Yes, of course I see the Tree every time I take a Journey.
Every neophyte Pagan is well aware that in casting the Circle, calling Quarters and Centering, you’re effectively recreating the Axis Mundi – the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil – in your ritual space. And I knew that. Of course I knew that.
But knowledge of how a thing works is not, and never has been, the same thing as experiencing that thing directly.
This evening at sunset, I lit candles, walked the big sword around the perimeter, invoked the Guardians (and, actually, forgot to invoke the Deities, but they came along anyway) in the Litha ritual.
It was a few minuted later that, having declaimed the invocation to the sun god, I stopped and stood still, in front of the stone altar – and experienced, for the first time in ritual, standing in the great trunk of Yggdrasil.
The sun rose on my right hand and set on my left. The sky surrounded me and joined seamlessly to the earth beneath me, as a sphere. The cosmos seemed to be taking a long, slow breath at the point of Midsummer, and so long as I remained in the Axis Mundi, so long would the in-breath last.
It was one of those Moments you have in the course of ritual – hardly any two ever alike,which stay with you for bloody ever, so powerful are they.
And the fact that this particular Moment was one which probably every just-starting-out NeoPagan has early on just goes to show me – there’s always something new and wonderful around the corner.
Pic found here