The sacred tree
The Sacred Tree
The Creator planted a sacred tree under which all the peoples of Mother Earth may gather. Here they will find healing, power, wisdom, and security. Deep into Mother Earth grow its roots, and its branches reach in prayer to Father Sky. The fruits of the Tree are teachings that guide us tward love, compassion, generosity, wisdom, justice, courage, humility, respect, and many other good things the Creator has given to the people.

The Tree represents life -- cycles of time and cycles of renewal on the Earth and in the universe. It is the symbolic centre of Creation, offering protection, nourishment, growth and wholeness to those who seek to understand its meaning and follow its teachings. The Sacred Tree encourages our collective and individual development as human beings and our unity with the whole of Creation.

The Sacred Tree offers protection from the physical world in the form of materials for homes, ceremonial lodges, firewood, and canoes. It also offers the spiritual protection which comes from peaceful contemplation, acting as a symbolic and central gathering place for the people of many different tribes and nations.

The Sacred Tree provides nourishment in its fruits, encouraging positive inter-relationships among human beings within their physical and spiritual worlds. The leaves of the tree represent the birth, growth, flowering and eventual passing of generations of people. The leaves which fall to earth provide further nourishment fro the Sacred Tree. This symbolizes the teachings of our ancestors. Wisdom comes from self-sacrifice and from the experiences of those who came before us.

The Sacred Tree symbolizes growth. Growing from its core upward and outward, it reminds us of our need for inner reflection and balanced development. We must look for experiences that facilitate our growth as human beings. The cycle of growth in the Tree reflects the cycle of changes in our lives as we interact with all of Creation.

The Sacred Tree represents wholeness -- the balancing of our physical, ,mental, emotional and spiritual lives. The Tree grows in all four directions, just as we must grow in all areas of our lives to achieve our full potential.

The ancient ones tell us that the life of the people and the life of the Tree are one. If we leave the protective shadow of the Tree, stop seeking nourishment from its fruit, or attempt to destroy it, our heats will feel great sadness. We will lose our power, no longer dreaming dreams and seeing visions. We will forget how to survive in our own land, poisoning each other and everything we touch. It has been foretold that these poisonings would happen, but that the Tree would never die. The people will live on as the Tree lives on. They will awaken to search, eventually with great urgency, for the Sacred Tree and the gifts it offers.

The location of the Tree and the fruits of its branches are found within the minds and hearts of our Elders and our Leaders. They will always guide to the Sacred Tree those who seek the path in honesty and sincerity.

Adapted from: The Sacred Tree, Four Worlds Development Project, 1989