Usually, information from journeys into the Otherworld I do upon request and on behalf of others only apply to those who ask me to go. Every now and then, though, I feel that the insight I gain on such adventures are beneficial for all.
This is about such a visit to the otherworldly realm, and as one currently going through the Ovate grade, I thought it fits even more.
In a recent shamanic drumming circle (shamanism is my "original" spiritual path,) one of our group members, Emily, told us that she was awoken a few days before to what turned out not to be lawn mowers or leaf blowers, but the sound of chain saws. It so happened that her landlord has decided to cut down a huge tree on the property, a tree Emily has grown very fond of over the years.
In the circle that evening, we decided to make a journey to that tree to see if there is anything we can do for her.
Emily took over the task of drumming. I had volunteered to lead the circle that evening, and so it was my duty to thank her for the drumming afterwards. And I did that by telling her that I suppose the drumming was excellent, because I didn't remember it thereafter, even to this day. So deep was my journeying!
In the journey I approached the tree and met its spirit there. I asked her how she was doing, and if I or we as a group can do something about her fate. And, whether she was mad at us humans.
She told me that she is just fine, actually, and that we shouldn't worry. She is not dead, really, because she lives on in the trees the sprouted from her seeds. If Emily wants to visit her, all she has to do is take a walk in the nearby reservation land and look for a tree just like her, it may be "her" after all. She has achieved her plant goal already years ago.
Puzzled at this positive reaction, I asked her if it didn't hurt when humans cut into her with chain saws.
She looked deeply into my eyes, smiled ever so lightly with a hint of sarcasm, laid her arm (branch) on my shoulder and said something like, "Dude, if that what you humans do to us plants, all the cutting down and ripping out, would hurt, you wouldn't exist as a species any more. We would have killed you thousands of years ago.
Well, I replied, I always thought, deep down in the depth of my soul, that what many say, i.e. that you plants willingly give up your lives to feed, warm, and shelter us, is nothing but an excuse to calm our conscience.
What those wise people are saying is in fact true, she told me. We plants do have this task, and we feel good about it. It is only you humans who don't know what they are here for on Earth.
But then she told me what hurts the trees, all plants really. Insecticides, for example. because that not only kills the critters that help the trees with pollination, it also diminishes the birds and therefore the trees' chance to spread the seeds around.
Most trees can throw their seeds only so far from their trunks. We need those mobile birds!
Killing the carnivores hurts the trees, because they ensure that the plant eaters don't over populate and eat all the new sprouts, extinguishing the trees by doing so.
But killing the plant eaters hurts us trees as well, because it is them who make sure that we don't overpopulate ourselves, choke each other by growing too close to one another. You remember, we can't move. We can't just tell our children it's time to move now. Find another area to live.
In short, it's not the chain saws that hurt us, it's that you mess with the balance of Nature!