The Tree is at the center of every Dance, both physically and energetically. We are reminded dozens of times to Focus on the Tree! Yet after the dance how are we in relation with the Tree in our daily lives? During this era of a pandemic, the Tree reminds us that we can dance from afar, and we can also connect with one another from afar anytime using the same “circuitry”, thanks to the Tree Nation. No wifi needed. Dancer Jeffrey M. Blagg writes: 

At every dance the Tree of Life is our focal point. The Tree is alive; the Tree is breathing. It can be seen from every direction in the dance circle. Fire, the dance bundles, the buffalo skull, the scry, the ancestors and the many medicine objects that bring the altar to life are carefully arranged around its base.

The Tree is a sentinel, an antenna for the flow of energy, a channel for our intentions, emotions and visions. It is our guardian and our caretaker. Through every dance we feed and nourish it with our energy. The Tree takes everything we have and everything we are —  the good, the “bad”, the painful, the blissful, the desires and the heartaches. It witnesses our tears, our laughter, our joy and our sadness. The Tree witnesses our dance in its entirety, and does so without judgment or commentary. The Tree makes no predictions and has no expectations. The Tree is a conduit of Creator.

Of all the elements of the Dance, the Trees are the only ones that may still be living 50, 100, 200 or more years after we have danced our last dance. In that time, they and their brethren will still be channeling the energy. Long after we have danced and our bodies have returned to the Earth, the Trees that we have danced around, touched, connected to, prayed with, slept under, loved and thanked with all of our hearts will be enervating our children’s children as it has always been. They and their leafy descendants will still be fulfilling the web of life in ways we have yet to comprehend.

When we plant our Trees into Mother after a dance, we are giving all of the energy that was stirred up from the songs, the movements, and the focus back into the Earth to be transmuted and transformed. As for the dance trees that are already in the ground and have been for the duration —  Wolf Creek, New York, Montana and Utah —  the renewal is nearly spontaneous. Many dancers, including myself, have noted that these dances perhaps are often more intense due to the connected rootedness, no coincidence. We are immediately tapped into Mother Earth, the source of healing and transmutation.

Giving the Tree the energy of our intentions and emotions by focusing during the dance, we come back to the NOW, the present, the beautiful moment that we find ourselves in, however it looks. From Eckhart Tolle and other traditions we learn that the moment of NOW is where our power exists. Centering our focus on the Tree brings us to the strongest healing force known to us, unconditional love.

If we allow the Tree to reflect the best of who we are and what we want, the Tree will give us what we are looking for within ourselves. These are some of the things that the Tree as taught me:

  • Courage:  Imagine seeds, billions of beings buried deep inside the deep, dark depths that found within themselves the courage to break through the rocks, soil, dirt, sand and clay to come to the surface, exposing themselves to the light.

  • Strength: Once on the surface, they continue to be bombarded by the terrors, traumas, and diseases that exist in the world beyond the safety of the Earth. They stand strong and persist.

  • Connection: Roots dive deep, intertwining and interweaving with each other, soaking up nutrients and cooperating to find the path of least resistance. Branches above ground spread out, touching, rubbing, communicating and supporting. They share information and energy to help each other survive.

After the Dance: Finding Your Tree Ally

Trees truly surround us, and it is upon us to connect with the trees where we live that may be whispering in our ears, to realize our one-legged allies can help us all year long.

In the pandemic era as our connection to each other shifts from the physical to the virtual, I feel my connection to the Trees increasing. I am blessed to live in the Northwest that is abundant in its number and diversity. Trees truly surround us, and it is upon us to connect with trees where we live that may be whispering in our ears, to realize our one-legged allies can help us all year long.

Every time I see them, I see friends. I see family. I see teachers and mentors. I see elders, grandmothers and grandfathers, all. Walking through the forest, I see fallen trees that have lived for centuries and have finally come tumbling down but they are still supporting new life and new growth. They are being recycled and even in their decay they are nourishing the next generation of saplings.

In the quiet that has come from the time that we exist in, I hear the voices of the Trees. The Trees are calling me to sit with them. They are calling me to write for them. They are calling me to talk to them as I would talk to you or to other members of our community. The trees are still asking for us to give them our focus and attention. The trees are still willing to take our pain, our suffering, our love and our gratitude, giving us energy, refreshment, and connection in return. The trees are still our greatest allies, advocates and counselors.

While I cannot be with you directly for now, I know that there will come a time when we can hold hands and focus on one specific tree, declaring that one sacred. For me, the reality is that all trees are sacred, and giving our love to them is the same as giving our love to each other. So, since I cannot hug you, I will hug a tree and think of you and know you will feel my energy in some way. The Trees bear witness to who we are and how we live our lives. They always have and they always will. I, for one, am thankful to be watched over by such gracious and giving beings and I hope that you feel the same the next time you stop to rest in the shade, or plant a young oak, or however you interact with the environment, and specifically the sacred Trees that surround you.

Since I cannot hug you, I will hug a tree and think of you and I know you will feel my energy in some way. The Tree bears witness to who we are and how we live our lives.

Related:

Trees truly surround us, and it is upon us to connect with trees where we live that may be whispering in our ears, to realize our one-legged allies can help us all year long.

ONE OF JEFFREY’S TREES
MOUNTAINE FOUND HIS TREE
THE TREE NATION CONNECTS US ALL
BETTER THAN WIFI
HOW ENERGY MOVES AROUND THE TREE