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Author Topic: Spiritual books about trees  (Read 9960 times)
Waldfrau
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« Topic Start: December 05, 2009, 05:03:43 am »

I'd like to look at the spiritual meaning of trees and working with them from different angles. So if you know a good book trees play an important part in I'd love to hear your recommendation regardless from which path it is coming, but there should at least be some European trees in it.

Maybe someone can give me a suggestion which meaning trees have in different paths? I know there's the world tree in nordic traditions and there's a tree alphabet in celtic paths, but that's it. (I consider looking into books about those things, too.)
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« Reply #1: December 05, 2009, 05:33:29 am »


Hi, only thing that comes to my mind right now is:

http://www.amazon.de/Das-keltische-Baumorakel-divinatorisches-Kartenlegesystem/dp/3880344345/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260008985&sr=8-2

I've got this for years now - bought it when it was still sold in the wooden box, looks very neat - and found it very useful, though I'm not using it all the time.

For a look at the cards (which are much nicer in RL) http://www.tarotwelten.de/keltb.htm

(As I understand it, it is not on the market right now.)
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #2: December 05, 2009, 05:42:59 am »

Thanks, it's still available from amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Tree-Oracle-System-Divination/dp/0312020325/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260009678&sr=8-1
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« Reply #3: December 05, 2009, 05:55:13 am »

I'd like to look at the spiritual meaning of trees and working with them from different angles. So if you know a good book trees play an important part in I'd love to hear your recommendation regardless from which path it is coming, but there should at least be some European trees in it.

Maybe someone can give me a suggestion which meaning trees have in different paths? I know there's the world tree in nordic traditions and there's a tree alphabet in celtic paths, but that's it. (I consider looking into books about those things, too.)
This isn't a book about the spiritual aspect of trees, but it gives a fabulous account of the evolution of trees, why they're important and the author is mad about trees. I loved this book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Life-Trees-Penguin-Science/dp/0141012935/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260010257&sr=8-1

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Waldfrau
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« Reply #4: December 05, 2009, 08:46:10 am »

Thanks as well.

After browsing amazon I think I'll first read a celtic centered one as to not become confused by many cross-cultural comparisons. The cross cultural books I'll read later. Those books are in closer consideration:

Celtic Stuff

    * Murray: The Celtic Tree Oracle (5 $)
    * Gifford: The Celtic Wisdom of Trees: Mysteries, Magic and Medicine = Die Magie der Bäume: Legenden und Mythen der Kelten (8 Euro)
    * Blamires: Celtic Tree Mysteries: Practical Druid Magic & Divination: Secrets of the Ogham (11 Euro)


Cross cultural books

    * Hagender: The Meaning of Trees: Botany – History – Healing – Love (8 Euro)
    * Strassmann: Baumheilkunde: Heilkraft, Mythos und Magie der Bäume (13 Euro)
    * Paterson: Tree Wisdom: The Definitive Guidebook to the Myth, Folklore, and Healing Power of Trees (13 $)


Has anyone read those or other books by the same authors?

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« Reply #5: December 05, 2009, 01:12:13 pm »

Celtic Stuff

    * Murray: The Celtic Tree Oracle (5 $)
    * Gifford: The Celtic Wisdom of Trees: Mysteries, Magic and Medicine = Die Magie der Bäume: Legenden und Mythen der Kelten (8 Euro)
    * Blamires: Celtic Tree Mysteries: Practical Druid Magic & Divination: Secrets of the Ogham (11 Euro)

A word of caution: keep in mind all of these books are actually talking about ogam, a Celtic alphabet which is not, contrary to popular belief, a "tree alphabet". The trees listed here are associated with each letter, and is called "tree ogam." There are many other lists like this one, for things like rivers, stones, birds, etc. These lists were thought to be mnemonic or poetic devices used by the filid to not only compose poetry, but to communicate with one another in a kind of secret language.

Which isn't to say that the information given in these kinds of books can't be useful. If they give information about the actual trees in folklore and mythology, and you ignore or at least eye skeptically the divination/magical parts of it (which will tend to be heavily skewed towards misconception), you can use these as good starting points for exploring how certain kinds of trees play important roles in mythology and folklore.

Which brings me to this: I've had this book for a long time on my shelf, and I've gotten about halfway through: The Forest In Folklore and Mythology. I have no idea how old this information is, but it is a fascinating collection of bits and pieces of tree lore.


I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing or anything, but Robert Graves has really done a lot of damage to ogam and the whole "tree alphabet" thing and it's important to keep facts straight.
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #6: December 05, 2009, 02:41:10 pm »

Thanks a great deal, Finn. This book really looks interesting. Smiley
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« Reply #7: December 05, 2009, 04:30:59 pm »



*nods*  Yes, absolutely, about the Graves and the "tree alphabet."  And the Porteous Forest book is OLD -- it was originally published in 1928 -- with all the problems that entails; however, it has a really fun collection of bits of info, so just focus on that and skip the theorizing.  Cheesy

The single most useful source on European tree folklore is de Cleene and Lejeune's Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants of Europe:  the whole first volume is devoted to trees and shrubs.  The authors are ethnobotanists, meaning that they're very interested in determining *which* specfic species is being talked about in any given folk narrative.  I've noticed one or two slightly dodgy sources in their footnotes, but their other sources are sound; that is inevitable, I think, because plant lore is not exactly a hot and happening field of folklore studies, and you often have to rely on Victorian collections, with all the issues that entails.  But other than that, it is a truly terrific roundup of folk belief and useful information. 

The Compendium is quite expensive -- as 2-volume hardcover scholarly books tend to be, alas -- but university libraries will likely have a copy, as it's a major reference work.  If anyone wants to order it, pretty much the only place you can get the English translations these days is Amazon.uk; however, their supplier is the great London occult bookstore, Treadwells, so you may just want to order direct from there, as that is a far nicer (and smaller!) company than Amazon.

For some other books on plant lore (all of which do discuss trees), this thread has some good recommendations:
http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=2823.0     
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« Reply #8: December 05, 2009, 04:56:24 pm »

... their supplier is the great London occult bookstore, Treadwells, so you may just want to order direct from there, as that is a far nicer (and smaller!) company than Amazon.

Damn, now I want to visit London and go to that store!  Grin
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« Reply #9: December 05, 2009, 05:00:10 pm »

Thanks, catja. It sounds like a good book to have in your shelf to look up stuff, but I don't think I'll find enough time to read it all through while borrowing it from the library. I'll keep it in mind though in case there's something I want to research really thoroughly. Smiley
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« Reply #10: December 05, 2009, 05:00:55 pm »

Damn, now I want to visit London and go to that store!  Grin

Forgot explanation, found their homepage Wink

http://www.treadwells-london.com/index.php
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #11: December 05, 2009, 05:01:46 pm »

Damn, now I want to visit London and go to that store!  Grin
Aaaargh, you know how much I'd love to have money to get all books I want and enough space to store them?

I'll also need to get a job which would permit me more time for reading whatever I want...  Cheesy
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« Reply #12: December 05, 2009, 05:06:04 pm »

Aaaargh, you know how much I'd love to have money to get all books I want and enough space to store them?

Well, I intended to get a sleeping bag and spend a whole week right in that store - you think they'd allow it?  Cheesy Tongue
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #13: December 05, 2009, 06:16:42 pm »

Well, I intended to get a sleeping bag and spend a whole week right in that store - you think they'd allow it?  Cheesy Tongue
You could offer them to guard all the books.  Wink
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« Reply #14: December 05, 2009, 06:21:07 pm »

You could offer them to guard all the books.  Wink

What a great idea. I think I'll try this next time I'm in Barnes and Noble. And I'll offer to guard their cafe pastries and hot chocolate as well. Wouldn't want any of those to disappear...  Wink
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