Urban Farming, Druids, Trees and Street Faeries – View from the Eye

In the midst of the urban problems in London, and all the shakeups and downs coming from “the Street” comes some hope for a different way of dealing with difficulty from The Urban Farming Guys  “This is the epic story of a band of pioneers–several families who have uprooted from comfortable suburbia & made their homes for good in one of the most blighted zip codes in the U.S.–64127, Lykins neighborhood, inner-city Kansas City. Each of us, standing with our neighbors, believe there is hope, but we know that money alone will not solve the problem.”

This just proves you can get back to nature in the city. If you wonder at the roots of the current set of issues we face, just check out the Salvage series  of articles by John Michael Greer in the ArchDruid Report.  But it’s not for the faint-of-heart. It’s more for those who are willing to face the future and wade in and do something.

Speaking of doing something to solve problems, here’s one for the Druids and other tree-lovers.  A 13-Year old was inspired by trees and came up with a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. This story comes from Inhabitat.com – a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Just look around, and you will find wonder to behold. Beth Hansen-Buth, the Faerie Artist (and my twin sister), pointed me to the Fairy Street Fashion of Finland. (We’re half-Finnish). For those of you who who embrace the Fae Lifestyle, music, art etc., you should check out these outstanding Faerieworlds events>

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” ~William Butler Yeats


Dryads, Trees & the Fifth Element

by Alferian Gwydion MacLir, author of Wandlore

Note: Alferian will be at Eye of Horus Saturday, July 30th, to for a wandmaking demo, booksigning and Q&A

Wandlore BookThe dryad is the spirit of the tree, its essential pattern. It is a living being linked to the tree and growing with it, but at the same time it is a trans-temporal and trans-spacial creature, living in the Astral dimension as much as in the mundane world. When a branch falls off a tree or is pruned, the dryad spirit is still in the wood. It is not really correct to speak of “parts” of a spirit, but one might consider the spirit of the wand to be part of the tree’s consciousness. Some writers suggest that trees withdraw their life from a branch when they sense it is going to be cut and there is doubtless something to such observations. Nevertheless, in my experience, the spirit always remains in some degree and can be awoken by enchantment when the branch is crafted into a wand.

Now, of course, orthodox mundane botany does not usually accord consciousness to trees. In the Alferic tradition and in most schools of Druidry, trees are considered to have spirit, mind, and consciousness, as well as will and emotions. Indeed, in my experience, trees have a larger proportion of emotion than intellect in their souls. They do not ratiocinate the way we do, but they do ponder and brood. As Tolkien so rightly observed in Lord of the Rings, many trees today are sleepy. If the druid touches them and makes contact with their dryad spirit, they sometimes at first seem sluggish and hard to reach. Other trees respond immediately to such attention with the same kind of reaction many of us would have if suddenly touched by the mind of another being.

Still, it is misleading to anthropomorphize dryads. They share many of the spiritual qualities with us, but they do not think or live like human beings. In their present incarnation, trees are fixed and immobile. A great deal of their attention is directed into the ground through their roots and outward into the air through their branches and leaves. They do move, of course, in the process of growth and in harmony with the winds, rain, and sunlight. Deciduous trees drop their leaves and grow new ones, many drop seeds or flowers. So there is a great deal of activity in trees but it is the sort that, in humans, remains largely unconscious. We too produce seeds and eggs, grow hair and nails and new skin, and throughout childhood our whole body is growing. Even in adulthood the body changes shape. But trees have very different bodies and their spirits are diffused throughout their bodies without the distracting narrow focus of a brain steeped in language. Thus trees, unlike humans, have never suffered from the dichotomy of mind and body. If their consciousness dwells on different parts of their being, it is on the roots, the trunk, and the branches. The leaves are the most sensitive organs of trees, but the bark is also very sensitive, flowing with tree-blood underneath, just like skin.

Although many of the woods are traditionally associated with one of the four classical elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth), dryads are spirits that do not fall simply into one of these elements. Rather, they embody the fifth element recognized in the Taoist system: Wood. They are representative of all of the four elements combined into a fifth that is a living organism. Trees are the pinnacle of the plant kingdom, as humans are often imagined to be the pinnacle of the animal kingdom, filled with nobility, grandeur, often great age, and wisdom that comes from a long life in one place. We are indebted to them in ways that are often incompletely realized: in the gift of oxygen, wood, and paper trees have made human civilization possible. They are, thus, mystically speaking, the midwives of all intelligent life and human creativity. The Quintessence is often described as Spirit, but it is enlightening to consider this “Fifth Element” as Wood for the trees point upwards to the sun, stars, and heavens, to the invisible Spirit, which is not an “element” at all, but the essence that underlies all manifestation.

©2006 The Bardic Institute, reprinted from www.bardwood.com by permission

Earth Day Sale & Tree Planting Campaign!

This year we are celebrating at the store by doing some spring cleaning, which means we’re having our first ever clearance sale. We have some titles which we have too much stock on, some shirt designs we’re discontinuing, and even some incense we’re moving out to make room for new items.  We also have a load of used books we don’t have room for, and there are some real bargain gems in there. It’s a good time to make a clean sweep and offer you a special value.  Buffalo Exchange is also having a sale, plus we are both supporting Earth and Environmental causes.

So come down this Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 10am to 9pm at the Eye, and you will find:

  • Bargains We’re turning our Twilight Room into a Bargain room (look for the Beyond Here there be Bargains sign in the back of the store.) With loads of used books and overstock items at 30-50% off the retail price.
  • Tarot Readings Both Amanda Horton and Chuck Boe will be available for Tarot Readings on Saturday.  Schedule your reading now!
  • Flowers The labyrinth is open for walking. Stop and say hi to the Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Violets and whoever else is out there.
  • You can Plant a Tree – Remember to pick up an Eco Libris sticker for $1 – see below.
  • Save Wildlife from Trash – Buffalo Exchange (just on the other side of the used car lot next to our store) is also having a special Dollar Day sale for a good cause – more details below.

Eye of Horus Tree Planting Campaign

Have you planted a tree lately? It’s easier than you think! For just $1 you can support the Eco Libris Tree planting program. If you love books, and love trees, this is the perfect solution to create balance in your life. How?  Whenever you buy a book or a tarot deck, or heck, anything at Eye of Horus, you can also purchase and Eco Libris sticker for just a buck. We love the program, and thought it was time to remind everyone they have the option of a sticker every time they check out. It’s one of the things which makes Earth Day every day at the Eye. Read more about the little things we do to make a big difference on our Eye on the Environment page.

Save Wildlife from Trash

Buffalo Exchange (just down the street from us, on the other side of the used car lot) is having a special $1 sale to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday,  and we think it’s for a good cause. Here’s the info from their flier & website:

Saturday, April 24th from 11a.m. to 8p.m., Buffalo Exchange is celebrating Earth Day in our parking lot. We would like to invite you to join the festivities. There will be music, food, and fun!  Plus you can help save wildlife from discarded trash while shopping for hip used clothing at a bargain! In celebration of Earth Day, all proceeds from Buffalo Exchange’s Dollar Day Sale benefit The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization. All sale items offered for just $1 each at your local Buffalo Exchange on April 24 will go to the Don’t Trash Wildlife campaign of The HSUS, and three HSUS wildlife centers that rescue and rehabilitate wild animals. Earth Day benefits at Buffalo Exchange stores have raised over $274,000 for environmental causes since 1997.

So come on down to the edge of uptown on Saturday for fun and to help a couple of good causes.