Matt Witt - Stories of the trees
Being out in nature with the trees is so healing, it brings you back into yourself, it is such a massive contrast to the hustle and bustle of the modern world. It is amazing how detached some of us are from nature these days, maybe it is to do with our culture? A culture that is driving us to thrive, a pressure of keeping up with the latest technology, expensive cars, homes, and lifestyle.
Matt offers a glimpse into a ‘simpler life’, a more connected life, he gives people the gift to simply ‘be with the trees’. In Glastonbury we are proud to be ‘tree huggers’, we like to know the difference between trees and the various purpose of those trees.
Some trees give us fruit, such as apples, pears, and plums. Then of course you have the nut trees, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc... Some trees even give us medicines, such as hawthorn; a medicine for heart conditions called ‘Crataegus’; The seeds of the Yew tree is used in pharmaceutical drugs to cure breast and ovarian cancer.
Matt also makes the connection of the old warning in ancient folklore, not to burn the Elder tree, which is related to the poisons released into the air when burnt, which are dangerous for man to breathe.
“I take groups out onto the land, to meet the trees, to learn how to identify them, to learn how to be in nature and connect to nature.”
Matt sees trees as ‘characters and beings’, he believes that trees open themselves up and share their world with us, he believes that trees build a relationship with you the more you meet them and spend time with them. So, it is your choice to go as deep as you choose into the healing and connection of the world of trees, like everything it is a process and it can get very deep.
“There are certain aspects to certain trees, like Oak, for example, being connected to heroism, bravery and then also generosity and then on the other side you have the Beech, which is connected to more feminine qualities, she is known as the queen of the woods. So, there are these things, we can connect human personas to the trees, it is a fun way to connect to the trees.”
There has always been worship of nature, in pagan traditions, for example, this has been even before Christianity and ‘religion’ for that matter. The Oaktree has always been connected to the ‘The Green Man’ who is seen as the ‘god’ of the forest. I talked to Matt about how trees have made their way into modern religions, personally my favourite story is the one of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where Eve eats the apple of knowledge. It is my understanding that it relates to the Nordic story of the first man on earth whom was carved out of the Ash tree and a the first lady on earth who was carved out of an Elm tree, Ash being ‘Adam’ and Elm being ‘Eve’, the tree represents the spine and the serpent the energy or kundalini of the body.
One of his favourite stories in the Glastonbury landscape is connected to the two ancient Oak trees, Gog and Magog. They are believed to have been part of a ceremonial avenue of Oak trees that led up to the Tor from the port. Their names Gog and Magog have come from stories of two giants who were guardians of the land.
You can book Matt to take you on a Tree Walk at https://tothetrees.co.uk/ you get some great information and it’s a fun day out.