Tree Ceremonies and Guided Meditations for Working with the Summer Season
As an introduction to my new book, Celtic Tree Rituals: Ceremonies for the Thirteen Moon Months and a Day, I invite you to think about why we do ceremonies.
Why ceremonies? They embrace our true nature and delight our imagination. They cross over the boundaries into the magical. They bring healing in unexpected ways. In my experience, ceremonies create sacred space for magic to happen. Stuff happens. Healing occurs. Connections are made with the ancestors, loved ones that have passed over, pets, deities, totems, guides, and helpers. And within the Celtic tradition, access to this healing is our birthright, and I have witnessed this over and over in my practice.
Just the other day after reading through the guided meditation for Holly in Celtic Tree Rituals, one of my participants was able to meet with her grief over a past situation with an abusive partner. Tears. Expression. And relief, as it isn’t something she talks about often. This was totally unexpected. Like I said, stuff happens…
This is the reason I created a ceremony for each of the 15 trees of the Celtic Ogham as well as the high holidays that mark the turning of the Wheel. These ritual journeys takes us through the thirteen tree months and a day, which make up a year of life. I also have included stories with each tree. The reason? I wanted to share my true-life experience with the healing powers of these trees, their helpers and guides, and the reality of working with the unseen realm and what it offers. I want to encourage you to do your own ceremonies and create your own experiences with Source and spirit.
Let’s focus on the Coll Hazel and the Quert Apple trees as they share this month of June: June 13 through July 10 and the ninth lunation of the calendar.
What we focus on is Summer. Bounty. Abundance. Appreciation and thanksgiving. Family. Gratitude. You may want to try my Coll Hazel ceremony, the Quert Apple ceremony, or the Summer Solstice ceremony from Celtic Tree Rituals. You can work with a group or alone.
Other ideas for joining in with the spirit of the summer:
- Leave a bit of your garden free and wild and begin to cultivate a relationship with the devas and elementals there. This is a place to give your gratitude for the fairies. Offer them a plate of food and drink. Buy some flowers especially for the bees.
- Gather some hazelnuts in a bowl. These hold wisdom and a higher perspective. Choose one and ask a question. Then, slowly chew and swallow as you say these words: “I am wise and loving. All I need to know is alive within my heart.” Wait patiently for the answer.
- Hold a family gathering and have a circle in which each member holds a talking stick and offers what they are grateful for about their family. Gather pictures of family members that have passed on and make an altar. Share stories about these loved ones. Or, hold a circle that honors your friends of like minds.
- Honor the bounty. Have a potluck and have each participant give gratitude for what they bring to share before you eat. Really honor the food sources that are being presented and give gratitude for all those involved in getting that source to your table. Create a prayer of thanksgiving together. Celebrate the sun with toasts of gratitude.
- If you require inspiration for a creative endeavor, find and sit with a Hazel tree. She also strengthens your intuition and helps you to create poems, writing, stories, songs, dances, and artwork. Create something just for the pure joy of it!
- Create your own Crane Bag in the Celtic tradition. Create a little bag for your personal medicine. It can contain bits and pieces of rocks, shells, feathers, and other valuable talismans. It is symbolic of your own power. And, it can contain stories, poems, songs, dances, art, rituals, incantations, blessings, divinations, symbols, history, and anything else of significance.
- Make some time to go into nature. Sit by a river of a body of water and listen to its sound. Notice the life that the forest supports. Or go to a park and sit with a tree. Feel the total balance here.
Always in my ceremonies I include guided imagery, what is called journeying. Why? It is the fastest way to connect with the unconscious, the doorway into the magic, the heart door to the mysteries. It isn’t complicated or hard to do. Try this journey from the apple ceremony. The purpose is to connect with your own bounty. What is it that you most desire? What do you want to create?
Apple Ceremony Journey
Imagine yourself on a summer day in a grove of Apple trees. The sun is bright and the sky is blue. There is a gentle breeze and you can smell the blossoms of the trees and hear the buzzing bees as they gather nectar the birds are chirping above, greeting you as you walk through the grove.
From the edge of the grove emerges the Priestess of Apples. As she walks toward you, you see that she is dressed in a golden gown and she wears a crown of fresh apple blossoms upon her head. She is full of abundance, and has rosy cheeks, lovely red lips, and flowing hair. She walks up to you and greets you with incredible warmth and affection. She holds the most beautiful apple in her hand.
Still smiling, she reaches down and withdraws a magical amethyst knife from the sash at her waist. She deftly cuts the apple in half and then places the knife back into her sash. She holds both halves in from of you and suggests you pick a seed. She explains to you that this seed represents a choice. This choice represents your greatest dreams and desires. Without thinking too much, you simply choose a seed.
She smiles, very pleased with your choice. She also acknowledges that any choice is a good one. She asks you to dig a little hole and plant your seed into this magical ground. After you have done so, she hands you a little jug of water and suggests that you water your tree.
At the moment, your tree begins to burst through the earth and grow. You take a step back to give your tree the room it needs to grow. Right before your very eyes, your tree begins to grow until it is fully grown.
Take a moment to see your fully-grown tree. As you consider this magical apple tree, you see and understand your heart’s desire. You may see this as words, or images, or visions. Or you may have a strong sense of knowing about what this tree represents for you. Based upon your choice, your magical apple tree is the symbol for your own longing. Take a moment to really take in the message of your tree.
It is time to return. Give your gratitude to your tree and to the beautiful Priestess of Apples, to her magic, and the Apple grove. Return to this room and this place and take a moment to fully ground before you open your eyes.
When you are finished, write in your journal. What was the seed that you chose? What did your fully-grown tree represent? What was its message to you? Are you willing to take this journey seriously and take steps towards manifesting your own longing? The dryad of the apple supports you! You are the fulfillment of your own ancestor’s dreams. Are you willing?
The ceremonies, guided meditations, and tree teachings within Celtic Tree Rituals offer you many tree doorways into your own heart. I offer these as a prayer towards holding the earth sacred and honoring all life. Working with the trees will change you. I bid you a bountiful summer and send you the message that you are a bright blessing here in the world with your own specific energy and blueprint of purpose. And so, it is!
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