Monday, March 10, 2014

The Dream Tree

When Anne was thirteen she had a dream that seated itself into her cellular memory so that, as a grown woman, she recognized the familiar setting when she moved into a new home some fifty years later.

She was on horseback, accompanied by a woman dressed in a long flowing garment.  It was coming upon daybreak as they approached the mountains.  There stood a tree ornamented with golden spheres. Within each sphere was a single letter in an unknown language.  She was in awe.

Fast forward several decades and there are the same mountains and the tree, only this majestic cedar, rare for up here where most of the junipers are small and shrubby,  has been had a dozen and more limbs amputated by the builder who favored a better view of the mountains from inside the house.  To Anne, these amputations feel like gaping wounds in need of suturing.  She remembers the dream.

So, with some tracing paper she had handy and some old stamping ink, not knowing what to expect when I arrived and unequipped with a crayon, I took rubbings patterns of the severed branches that were lowest and largest.  For the ones too high to reach except by extension ladder, I held up a tape measure and she wrote down the approximate diameter, to which a added a little leeway.  

She chose 12 locations visible from the house to place the "spheres." Combining her Jungian, astrological frames of reference as well as her familiarity with the Hebraic mystical tradition, we agreed upon creating constellation pieces, with a Hebrew letter (something she would not have recognized at 13) within each sphere representing each the 12 tribes, which in turn are associated with constellations.

The Yalkut Shemoni identifies them this way:
In the East - Yehuda (Aries), Issachar (Taurus), Zevulun (Gemini)
To the South - Reuven (Cancer), Shimon (Leo), Gad (Virgo)
In the West - Ephraim (Libra), Menashe (Scorpio), Binyamin (Sagittarius)
To the North - Dan (Capricorn), Asher (Aquarius), Naphtali (Pisces)

Within each sphere I placed a 12 pointed star.  Within each star went the initial of the tribe/constellation.  

I should add that, after they were all mounted in place, she felt a 13th location that called out to be covered.  For that one I will be making an empty star which will hold the intention of the whole.

For those scars facing the mountain (and some newly built house that I couldn't see), Anne wanted mirrors.  This has something to do with Feng Shui.  I happened to have just enough copper acrylic copper mirror to do the deed:

Pretty cool, huh? 


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