The Lost Art of Tree Gazing

Divination by leaves and branches of trees, called Dendromancy, relies heavily on intuition and the inner voice. By observing the whispers of leaves, and the swaying of branches in the wind, the trees offer their wisdom for our personal growth. When tree gazing, it is best to approach them with open-ended questions rather than seeking a “yes-or-no” answer. Scientific studies suggest that trees communicate with each other through root systems and fungi under the earth, and through the air using pheromones and other chemicals. With a world-wide network of trees, many that are thousands of years old, they are believed to have developed a language of their own. They can also communicate with humans who have learned to listen.

Whenever a witch places their hands on a tree with the intention of healing and communication, the tree responds accordingly. An old word for witch is Pharmaceute, where we get the word pharmacist. This word denotes the witch as someone knowledgeable in the healing properties of flowers, plants and trees. The trees will nearly always recognize a pharmaceute, for they know you mean them no harm and your intentions are for the highest good. When tree gazing during the light half of the year (spring and summer), observe the sound and movements of the leaves and branches. During the dark half of the year, (fall and winter), observe the bare branches as they dance in the wind. You will find the energy feels different at different times of the year.

To begin tree gazing, you must first find the tree you wish to communicate with. You may have a favorite tree already, or you may wish to find a tree at a local park. Intuitively listen as you walk among the trees until you find one that “feels” friendly and receptive. Find a spot where can sit undisturbed near the tree for at least half an hour.

Next, close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. This will help make you more receptive to receive psychic information. Place your hands on the tree, and visualize white light coming out of your hands and into the tree. See the entire tree bathed in this healing white light. Project feelings of love and healing into it. Say to the tree, “Blessed tree, I come to seek your wisdom”, or “I seek your wisdom about...” then state your problem or issue. At this point you may keep your hands on the tree, or if you’re worried about getting looks from passers-by, sit as near to the tree as possible so you can observe it. Just as with most types of divination, the tree will impart information through impressions, images or feelings. Have a notepad and pen handy to jot down anything that comes to you. Do not stare at the tree, but let your gaze soften as you maintain an open, meditative state of mind. There are many things to take notice of as you observe the tree, such as:

  • What shapes or symbols do you see formed by the branches or leaves?
  • Are there any sounds coming from the tree? If the wind is blowing through the leaves, close your eyes and listen closely. What does the tree seem to be saying? Take note of your emotions. What are you feeling?
  • Is there any wildlife in or around the tree? Birds, insects and other animals all have their own unique wisdom. A bird building a nest could indicate that it’s time for you to start preparing for the future. Write down the animals see so you can explore their wisdom further at a later time.
  • Are there any plants growing on or near the tree? Mistletoe growing on an oak tree could suggest that you need to devote more time to spiritual practice. Write down all of the plants you see, and research their magical properties.
  • Is the tree near a body of water? If there are long branches extended over the water, take note of how it is reflected in the water below.

It is important not to be super-specific when tree gazing, as their wisdom seems to be more focused on personal growth and inner transformation, rather than “should I take this job” sort of questions. It may take some practice, but as the tree becomes more comfortable with you it will communicate more often. It is also good to know what kind of tree it is and any magical associations it may have. Consider the tree a friend, and it will respond in kind.

At the end of your tree gazing session, always leave it a gift. You can pour some spring water around it’s base, or leave some seeds, fertilizer or stones (Tree Agate, Clear Quarts or Aventurine are good choices). Thank the tree for sharing with you, and document your experience in a journal.

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