ANI WILLIAMS INTERVIEW:
DATE: August 13, 2007
PLACE: Ani is in Sedona, AZ / I am in San Francisco, CA
An old friend from the east coast, Joy Rodino, told me she had met this lovely woman who was one of the participants at a Mary Magdalene conference she had recently attended.
As part of a panel, Ani told a story about one of her experiences in communicating with an old tree. Joy mentioned my project to her and as luck would have it she agreed to be interviewed for NSP.
Many of you may know Ani through her music, or her sound healing expertise, or as a presenter and author, or as a guide to sacred sites. This world acclaimed musician and harpist is very accomplished in all of these areas. And there is much more to discover about Ani through direct experience of her music and the knowledge she passes along in various ways through her work.
Ani is one of our global healers and I am very pleased to present this interview to you!
(Note that photographs of the juniper tree she "interviewed" or translated for, will be posted here soon) -L. Milks
How did you first become aware of your relationship with trees and that you could communicate with them?
I think is happened gradually. When I was a little girl, I was the eldest daughter with two younger brothers, so often I would go off and play by myself. I grew up in my early years around the woods in Washington State where there were so many huge trees and ferns. And I would go exploring in these woods and spent a lot of time by myself.
I remember the day I became aware of this. I was sitting alone in the woods and realizing that everything was alive all around me. It was the feeling that they were like people and they had this presence. The trees and bushes and all of them were like people and they were my friends!
I can’t remember if I heard distinct messages but I became aware that each one was alive and had an individual presence just like people.
These were real relationships for you.
Yes! It made me feel very, very comforted.
How old were you?
Maybe around 5 or something like that.
And later on in my 20’s, around 1969, I remember a distinct time when I was in northern CA and I actually saw the trees dancing and I was so struck by the experience of seeing them in communion together! And I could see that they were aware of each others dance.
Then later in 1988 or so, I was walking with a friend, Lisa Thiel who is also a beautiful singer. She has a lot of recordings out and chants that she does.
And we were walking along Oak Creek here in Sedona and we were singing her Green Lady Song that she had written for the plant kingdom. I had recorded it with her on her release so we were doing harmonies.
We were facing the river bank and there were all these reeds these pussy willows growing. There wasn’t a breeze blowing but at the end of the song these reeds bent over and bowed to her for her song.
This music itself alters your state, it changes your brain waves. When you chant or sing sacred sounds it alters your brain waves and puts you into alpha or theta state wave patterns. And in this state you can more easily sense things and your perception is heightened.
So maybe that’s why we noticed this but the plants literally bowed over to her.
They must have been bowing to you both.
Yes, she wrote the song though so I just figured they were honoring her for the song.
I can visualize this as you describe it. What a wonderful experience…
Is there anything you feel eager to launch into?
Well when you first asked me about tree messages I thought Oh, I only have one, but then I remembered a bunch of them.
I actually talked with my juniper tree here in the yard today and made some notes.
This is great!
I don’t know the ages usually but it told me it said it was about 500 years old. It’s a large old juniper with maybe a 3 foot wide trunk and it holds a prominent place in our yard. I often go out there to gather the cedar drops for incense. You know when they dry they become these little amber crystals and they make the best incense in the world. It’s my favorite clearing incense.
And as I was gathering it the other day I was asking it, ‘Are you the blood of the tree or the semen of the tree?’
You know the Aztecs gather the sap of the copal tree for incense and they call it the semen of the tree, life blood...
And the tree said, “It’s kind of all of that, essentially it is the blood of the tree.”
So today, that is the tree that I chose to ask if it had a message.
I said, ‘If you knew that your voice would be heard by many humans, what would you have to say?’
What a perfect question.
And it was surprised actually because it never had that opportunity over all these hundreds of years; which is really sad to me.
It basically said, “You humans need us, we will survive with or without you.
But, it would be much better to work in communion for something greater is birthed in the interaction within sacred relationship.”
And then I asked the tree, ‘what would you like that would enhance your experience from me or from humans?’ And it said, “more friends”, it feels kind of lonely being a single old tree.
So it gets lonely because no one is really communicating with it.
It’s been standing alone for a very long time.
They enjoy communicating a song once in a while would be nice. Creating something of beauty around it will enhance its life energy field; like planting some other little friends around it in a garden would increase its life energy.
And that was basically it.
And this conversation happened today?
What else is in your yard?
Oh I have lots of things. It’s a native southwestern landscape, we have a good acre down behind us. We have cacti, yucca, scrub oak, juniper, pinion pine…
I’m just renting here but everywhere I go I plant things. I plant a lot of things in pots – jasmine, a wide variety of flowers that re-seed every year.
But this is kind of a pot garden for a traveling girl!
Do you think the juniper would want to have another conversation now?
I don’t know – I did it before we spoke because, I’m a composer and I tend to work best on my own. I wasn’t sure how it would be for me to be on the spot with this so I could ask but….
Well, why don’t we maybe save that for later since it doesn’t really seem to spark you right now.
Yes, that might be better. I usually do things when I’m by myself and meditating, you know…
Yes, I do – I completely understand.
And thank you for taking the time to connect with the juniper before we spoke.
One of the other people I interviewed has a similar story of a tree in a yard in Victoria, BC. The young tree was lonely and this woman went to a grandmother tree of the same species a ways away and this tree told the woman to take some cones and branches from her and place them around the young isolated tree. She did this and it made a huge difference in the health and happiness of the young tree.
I sing to trees a lot and they respond quite well to that, and it’s just part of that beauty factor.
We did an experiment with one of my pilgrimage groups in England. There’s a tree called the holy thorn and it’s a variety from the Middle East. And the legend is that Joseph of Arimathea brought a sprig of the tree and planted it, it was his staff actually, and it took root in Glastonbury, England.
And it’s a metaphor for establishing the first Christian church there in Glastonbury.
So there are several offshoots from the original tree that was planted and there are many grandchildren. And one of the grandchildren of the holy thorn that’s in the Abbey grounds there wasn’t doing too well, so we did some dowsing with the copper rods. We measured the energy field of this tree and it was pretty week.
We made a circle around it, held hands, sent it love and then we sang a song. And after this we re-measured the energy field and its field had doubled in size so it basically had more life energy to get well.
Right. I wonder how long that would last?
That’s a good question. You know it helps but we don’t know if it would hold. Consistency is the key.
It’s just like with a person who is ill, there are no guarantees but if you sing to them they feel better immediately. And maybe it will give them just that little boost that they need for their immune system to kick in.
We know that the positive endorphins that really stimulate a healthy immune system kick in when we’re happy and laughing and uplifted, when we sense beauty and listen to music – those endorphins kick in and it all helps.
Oh absolutely, even the memory of the things you mention is uplifting.
Can you offer some more examples of when you’ve used your healing sound on trees and plants?
Oh yes, there are so many times I couldn’t even mention them all.
But I had an experience in Ashland, OR once. I had two friends who had discovered a very tall cedar tree. I’m not sure it was ill but it seemed to them a very important tree in the tree network there in Lithia Park which is a very beautiful park.
I grew up in that area so I was back visiting my mother and so my friends called me and said, you have to come see this tree it’s magnificent.
I just had a little flute with me, a wooden ocarina. It’s a tiny brown flute with double chambers and it can make harmonies with itself. I often will play that out in nature.
So I took that with me and I met up with my friends and we just sat at the base of the tree. I don’t remember if we heard anything in particular but I felt like playing the flute. And it was extraordinary because as I kept playing there was a field of energy that started to spin about 15 – 20 feet away from the tree. And the light grew and it was kind of like a Findhorn story in that this light field began to spin faster and faster and faster.
And I assume that if I had kept playing, the Deva of the tree would appear.
But I think I just stopped playing because it was just so powerful it frightened me.
I mean I probably would keep going these days but this was many years ago, maybe 15 or so years. And for whatever reason I just stopped playing and it just stopped forming. But I just felt it was the presence some kind of guardian of the cedar trees. And I guess the message of that for me was that the elemental kingdoms and the trees and all the natural realms really respond to sound.
If you go into any of the creation myths of the indigenous people usually the first people and trees and plants were created by a song. And there’s a legend here in this area where I live that is the creation myth of Sedona from the Yavapai Apache people.
If you’re interested, the whole story is actually on my website in the Articles section under Sedona Landscape Temple.
Basically first woman sang all these beings into existence and then her grandson creates all the medicine plants by pressing his body into the earth and singing a song. So from the native perspective there’s an absolute inter-connection between our loving, our singing and the natural kingdoms being healthy and alive.
The Yaqui Indians of northern Mexico and southern Arizona say that sacred sound is the intelligent language of the universe. And in order to keep the connection alive between the humans and the nature kingdom, we need to keep the sound and the song going.
Yes. Every tradition I know of recognizes sound as fundamental to creation.
Whenever I’m gathering seeds or food or herbs from plants you know people talk about leaving an offering of tobacco or something; I have a native friend who says if you don’t have anything just leave spare change! (we laugh)
But I always leave a song. I feel that is what it responds to best.
Mmm. That is probably the best gift for you to offer.
I have another story about an amazing tree; she’s actually a famous tree in Glastonbury, England. I go there a lot and her name is Magog. She’s also on my website in the article Maria Magdalena and there’s an image of her there and she’s just gorgeous. Her face in profile looks like an old woman. She is part of a couple of female and male oaks, Magog and Gog. And they are the last remnants of an ancient avenue of oaks that led a processional pathway up to the Tor, an ancient ceremonial hill. All the others have since died and both of them are actually dying now too.
But when I first visited her in 1987, I went and just sat and listened and she was kind of decrepit and old and barely had any leaves left. I was just wowed by her! Then she started shaking her leaves and said, “you think I’m so old but I still have my hair, and I can shake it!” She called her leaves her hair.
And then she said, “I wish you would tell the human beings not to put all these fences up around us because it’s really bothersome. It cuts the energy field and it breaks up the energy of the land, you know the natural nourishing system in the landscape. And they’re always creating these squared off fences – and they had just erected these fences around the tree. She said it was cutting off their life blood energetically.
And it’s interesting because since they erected the fences around them their health went down hill quite rapidly.
That was the first time I met her. It was just this message about creating round spaces and not having everything squared-off and cutting the landscape.
Do you think if the fences were designed and placed in a different way it would be healthier for them? And what year was this?
This was in 1987 and the fences are barbed wire and ugly. Apparently the farmer, the owner wanted to keep people away from the trees. And maybe he had good intentions but the barbed energy was really not nice. And then I got that the tree was referring to a lot of the fencing across the landscape for miles and miles because everything is fenced off into little parcels of who owns what, and the trees really don’t relate to that so much; the ownership and such.
But then I went back to Magog years later, maybe around 1998, and asked her again if she had a message and that’s the bit that’s on my MARIA MAGDALENA article.
Basically she said, “I am the alchemy of the interaction of all of the elements. Drawing up my blood, my sap and resin; mixing with sunlight, air, water, giving new life. Knowledge and deep memories held in my sap in my blood the same as in your blood. The trees continue this alchemy with the earth and sky mixing, recreating, renewing through the elements. That is the purpose of the elements, to renew. In my roots, in my sap is knowledge, it’s alive in us.”
So the sense was that she was still alive and there was knowledge to be accessed within her that was flowing through her blood. Then she said,
“the story always recreates itself in new life. Acorns will start new oaks and our mystery continues on and on.”
There is so much power and beauty in this message.
I guess it ties in with a message I got in the Yucatan one time where I was given a teaching about human blood, that there is knowledge within the blood.
Who was that teaching from?
It was from an ancient Mayan ruin. And I just heard the message that there is unlimited knowledge within our blood to access whenever we need it. I don’t know if that’s genetic coding or what.
That’s kind of a side thing but it does invite comparison between the tree sap and human blood as carriers of knowledge.
It certainly does and brings the message home in a clear way.
Let me ask you something. As a world traveler, do you return to places because of the trees living there?
No not really. I will go back to a certain little area within a landscape because of a tree. There are some beautiful beech trees at Avebury, England
that we return to all the time. There are certain trees that I will return to in different glens in Scotland and different places. But I return to the whole area because I love that whole area. I love the rivers and trees and plants, just the whole energy.
What about the tree story you told in CT at the Magdalene conference?
Yes, the one that got me to you! (we laugh) We were part of a panel at this conference on the sacred feminine and everything was getting pretty cosmic at the event. There were a lot of celestial teachings coming in and I felt that I really wanted to ground the teachings.
So I shared a story within the context of the panel about an old oak tree. This is a big old oak tree up in the hills behind Santa Barbara, CA. I was driving on a back road to a place called the Lotus Center to perform there and I was in the car with my husband at the time. And I didn’t like the way he was driving.
I used to get a little antsy and impatient back then before a concert and he was driving very slowly and we were arguing. I finally said I need to get out of the car and blow off some of this anger. So he stopped the car and I found this lovely oak tree and walked up to it.
We were at the end of a 2 week period of traveling and performing and I had all this energy I needed to release but I didn’t want to harm the old tree.
And it spoke to me loud and clear in my head and it said, “oh you humans are so silly. You think that your emotions are good and bad, positive and negative, but they are just pure energy to us. It is just energy and we would love to receive your energy so let us have it!”
So I just cried or yelled, I don’t remember exactly, but I just released into the ground there at the base of the oak tree and the tree said that it was just life energy. It’s pure life energy that they use as nourishment to grow on.
You know in our emotions there is a lot of energy and the big teaching for me was that as humans, we’re always dividing our energy and censoring our response. Sometimes it’s important for us to feel anger just so we don’t hurt anything. The main thing is never to hurt anything.
I have a Tibetan teacher and roots in that tradition and the main thing is you never want to harm anything. But I think we diminish our life energy by censoring everything all the time and so I think that was the same message from the oak tree at that time.
That really speaks of right relationship, not only between humans but to all life.
Yeah and we all have stuff that builds up in life and sometimes you just want to offer it to the stones or the earth.
Some shamanic teachers speak about digging a whole near a tree or a big stone and just leaving your “stuff” there and covering it up with some sage or tobacco. And from that day on I realized it was just energy.
You know I share that belief and then there is another one that seems to oppose that – and somehow I can hold both as being valid – And that is that we go around and our yucky energy “stuff” gets left behind like a shadowy veneer and then the place really needs to be cleared or purified to restore health or balance.
Absolutely and I agree with you. And I don’t mean that we should go around screaming at the trees of course.
The example I gave of the oak tree happened about 20 years ago when I was in deep emotional turmoil about a marriage that was destined to end soon. But what I mostly do now is to work out my emotions within myself and what I do with plants and trees and beautiful places is to sing to them. I don’t go out to leave bad energy and certainly that is a good point. As a footnote I would say the best thing is to probably sing to the trees and create beauty around them.
Also I want to add that I asked permission of the tree. I said that I have all this energy built up in me and I need to put it somewhere because I don’t know what to do with it. And then the tree invited me to release it and that it would receive it as pure energy without judgment. And this was a big teaching for me.
Do you think this was a statement of general truth? Or perhaps just specific to the situation you were in with this tree?
I don’t know. I think it was conditional because I asked and I was told by the tree that it would be fine.
What I have come to understand from most of the teachings is that Nature takes our energy and grounds it, neutralizes it…
I used to go to Mexico City a lot and the surrounding region to give concerts and to teach sound medicine and work with clients. On one of my trips I went to a place called Tepoztlan where I met a young man who was a harp maker. And he had just returned from visiting some traditional musicians and harp players in Africa, West Africa I think. But as a harp maker he went to be with some of the people there and learn their music and rhythms.
He was there when they were having a tree planting, they were planting a new papaya tree and when they planted it they sang to the tree every single day for a week or so. And during that week, he said the tree grew to be about 10 feet – I mean some extraordinary amount that was hard to believe.
But he was there that whole week and could verify this.
And singing to the trees is a common thing with many indigenous people, when they’re planting they will use music. It increases the life force and life energy.
I was given some blue corn seeds from White Bear Fredericks, a Hopi Bear Clan chief who has now passed on, but who was a well known Hopi Grandfather who dictated much of the Book of the Hopi that Frank Waters wrote. Anyway, he was my neighbor years ago here in Sedona and he gave me some special blue corn seeds from Hopi so I could plant them and I asked if there was a special planting song. His wife just laughed and said, “oh you white folks are always wanting to sing it our way. Sing your own song when you plant these, make up your own song. And that was for me another teaching, to create a new song. We don’t have to copy another ancient tradition to get it right. We can create a new song in the moment whether it’s for a tree or planting seeds.
The Africans, when they would plant their crops, they would bring out their drums first of all. They’d get all their drums set up and then they’d start chanting and plant their crops.
That’s interesting about the suggestion to create new songs. I thought that certain qualities of sound would be important to maintain for the planting season.
Well yes and no. If you’re connected with the land, the place, the region, and with the elements there then they are going to know what to sing. They are not going to sing some arbitrary, incorrect song.
And I always trust my own sensibility when I’m in a place. And when I sing to a tree, when I sing to an animal that’s sick, I don’t worry about getting it right because that’s the brain getting in the way of the heart and the intuition.
I’ve sung to a lot of different animals – jaguars, snakes, elephants, etc.
And I don’t think too much about it I just listen deeply and ask for the song.
Sometimes I ask them what song they would like or sometimes I just listen inside for the song or notes or tone that would be appropriate at that time. And it’s probably always going to be different. That’s why using a prescribed song wouldn’t always work.
Have you ever communicated with other kinds of nature spirits such as rocks or water where the topic of your conversation was about trees?
There was one that was connected. There are a lot of places where the native people hold sacred certain rocks and mountains. And they are often called singing rocks, ringing rocks, ringing mountains. From my understanding of what I’ve learned over the years, these are resonating particular frequencies into the landscape and resonating with the other major rocks or mountain peaks in the region. And they are creating a harmonious symphony that keeps the area alive.
In fact there was a tradition in the 1st century AD, and right before that too from the Druids, where the early Christians practiced something called perpetual choirs in different sacred centers. And by doing these perpetual chants they maintained the harmony and nourishment across the landscape.
My brother, Phillip Jones, is a developer in southern CA and he was actually on Good Morning America because of this story I’m about to tell you.
He had purchased some land inland from Riverside and it was a place called by the native people in the area, ringing rock. He didn’t know that at the time but he had purchased this land that abutted several other parcels and these other three or four landowners were going in together to develop the area into housing units.
Phillip was contacted by a native elder from the area and with a request to please not develop that particular area because it was very sacred to their people. So even before telling me anything about this my brother asked me to come out there and listen in to the stone.
He explained where it was and he drove my mom and me out there and they went for a walk while I stayed with the rock. And I heard this message that corresponded with what the native elder told my brother. It was actually singing into the landscape and connecting with the far peak over there and the land over here and creating a network of sound. So if it was developed it would disturb the harmony of the whole region including the animals and the trees and all the living beings that share that particular region.
My brother got together with the other developers and they all agreed to donate the acres surrounding ringing rock and they designated it as a sacred place and an endangered site on the national register.
That’s an uplifting story. And bless your brother for doing that, not many people would.
Yeah, well luckily he could afford that bit of land and the other guys could too so Phillip was able to organize this.
So the rocks and mountains themselves were initiating the singing and the tones?
Well I’m not sure if initiating would be the right term but my belief is that everything has a frequency. So that certain trees, certain stones and mountains, whole regions are made up of symphonies of different frequencies depending on what is living in that area.
So when you take out a tree, you change the song. If you dig into the land and remove a piece of it, you change the song. And just like when we do anything to radically change nature it affects all the rest of the system. And it even affects the different elements and how they respond.
There was someone on Japan who was experimenting with various planting techniques. He said that when you take trees out you create deforestation because you decrease the draw of the rain into that area. There is a reciprocal relationship between the trees and the elements and the weather.
And just a little note on our local region here in Sedona. We have a lot of bark beetle infestation in a lot of the pinion pines. It’s very bad and we’ve had a lot of trees dying in the mountains and that’s because of the drought.
When there’s not enough rain the trees are weakened and then the bark beetles set in and this is evidence of the reciprocal relationship with all the elements and the plants and trees and we need to pay attention to this and watch what we’re doing on this planet.
Thank goodness that Al Gore and people like him are drawing attention to all of this.
Yes, he really serves our planet well with his projects.
I don’t want to interrupt your flow here though. Are there other experiences you’d like to share before I move on with other questions?
Yes, there are a few more things that I thought of and one is that trees hold energy which also holds memories. Just like the old Oak tree Magog told me that knowledge is held within the trees and is available for us.
I had an experience in Leucadia, which is north of San Diego near Encinitas, CA. I was running a little natural food restaurant there in the 70’s which was just a few blocks from the Encinitas Paramahnsa Yogananda Retreat Center. It’s a very beautiful place and talk about healthy trees! The trees on that land where he had his center overlooking the ocean were so remarkably healthy. You could just see their vitality and radiance and it must be a product of all the prayers and chanting that happens there.
When he was alive, Yogananda used to come and sit on this beautiful old wide tree stump that was right in front of our restaurant. And before it became a restaurant there was a fruit stand there and the old people who ran the fruit stand still lived there at the time I was there.
I used to sit on the stump eating my fruit each morning and watch the sun come up. And these very old neighbors used to see me and the woman said, “Well you know honey, Yogananda used to come and buy his fruit from us in the early morning hours and he would sit on this tree stump and do his morning prayers.”
Oh my gosh, what a vivid picture that paints!
Yes, I couldn’t believe it. I would sit in the exact same place that he used to sit and meditate. And I really felt that there is knowledge and energy stored even in the roots and remnants of these old trees even though it wasn’t alive anymore. Yogananda left an imprint there and it was still holding that energy. I could actually hear his chants and singing sometimes! That was a powerful experience and I think most people would feel something special there. I’m not sure if the stump is even there today since this was over 30 years ago.
I lead a lot of pilgrimages to ancient sites in England and France where there are stones and trees that carry the energy of what has gone on in that region over the years. And I feel that the standing stones and the trees there are like acupuncture needles that are maintaining the connectedness with the earth and the sky. And when we take them out and away from where they have been, there is a change that occurs similar to when the energy of our body changes when gets an acupuncture treatment.
You know every culture believes in the world tree, the great axis mundi, that which connects earth and sky. And the Nahuatl people, the Aztec people of Mexico say that the great world tree is flowering now which is a really beautiful metaphor for what we are going through on the planet. You know everything is not dying, the world tree is actually flowering.
We are creating a tremendous scarring on the planet now and we need to wake up and put a halt to those things but the Aztecs believe that we are not going to kill everything and there is hope.
Where did you get that quote?
I actually got it from Barbara Hand Clow in her latest book “The Mayan Code”. She talks a lot about the world tree and the indigenous cosmology of this time of the turning point in the Mayan cycles and how they view the changes we’re going through. She speaks of how this world tree is actually driving the change.
The Mayans and Aztecs have such beautiful ancient poetry and I’ve made a lot of them into songs. They often will say things in their poetry like, ‘no one here can do away with the flowers and the songs. They shall endure forever in the house of the giver of life.’
And this offers hope. You don’t fall into too much despair because depression won’t really do anything to help. We have to keep our energy alive and well to be effective, to make the changes on the planet that are needed.
I totally agree with that. This is something we’re hearing about in many quarters now in the healing professions especially.
How do you feel about tuning into a tree now?
I guess I could.
That’s wonderful. Would like to tune into your juniper?
Let me know how you’d like to do that, how this will best work for you.
OK. I’m going to walk outside here…
I loved your questions from before and I love the way you stated them.
Oh good! Well it’s what happened in the moment.
Which is most powerful!
OK. I’m looking at the tree. I wasn’t looking at the tree the last time I spoke to it. It’s quite lovely and it branches out into at least 9 trunks that I can see from here. There’s one big trunk that has 9 sections that branch out. You know it told me that it was 500 years old, but didn’t tell me a name. And I don’t know if it is really 500 years old or not, I have no basis for comparison.
I met an old yew tree in Scotland at Fortingall and it was at least 5000 years old. It was a huge tree with a very, very large root system.
I’m just letting that sink in for a moment. 5000 years – what an amazing amount of history that tree has witnessed…
Mmmm. Here we are now with this beautiful juniper. I got the sense that this is a female tree but I’m not sure why. I really don’t know much about the science of trees.
I couldn’t tell either Ani if I was looking at it. But I think it is significant that this is what your intuition is telling you.
(she goes to stand near the juniper tree )
OK. What I’m doing now is extending energy to the tree from my heart and I’ve begun breathing with the tree. And it feels very powerful and very centering and very grounding and relaxing.
This isn’t something I’ve actually done a lot, breathing with the tree.
But the message I get is that this can actually be very healing for both the trees and the humans. We don’t really have to do anything in particular. We don’t have to have our back to it we can sit facing it – whatever feels right in the moment for the individual. But just to extend our energy.
When I did it I extended my heart energy to the tree and then I just heard to breathe deeply and breathe with the tree, share energy with the tree. And this alone would be of great benefit to both humans and trees.
It would help us to relax and it would help the trees to feel like they had a friend. Participating.
Of course they are breathing into the atmosphere and creating our oxygen anyway.
Would it be appropriate for me to ask a question to the tree through you?
I’m wondering if they could write their own history, what would they focus on as being most important? What would they say about their own history?
Oh, there is a sadness in the whole kingdom about the lack of communication with humans. They have always been there and if they could re-write their history they would have preferred to have conscious communication with humans. And to work in a participatory and co-creative mode instead of just being at the mercy of human beings.
I assume they would have been fine without human beings too.
Well that was the message I got earlier, that they will survive anyway. The earth has also told me this that they will go on.
I personally do what I can on a material level like recycling and being conscientious in how I live my life and what I buy. But the main way that I work with them is to send out appreciation to nature through my songs and my music.
The message from the juniper tree earlier was that the trees will go on with or without us but that it would be more advantageous to trees and humans if we could work together co-creatively.
There’s an alchemy that occurs when you create something together out of a relationship whether it’s with another human being or a project or an art form. There is something greater that happens with this creative force when doing something in relationship with “an other” rather than doing things separately.
So that was the trees message earlier. That it would enhance and behoove both of us to work together. And even when and if the trees disappear for a while they are reborn again in a different time, they will re-emerge.
What you said is beautiful and actually quite profound about the alchemy of working together. That’s my understanding too. They always exist in spirit and will materialize when it’s appropriate within the laws of nature.
Would you please say thank you to the juniper tree for me?
Mmmhhm. It’s happy, it’s very happy!
It just happens to have a natural alter stone that the last tenants put in front of it and I’ve enhanced that with some stones and shells I’ve found to create more beauty around there. And the tree seems to like it!
Oh good! I’m so glad she likes being spoken to.
And I’m so happy to have had this opportunity.
Oh Ani thank you. When you were speaking with the tree I was just breathing along with you and participating from this great distance as best I could.
You have such a lovely voice and you put forth such great healing music into the world. I so appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge for this project.
Well it’s a good job to have. I’m very grateful that I was appointed to do this work! I’ve learned over the years that no matter what job we’re doing we can still bring the best to it everyday and give love with what were doing and it doesn’t matter if we’re a street sweeper or a nurse or whatever. We can make it all an offering with the love we bring to it.
That principle should be the first thing taught in school…
I thought of one more thing I can tell you.
Many people come to Sedona because the energy here is so strong and some people get disconnected from the earth and from their bodies.
Not too long ago I went over to this young woman’s house, she was renting there and it was during a terrible heat wave. We were sitting in her kitchen having tea and I kept being drawn to her back yard and noticed a lot these poor fruit trees back there. There were quite a number of them and a wide variety. So I finally said, ‘you know your trees really need water.’
And she said, ‘what trees?’ And I said, ‘all of these incredible fruit trees in your back yard.’
She had been there for maybe 6 months or a year and she said, ‘I didn’t know I had fruit trees.’
I told her that these trees are dying and if she would please just soak them over night and let the water go in slowly for each tree then they will give you fruit and you can thank these trees for their gifts.
That happened in another place where I asked these people if I could pick some of their almonds in their front yard and they said, “what almonds?”
It’s unbelievable how unconscious people can be.
We can live next to someone but still operate in different worlds.
Ani, do you know Jim Endredy? He lives in Sedona and has written a couple books, the one I’m familiar with is, ECOSHAMANISM. He was my tour guide last year when I was in Sedona and I just thought you would have some things in common. He also has this incredible German Sheppard named Sophie whom I fell in love with!
No I don’t think I do know him but I love German shepherd. I’m kind of a recluse so I don’t actually meet that many people.
But I’m reminded of something about the indigenous cultures and that is that they all have a strong sense of communion with the natural world. And this is being cut radically as we all modernize and there is a strong ancient tradition of using sound to heal ourselves and to heal the earth and to keep everything alive.
The Tibetans, the Egyptians, the Native Americans, the Africans – everywhere in the world people know the same basic essentials that sound is needed to keep the vibrations of life energy fed and alive and strong.
And here we are running around in our cars and plugged in to our cell phones and things and we’ve cut our connection with nature and we must absolutely re-connect to survive.
And we can just do something as simple as breathing with a tree and practice deep listening and build our awareness in various ways to get back that connection. We need to communicate and participate and music is something we can use for this process. Nature absolutely loves music.
When you’re out in the woods, you don’t have to have a good voice, you can hum a tune or whistle, then you’re participating and birds will sing and butterflies will come around. Everything responds.
This guy I met in Mexico played his guitar that he had tuned to the different scales of bird songs. This is a great respectful way of participating with nature.
This reminds me of what you said earlier about the alchemical power of doing things in relationship, of creating in relationship. Even the simplest thing such as breathing and listening and humming a tune.
Yes, and we need to get away from the belief that everything needs to be a performance and big production for it to be meaningful. Music is for everyone.
There is a woman in Portland I met who had just returned from studying with a medicine man and he didn’t ask his patients about when the symptoms began, the first thing he asked them was, ‘when did you stop singing?”
Hmmm. I think this is a potent way to conclude this for today.
Ani, thank you so much for sharing your stories and your time.
You’re welcome and blessings with your project.