I like to write books that I would like to read; it’s kind of my thing. And after repeatedly wishing for a comprehensive book about the magical properties of trees, there came a day when I decided I would be the one to write it.
There’s one truth I was reminded of again and again over the course of writing this book: since time immemorial and on every possible level, human culture has been inextricably interwoven with the presence of trees. Indeed, the spiritual connection between humans and trees is sacred, primordial, intimate, and enduring. Beyond the simple fact that we can’t survive without them, we turn to them to restore our harmonizing connection to the earth, we look to them to fuel our inspiration, and we rely on them to keep us sane.
I will admit that I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into when I started. I didn’t realize just how much tree lore there was to study and dig up, or just how integral it was to so many cultures. In much the same way that their roots knit themselves into the ground to keep the soil from eroding, and their multitiered offerings benefit many facets of their surrounding ecosystems, trees are anchors and unifiers of our ancient, diverse, and yet similarly sacred human heritage.
Something else I learned during the writing of this book: identifying trees is not always easy and is very often difficult. In so many cases, tiny variations indicate the differences between species. In case you run into a similar challenge, check out a field guide with pictures, such as Field Guide to Trees of North America, or a field guide more specific to your area (often available at local bookstores). Tree identification does seem to be a knack that gets easier with time, although I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert.
And there are so many trees! I really wanted to include every single one, although that was, of course, impossible. So I brainstormed and scoured gardening and tree reference books and websites, compiling as comprehensive a list as I possibly could before beginning. Still, at the end of the day, some popular trees have not been included, and some more obscure trees have. As much as I would like to say there is some rhyme or reason to this, it’s really just the way it worked out. (Although I do believe there’s a divine design at work with all my books, and, consequently, what’s supposed to be included is included.) If you don’t find one of your favorites, however, don’t despair! Just go out and communicate with the tree yourself, tuning in to your intuition and taking notes. The wisdom is always there for those who listen.
I sincerely hope that this book becomes a treasured part of your library for many decades to come: something that you can come back to again and again, and that yields different and ever-deepening impressions every time, depending on what your soul needs and your intellect craves.
To all my readers, old and new, thank you for going with me on this journey. Thank you for being as interested as I am in all things natural and magical and sacred. I am so grateful to have discovered my spiritual family, and to be able to share my joy with you in this way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.