Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the Spirituality of trees

Last January we decided this year we would have a "theme" for our 2013 works: Goddesses and flowers.... of course, it takes me weeks and even months to create a piece so I have been working on my Goddesses since January, but Sergio's process is quick with encaustics and he works beginning in late September .... he has decided to focus on Cherry Blossoms and Dogwoods.... his love of Japanese ancient culture led him to it when he created a piece for our son (who also loves Japanese ancient culture).... 

Sergio's latest pieces are these fantastic Cherry Blossoms in encaustics:

We both believe that Trees hold a special significance as both practical providers and powerful spiritual presences and have witnessed life on earth over large expanses of time. Spirit breathes aliveness into their mystical individuality.  In many cultures a tree symbolizes the world center, where heaven and earth touch, where all times and places converge. For this reason trees are considered sacred and provide a focal point for meditation, enlightenment, guidance and prayer and if we are open to their energy, will converse with us. 

We have behind our studio, a large Sycamore that stands above all other trees in the area, it is in fact, protected by our local government as a historic "monument" and we are not allowed to cut it down (not that we ever would!). In southern Mexico, the Sycamore is paid homage to as it was revered and used in rituals by the Olmecs.

Trees are super special to us... my last name "Olivos" means Olive trees... one of the things that Sergio and I loved about one another when met is how much we both are into Semiotics..and thus he took my last name when we married.

The Olive tree is considered a Tree of Life
and is symbolic of Harmony, Tranquility and Serenity <3 font="">
The Olive tree has been celebrated and referenced in the cultural works of every society. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven".
The foliage of the Olive tree has been used for centuries to honor victory, wisdom and peace. In Genesis, an olive branch was returned to Noah on the ark by a dove, signaling the end of the great flood.

"The purest essence comes from the oldest trees who have peaked developmentally in their 
being-ness. Older trees communicate to younger trees a vibrancy that supports and encourages their growth. There is an intelligence on the other side from which life springs. The force of gravity helps us to live. Through gravity we receive light from the sky. Gravity is the bridge to the other world where earth connects to the sky. Trees act like magnetic funnels." ~ Goelitz

 Pine trees also have much ritual as their history... and whether we think of it or not- we pay homage to it annually as a Christmas tree.

 The Cherry blossom holds much symbolism in Japan; according to the Buddhist tradition, the breathtaking but brief beauty of the blossoms symbolizes the transient nature of life.  
The flowers last for at most a few weeks, but during that time, both the mountains and the cities are full of the delicate pink flowers, be the trees wild or cultivated. 

 “The traditional Japanese values of purity and simplicity are thought to be reflected in the form and color of the blossoms.” ~Osamu

Honor the ancient wisdom of the trees that surround you in the everyday, notice their beauty and hear their whispers....