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translating the blessings of the trees

September 14, 2019

It was a honour to create a ring ceremony for the wedding of two friends in Bute Park, Cardiff this summer. Aidan and Darren both spend a lot of time in the park, the place was instrumental in the early years of their relationship coming together, so it made sense to affirm their love for each other there.

I know the trees of Bute Park, I’ve sat with them, dreamed with them, held heart & mind still with them, and have a specially commissioned poem by the Woodland Trust carved into a 15ft legacy oak pole in the park. 

Can I tell you that the trees called me to sit with them before the ceremony to ask for guidance and blessings for our beautiful couple? 

Walking barefootthrough the park I paused to take three breaths so that I could feel the aspirations of these most magnificent trees flowing through me. 

Then I collected three pieces of litter out of respect for this place that is the trees’ home. 

I threaded a found feather into hair to intensify & focus intuition, then followed bare feet through ankle-high grasses and over rough, brown seed-strewn earth. 

Following intuition and the guidance of the trees, I was first drawn to a tall Alder tree and settled on the ground beneath his branches. Eyes followed the straight, towering treetrunk into the azure sky, and I felt dizzy at the distance (both physical and in time) this tree straddled. At this moment, thoughts were drawn towards the ancestors. I was being asked to honour the ancestors, not just of the bride & groom, but also of the land in Cymru, the ancestors of tree & rock, of avian & earth. To remember that we are all part of this one intricate weaving of past, present & future, and to recognise our place in this.

From here I walked aimlessly until experiencing a strong invitation to sit with a small grove of mixed trees: ash, elm & beech. Here, as I sat in sunlight that doilied onto longer, dry grasses nattering poems to the sunlight, thoughts steered towards community & togetherness. A reminder that the people who surround us, family & friends, are those who nourish and support us, whose presence makes our lives infinitely more luminous. I was reminded to thank all the people who had travelled so far to celebrate the love of these two special people. 

Immediately after this I stumbled upon a huge, half dead tree whose bleached white branches grasped at the sky like a bony fist. This tree was also surrounded by a ring of thorns, as well as a fence, and I recognised trickster energy. This was a warning to our couple to avoid the dangers of showy love that can soon become hollow in its grandeur. I was reminded that real love is subtle & organic, it is patient & kind; needing honest communication and a tending of these finely balanced connections to remain bright & alive. 

Finally, intuition and the trees led my bare feet to the Taff river where I searched for the last tree to complete this part of the ceremony. After some moments, it dawned that the final metaphor I needed was the river herself. My heart expanded with immense warmth at this revealing of connection & abundance. Such a beautiful symbol for two people’s love.

The river calls all beings to sit with energy that gifts possibility & infinite potential to the landscape of myriad beings. Whether tumbling rapidly or flowing gently she is a glorious symbol of life & love and I felt deeply honoured to have been gifted this guidance & blessing for two such special people. Water is an exceptional omen as she brings life – plenty of it also descended on us during the ceremony, inviting a deluge of love & luck to fill the days our beautiful friends.

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