by Jennifer Radtke I’m drawn to Tree Orientation because it is similar to ONE’s mission: connecting the heart of nature to the heart of humanity. A long time ago nature and humanity were one, living in the same dimension/world. We were so linked that we could not do the things we are doing to our environment, as it would be like cutting off our own arm. Damanhur, an ecological and spiritual community in Italy, believes that there were three original worlds on Earth intricately connected: the tree world, the nature spirit world, and the human world. A long time ago the worlds were split. Many of us who talk to trees can travel between the worlds effortlessly, but it is not like it used to be when all the worlds were one.
When you do tree orientation, you pass a special pendulum from Damanhur around a tree three times, one for each world. It only takes a minute or two, but it is powerful. It reconnects nature, trees, and humanity. I see it as a raising consciousness on this planet – all the wisdom of the nature, tree, and human worlds can now work together once again. We as humans can break from the past and step into our role as Earth guardians and stewards and co-create with nature. And not just the people doing tree orientation, but people that live and visit the area where tree orientation is taking place. I imagine small, perhaps imperceptible, changes in people. One person deciding to plant a tree, one person treating their dog with more respect, but these seeds lead to more and more connection and respect for our planet and each other.
In January 2014, a group of 8 of us gathered to start tree orienting Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Golden Gate Park is a huge long park in San Francisco, similar to New York City’s Central Park, but slightly bigger (1000 acres to Central’s 800 acres). We worked in the heart center of the park—a redwood grove next to the rose garden. We set sacred space and dedicated our work to balancing the elements, especially water. There is a serious drought in California and it felt like summer in January, a beautiful sunny, warm day at 70 degrees. I paired up with Joy and we passed the pendulum around the giant trunks of the redwoods. Sometimes they were so large, we needed to walk around them. We whispered each world. First time around: “Tree.” Second time around: “Nature.” Third and last time around: “Human.” The worlds opened up like a lotus flower to each other and then merged.
We saw a hummingbird, seemingly rare in the dense shade of the redwoods. I felt joy bubbling inside of me. I wondered if it was that the trees were joyful to connect. No, that wasn’t it. I realized it was the innate joy of the three worlds being connected. Everything was connected especially our souls, and there is such joy in being connected deeply to the divine, to our divine spark, to the Holy Heart, to the interconnected web of life. My free will allows me to disconnect, to turn away from the divine, but why do I do this when there is such joy and light in the connection?
We plan to do another day of tree orientation in Golden Gate Park this month (February) starting around the buffalo/bison herd. Please come join us! Email Jennifer for more details.