Tree's tell stories. They really do....
In my experience they never talk in riddles or in ways that can not be understood. They are clear and direct. They will say little or say much, and they will tell the wildest stories. All we have to do is trust that what we are hearing is coming from a tree, and trust that what we hear is the truth. And this is the key to communication with Tree Spirits and to connecting with Tree Whisper Oracles. Trust.
In Facets of Communication Part 2, we will explore a little deeper into trust. And trusting that we are hearing the voices of the Tree Spirits. We will explore and apply a theory of bodily communication by Gene Gendlin called Focusing. Focusing theory is the closest we will come to understanding how we communication with Tree Spirits. Focusing explains how our own being communicates through our felt senses. Communication that flows through the most mysterious parts of our body.
Gene Gendlin and Focusing
Gene Gendlin, through his extensive therapeutic work with people, noticed a way of being that people would commonly express when exploring their experiences. He noticed that people would intuitively tune into their body and communicate what their body parts felt like. They would reveal physical sensations. They would describe these something like, 'my stomach is tight when I think of...', and 'my shoulders feel heavy when I remember...' or 'when I think of... I feel a numbness here in my body'.
Gendlin tentatively uncovered the body's sophisticated and intelligent communication system. He believed this to be inherent so much so that he did not take credit for his theory saying that it was naturally and occurring in everyone. He called this the practice of Focusing. Gendlin believed that the body held all of the memory of our experiences. He believed that the body wanted to communicate this knowledge so that we may gain insights and wisdom. Gendlin called these zones felt-senses. Felt because the sensing of something was accompanied by a noticed physical sensation in the body. He regarded the felt-senses as mysterious and secretive. Delicate places of aliveness. My own Focusing mentor described the felt-senses as being like little wild animals.
Gendlin believed that all we had to do to access this knowledge was to focus on the physical sensation and we have contact and the beginning of communication. Think of the third eye chakra that tingles or fizzes when we bring our awareness there, or the stabbing pain we feel in our heart when we have been hurt by a lover. Physical sensations may show up as an ache, a numbness, pain, nausea, a jolt, light-headedness, feeling the need to laugh, to cry and any other kind of noticed physical sensation. When we pay attention to these sensations, we are noticing their presence. And when we notice their presence we are Focusing. Focusing in on the communication.
When we focus on the sensation and sink a little deeper into it, the felt-sense will open a little at a time, like a rose bud slowly unfolding. If we are gentle and delicate as we encounter the felt-sense, it will open out more. As it opens we will come into awareness's, knowing's and insights, relating to our experiences. Focusing is a practice, and can be a powerful and intense. There are complexities within navigating this way of being and relating. Having studied Focusing as a solitary practitioner on my own for many years, and then with a mentor and a group for a year I can honestly say that it was 100% better for me to learn with a mentor. That being said, it is possible to move in Focusing oriented ways, and these ways are the best for connecting with Tree Spirits and Tree Whisper Oracles. And this is what I recommend.
Animism and Felt-Sensing
Yes yes, I hear you say it 'have we not explored this already' and indeed I have talked about this before. But I can not say it often enough. Focusing is deeply animistic by nature. Focusing is based on the principle that we embody felt-senses, and that we also respond to the felt-senses from others around us. I have personally encountered the felt-senses of animals, plants, trees, the wind, the land, and energy fields and so on and so forth. The two are intertwined and blend seamlessly. The Spell of the Sensuous, a book by David Abram illustrates this felt-sensing relationship within nature beautifully with his exploration of otherness. Focusing is an animistic practice, recognising the aliveness of communication in the body and Animism cultivates the noticing of all aliveness within literally everything. The two go together.
And so, how does this all relate to Tree Whisper Oracles. As previously explored in Part 1, we came to understand that there was a need to know and understanding the nature of the Tree Whisper Oracles. We looked at our intention and language in relation to the oracles, and regarded them as embodying something of an aliveness, a spirit of nature. And how tuning into this vibration of aliveness would open us up to noise. We can take this rudimentary suggestion of noise and expand it. Opening out the folds of noise and reveal clear communication.
And So These Tree Stories...
As afore mentioned, Trees Spirits tell stories. We do not need to be concerned that when we are in communication with a tree spirit, we may not understand them. Trees speak through us in a way that we will notice, hear and understand. I say through us because this communication is not outside of ourselves. Tree Spirit communicates through the felt-sense. And felt-sense communication is permeable between beings. It sinks in, and soaks through, it is airy and earthy and wet. It lightens us, brightens us, enlivens us. Communication flows in and can be a gentle rambling stream or a splendid mesmerising river. Be ready with paper and a pen or a means to record your voice. For your voice will become the voice of many.
In my own experience, each tree has a unique voice. And we can apply the same idea to connecting with the Tree Whisper Oracles. Each tree represented in the images shares a little something of a unique voice. And when we apply the principle of the felt-senses of our body to communication with a physical tree, tree spirits and the oracles, we can begin to understand how the oracles speak through us. Our body is a complex weaving of aware and wise parts. Alive parts that are held within an aura, a sensing field. And then deep, deep within, in the most mysterious and secretive places, the felt senses, the core of all communications, knowingness and wild wisdoms.
Felt-Sensing With Tree Whisper Oracles
It is my understanding that trees, as well as all aliveness use something of these intelligent sensing ways to communicate and make conversation with us. They speak through our own felt-senses and likewise we speak directly through our felt-senses and through into theirs. With each felt-sense that we become aware of and explore, we come to know ourselves in deeper and clearer ways. We come to an awareness of our inner universe of infinite felt-senses. These are the channels through which communication flows from us and into us. If we can appreciate that each of our felt-sense in concerned with a memory of our experience, and holds wisdom there. Then we can appreciate that Tree Spirit communication will travel through our felt-senses. The communication will find places of resonance, gestalting parts, collections of themes, narratives, sights, sounds, smells, voices, dreams... everything that makes up our experience of life.
To those of us whom are acquainted with experiencing visions and psychic phenomena, this will make sense. We often channel insights and omens through flashes or knowings, related to us through a past feeling or experience we have encountered. This is why memories and colourful life experience is valuable for these ways of experiencing and expressing communication. When communicating with Tree Whisper Oracles we may begin to notice the reel running, sharing with us the theme of the communication of the content of the Tree Whisper communication. The reel, is also a felt sense We will hear a voice speaking through our felt-sense. We may think 'is this my voice, it sounds like me' or 'is this me creating this narrative here'. In a way this is true, yet not in the sense of that we are creating a fantasy of communication. Rather, the communication is traveling through the channels of our own pathways of experiences, and so we hear this through our own familiar voice, or the many known voices of our felt senses.
And this is where trust is the key. It can be very easy to dismiss our experience of noticing felt-sense communication when we hear the voice as our own. I have been here myself. And when I was in these very early stages of ree spirit communication I would test and test and test it, before I would trust it. Of course I had to make sure I wasn't going mad. But I did think 'if I am going mad, what a lovely way to go'. I spent time in the woodlands and with the trees and talked and talked and asked questions. And I said 'and what about this... and what about that...' and They told me some pretty wild stories. Stories that I have since realised as not being unique to my own sensing ears. That others have heard these ancient tales too. These stories are known among wise elders. And on hearing that others too have heard these truths, I felt no sense of validation of my own truth because I had already come to trust that what I was hearing was the truth. I felt only joy. Each of us must walk the path to find trust in our experiences. Because it is the journey of our own experiences that proves the truth.
Conversation Styles with Tree Whisper Cards
We will each of us have our unique ways of shuffling and laying cards onto a smooth surface. I have come to prefer to lay down many rather that few. But each person will have their own preference. Whether it a solitary Tree Spirit, a small gathering or a joyful celebration, we can communicate with the cards in the same way. Through noticing conversation.
A single Tree Whisper shares a moment with us. We gaze upon the card image, noticing the nature beings morph before our eyes, we notice the key word and allow this word to find somewhere soft to settle within us, without holding onto it to tightly. We walk into this communication slowly and invite a grounded presence of being into our sensing field. We invite the way of 'through' communication and tune into our body. Where we feel a physical sensation, we go there, to that part. We keep a grounded awareness that we are in our physical space with our companion the oracle and the Tree Spirit card. And we being to notice. Our body, our sensations and the inner voice that is comforting and familiar. We hear this voice and trust that this is the voice of our felt-sense, in communication with the voice of the oracle and of the Tree Spirit card we laid down.
Notice any physical sensations, notice any memories that come to be known, notice if there are subtle or bigger waves of feeling that surface. Notice comfortableness or uncomfortableness. Remain grounded in the communication, stay with the physical sensation and avoid merging with the narrative of the felt-sense, the story that is growing. The felt-sense is the point of contact with the voice of the oracle. Yet the felt-sense itself holds infinitely more than a means of communication with the oracle. The felt-sense holds the whole of our experience and all of the wisdom we have gained or will ever come to realise. Each felt sense is a galaxy, suspended in space and time. A being, alive and aware.
To understand the felt-senses more deeply, one really needs to connect with a mentor. And finding the right mentor is also a mysterious process. But as I mentioned, we can communicate in Focusing oriented ways. And these are the ways of the Tree Whisper Oracles.
When adding other Tree Whispers to the conversation, the same practice applies. As we lay down another card and the another, We can now notice where other felt senses of our body make their presence known. We can notice other felt sensations and focus there. We notice the sensing field around the felt sense, and felt-sense of these other parts and how they interact with each other. Notice the collective narrative as it begins to weave. But remember, don't merge with the narrative. When we merge with a narrative, we become lost in imaginings and go of on some merry fantasy in our head and the instant we do this, we are not with the felt-sense, we are not in presence of communication with the other.
An interesting technique to explore when laying down Tree Whisper cards is to think on 'what is alive in me now' and lay one card first, allow the process of communication to flow and begin to engage in the conversation. When you feel ready, include another oracle card into the conversation. Notice how this new tree spirit card informs the communication between the three of you. You can add another cards, and another. Notice how the key words on the cards inform each other, notice the communication exchange, and the conversations within your felt-senses. Do you hear a chatter of whispers? You may ask open questions as you bring in a new cards, get involved in this conversation. You may also keep this conversation open for days if you wish. You can also sense into the conversation among the cards and know when a tree spirit card has contributed to the conversation and wants to return to the deck. Including cards and then returning others keeps the communication alive, authentic and fresh for you are your oracle.
Tree Whisper Oracle cards are creative, wild and wonder filled. Embrace, explore and enjoy their company. Felt senses are a part of you and will only ever communicate what you are comfortable and ready to know. We have explored Focusing oriented ways. If you want to explore felt-senses more deeply I recommend learning through a trained mentor and member of the British Focusing Association or International Focusing Institute.
Wishing you all Earthy, Rooty and Leafy Blessing,
Yours in the heart of the woodlands.