In the East, we determine with the spirit through passion and lust. The words passion and lust are bound to create controversy. Think of it this way. You have not had an apple in a long time, and you may never have an apple again. As you eat this apple, you totally focus your attention on it. With all your senses, you taste the juice of it; you are aware of the texture and smell of it. You savor every morsel of it as if it were the only thing going in town. This is eating an apple with passion and lust. So, in our lives, with everything we do, whether it is cleaning the floor, writing a paper, or making love, we should do it with the spirit of passion and lust, as if it were the last moment of life. Savor each moment by determining with your intent and focus from your spirit.
Trees, called the Standing Nations, are the giver-determiners who sit in the East of the Plant World Wheel. Trees have always been used as power symbols, and all magickal lodges, religions, and spiritual paths refer to the human being as the tree of life. They communicate most directly with human beings because they are in the same place on the wheel that we are – in the place of determination – and the aura of a tree is similar to that of a human.
Trees determine the weather, for they are they lungs of Grandmother Earth. They carry the memory of the ages and of Grandmother Earth’s story of herself, and the Elders say that the dying and destruction of the ancient grandmother and grandfather trees are slowly erasing that memory.
Trees determine the nature and variety of vegetation that grows around them by determining the amount of light that reaches the ground and the nutrients and acidity in the surrounding soils. Growing around the tree are those plants that need shade and thrive on that type of soil; those that need sunlight grow away from the tree. Furthermore, within two hundred feet of any toxic plant will grow its antidote. Mugwort, for example, is an antidote for poison oak and can be found growing nearby. Thus, the plant world keeps its balance. The growth and proliferation of medicinal plants that provide sources for our healing are determined by the sacred trees. It is no accident that such a large percentage of medicinal plants are found in our lush rain forests.
Since we depend on plants to give us life, food and oxygen, when we clear-cut forests, for example, we are truly destroying the determiners of life on this planet. This applies to all the worlds of Grandmother Earth. Human beings live on this planet because these worlds make life possible, and they are necessary partners in our evolutionary journey. Destroy them, and we destroy ourselves.
Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.