Magna Carta Tree and New Social Agreements

I returned this year to work with this remarkable tree. I had a group with me. There were some very important themes that presented themselves in relation to new social communication and agreements. In particular there was a division in the group that had a strong emotional charge around the question of whether or not photographs would be taken, if, when , how and of who. This theme presented  ( humorously) again when we were sharing our conversations in a talking circle format and a man barged in unaware of the quality of our circle and at one point he asked to take a photo of us with the tree! Another tree joke! How will we navigate this realm of image making? A new social agreement required?


I was invited to go with a small group  ( See the wikipedia page and the legend that includes the signing of the Magna Carta and the first meeting of Anne Bolelyn and Henry VIII) to meet with the tree that was present at the signing of the Magna Carta. The other members of the group had been part of an international meeting in July 2012 at Emerson College in England. We had traveled together at that time to Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury. On that trip I began the tree conversation work in earnest, meeting some exceptional trees including Magog in Glastonbury and the four copper beech trees at Avebury.

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Tree at the crossroads near the Ard’s Friary, Ireland

Dendrites. Synapses. Axons…These are ways to describe different attributes of nerves. As a child I looked at hundreds of projected slide images of these while my father- a neuroscientist “practiced” some of his lectures on me. They are beautiful to look at – dendrites look just like trees. In fact the word dendrite means “of, or pertaining to, a tree”.

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Magog at Glastonbury and Yew at Chalice Well

The Lifenet group that I was travelling with stopped in Glastonbury for a few hours. We were allowed time to choose where we felt guided to go. I set off decisively in search of a 2000 year old oak whose name was MAGOG . I was told it was not difficult to find so I set off in what seemed like the right direction. My route took me past the Chalice Well Gardens and I decided to go in, to drink some water ( making return a possibility) and to have my modest lunch before heading further to meet with the great and ancient tree being, hopefully.

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