...lets talk about Trees please?

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11 Sep 2020 09:18 #354481 by forestjedi
Trees, forests, nature are central to my Jedi path.

In "raw" nature we are immersed in an immanent and richly immediate experience of the interconnecting Force.

The forest is my Temple.
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11 Sep 2020 11:23 #354485 by Carlos.Martinez3

forestjedi wrote: Trees, forests, nature are central to my Jedi path.

In "raw" nature we are immersed in an immanent and richly immediate experience of the interconnecting Force.

The forest is my Temple.




Glad your still around Stu. May the Force continue to be with you.

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11 Sep 2020 13:23 #354488 by Skryym

Eqin Ilis wrote:
Living where I do, I notice I have a connection to two species that are frequently overlooked and under-represented. Mesquite and manzanita. Mesquite was once common in my area of desert, and has little seed-pods that make excellent rattles, in an area with rattlesnakes. ;-) The closest thing I can think of in public consciousness is cedar, because it just comes to mind instantly as a tree that drives off negativity, and is dead useful for nearly everything. I have many rattles I collected from a healthy mesquite tree near me. (They all dropped off naturally, and were not in a natural environment.) Manzanita is a gorgeous twisted thing with incredibly hard wood, and a brilliant red bark. It tends to have a lively feel, full of hummingbirds and bees. Looking at it feels like a reminder of summer, even in the cold. It's also hardy and fire-resistant, which feels like a lesson in resilience and beauty, especially with the most recent fire and the prevalence of manzanita in that area.


I'm so glad you have that relationship with mesquite! It's hard to believe that it was cherished widely by native Americans of the southeast, but now many people view it as little more than a weed. There are so many tree species where we've forgotten the relationship we used to have with it. Where I live (Iowa), Honey locust, mulberry, and Osage Orange (in the southern part of the state) are viewed as invasive weeds, but they can be processed into sweet breads, delicious jams, and stout bows, respectively. Not to mention all the benefits they provide to wildlife. Another book I'd recommend is "Tree Crops" by J. Russell Smith. The book is almost 100 years old, but the author talks about how we can rekindle our ancient relationship with trees in the "modern" world. Each chapter is devoted to a single species of tree - and he discusses its awesome history as well as ways it can be used in industry and agriculture. Eqin, it would be worth reading just for the chapter on Mesquite!

Also Carlos, I understand how certain smells can be connected with certain livelihoods. I spent two summers chainsawing cedars out of prairies (where they are considered an invasive species) and as a result I love gin :laugh: . The deep smell of cedar, or a refreshing drink of gin, reminds me of long days spent in the prairie among good companions.

Stu said it best. Forests are a conduit that grounds us to the present Force. Especially after a deep rain, when the saturated soil seems to breath with a host of fragrant smells and water drips from the branches. The line between human and forest diminishes and I (we) feel the closest to truly connected with the Force.

There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes and bad attire. - Gandalf the Grey
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11 Sep 2020 13:40 #354489 by Eqin Ilis
Carlos, I feel you on how prickly mesquite can be. lol That tree demands its space, like a grumpy old man. I think that was another reason we associated the rattles of the tree with the rattles on the snake. Rattlers aren't mean or vicious. They just demand their space, and bad things happen when they aren't respected. I've been lucky to never have a deep scratch or bite from either tree or snake. After I fell into a cactus as a kid, I wasn't taking any chances with other sharp lifeforms. And I think the smelliness and smoking ability was the first thing that made me relate it to cedar. Mesquite smoked jerky is my favorite, and I would use it for my cooking all the time if I could. (It isn't sold here in many stores that I can find, and is rare enough harvesting would be a bad idea.) But the medicinal qualities felt important, too. Like the way cedar is able to drive off moths if you put it near your wool clothes, mesquite "drives off" certain illnesses, at least in an older way of thinking about medicines and sickness. Even if our current understanding of the chemical ability is more complex now, the use is functionally similar in feeling.

I might have to look into that deck, and the book Skryym mentioned, too. I love learning about nature, and as my girlfriend is practicing a nature-based path, we could share in exploring new info. And yeah, around here we always say things like, "you can take the rat out of the desert, but you can't take the desert out of the rat." (Perhaps not the most pleasant name for ourselves, but my little town called all the kids either desert rat or marine brat depending on where they were from.)

To answer your other question, I think mesquite is the only tree seed I have on my altar at the moment. I don't carry them only because they break open in my pocket, but a little sacred space is helpful for things like that. I've been known to carry an acorn for awhile when I find one on a hike in a area with oak, and I like collecting pinecones, too. One of my cloaks has some kind of nut as a button. I don't know the type of tree, but on a visit to Oregon, I found a really good one that was perfectly in half, with the seed part already missing. It really called to me, and the owner of the land we were on said it was very common in that area. So it always reminds me of that trip and the way that particular forest felt.

When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side. - Defenders of Peace, Clone Wars Series
A child stolen is a hope lost. - Sphere of Influence, Clone Wars Series
Those who enforce the law must obey the law. - The Academy, Clone Wars Series
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. - Hunt for Ziro, Clone Wars Series
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11 Sep 2020 13:49 #354490 by Eqin Ilis
Thank you, Skryym! This is great, my list of resources keeps growing. :-) Before it was mostly those books you get from National Parks in the gift shops and guides to local plants and wildlife. My family was always big on that kind of stuff. But it is really nice to have an added layer to it, like our ancestors did.

When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side. - Defenders of Peace, Clone Wars Series
A child stolen is a hope lost. - Sphere of Influence, Clone Wars Series
Those who enforce the law must obey the law. - The Academy, Clone Wars Series
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. - Hunt for Ziro, Clone Wars Series
The following user(s) said Thank You: Carlos.Martinez3, Skryym

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