How the Search for Tree Spirits Started

Currently I live in Japan, a country famous for its nature religion. Some months ago I went to visit -as part of a study tour- a forest and we listened to an old man showing proudly some of his sustainable silviculture practices. At some point, a Japanese colleague  pointed out the risks connected to forestry.  “Forestry is dangerous, because the tree can fall, or when ropes break lose, they can cut as knifes in the skin.”  Unconsciously, with some pain in my chest, I said aloud “I know.”
My own grandfather died in a forestry accident, more than ten years ago.
And I had to think a lot about him, when I saw that old forester talking about taking care of trees. He also had not so much hair as my grandfather had.
I still think a lot about my grandfather and I believe that the way he died also “inspired” me to write about trees. Actually I write stories about dryads, tree spirits, immortal beings connected to certain trees. When the tree falls, the tree spirit also dies.
Also, in the time my grandfather died, I was in my fifth year (of 6 years) of secondary school. I studied Ancient-Greek & Science, and during my Ancient Greek classes I translated and read stories about dryads. Besides Ancient-Greek mythology, I am also very into Scandinavian mythology, maybe more than Ancient-Greek, since I am 8-9 years old. That means I know the story of Wodan, who hung himself at a tree, to gain the knowledge of the runes, and become one of the smartest gods in the universe.
My grandfather did not hang himself. A tree felt on him when he was cutting the tree. (that is why you should never do forestry alone)
After he died in the forest, I started to write stories about a young women whose grandfather -this is later turned into a grandmother- died in a forestry accident, but changed in a dryad and got connected to a big pool of information and insights, because she/he can communicate with trees, the eldest witnesses on earth.
Maybe it is my own way of processing loss and death and decay. Even ten years later, when I walk in forests I catch myself in deep reflections.
For me, forests, more than any other power in nature, really represents the circle of life and death, and of mortality, and that everything ends.

Now, I am still fascinated by tree and tree spirits and like to visit sacred tree groves, forests and other places to find inspiration. This website is the fruit of this search. Please feel free to join me in gathering of wood and knowledge as well in my imagination.

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Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 

 

 

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