I would like to invite you on a little daydream… You are standing in a large meadow in June, the sun is warm on your skin and there is a hum of bees and other insects collecting nectar from the wildflowers all around you. The scent of wild marjoram and sweet grasses drifts up as your feet move over the lush ground. As you slowly amble through the high grass and blossoms you see a large, majestic oak tree in the centre of the field. It calls you, drawn by its presence and wide leafy canopy. The shade around it’s base is inviting and the tree appears to offer a safe resting place on this hazy afternoon walk. Finding a shallow alcove in the mossy trunk, you sit back into the oak, feeling its solid holding behind you. You feel very welcome here and time and thoughts slow down. You lean into Oak time, a much older being that has no need to rush. “Stay as long as you need, I am here to hold you.” A gentle sigh, a letting go in your body and mind as you surrender to the tree’s support. You watch a ladybird skillfully navigate up the wrinkled bark, two squirrels chase each other on a lower branch. You wonder just how many other creatures are held by this oak right now? Does the oak mind?
Then oak says to you, “My highest purpose is to hold you and other life, it is my honour and makes me deeply happy to do so.” “The more you allow me to hold you, the greater I am nourished and fulfill my divine calling.” A long lost feeling moves through your body, a remembrance of being unconditionally held and welcome. A wave of grief, perhaps it’s been many years since you felt truly supported? You rest here as long as you need, your oak tree is your safe container. Connected in a moment of blissful balance, the Held and the Holder.
I shared a very similar experience with an oak tree in my early 30’s and it was the first of many encounters I had with this mighty tree that taught me the art of being held by others and also finding my own inner safe container. The holding I speak of is the steadfast solidity of the Divine Masculine. This aspect of our inner and outer world is what provides our structure, our protection, our boundaries, motivation, emotional and physical holding and ability to manifest our dreams into reality. Yes, the Divine Mother archetype is essential too, but without the masculine balance, then life can be an uphill struggle. In a world where few of us have experienced unconditional masculine holding, then it is not surprising that this element is often not integrated as an inner and outer resource. To be honest, for the majority, we are not even sure what this divine masculine presence feels like! It is easy to blame our absent fathers or immature partners in why we don’t feel supported or heard, but how can men offer something they have largely never received themselves?
Too often this lack of empowered masculine holding results in a distorted pushy masculine identity which both men and women adopt to try to navigate through life. Immature (fear based) masculine self includes: barrage of self criticism, unrealistic goal setting and pushing to achieve, domineering attitude, arrogance or refusal to rest or seek help, forcing issues and others rather than cooperation, fear of losing control so tries to control everything. This is all very hard work and not sustainable or empowered.
Signs Your Divine Masculine Self is not fully Active:
- Being highly reactive emotionally, often feeling chaotic.
- Difficulty trusting others and your own judgement.
- Annoying and persistent self critic (often internalised critical father voice)
- Feeling unsafe or having shaky boundary setting, hard to say NO and mean it.
- Feeling like your self worth comes from male approval (when your inner masculine tells you you’re a goddess, outer male approval is far less important!)
- Difficulty attracting emotionally available and emotionally intelligent men.
- Difficulty converting dreams into actual success and abundance (the masculine side is the provider/manifesting power, earthing the feminine creativity into physical reality
The key to healing these collective wounds I am finding is to recognise we are all whole beings, each with inner aspects of the masculine and feminine to explore and embody. And for me, working with oak consciousness for nearly a decade as given me a model of the divine masculine to learn from and bring out in myself. And the more I embody my own masculine power, the more I attract that respect and holding in my external experience. The questions I worked through with oak included:
- If I long for safety and holding in my outer world, am I providing that for myself too?
- Do I use old patterns of wanting to be rescued instead of empowering and supporting myself?
- Am I actually open to receive support or even recognise it when it shows up?
- How can I deepen my self-trust through positive boundary setting and holding my frightened parts with love?
- How can I deepen my feminine gifts through providing a safe masculine container?
- How can I work with oak to heal wounds from past abandonment by men?
As with many inner journeys, this work with oak is not linear and deepens over time as my awareness has grown and my trust and connection to oak has increased. Clearly, just healing with the non-human world is only part of the puzzle, and I have needed to do relational healing with real life human men too! The level of connection I experience with oak now is what I would describe as eco-tantric! This is a new word I made up to refer to the exchange of bliss and love between human and tree (or other nature being). My goal is to work with men and women who are looking to find inner balance and integration and offer a framework and support to achieve this. I sense that personal healing is only the start of what is possible. The oak trees are guiding me to understand that land energies can be worked with in similar ways, by finding wholeness within, we can then help balance on a larger scale for all beings. Oak is particularly good at working with an aspect of Earth energy called Dragon energy. These appear to be the masculine consciousness moving through the land and are often blocked or compromised leading to imbalance in the ecosystem, plants, waterways and for humans too. It is very much early days for this side of my oak apprenticeship, but I am excited what can be achieved for bringing vitality and balance in my homelands and maybe even further afield!
Next time you visit an oak tree, see if you can spot a dragon hiding in its branches. Stop a while and let oak hold you, invite a connection with this King of trees and see where it leads…
x x x