How I Met the Sacred Ginkgo Tree
By Z Budapest
I love trees. Since childhood they were my first trusted friends. I was like an only child, nobody to play with but the trees. They were faithful friends, always there for me.
Today, when I teach the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries course in my Dianic University (wicca.dianic-wicca.com), I tell my students to get “jiggy” with trees. Just like from my childhood, that’s how I met the sacred trees in my life and how I develop my friendships with them.
I have in Oakland, a special friend … a Golden Poplar tree, or tulip tree as it’s also called. She is tall and happy, and when I come she makes her leaves tremble for me. Today she is naked, as its winter, and I tease her about how pretty she looks without a leaf on.
She has an abandoned hawks nest too, only visible now that she is naked. I saw a returning hawk sitting there last spring contemplating resettling the old homestead, but she changed her mind.
My most beloved mama tree is a Cork Oak tree. She lives in the local cemetery. She branches out like legs opened to the sky, and I nestle my head in her crotch and sing into it. I tell her my troubles, and she gives me new songs. I lay against it to feel how power she is connected to the Earth. I can spend a long time in her presence.
But the most surprising tree friendship happened to me while visiting Budapest.
A friend and I were looking at trees, identifying them from a book I’d just bought. I was sitting on a marble bench, looking at leaves and trying to match them up with the leaves in the book. When just out of nowhere, without a wind, a leaf spiraled down most ceremoniously and landed at my feet.
It was a fan shaped pretty thing. It looked very familiar to me. I had seen it before, often.
What was it?
Then it came to me. It was a Ginkgo leaf!
The tree was very lanky. All tree trunk. Where was the crown?
I picked up this leaf and felt its happy greeting to me. I strained my neck looking up, and there up, up in the high canapé of the treetops, there was a Ginkgo waving down to me. She wanted me to know she was growing here, all the way from China!
I am a great admirer of the Ginkgo. Its gene pool has been unchanged for millions of years. They survived Ice Ages! They got the perfect tree right away, no more evolution needed. She had many healing properties, which all led to longevity. She could regulate life within us. She was taken for millennia by humans for many ailments, and especially for wonderful effects she has on the brain and nerves. But I loved her for her beauty.
So I pressed the leaf into my Tree book. So glad to know it can grow in Hungary too.
I am dreaming of planting more Ginkgoes all over my old country. The old Cork Oak could also make it there, and Poplars already have, but not the Golden variety. I pray to the Tree Goddess to allow me this privilege, money and support to help reforest Europe.