The Mystery of the Tree Goddess

I do love painting trees, they are very patient models and hold their poses very well. Deep down I think we all know that the trees provide life and shelter to us all. I have a love for well crafted instruments and furniture made of wood, and there are hardwood floors here in my studio. An old apple tree struggles as each year more of its limbs grow black and brittle in my yard, while a young pin oak delights in the regularity of sun and rain we’ve been having this year. In the back yard a magnificent silver maple shades much of the yard and our sacred circle space we use to count the months and seasons creates a leafy canopy that we watch the moon travel through.

Around the world stand sacred groves, and I pondered long on how to depict the Tree Goddess. Arms as branches came to mind, but it was this vision of the Goddess as a guardian of the inner mysteries of the tree itself that had to be painted. What lies beyond her gently curving form in the darkness? Just as a woman’s vulva holds the mystery of pleasure and life, so also do trees.

Tree Goddess Art

May the mystery of the secret gate bring you closer to your walk with nature. Tree Goddess painting 8×10″ watercolor by By Beth Hansen-Buth

Trees are sacred all around the world, and culture after culture reveres its sacred groves. The wisdom is found in Wiki these days:

A sacred grove or sacred woods are any grove of trees of special religious importance to a particular culture. Sacred groves feature in various cultures throughout the world.

They were important features of the mythological landscape and cult practice of Celtic, Baltic, Germanic, ancient Greek, Near Eastern, Roman, and Slavic polytheism, and were also used in India, Japan, and West Africa. Examples of sacred groves include the Greco-Roman temenos, the Norse hörgr, and the Celtic nemeton, which was largely but not exclusively associated with Druidic practice. During the Northern Crusades, there was a common practice of building churches on the sites of sacred groves. The Lakota and various other North American tribes consider particular forests or other natural landmarks to be sacred.

Ancient holy trees still exist in the English countryside and are mentioned often in folklore and fairytales.

When I was growing up, we lived for a while on a dead-end street. The farthest house had an old well on it and beyond it were trees. It was a lovely woods, that as a small child I considered a forest. A path led down the hill through the woods to a nearby park where we would go to play. This is where a neighbor lady would sit on her deck telling us fairy tales in late summer while we ate ice cream cones. The nature of magic is self-evident to children, it is everywhere around them, in the stories and songs, the rustle of leaves, and the old well down the street. It’s mysteries are very solid and real, and the trees have their own tales to tell if we will listen.

Earth Goddess Detail

Grounding with the Earth Goddess

The following is a meditation I use to stay grounded, the Earth Goddess helps me do that. As above, so also below.

Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and can sit comfortably in a chair with your feet touching the ground. Have a glass or bottle of water nearby. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing slowly and deeply, expanding your rib-cage and your belly for six breaths. Notice how this feels by focusing on the expansion and contraction of your ribs. Relax and breath normally. Now bring your focus up between and behind your eyebrows, this is your Ajna Chakra or Third Eye and will help you with visualizing the rest of the meditation. Keep your eyes closed and picture a ball of white light in the center of your body, imagine it growing and expanding filling your body and creating a glow to about two feet from your body all around. At the outer edge imagine that a light blue electric light starts to form, like a forcefield it is protecting you and your space from any distractions.

Now feel the weight of your body where you are sitting, and imagine you are a stone, sitting in the warm sand with your feet and legs buried deep into the earth. Focus on your contact to earth, and imagine that the white light flows freely from you to the stump and back again. Notice any sensations you may feel as you connect and ground yourself to Mother Earth.

Earth Goddess watercolor painting by Beth Hansen Buth

Earth Goddess watercolor painting by Beth Hansen Buth

Move your feet back and forth, and wiggle your toes while touching the floor. Imagine your feet have sent shoots down deep into the heart of Mother Earth as energy begins to flow effortlessly like water into your Energy Body. Picture the energy as a warm, golden-green color or loving pink color, whichever you are more comfortable with. Still your feet as they continue to drink and focus on the rising warmth as earth energy fills your legs, knees, hips, torso, arms, hands, neck and finally your head where it flows out the top, down your body, and back to the earth through the trunk of your tree-chair to the center of the Earth to be transformed into clear clean energy again. Allow it to flow at it’s own pace, and imagine as it does so it’s cleaning away all your doubts & fears, anger & frustration, and any negative speck or blocked idea that keeps you from pure love and joy. As Earth Energy cleans out a space, it fills it with love, peace, and contentment. Focus on how this makes you feel.

When you are ready, open your eyes and drink your glass of water. Know that the water came from the earth and is nourishing your Energy Body which just had a good workout! As you continue your day, you can renew your connection to the earth by imagining a vine reaching from the base of your spine to the center of the earth. Like an anchor it keeps connected to Mother Earth and you can make it as large or small in your imagination as you think it should be. Use it any time you need to eliminate any negative or unpleasant emotions or energies throughout the day.

© 2007-2016 Beth Hansen-Buth. All Rights Reserved.