Alder healing

April 2, 2014

We walked out into the valley below our garden to seek her wisdom, her spirit medicine. Alder, the tree of the Spring Equinox, is the one to go to for protection we need as spiritual warriors in these challenging times.

As agents in creating the new paradigm we are on the front line, facing challenges every day that test us, push our buttons, force us to delve into our dark shadow side and face the very things we have spent our life so far trying to avoid. The Alder helps us take up these challenges, move into new situations and face things head on which we might otherwise shy away from as being to hard.

I very much needed her medicine, but I didn’t know it then– I just new I had to go and meet her, and speak with her, as the tree of the Spring Equinox.

photo 5Perched on the river bank, her ancient branches twisted and turned stretching up to the sky. Some were broken off showing the scars of life, some still supporting new buds emerging with the warmth of spring. Much like my life.

With Jason drumming I journeyed to her Spirit, to ask her what gifts and insights she could give me at this time. I was told to continue shedding what no longer served me, what was no longer my responsibility to take on, and to give back to others what should be theirs to do. This would give me more of my time to work on those things which truly lit the fire in my heart, my passion, my life’s purpose as an Earth Guardian.

To do this is a real edge for me, to say no to requests and step away from something I would love to see happen, but which is not my responsibility to make happen. I have grown to realise over the years that we can’t do everything, as much as we might want to or passionately believe in the cause. Instead we need to do a few things really well…. and by stepping back from something it allows the space for someone else to step forward.

Alder has immense strength when immersed in water, the vessel for our emotions. This tree speaks about gaining balance in our lives, and gives us the energy in which to achieve this. At our shamanic drumming circle at St Agnes Church, North Reddish, on the night of the Equinox as the sun was setting, we held a special ceremony. Immersed in the beautiful piano music of Tanya, we chose an Ogham stick that had been gifted to us by the children of the great Alder I had journeyed to a few days before. We held our sticks in our hands and infused the qualities that we wanted to bring into our lives at this time. We then placed our sticks on the alter and voiced our wishes, asking the element of Air to help us in our journey.

I keep my Alder ogham stick close to me now, providing me with the firm foundation I need at this time in my life. Its funny to think of myself as a spiritual warrior, but that does seem to sum up what I am. Sometimes it feels like I am head on in a battle, the old paradigm and the new paradigm fighting it out, as the New Earth emerges and the old way of being slowly falls away.

Thank you Alder for all that you have taught me over the last few weeks, and know that you are honoured.

Further reading:

For more information on how to work with Tree Spirit medicine we can really recommend Glennie Kindreds books ‘The Tree Ogman’ and ‘The Sacred Tree’. Glennie explains simply what energies each tree brings and gives practical ideas on how to work with them. Thank you Glennie!

About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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