This is a combination of two exercises which proved on the last Natural Awareness course to be very powerful. I first saw the Earth Tree being done by my friend Thomas Schorr-kon from Trackways many years ago and I thought one day I would like to use that in some way, little knowing then how I would use it.
Then while in the states another friend Tom McGee who I met at the Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Colorado in September 2009 used an exercise called 'The Invisibles.'
Quite often I will respond to my intuition when teaching, I sense the energy of the group and allow myself to be guided by that. It was during a part of the programme were I had planned a therapeutic walk that I decided to introduce 'The Earth Tree and the Invisibles.'
We found a wonderful spot where time was spent with a pair of Great Tits and their young who were living in the cavity of an old branch in a tree, a pair of Herons were also nesting high up in the trees not too far from us and the ground told the story's of many the deer that lived in and around this beautiful spot. It was here that we agreed to stay for 'The Earth Tree and the Invisibles.'
The men started to dig their holes and once done I then had the honour of filling in the earth around their feet up to their ankles, after a short period of silence to let them settle into the woods I took them on a guided journey of the invisibles. This involved looking at the parts of the tree we do not see and relating it back to ourselves and our life past, present and future.
During this time I went through what I can only describe as a transformation, I really felt connected to these men, the trees, the birds and everything that was around us. When I entered into their space the place they had chosen to be planted it really felt like I had to enter and leave that area by a certain route, I was not allowed to cut across the wood even if it was the shortest way to go. I also found myself to be in a state of bliss while delivering this part of the workshop.
At the end, they were asked to leave their place in the woods and to return to camp in their own time, I really felt it was now my place to get to camp light the fire and put the water on for a brew, this felt really important, for them to arrive home to a raging fire and a hot drink.
We spend a long time in silence during all this time. Words were really not needed at all.