As Winter melts into Spring, I have been musing on the shape of trees. In winter we can see their “bones” or structure most clearly. As I walk I see Fehu everywhere, reaching up to the skies. These are primarily deciduous trees, and come summer we will not be able to see this shape for the forest of leaves present. But it makes me think about how they are indeed “mobile wealth”. In ancient times, cattle or livestock were the mobile wealth of the people. They provided food, clothing, and even transportation at times. They could be sold or bartered for other goods needed. But in the Pacific Northwest, I propose trees could be seen as mobile wealth. They provide shelter, food, and can be sold and moved to other locations by means of transporting the seed or seedlings. The indigenous peoples made clothes, baskets, canoes and more out of the trees. Fruit trees provide an abundance of food each year, which not only is portable; but we developed ways to preserve it for the times there was little food available–dried, pickled, preserved in oil/fat/honey. And it doesn’t take much reading to determine the wealth of the lumber industry and it’s effect on the prosperity of the Pacific Northwest.
I also see Ansuz in the conifers. Cedar is considered a being of ancient wisdom who can still be heard if we slow down, and quiet our minds to really listen. Cedar’s branches are as arms extending downward to the people, sharing her gifts. Marija Gimbutus was an archeologist who decoded the Language of the Goddess and tried to explain the mythos and culture of our ancient matrifocal societies. Two parallel lines indicate moving water or a flow of something. Coming out of the mouth it could mean wisdom, or a flow of gifts from outstretched arms. The picture above is a young redwood whose ancestors hold legendary wisdom. It takes practice to slow down enough to be able to connect to tree wisdom as time moves so much slower for these beings of incredible age. But it is easy to see the limbs shaping Ansuz and imagine the ancient wisdom flowing out to us, if only we are present to listen.
As you walk about in your neighborhood, on the land you tend, or in parks, nature reserves, or national forests; look for the runes in the branches, limbs, flower and bud. It will certainly enrich your experience and may provide a new teacher for you.