What is the origin of bringing a tree into the house on the Christmas holiday?
Evergreens are a symbol of renewal and healing. Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Celts used evergreens as a symbol of the triumph of life. In the long days of winter in our hemisphere trees such as pine and holly remind us that life is merely dormant and these fragrant beings bring the spark of life along with the return of the Sun on the Winter Solstice, the world’s oldest celebration.
The trees themselves speak to me of our longing for connection to life and spirit and they are so like us.
From my native Celtic teachings and Native American lore, the Trees are called The Standing People. Like us their feet are grounded, their trunks spine-like need good footing to stand tall and their branches reach arm-like to the sky.
Pine tree has been with me since childhood. Everywhere I’ve lived from Ireland to New York City and here in Pawling, I’ve been in the presence of Pine. Our planet’s oldest living beings are in the Pine family. Pine essence is known for several healing qualities.
Shinrin-yoku is a practice of “forest bathing” popular in Japan which has been shown to have immune boosting qualities including lowering blood pressure.
If the stresses of the holiday season begin to weigh on you, look to the trees to calm your spirit and give thanks to their spirit of being The Standing People, roots in the earth, arms to the sky. Wishing you a peaceful holiday season.