The Shamans Tree, the Axis mundi (immovable central pole) is the primary gateway to worlds beyond this physical dimension. This has been an intrinsic symbol in shamanic lore and journeying from ancient times. From the Yggdrasil ash tree of the Nordic Tradition to many others, ‘The world tree’ can be found at the center of ancient cosmological symbology in many cultures throughout the world.
It is an archetypal symbol of physical and spiritual connection as well as transformation. If you look at the ceiling of a church you will see that often it is carved in a similar way to trees joining overhead. The original place to journey to connect with the spirit world was primary through the eldest tree.
One travels to the upper and lower worlds to connect with guides, entities, enemies, lost fragments, other lives, totems, helpers, Akashic information and much much more.
The tree is the central core of three main worlds.
The Upper world (cosmos, guides etc.) (Father Sky/Light)
The Middle world (human life)
The Lower world (that which is hidden) (Mother Earth/Darkness)
The shaman would journey with the shamans drum (its spirit horse which was made from the wood of the Shamans tree of their culture) through the tree and return the same way. The drum and its beat is what the journeyer rides whilst moving through the multiple worlds. The drum is connected to the earth and will also return the journeyer back to earth safely.
The shaman is known for having their feet rooted into the earth and their head in the cosmos. They are able to move between the worlds within a frame of stability… like the tree itself with its deep roots and branches reaching to the skies.
The tree represents the central interconnectedness of the earth, humans and non-ordinary reality within Great Mystery (all that is). This tree interconnects all worlds within the element of Fire (sun) Air (oxygen) Earth (seed) and Water (moisture). All of these elements make up the tree in full growth.
Now lets bring this great medicine tree into this current contemporary world.
Lets for a moment look at the symbolism of the tree and what it archetypally represents in relation to human consciousness.
The middle world is clearly this present reality that human live in. What I refer to as ‘Ordinary reality’. This is where we deal with ‘conscious’ tasks of life.
The upper world can be viewed as our ‘higher consciousness’ the place where the wisdom of the elders and higher or divine guidance is offered. A place of ‘super-consciousness’
The lower world is the realm of the subconscious where all things hidden reside. This is akin to the astral/dream world where journeys can be made to other lives, to hunt down that which has been lost, to find power animal totems, to deal with abusers, enemies etc.
All worlds are interconnected so for instance you can call upon a guide in the upper world to help you in journeying through the lower world. They will come from the upper world to meet you.
The deeper you go into the lower world the deeper the unconscious issues will become. I personally guide people to set up sanctuary in the firs level of the lower world as it establishes a safe base between the middle world and the lower world to build strength from and interact with other beings like your totems, inner child, guidance etc. People who have been traumatized tend to leave their bodies more often than most so its important that they feel safe from a grounded place. From the sanctuary you can travel anywhere. You could also set up a safe place in the upper world to spend time in however I feel that as we are living a human experience its best to keep grounded within the deeply rooted world of the tree.
So if we look at it from a Jungian Perspective the tree offers itself as a portal to discover more that is in the subconscious and may bring what is unconscious into the realm of consciousness as well as offering even a higher realm where you can go for even wiser guidance if you wish.
The Tree can be seen somewhat like a natural Tardis (Dr Who’s time traveling phone box). One can move inside through a door or opening (bigger on the inside than on the outside), one can move anywhere in time and one can return back to the current time in a blink of an eye so to speak.
The Tardis can move through and beyond time and the Shamans Tree naturally does the same. You can climb the shamans tree or go up stairs from within and connect with the cosmic consciousness or travel down some stairs through a doorway to your sanctuary and hang where it feels safe or take even more stairs or root tunnels down further and take a peek into your other lives or what is more deeply hidden.
The tree is a natural cosmic portal.
Is there a particular tree that one can journey through as opposed to another? Well that depends on what culture you have a connection to. However many cultures have reference to the ‘World Tree’ and each living tree has the similar makeup of branches that connect to the sky with roots that move deeper into the Mother Earth.
I myself have always seen before me a sturdy thick oak tree with branches green and abundant and deep strong roots burrowing into the earth. This may be because I come from a very strong Celtic bloodline and if I am asked to imagine a wood I am instantly transported to my blood ancestors natural woodland and there is always the oak tree waiting for me. It has never changed. I have seen it covered in a web of vines that I needed to remove (for the benefit of my own psyche) but the stability of the oak has been with me for many many years now.
The Oak in Bach flower remedies : Strength through adversity
Now you might want to go and do a bit of research to see which tree resonates with you. It may well be the Nordic Yggdrasil or one of the tree’s of Mongolia that is full of ribbons of respect and bones or it may be a willow or a fig or a Boab. All trees are within one tree. All worlds are within the one world. All universes are part of Great Mystery. Call upon the shaman’s tree and see what comes into your vision. Look into the symbology of the tree as an essence or plant or culture. Find your own tree connection.
If you are looking for the next step go to my website and click on the YouTube button. There is a simple guide to creating your own inner sanctuary. This is always a good place to begin. One needs to be prepared to go traveling so its important to set up your safe landing space and make sure you have helpers and guidance in where you are going so you return safely.