Today’s. Card is the Scot’s Pine, also known as Pinus silvestrus in scientific terms. The scotch pine is one of the oldest trees native to Britain. It is represented by the Ogam letter Ailm, which interpreted means ‘the loudest of screams’. This is because of the belief that Pines are the protector of mothers in childbirth. It may also be the reason that babies were known to have been delivered by storks, as these birds love to perch in the lofty tops of some pine trees. However, most of us know this tree as a symbol of Chiristmas when we erect it as a symbol of the birth of Christ or in celebration of Yule. In ancient times, these trees were often decorated decorated with small offerings where they stood as a way to appeal to the Gods for a mild winter and blessings in the coming spring. This tradition was then carried indoors as was the tradition of the Yule Log. These logs represent the huge bonfire that were lit on midwinter’s eve to bring in the return of the sun.
As a tree whose color is ‘evergreen’, the pine is seen as a symbol of resurrection, rebirth, and eternal life, and was highly honored for this reason. The Greeks in particular associated then with the God Dionysus and the notions of divine intoxication. One such story tells of how the God gave the secret of wine making to a man named Icarus; upon making the concoction, Icarus gave it to some shepherds to try. The shepherds became so intoxicated that they wrongly thought that they had bewitched them. Enraged, they killed him and buried his body under a pine tree. After this, the dog of Icarus led his daughter to find the grave. Upon discovering her father’s corpse, she hangs herself from the tree under which he is buried. Upon uttering her last breath, she implored the young women of the village to hang themselves as well in lament of the injustice of his murder. Several apparently did and this continued at random intervals until the killers were brought to justice. It is also associated with the tale of Attis and Cybele during which she had an unusual lust for her son, the original Oedipal relationship. Driven mad by this fact, Attis castrated himself under a pine tree which then became a symbol of his sacrifice. This sacrifice was honored from fall to spring equinox, bringing in Oestara at the time of his resurrection.
The Green Man Wisdom here is ‘Seek an Overview’. This card urges us to take a global view of problems that may be facing you at this time. This piece of wisdom is some great advice for all to often we suffer the consequences of not seeing things from a broader view. We become so convinced that our perspective is the right one that we fail to see the big picture. The ancient shamans and medicine men knew this all too well; often they would climb a pole or tall tree to gain a view of all their surroundings before sharing a vision or bit of wisdom with others. Perspective brings new details to light and allows us make more balanced decisions that will produce a positive outcome. As this lone pine tree shows us, we need to lift our head above the clouds and see with clarity the way we need to go.
May you be able to see a new or different perspective as you work toward finding solutions today.