he attained enlightenment. Today, in the same location where the Buddha is believed to have sat, there grows a descendant of that same Bodhi tree. Buddhist myths say that the tree will live there until the world is destroyed, and the place where it grows will be the last place to be destroyed; and when the world is reborn, that site will be the first place to appear.
  • The villagers of Piplantri, in Rajasthan, India, celebrate the birth of each little girl by planting 111 trees in her honor. The entire village works together to plant and care for the trees. This tradition not only ensures that the environment will be able to support the increasing population of the village, but it has also brought harmony and a drop in crime to the village.
  • In Malaysia, people maintain a very intimate relationship with trees. “There is a practice of tree planting around houses to the extent that the walls and wooden structures are allowed to give way to the roots of creeping plants, purposely sown at the bases of these structures.” The graveyards in Malaysia are covered so thickly with trees that the entire grounds are cool and sheltered from the tropical sun. The trees are allowed to take root into the graves and it is said that the trees whisper prayers to the creator asking for forgiveness of past transgressions of those buried in that place.

Source: http://www.pachamama.org/blog/people-and-trees-intimately-connected-through-the-ages

Listening With the Heart to Those Who Cannot Speak

Dear Freinds,
this article makes hope and made me cry at the same time! As I am also an empath  and an emotional intuitive, I was in many situations where I could feel the pain of animals. Wherer the energetic field talked to me about their horror and suffering. And some of them shared their happiness, their deep passion for life and for a connection with human beings. It is time we take better care of our fellow animal friends! A wonderful story that fits beautifully to the time we are in – the time to call back the animals into co-creation of a new – harmonious world for all beings!! AHO! Love and best connections!!!
Edith
How a chance encounter with a Horse demonstrates the power of listening with the heart.

As an emotional intuitive, I often find myself called into unchartered territory to be of service to help individuals and animals. It is in these moments that I witness the greatest potential for miracles. Synchronicity does not shout; it whispers, to see if you are listening and courageous enough to be of service.
After a long hike on a Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were famished, but we had arrived at our favorite restaurant only to find that it wouldn’t be open for another hour. It seemed like an easy choice to simply find another place to eat.
But something in my gut said, “Wait!”
We decided to aimlessly tour the countryside for that hour and eventually crossed a street named after my hometown. We giggled and turned the corner. Strolling past the rolling hills of cattle, horses, and sheep; we felt at peace.

Further down the road, I had a strange feeling as we approached a horse isolated in a small pen 25 feet in diameter. He was separated from a group of horses across the road. Intuitively, I could feel the pain and anxiety the horse was experiencing. I told my husband that something was wrong and he asked if he should pull over.
Synchronicity had led me here to be of service so my darling husband happily obliged. Afraid to get out of the car for fear of overstepping personal boundaries, I could feel the inner struggle between being of service to this horse who couldn’t speak for himself and the fear of being yelled at or shot. But the horse’s suffering was too intense to disregard; I decided to act with courage.

horse-eyeI approached the horse in his pen slowly, allowing him to see the loving intention in my eyes and heart. I telepathically let him know that I was there to connect with him and that I cared about what he was feeling. I felt an immediate burst of joy come from inside his heart.

The horse allowed me to feel his deep grief and anxiety. He felt unacceptable and alone. He felt a strong sense of panic, anxiety, humiliation, abandonment, and bewilderment. He didn’t know who he could trust and was terribly unhappy in the tiny pen filled with his own feces that he was left in. This left him feeling humiliated and rejected.
The horse’s pen was one of those pens that had been used for breaking them. I saw a flash of the horse’s past where he was beaten into submission by previous owners, men who had whipped him repeatedly.
The experiences had left him emotionally scarred. Being left alone in that pen told him that he was unacceptable psychologically. I could feel that no matter how many times he had tried to trust, he had been consistently betrayed, mistreated, and left alone. He longed to be free, grazing with the other horses in the pasture. Most people do not understand that horses, like other conscious animals, form attachments and have real emotions like humans.
With all of this information, I knew I wanted to overcome my own fear of being misunderstood and potentially harmed in order to do what I could to help the horse relay this message to his current owner.
I left a detailed note and my phone number with the owner and let the horse know that his wishes had been communicated. He responded by trying to play with me, grabbing with his mouth at the ends of my clothing to pull me in to the pen with him. He really wanted to connect with someone who saw him for the beautiful and intelligent spirit that he is.

horse-pen

On our way home, I was surprised to receive a phone call from the horse’s owner and could therefore explain our chance encounter in more detail. “You are very in tune!” she said, to my surprise and delight.

She told me that the horse had bonded with her daughter but since she had just had knee surgery, she was not able to get out to see him. This explained why he felt so abandoned and alone. She went on to tell me that the horse had seven previous owners, many of whom had severely beat him and forced him to do very hard work. Most recently, he had been relocated from Oklahoma where someone in their family had passed away.
“Did you notice the broken gate on the pen?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “He broke free during a thunderstorm one night about two months ago” she said.
Could you imagine being trapped in a small pen alone in the dark during a violent thunder and lightning storm? Just like you, the horse was afraid as he had no where to hide and was terrified.
“But he lived in Oklahoma” she said. “They have great big storms there.”

She didn’t understand that horses are just like people. We all need shelter and a place to feel safe. Even horses get scared. I offered solutions to help the horse adjust to his new home and family in a more interconnected way by possibly contacting the owner of the adjacent property to see if the horse could socialize with the others. She was very grateful and happy to respond to make the situation better immediately. I was happy that I did not allow my fear to get in the way of trying to alleviate the suffering of another being. It was an honor to communicate empathically with a beautiful life force who could not speak for himself.
Many people do not understand the emotional intelligence of other species, but would be changed forever once they did. Words create division but we can connect universally through the empathic language of the heart. No matter what life form you find yourself engaging with, try practicing deep listening and speaking through the emotional compass of your heart. What you will discover is that the world is a much more interesting place.

WORDS BY DAWN AGNOS
Source: http://upliftconnect.com/listening-with-the-heart/

The Anointed One: Did Jesus Perform His Miracles with Cannabis Oil?

“Jesus Healing the Blind”  from 12th Century Basilica Catedrale di Santa Maria Nouva di Monreale in Sicily.

Last month the Salt Lake City Tribune ran a story titled “Families Migrating to Colorado for a Medical Marijuana Miracle.” It profiled just a few of the hundreds of children and parents currently uprooting their lives and flocking to the Rocky Mountain State in search of a non-psychoactive cannabis medicine that’s shown promise in treating serious pediatric ailments, even when all other possible treatments have proven futile.
“You’re completely re-establishing your whole life,” one father of a two-year old epilepsy sufferer explained of his family’s recent decision to relocate from Tennessee. “We don’t have a support system. We don’t have friends. We had to find a new church.”

“We can’t leave the state with [cannabis] or it would be a federal offense,” his wife added. “But we just felt like if we knew something was out there that might work and we didn’t try it we’d be doing the ‘what if’s’ our whole life.”

Tales of “miraculous” healing through the use of highly-concentrated cannabis oil have been circulating within the global marijuana community for almost ten years, but they only broke into the popular consciousness this August, when Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, offered millions of viewers a painful apology for previously dismissing mounting evidence in favor of medical cannabis, describing himself as having been “systematically misled” on the subject.

descargaThen Dr. Gupta introduced the world to six-year-old Charlotte Figi from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who used to suffer 300 gran mal seizures per week, even after cycling through every anti-seizure medicine in the pharmacopeia and enduring a series of painful procedures that left her unable to walk, talk or eat. Those seizures started when Charlotte was just three months old, and yet in all that time, not one medical professional ever so much as mentioned cannabis. Her parents only learned the herb might help treat Dravet’s—the rare, intractable form of epilepsy tormenting their child—by watching a video on Youtube, and even then only decided to try it after all else failed.

The first time they gave their daughter a dose of wholly plant-derived non-psychoactive high-CBD cannabis oil, her seizures ceased for seven straight days—a completely astonishing response. She’s now down from more than 1,200 major seizures per month to just two or three mild ones. Towards the end of the CNN segment, as Charlotte happily pedaled her bicycle, her father asked, “Why were we the ones that had to go out and find this natural cure? How come our doctors didn’t know about this?”

SCATTERING SEEDS
Now imagine Charlotte Figi living not in modern day Colorado, but in the Middle East, roughly 2000 years ago. Whether an object of pity, scorn, fear, or fascination, that poor young girl likely would’ve been thought to be demonically possessed—her deeply religious community would have had no concept of epilepsy as we know it today. At least until the day a stranger came to town, calling himself Jesus of Nazareth, but named by his disciples as Christ—a Greek word meaning the anointed.
Following the recipe for holy anointing oil found in the Old Testament (Exodus 30: 22-23), this healer of local renown would infuse nine pounds of a plant known in Aramaic askaneh-bosm (fragrant cane) into about six quarts of olive oil, along with essential extracts of myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia. He would then apply this unguent concoction topically to the infirm, allowing it to absorb transdermally.

According to conventional Biblical scholarship, the “250 shekels of kaneh-bosm” listed in ancient Hebrew versions of the Old Testament supposedly refers to calamus, but Chris Bennett, author of the 2001 book Sex, Drugs, and Violence in the Bible claims that this is a misconception, and likely a misdirection as well, one stemming from a perhaps willful mistake made the first time the Old Testament was translated into Greek.

Kaneh-bosm, he writes, was cannabis.

The first solid evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis was established in 1936 by Sula Benet, a little known Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw. The word cannabis was generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and that it appears several times throughout the Old Testament. Benet explained that “in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.”

Benet demonstrated that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also rendered in traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannabus. The root kan in this construction means “reed” or “hemp”, while bosm means “aromatic”. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel…. and has been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with little monetary value that does not have the qualities or value ascribed to kaneh-bosm. The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was repeated in the many translations that followed.

While that etymogical argument in no way serves as material proof, the “aromatic reed theory” can serve as the basis for a set of assumptions. Assuming the oil described in Exodus did in fact contain high levels of cannabis, the effective dose of the plant’s medicinal compounds would certainly be potent enough to explain many of the healing miracles attributed to Jesus, as marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for everything from skin diseases and glaucoma to neurodegenerative conditions and multiple sclerosis. Also, while it’s highly unlikely anybody back then had herb capable of competing with the 20-25 percent THC super-chronic Cannabis Cup winners of today, there’s also no reason to believe that artful botanists of the ancient world couldn’t have bred and grown plants in the 10 percent THC range—with perhaps even higher levels of CBD than our modern hybrids—a cannabinoid profile that advocates claim is potent enough to produce a truly profound reaction when absorbed in such large amounts.

19_sMOSES THE STONED SHAMAN

Kaneh-bosm makes its first, rather auspicious appearance in the Bible as part of the story of Moses and the burning bush, when the revered Jewish prophet gets the holy anointing oil recipe direct from the Lord, along with clear instructions to anoint only the priest class—a restriction later eased to allow kings access as well.

Exodus 30:31

You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.

Unfortunately for the priests and their erstwhile marijuana monopoly, however, many other competing religions and spiritual paths active at the time—including pagans and those who worshipped the Goddess Ashera—had their own far more free-flowingkaneh-bosm supply. Cannabis, after all, has been grown as a food crop since at least 6,000 BC and was well known and widely available in Moses’s time.

“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” according to Carl P. Ruck,  a professor of classical mythology at Boston University who studies the way psychoactive substances have influenced humanity’s spiritual development. “There is no way that so important a plant as a fiber source for textiles and nutritive oils and one so easy to grow would have gone unnoticed… the mere harvesting of it would have induced an entheogenic reaction.”

asherah_by_sami_edelstein1Which means it wasn’t so much the cannabis plant that ancient Judaic priests tried to keep to themselves, as the healing potential of high-potency anointing oil passed down to them by Moses. A prohibition they maintained by targeting for elimination anybody who dared to break God’s commandment by sharing the elixir with the masses, assuming that kaneh-bosm is cannabis.

JESUS THE REBEL
Aside from crucifixion, Jesus’s baptism is considered by many researchers the only historically certain fact about his life. The New Testament’s vivid accounts of the ceremony make it clear that the apostles considered their savior’s encounter with John the Baptist to be a pivotal and transformative event, one that marks the beginning of his public ministry.

Mark 1: 9-13

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him. And there came a voice from Heaven, saying, ‘Thou Art My Beloved Son, In Whom I Am Well Pleased.’ And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him.

But if water served as the catalyst for Jesus’s spiritual ascension, why does he never perform a baptism? Why take the name Christ? And why anoint his flock in oil before sending them out to anoint others, as described in Mark 6:13: They cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

To those who believe that Christ used cannabis oil, the answer lies in non-canonical Christian texts. The canonical texts of the New Testament, that is the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc, were not selected as such until around 325 years after Jesus’s death, when the Roman Catholic Church culled them from a large number of contenders in hopes of uniting all of Christendom under one banner—their own. The Church then sought out and destroyed every account that differed from their now official version of events. Allowing the very empire Jesus once virulently opposed to seize control over the practice of Christianity for a thousand year period known as the Dark Ages.

Meanwhile, any Christians who continued to promote alternate views of Jesus and his teachings were labeled heretics and brutally suppressed. Much of their scripture and dictates were thought to be lost forever as a result, until 1945, when an Egyptian peasant digging for fertilizer in a cave unearthed a dozen leather-bound codices inside a sealed jar, a treasure trove purposely buried there by scribes at a nearby monastery sometime around AD 367, when the Church first condemned the use of non-canonical texts.

Within these volumes—many of which predate the books of the New Testament—Biblical experts discovered a parallel but radically different telling of the life of Jesus, one that places the anointing ceremony squarely at the center of Christianity. So much so that these various sects were given the blanket name Gnostics (from the Greek word for “knowledge”) to highlight their shared focus on first-hand experience of the holy oil as what defines a christian, rather than second-hand faith in scripture or the priesthood.

The Gnostic tractate The Gospel of Phillip, for instance, proclaims that any person who “receives this unction…is no longer a christian but a Christ.” A transformation then compared  to the placebo act of baptism adopted by the Roman Catholic Church, in which would-be initiates “go down into the water and come up without having received anything… [Because] there is water in water, there is fire in chrism [an anointing].”

Basically, the Gnostics believed Jesus’s baptism took place, but only as a kind of cleansing ritual, in preparation for receiving holy anointing oil—the true sacrament. As Chris Bennett writes, “The surviving Gnostic descriptions of the effects of the anointing rite make it very clear that the holy oil had intense psychoactive properties that prepared the recipient for entrance into ‘unfading bliss.’”

download (1)THE SKEPTICS

Lytton John Musselman, a Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University and author of A Dictionary of Bible Plants (Cambridge 2011), says he’s familiar with the theory that keneh-bosem refers to cannabis, but remains wholly unconvinced, calling the evidence claiming marijuana to be part of the holy anointing oil “so weak I would not pursue it.” He also defends calamus as capable of producing medicinal effects on par with those described in the Bible.

“Calamus is a very important component of Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to have efficacy,” according to Musselman. “For example, in Sri Lanka it is available in any herbal remedy shop and also universally grown in home gardens. The North American species was and is so important to Native Americans in the Northeast that land with natural populations is highly sought after.”

Like most Biblical scholars, Musselman gives little consideration to the idea that Jesus used marijuana to perform the kind of healing miracles we now see on CNN and read about in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Understandably, for children like Charlotte Figi and their families, religion, history, politics, medicine, and the law all must take a backseat to the positive effects they are experiencing treating illness with marijuana. As Jesus said to his apostles after preaching at Lake Galilee:

Mark 4: 21-23

Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.

Remember, lamps back then were fueled with oil!!!

Source  David Bienenstock: http://www.vice.com/read/did-jesus-perform-his-miracles-with-cannabis-oil