The Baobab Tree of Life!
There’s something sacred about trees.
For quite a while, I have been fascinated with the image of the baobab tree. Trees and plant life have always been uppermost in my mind. Trees are like vortexes that connect us to the greater universe. Baobab Trees are like Grandmothers. They carry the wisdom and experiences, they are the story tellers, they share food and shelter, She always has something to share and give away.
Goddess Nut, the mother of the Stars, created 4 days at the end of the year by giving birth to 4 children, Ausar (December 21st), Auset his wife (December 22nd), Sistar Het Heru (December 23rd) and his Brother Set (December 24th). Ausar became a benevolent ruler of the planet, who brought great abundance and prosperity. He created Heaven on Earth. Set, the baby brother was very spoiled and selfish. He grew jealous of Ausar's popularity and thought he could steal his brother's kingdom and fame.
One day, Ausar and Auset had a grand wedding feast. Set had a gold lined Chest carved for Ausar's wedding gift. He convinced Ausar to collaborate in a magic trick, and had Ausar lay inside the heavy Golden Chest. Set immediately locked Ausar alive in the Chest, and dump him into the Nile river! Distraught, in grief and horror, Auset was never able to consummate her marriage! She ran away and went to the Nile river, looking for her husband until days turned into weeks and weeks into months.
Ausar symbolizes all things green and growing.
Ausar represents the morning sunrise.
Ausar represents the 1st day of the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21st)
Ausar also represents the greatest version of ourselves- to endure and overcome all obstacles.
Ausar is anything in nature that lives, then dies, then is reborn.
Ausar also represents Every discipline and thriving achievement manifesting from humanity, found all over the globe!
This is a deeply spiritual principle caught in Our-Story of Ancient African Intelligent design and the foundation of all civilizations. The principle is this:
In life you can go through some difficult times. In order to change the circumstances a “new you” (Heru) has to be reborn. The “old you” (Set) has to die and it might even break you up. But even in the death of the “old you” life contains the seed germ (Ausar) of the “new you(Heru).” You may not see the germination stage while underground but then you are resurrected and reborn into a new and stronger self.
In other words, Life/Shift Happens- the rotten things (fertilizer) you go through in life helps you grow.
The Bible is a story about trees. It begins, or nearly enough, with two trees in a garden: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The pivotal event in the book comes when a man named Jesus is hanged on a tree.
The last chapter of the last book features a remade Jerusalem: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
If you understand the trees, you understand the story of life.
“Think of a tree, how it grows around its wounds,” says one character in The New World to Pocahontas. “If a branch breaks off, it don’t stop but keeps reaching towards the light.” The New World is about resiliency—about pushing on amidst hardship, pain, suffering, and striving to make the best of one’s circumstance.
Trees are like that—always growing, pulled toward the sky, even when winds and rain and hardship come. They weather all seasons, even if they lose some pieces along the way and this is the journey of life. We’re all familiar with the story."
I was introduced to the baobab tree in the story of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery.
The symbolism and allegory of the tree is rich with meaning and helps me to think of metaphysical axes.
It is hard not to marvel at the awesome possibilities of growth that these trees show yet paradoxically they are the upside down tree.
Knowledge and wisdom are like the trunk of the baobab tree.
No one person's arm span is great enough to encompass them.
Saying from Ghana
There are many myths and legend about the Baobab tree:
One African legend of the Baobab tree describes what happens if you are never satisfied with what you have:
"The baobab was among the first trees to appear on the land. Next came the slender, graceful palm tree. When the baobab saw the palm tree, it cried out that it wanted to be taller.
Then the beautiful flame tree appeared with its red flower and the baobab was envious for flower blossoms.
When the baobab saw the magnificent fig tree, it prayed for fruit as well. God became tired of the complaints and so yanked it up by its roots, and placed it upside down to keep it quiet."
All the animals were alarmed, and so was the huge tree. For after that, the magnificent tree only grew leaves once a year.
The other months the roots seemed to bend and grow towards the sky.
“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky; we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” Khalil Gibran
The baobab is one of nature's remarkable creations and has evolved to make maximum use of the scarce resources around it, just like I imagine the early church to have been.
It is among the largest and longest lived trees on earth capable of growing to 98 feet tall and 36 - 60 feet wide.
It can survive long periods of drought with it's massive sponge like trunk that can be hollowed out to provide shelter.
When in leaf, its fruit provides Vitamin C and the leaves Vitamin A and it has more calcium than cow's milk.
It provides shade for all living things in the sub Saharan heat.
For millennia the baobab tree has provided a Market Place and a meeting place for dialogue,
sharing stories and debate of important issues and ideas.
It can undergo a huge amount of mutilation, and still continue to thrive and heal.
For some cultures it is the tree under which man was born.
It is a symbol of endurance, conservation, creativity, ingenuity and dialogue.
The great baobab tree — the tree of rest and resolution.
The five leaves of the Baobab Tree resemble an outstretched hand, hence its Latin name Adansonia Digitata, as if reaching out in friendship.
Baobabs create their own ecosystem with hollowed-out trunks, leaves, foliage, nectar, fruit, and bark providing habitats for many different creatures. This tree thrives in diversity.
The baobab's bark, leaves, fruit, and trunk are all used. The bark of the baobab is used for cloth and rope, the leaves for condiments and medicines, while the fruit, called "monkey bread", is eaten. Sometimes people live inside of the huge trunks, and bush-babies live in the crown.
Some baobabs can store up to 120,000 gallons of water from the rainy season to sustain themselves through the dry times.
When the long dry season returns the trees drop their leaves.
Image of baobab in leaf from Brian Gatwicke
A tree of life...redeeming, restoring...making all things new.
A tree that thinks of heaven.....
that provides so much for many
the upstretched roots longing for relationship.
The writer Moroslav Volf uses the remarkable image quoted in The Gospel of Trees based on the closing pages of Scripture that has become a touchstone for the way he thinks about faith and culture.
"Amid its descriptions of the New Jerusalem, Revelation includes “the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).
The tree holds out hope that whole cultures will be healed and mended, becoming places where people can flourish and it sets an agenda for faith as a way of life that contributes to that flourishing, in anticipation, here and now."
Come with me, to the Baobab tree,
To the Baobab tree
where eyes will shine,
And hearts will leap
And feet will dance
And hands will touch
In one-two time.
Come with me, to the Baobab tree,
To the Baobab tree, where tears will dry,
And lips will sing
And hearts will breathe
And feet will dance
In one-two time.
- Julie Redstone
Music the Baobab Tree
At the edge of the crimson horizon,
The last crescent of light dims,
As a veil of darkness,
Adorned with precious jewels,
Settles across the vast land.
The howlers, the prowlers,
The day-scavengers fall into a deep sleep,
As a new world awakens.
An oasis lies near.
Touch, let the golden grains of sand
Run through your fingers
Feel the warmth that remains.
Smell, the brisk mountain air
As a mighty deluge consumed the world.
Taste, the evening dew
As it trickles down every leaf
Carrying the sweet nectar of life.
Listen, to the nightingale’s soliloquy
The melody, a tribute to the heavens
Flowing, piercing through the landscape.
A river, riveting, reviving.
Watch, as the rays of light slowly penetrate
Through the entwined branches
Of the ancient baobab tree.
Fall, fall on your knees
Before this majesty, before this splendor.
The misty morn settles across the plains.
The night, a fleeting memory
As the pitch black
Transforms into a heavenly azure.
- Marzieh Ghiasi (March 2005)
*Image Source Baobab tree at sunrise. © Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Link to still images and music here from the Japanese film "Baobab no Kioku" ("A Thousand Year Song of Baobab") by Seiichi Motohash.
At the heart of the film is the baobab tree— the source of sustenance, spirituality, medicine, fuel, and identity for the villagers.
Rest of this wonderful review of it is here
Another extract from a film review from The Japan times says :
"For his new film, he went to the village of Touba Toul, 30 km west of Dakar, where he recorded the changing of the seasons and the planting of millet and peanuts, the two main crops. His focus, though, is the still abundant baobab.
The villagers feed the leaves to their animals, or dry and pound them into a nutritious powder called lalo; they pick up its fallen twigs for firewood, while using its bark to make rope, its pulp to make juice and its roots to make medicine; and they commune with the spirits of the dead that are said to inhabit it.
More and more Senegalese see the baobab not as a source of natural riches and spirituality, but as an impediment to the latest strip mine or real-estate scheme."
Silent sentinel of time
Spread across the plains
Worshipped, revered, remembered
This legend does remain.
Shelter us mighty Baobab
As we rest on common ground
Reveal your inner beauty
And God's mercy, thus profound.
Phyllis C. Murray '88
Let's sit down under the baobab tree
Man woman and child to discourse
Nuta Beqsu, is a Kandki Ma of many Suns, Daughters, Grand Princesses and Princes, living in the urban Kansas City Area. With a Mission to provide solutions to the cycles of violence, health disparities, poverty, and inequalities in wealth, she opened the Amen Par Ankh, a Natural Life Center, and Amen Ankh Academy and Homeschool network of Industrial arts. This is a green space for Home Scholars, an Independent Library and Home Blessings and Notions. She presently available for Consultations, Workshops Edutainment and lectures. currently working with grief counseling making Dolls for mothers who have suffered loss of their children. A Teacher, Priestess, Minister, Life coach, blogger and respected public speaker and educator who has conducted several workshops at various organizations, served as a panelist and as keynote speaker at regional meetings. She has a monthly call-in or listen online- Radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amencommunications Nuta Beqsu means (heaven gives me balance) This is an ancient KMT language that is still in practice today. Nu, Nut, and Ta are Elemental powers of the Heavens: Nu is Moisture, and Water. Nut is the Celestial Sky goddess. She represents the cosmos and the universe. The Universe is always giving birth to new solar systems and stars. Ta is the original word for land and Queendoms of our ancient Matriarchal societies. Our land is our home, and the place for the empirical existence where we learn form our experiences. She seeks to live in balance between the planetary and heavenly existences. We are all connected to the land, trees, microcosm and macrocosm, Inner verse and universe. Nuta Beqsu (heaven gives me balance) will be programmed into conscious spirit, to produce thought sequences to direct a course of action as way to achieve successfulness in life. Visualization is thought converted into a pleasurable visual image(s) to achieve a goal and/or purpose. We connect with Divine Power to guide and direct our pathways. As a divine name is spoken the receiver has unity of direction in life. Her name reflects her Destiny. So, the sight Sound, vision, smells and colors associated with a divine name will give guidance in her pathway. As a Minister and Director at Amen Par Ankh and Ankh Amen Ankh Akademy, we offer Ancestor Libation Ceremony, Consultations and Life Coaching for Destiny, Name, Health, Career and Relationships. Afrikan Wedding planning and officiate services, Home and Business Blessings, Naming, Birth Blessings, Domestic Engineering, Home going Ascension services, Lectures, and edutainment- Storytelling, Music, Dance, Youth Outreach and economic Literacy, Travel agency, Insurance Referrals and STEMM(science technology engineering mathematics medicine) Career introduction called You GROWW Girls- Teach a Girl, Heal a Nation GROWW means (Gaining, Resilience, Opportunity, Wellness and Wealth) Call for your appointment: 816-839-7945 Feel free to Contact the Amen Ankh Urban Farm... firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Please like our facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/Green.Griot https://www.facebook.com/PARANKH , https://www.facebook.com/Amen.Ankh.Farm , https://www.facebook.com/Adenike.Art , https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ankh-The-Way-of-Life-Communities/140162689375565