"You're like the Quaking Poplar"
Welcome to my first post on The Quaking Poplar!
I had so many other (I thought) clever titles for my newsletter. But, whenever I came up with one, The Quaking Poplar would push back in, insisting that she was the one. I take those voices, nudges, and synchronicities very seriously. And I'd been having crazy synchronicities around the Quaking Poplar for a few years now.
As much of a tree-lover as I am, I knew nothing about the Poplar tree. Other names for her are:
My story started a couple of years ago when I was going through a rough patch with someone dear to me. A few months in, a woman named Jane Burns, who teaches/practices Celtic Shamanism, kept popping into my head. I'd been thinking about taking her course, but The Voice kept insisting that I needed to contact her for a private session. So, I did.
I studied shamanism for many years and had incredible experiences on my own. (If this is foreign to you, I've attached an excellent video at the bottom of this post.)
But, at that time, I felt I needed some outside help. In this session, which lasted three hours, Jane journeyed for me. And when she was back in ordinary time, she said, "Now this might sound strange, but they (her guides) told me that you're like the Quaking Poplar."
She went on to talk about how the ancient Celts/Druids revered this tree for her sensitivity. You can be in the woods on a still day, and the Poplar will be the only tree trembling at the slightest breeze.
So much of what Jane said that day resonated and remains deeply personal. It gave me a greater understanding of myself and the path that I'm on in this lifetime.
After many decades of being called "too sensitive," I've learned that it can be a superpower if firm boundaries are maintained. It's a gift that allows me to sense things deeply in myself and those around me.
While Jane was talking to me, I was patiently waiting for her to pause so I could tell her what had happened the day before the session!
I was tidying up my bookcase, and a pack of playing cards fell off the shelf at my feet. On the face of the cards were trees of the Northeast. I deeply love trees, but I’m really not good at identifying them. And so, I decided that I was going to pick a card every day and learn about that tree. (You know where this is going…)
While shuffling the deck, a card flew out and landed at my feet. Poplar! Synchronicity strikes again. I don't remember if it was the White Poplar or the Balsam Poplar because both are in the deck.
A couple of months later, I was on a family vacation in Northern Michigan. I went for a morning walk down the road and was coming back up the drive surrounded by Pine trees when I heard and saw something in the trees. I thought it was a hummingbird. On closer inspection, it was a young tree that was quivering while all the other trees were still. I got out my plant app, and, of course, it was a Poplar! Saying hello, to a fellow sensitive soul.
That session stuck with me over the next few years. And then, in June or early July, I was in my garden and noticed something growing that I didn't recognize. I got out my PictureThis app, and, will wonders never cease, it was a Balsam Poplar! I looked around and saw a total of five errant saplings. One was a Quaking Aspen (Poplar family), and the rest were Balsam Poplars.
I dug up the saplings and moved them back into the woods because a vegetable garden isn't the best spot for a Poplar grove to spread. At the last minute, I decided to take the first sapling I'd discovered (a Balsam Poplar) and bring her onto my patio so I could enjoy her company. I potted her in a big Birch-looking pot I'd bought last summer. She seems happy. And so am I.
About a week ago, Jane kept popping into my head again, and I was thinking about contacting her. The next day, I was driving to the post office and had left my phone at home, so I didn't have any music. Suddenly I heard a voice coming from the audio system, and it was none other than Jane. I had taken her course and downloaded it into my iTunes. But my phone was at home. Idk what to say other than synchronicity is so amazing!
I just dug up my old notebook from the course and noticed that the date on it was August 7th! Today. :) During the Lion's Gate Portal, no less!
I honestly don't remember when my life started to feel so magical. One thing is for sure. My first of three trips to Scotland upped my Magic quotient by leaps and bounds. I'd been dreaming about Scotland out of the blue, and The Voice would not leave me alone until I finally made it over there. In May 2015, my friend and I went on a two-week road trip. I fell so in love with Scotland that I was homesick for her when I returned to the States. I went back in 2016, adding Ireland to the trip, and again to Ireland and Scotland in 2018.
If I ever get my desire to travel back again, it will be to these two countries that hold a big chunk of my heart. They are pure Magic.
While riding through Scotland, I kept saying to my friend, "Where are all the trees??" The Highlands especially seemed barren of them.
It's a sad story of what happened to all the trees in both Scotland and Ireland. You can search and discover all about it if you'd like. But, my Irish friend, a soul sister in the most profound sense of the word, drove me around from forest to forest for a whole week. She knows where the trees can be found!
In my reading, Jane said, "The ancient Celts were a forest people. They loved the trees. The trees were a source of wisdom and medicine for them. In the Celtic tradition, the trees were the first shamans."
These are countries where Magic is woven into the very fabric of lives. Fairies, Hawthorn trees, myths, and legends. King Arthur. Merlin. The Lady of the Lake. Avalon.
I have fallen in love with the land of my father's ancestors. And my life has become more magical. Living in the country, where I can walk out my back door into the woods and gaze at the mountains from my front door, time seems irrelevant.
I now live in a state (New Hampshire) that is second only to Maine in tree coverage. The day I first drove across the border, I cried. The trees seemed to own the state, and I felt them welcoming me with open arms.
"The Celtic way of seeing and being in the world opens us up to a different way of living. These people were deep listeners and observers of the natural world. It required a state of living fully in the now, this present moment. There is an expression that comes from an old Celtic myth. that says: the greatest music of all is the music of what is happening, and that sums up beautifully how the people of this tradition walked through the world, acknowledging and praising and emulating the grace and beauty of Nature—the great song, or the Oran Mor, as it was known." Jane Burns
I feel certain that the Quaking Poplar has more to teach me. How could she not, after all the synchronicities?
I hope to meet lots of magical people on this new platform. The world desperately needs you right now.
You can also find me on Instagram @shewhositswithtrees
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