Painting Of A Tree*
09 Sep 21 by justatest
Out front stood a dead tree which, as a storm was brewing, I decided to cut down to prevent it being blown onto the road.
After cutting away the upper branches and about to fell the trunk at it´s base, the tree whispered to me ¨Stop, that´s enough now¨ and added that it would reveal a secret if I allowed it guide me thereafter.

Tree and place of pilgrimage

The tree is located next to a place of pilgrimage now occupied by the Middle-Eastern Christian religion but which nevertheless in ancient times was overseen by Celtic Druidesses or Women Priests of native spiritual tradition.


Birth of the helix

Rather than simply chopping it down for firewood, I followed the suggested forms of the tree using a chainsaw to incise a helix the length of the trunk; the base of which revealed the spiral´s source as a delicate vulva-like opening.


Early spiral growth

It seemed that the helix was a form distinct from the tree, somewhat like a spiraling sexual energy or a new life in itself which at first slowly and meanderingly progresses it´s upward rise.


Breast of the tree

If the twist of the climbing spiral represents her offspring, then mid-way along the trunk emerged the shape of a breast symbolizing nourishment and succour provided by the mother to her young.


Heart of the tree

The tree´s heart here would then reflect that mother´s love.

Towards Independence

Change of direction in the upward spiral

Bypassing both heart and breast, the direction of the helix changes (from spiral clockwise to anti-clockwise) as if to indicate a newly-acquired sense of self and a growing independence from maternal protection.

New Generation

Branching out

Once the upward spiral attains maximum growth, it then divides and separates like offspring into individual and unique characters who, emboldened with their mother's care, spontaneously spring bravely free, up and out into the world.

Secret Revealed

Painting Of A Tree (view from road)

In conclusion, the secret of the tree as willed by the ancient Druidess turns out to be a simple allegorical celebration of bringing the next generation into the world, along with all the hopes and dreams which that inspires.

Additionally, I believe that she looks askance and incredulously across the meadow at the cloying religiosity of the current Christian occupants with their deference to a repressive state of virginity.

*The region being known for it´s Plein Air artists, this painting of a tree is my contribution to that genre.