Dedicated to my Beautiful and Beloved Daughter
REBECCA LYNN BASTRON, Devotee of Forest Cathedral
~ Gift of Strength ~
“In some mysterious way, woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”
~ John Fowles , British writer and teacher
From great owl’s sacred stance, he lies hidden within the realm of Forest Cathedral. Owl’s mystery is one with the spirit of the woodlands. This benevolent congregation of trees unites diverse ecosystems together in a cohesive, sustainable, living environment. Forests comprise roughly 90 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and cover over nine percent of the earth’s surface. It is an all-inclusive world unto itself – a unique atmosphere dwelling harmoniously – a perfect blend of all five elements: earth, air, water, fire, and aether. Forest Cathedral embraces all kingdoms of life with equal devotion. The world’s woodlands are vital to all life because they provide a multi-faceted range of resources: they collect carbon, aid in regulating earth’s climate, purify water, conserve soil, and function as hydrologic flow modulators. Thus, earth’s great groves of trees bestow life with some of the most essential life-sustaining elements of our biosphere.
Life and death abound here, within Forest Cathedral…in the great way: the sublime movement of existence, of being in time and space. It is a holy place, shared by an infinite number of species, living and dying, minute by minute. This dynamic ecosphere cultivates and nurtures the diversity and strength of life – each element, each being, depending upon one another – and at the same time, feeding each other in perfect balance. Here dwells the thriving ways of Spirit. The noble woodlands tenderly overlook, and gently care for, it’s family of sentient beings. It feeds, clothes, shelters, and purifies all creatures – from animal, insect, plant, stone, earth, air, water, and more. The mystical grace of Spirit dwells within Forest Cathedral. It blesses life always, in all ways.
As we come to remember the countless gifts of the forest groves, we are able to gain an immeasurable strength of purpose within. Forest Cathedral not only provides in the material sense, but greatly through the Divine, where personal transcendence can be experienced in the blissful realm of the Soul. Jeb Dickerson, teacher and creator of personal growth website, How to Matter.com, shares, “The trees are whispering to me, reminding me of my roots, and my reach… shhhhhh… can you hear them? Selflessly sharing their subtle song”. And so, my dear friends…go out into the sacredness of Forest, and become one with the trees…and yourself!
~ FOREST SPIRIT POWER MESSAGE ~
We bid you Strength.
Strength of Purpose…Strength of Mind…
As you walk this land on earth.
Know that We are with you.
For as your eyes rise to meet us,
We gather strength together
In the knowing of Nobility.
Gather these forces around you,
And walk in Love…
For Love is your Banner of Strength.
These blessings We give unto you.
~ FOREST ELEMENTS AND SYMBOLOGY ~
Through the physical and spiritual realms of the Five Kingdoms in Nature:
Celestial, Elemental, Fauna, Flora, and Mineral
Green Man – the vegetative Nature Deity depicted as an icon with foliage sprouting out of his face, sometimes bearing fruit or flowers. Since 400 A.D., Green Man has appeared as an ancient symbol throughout historical mythology. Green Man is the archetypal god representing the life, death, and rebirth cycle of plants. In relationship to humanity, Green Man is portrayed as the spiritual symbol of individual transformation ~ the visionary experience of becoming. Through our personal trials of strength, we can call upon Green Man to assist in our own rebirth of spirit – to the path of becoming our Greater Self by embracing Forest Cathedral’s dedication of reaching for the highest. “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness,” eloquently wrote John Muir, naturalist writer and activist. In the living of life, as we gather our well of inner strength, we can touch this infinite place of universal power and unity, among the towering trees, uplifting us every step of the way. Reach for the Highest! can be our anthem, our emblem of courage, from beloved Forest Cathedral. How Blessed We Are!
Forest Floor – the sacred, abundant ground of forest growth. The bed upon which Forest Cathedral grows is rich with life-sustaining nutrients, feeding a vast array of beings – from microscopic elements to the towering majestic trees. Forest Floor is where physical life dies, only to be reborn anew into a naturally transformed pattern. And, from this fertile ground of earth, we shall grow. The Tree of Life is an ancient and universal symbol for personal evolution: being earth-bound, yet reaching up to the heavens to connect with our source – the Divine. This Holy Tree is revered as endowing life with the sacred qualities of wisdom, protection, strength, bounty, beauty, and redemption. Our roots, like those of the trees, reach deep into the psyche of Spirit, where we can realize these blessed intrinsic gifts. Beloved Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore, divined, “Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” As we plant our feet firmly upon sweet Mother Earth, absorbing her nourishing essence like Forest Cathedral, we can reach up and touch our inherent power (heaven) within, and grow strong of heart and soul.
Foragers and Nesters – the extensive range of animals congregating within the forest environment. Up to 75% of earth’s animal population lives in this diverse worldwide habitat, dwelling from the upper levels of the tree canopy to the forest floor. This includes seven main species: mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arthropods. All these creatures live within the divine realm of Forest Cathedral, sharing the sacred exchange of the food of life. A sacred Buddhist Sutra proclaims, “The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.” Such is the way of Forest Spirit, in eternal benevolence and nourishment for mind and body. We can learn the great strength of giving by walking within the blessed woodland cosmos. Here, there exists the sublime universal balance of giving and receiving, the gracious feeding of others to nurture the self. This is Divinity, and the true noble Gift of Strength.
Forest Canopy – the upper layer plant community formed by mature tree crowns. This upper stratum benefits the woodland habitat in many ways: it provides protection from strong winds and storms; it reduces solar radiation, offering shade protection to plant and animal life; and, it offers a home to unique and diverse fauna and flora. Forest Canopy is the crown of nature’s cathedral. Great ancient cathedrals were revered as holy places where people could congregate in mutual worship of God. Pilgrims, from times past to the present day, visit the world’s cathedrals to connect with the true peace dwelling within their soul, to surrender worldly uncertainties, to receive enlightenment, and to be born again with renewed strength. And so it is within the realm of Forest Cathedral. Internationally honored Soviet president and peacemaker, Mikhail Gorbachev, lovingly stated, “All of us are linked to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.” The towering trees, reaching up to the heavens, symbolize a way for mankind to connect, to elevate, in spirit. As we walk within this celestial world, our hearts can receive the grace of divine strength, and our souls can touch the pure light of love dwelling above. As the brilliant sun shines through the consecrated soaring trees, so does the power of light illuminate our path in service to life. This is our Great Gift of Strength, lovingly bestowed by our innermost Forest Cathedral.
Tree Agate – a knobby, white opaque stone with green tree-like inclusions or veins. The Native American culture reveres Tree Agate as a sacred gem which helps them connect with the power of tree wisdom. A beautiful 18th century Chinook invocation entreats, “We call upon the forests, the great trees reaching strongly to the sky with earth in their roots and the heavens in their branches, and we ask them to ‘Teach us, and show us the Way’”. We may use Tree Agate to help fortify our relationship with the honorable trees. The wisdom of Forest Cathedral, with its mighty foundation reaching deep within the earth, is to go back to the root of any situation to find the answer. There it lies, at this essential core, waiting to be revealed. The noble woods bless us, and give forth their ancient power and knowledge received from the depths of Mother Earth, and the Spirit of the heavens. The profound implication of the simple statement, “hug a tree”, is filled with great mystical wisdom. This mere physical act offers us the divine opportunity to receive Forest Cathedral’s gracious gift of inner strength, which can Teach us, and show us the Way.
~ CELEBRATION THROUGH SACRED CEREMONY ~
Moving through the spiritual energy of our own inner totem Forest Cathedral, we can be blessed with the precious Gift of Strength within all life. Here, within the realm of Forest Cathedral, our True Self eternally dwells.
A personal ceremony can be performed to enhance the manifestation and integration with Forest’s all-embracing gift. This can be a private celebration between yourself and Forest Spirit, or you can invite others to join. It can be as ritualized as you desire, or naturally free-flowing, and include anything you want to say or any object(s) that intuitively feels in harmony with the act of thanksgiving for Forest Cathedral’s blessing.
A powerful place to hold the celebration would be in a natural area with Forest’s presence, but physical location is not of prime importance. If you do not have access to this environment, any contact outside facing Forest’s auric essence would be helpful. Even if this area is hidden or at a great distance, emanations from Forest Cathedral’s spiritual source are not obscured, as they flow freely throughout the Universe. If the celebration is held indoors, being in room with a window is encouraged to enhance the presence of natural elements, but if this is not possible, symbolically facing Forest Cathedral would be beneficial.
As a sample list, any of the following ideas below could be included in your celebration, and verbalized during a Blessings of Intention for Strength affirmation ceremony (see below). Also, any of these offerings may be created and integrated into your ritual either physically and/or symbolically in Spirit.
- Begin with a personal intention of Strength to enhance any general or specific aspect of your life.
- Light a green candle to symbolize the transformative power of Green Man, the nature god who can guide you through life, death, and the rebirth of Self.
- Feel and smell the sweet fecundity of Forest Floor, the earthly kingdom of fertility and growth.
- Honor the diverse population of Foragers and Nesters, who can help you remember the balance of giving and receiving life’s abundant blessings.
- See the towering Forest Canopy, who can raise your spirit higher into the realm of the Divine.
- Hold the green variegated gemstone Tree Agate, or any other stone resonating the great gift of strength. Other related minerals include Moss Agate, Jade, and Rutilated Quartz.
- Proclaim intentional blessings for the Gift of Strength. A simple statement in the form of a heart-felt declaration can attract and summon the heights of magick and power through the fundamental, positive act of intention. By the sincere act of a clear and pure desire, a personalized blessing can call upon the spiritual forces of unity within life – the source of your Infinite Self. You can use any of the following Blessings of Intention affirmations as a guideline to be included into your own personal declaration towards inner harmony and integration with the energies of Heaven and Earth. Written as non-denominational statements, these intentional blessings can be practiced by any single person, or unstructured or organized group, as their own personal form of prayer, charm, chant, invocation, or medicine, etc.
- A devotional affirmation of praise, honor, and thanksgiving, as suggested in Dream Song to Forest Cathedral (see below). This act of appreciation is enhanced with the powerful personal statement “I Am”, and especially when said aloud, can invoke the creative energies of manifestation radiating throughout the Universe, calling upon Forest’s Great Spirit to be infused into your life. All or part of the Dream Song passages can be included in this holy prayer of purpose and gratitude. Their power summon and embrace a wide range of natural spiritual influences, ancient mythology, and alchemical life-force energies from Native American, Deity, Celtic, Shaman, Indigenous, Pagan, and Wiccan cultures.
~ BLESSINGS OF INTENTION FOR STRENGTH ~
- With this glowing green candle, blessed by Forest Spirit, I embrace the guiding power of Green Man, who shows me that the eternal process of becoming is always manifesting in my heart and soul.
- With the fertile soil of Forest Floor, blessed by Forest Spirit, I feel myself grow in Spirit, reaching deeper into the beauty of my heart and soul.
- With the infinite congregation of Foragers and Nesters, blessed by Forest Spirit, I joyfully join the sacred act of giving and receiving of Self which eternally blesses my heart and soul.
- With the soaring essence of Forest Canopy, blessed by Forest Spirit, I rise into the realm of my Divine cathedral, reaching for the highest within my heart and soul.
- With the textured, green-veined Tree Agate, (or other resonating gemstone) blessed by Forest Spirit, I feel the gracious power of inner nobility embracing my heart and soul.
~ DREAM SONG TO FOREST CATHEDRAL ~
I am held in Your loving arms, O Forest Spirit,
And feel Your power embracing my soul.
I feel strong…
And in love with myself, and life, again!
It is here where I grow.
In the presence of Your Divine Being,
Always rising to the Heavens…
I am one with You.
I am blessed and healed
In the Cathedral of Your Love.
My soul cries with abundant blessings,
For Your noble power growing strong within.
I Thank You, O Forest Cathedral, for your Great Gift of Strength.
~ From Heaven Sweet Nature Springs ~
The Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals, by Cassandra Eason