Books on Trees

2. Altman, Nathaniel. (1994). Sacred Trees. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.
I cannot do justice to this book. It is amazing and inspiring, with examples of sacred trees drawn from many cultures.

  • (From the back cover) “Sacred Trees rekindles a once-broadly felt kinship with the natural world. . . Sacred Trees offers us the devotion traditional cultures have shown towards trees and teaches us that respect, reverence and communion with the rest of nature are essential for the healing of Mother Earth.”

This book explores the attitudes held by dozens of traditional cultures towards trees. He has chapters on Cosmic Trees, Trees of Fertility, Trees as Providers, Trees That Heal, Trees of Wisdom, and Trees for Transformation. He explores their roles as guides or allies, for medicinal, spiritual, and magical purposes, as well as communion with the gods or devas. In the chapter, “Home of the Gods”, we find:

  • “The belief in trees as the homes of living deities laid the foundation for a wide variety of important cultural beliefs, many of which still exist. . .The indwelling spirits are believed to be the sources of the healing and spiritual protection that trees provide, including the ability to impart wisdom to humans who are able to receive it.” (pp 68-70)

From the chapter, “Trees of Wisdom”:

  • “Among the Native American Indians, many large trees served as gathering places for holding council and negotiating treaties. The cottonwood was a favorite council tree of the Indians,…The Hidatsa people, for example, believed that the shade of the cottonwood possessed an intelligence that, if properly approached, would help them resolve different conflicts and assist them in certain undertakings.”

11. Bouchardon, Patrice. (1999). The Healing Energies of the Trees. Boston: Journey Editions.
The author and his wife found themselves, without any background in animal husbandry, needing to manage a large farm with 150 cows, goats and sheep. They were only able to meet the animals’ needs by learning to communicate with and understand them. They extended this to trees, for whom the author had always felt a strong affinity, and discovered trees to be amazing beings, teachers, and psychotherapists. The book contains creative exercises for personal development with trees, as well as special qualities of the trees they use in preparing tree oils. It has gorgeous photographs.

  • “We came to realize that each tree contains a certain kind of energy and that this energy varies from one species to another; some trees have an effect that encourages fluidity, with others it might be gentleness or openness. For more than ten years now we have been preparing tree oils that embody these qualities of energy. . .” (From the intro)
  • “Deforestation is an enormous danger for the ecosystems of the whole planet. Plant and animal species are destroyed along with their habitat, agricultural land is eroded, and both the local and regional climate may be affected, leading to extremes of drought or flooding. The forests are the planet’s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. This local destruction has a global effect: the poisoning and destruction of the forests is something that involves us all. . .” (p31)

49. Maclean, Dorothy, and Carr, Kathleen Thormod. To Honor the Earth: Reflections on Living in Harmony with Nature. Harper Collins Publishers, San Francisco, (1991). Forward by Thomas Berry.
Outstanding book that made it easier for me to talk to plants and trees in the 1990’s. The messages are even more relevant today. Dorothy writes, “…what we do to nature, we do to ourselves.” This book has inspired me for years, and validates me in the work that I am now called to do, to teach (2019). It is a book of quotes that Dorothy Maclean had received over the years from devas, beautifully illustrated by Kathleen Thormod Carr’s photography. It is both inspiring and a tugging call to action.

Dorothy’s writings (and Kathleen’s photography) can help us transform human attitudes of dominance over nature into cooperative ones. So that we become co-creators instead of destroyers.

  • “From among the hundreds of messages I have received from the soul level of the mineral, plant, and animal worlds, only one species, the trees, has called urgently and powerfully. The angelic intelligence of the trees cried out for action on the part of humanity. From the perspective of the angelic world, it is vital that we change our views on thge value and the importance of trees, the skin of the Earth, where vital change is needed. . .When we “listen” within and without, we find that we are one with the universe. Perhaps trees are the aspect of nature most conducive to learning that truth. “(pp 56-57)


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