Amirthalingam, M. Sacred Trees of Tamil Nadu. Published by C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai. 2005
Synopsis: The book features 60 sacred trees or Sthalavrikshas of Tamil Nadu and also describes each by way of botanical characteristics, religious association, ecological significance and medicinal properties. The trees were surveyed by the CPREEC and the findings of the survey have been published in this book.
Amirthalingam, M. Sacred Groves of Tamil Nadu – A Survey. Published by C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai. 2005
Synopsis: Sacred Groves represent an ancient Indian conservation tradition, protected by local people out of reverence and respect, fear and sentiment. They are the home of the local flora and fauna, a veritable gene pool and a mini biosphere reserve. Within these groves are locked ancient secrets of herbs and traditional medicine, primitive practices of sorcery and magic.
Synopsis: Trees, and the magic associated with them, manifest the spiritual aspects of the Green World. Celtic Tree Mysteries revives the ancient knowledge and lore of the trees with a practical system of magical ritual and divination. Within the pages of this trusted reference guide, you will find comprehensive instruction and insight on the theory and practice of the Celtic Tree mysteries, including little-known and often misunderstood tenets.
Synopsis: Essential to life on earth since the beginning of time, trees hold a special place in our collective consciousness: rooted in the earth, reaching skyward, nourished by the elements, and enlivened by the sap running through their veins, they provide a metaphor for what it means to be human.
Moyra Caldecott has gathered here a collection of myths celebrating the rich symbolism of trees, all bringing to life a time when the natural world was deeply respected and trees and forests were thought to be inhabited by spirits and divine beings.
Bound by the organized structure of modern life, the human spirit yearns for the wildness and freedom of primal nature represented by forests in their natural state. Caldecott’s book has captured and given voice to this spirit
Synopsis: Describes the mythological background of the tree of life, shows examples of this motif in art, and discusses the symbolic meanings associated with trees.
Cusack, Carole. The Sacred Tree: Ancient and Medieval Manifestations. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2011
Synopsis: This book argues that the tree is a fundamental symbol in the religions of the ancient world, and that its power is derived from the fact that trees function as homologues of both human beings and of the cosmos. Using Mary Douglas’s theory of ‘natural systems of symbolizing… [showing] tendencies and correlations between the character of the symbolic system and that of the social system,’ it will be demonstrated that the tree’s resemblance to the human being and its multivalent symbolic possibilities, encompassing the mapping of kinship systems, the bridging of multiple worlds, and embodying the totality of the cosmos, resulted in its centrality in polytheistic religious, political and social organization.
A brief introduction to the Indo-European cultural matrix and an analysis of the characteristic qualities of Indo-European religion and culture is provided, as background for the investigation of sacred trees in the Greco-Roman, Celtic and Germanic traditions. Evidence for how the tree acquired its meanings is explored, along with specific tree myths and tree-rituals in ancient societies, particularly those of Indo-European origins. Finally, it is noted that the cosmic picture provided by the sacred tree is this-worldly, local and pluralistic, and is opposed to the cosmic picture of monotheism, which is other-worldly, universal and exclusive. This sets the stage for a clash of cultures when the Celts and Germans encountered Christianity.
Fergusson, James. Tree and Serpent Worship: Illustrations of Mythology and Art in India in the First and Fourth Centuries after Christ. 1868. Kessinger Publishing. Rare Mystical Reprints
Heras, H. The Tree of Life. The New Review. 1944
Goswamy, Karuna. Hawkes, Susanne (photographs). Sacred Trees and Indian Life. Aryan Books International. 2004
Synopsis: This book is about the abiding bond that exists between trees and everyday life in India: especially between sacred trees and everyday life. As it subsists today, this bond may not be so easily visible but it has always been there. This book is an attempt to draw attention to this embedded existence. In the photographs in this book, and the epigraphs that accompany them, the reader will discover, behind seemingly simple sights and words, thoughts that move and ideas that invite us to reflect.
Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Special Issue: The Sacred Tree.Volume 12.3. 2018. Equinox Publishing. ISSN 17494907 (Print). ISSN 17494915 (online). https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSRNC/issue/view/1104. Essays by Prof. Carole Cusack, Louise Fowler-Smith, Jason Brown & J.Baird Callicott.
Synopsis: This profusely illustrated archive of more than 200 flowers, plants, and trees was compiled by Ernst and Johanna Lehner — two of the world’s foremost collectors of pictorial symbols. Their comprehensive collection, with illustrations selected from rare sources, extends from the image of a pomegranate, the Chinese symbol of fertility, to a basket of flowers in a nineteenth-century Valentine silhouette. A profusion of bouquets, wreaths, flowers of the months, and other floral designs are also included.
In examining the symbolism of flora, the authors consider the religious, magical, and legendary significance of plants such as the mandrake, used as an opiate and love potion; the lotus, revered by the Egyptians and the Mayas of Central America; the mistletoe, a plant believed by the ancients to be capable of raising people from the dead; as well as the Bo tree, sunflower, dragon tree, ice plant, and many other botanical specimens. The development of horticultural images in heraldic devices, emblems, and symbols is also discussed, and a concluding section displays a table summarizing the symbolic meanings of every known species of flora — from absinthe to zinnia.
Malhotra, Kailash. Gokhale, Yogesh. Chatterjee, Sudipto. Srivastava, Sanjiv. Sacred Groves of India. Aryan Books International. 2007
Synopsis: In India, as elsewhere in many parts of the world, a number of communities practise different forms of nature worship. One such significant tradition is that of providing protection to patches of forests dedicated to deities and/or ancestral spirits. These patches of forests are known as sacred groves. The tradition is very ancient and once was widespread in most parts of the world. The estimated number of sacred groves in India in about two lakhs. Groves are rich heritage of India, and play an important role in religious and socio-cultural life of the local people. These ecosystems harbour many threatened, endangered and rare plant and animal species. The book covers various cultural and ecological dimensions of sacred groves in India, and describes recent initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders to strengthen this multifarious practice.
Synopsis: The present volume tells the complete story of trees in Indian Art and Mythology. It takes into account a holistic survey of all the aspects of tree worship in India, especially the scientific importance of tree worship, the medicinal values of trees and their bounties to mankind in general. The book draws interesting parallels using the textual code of the primal vision of the World Tree. While adopting an interdisciplinary approach, a viable theory for the history of Art has been attempted. The fascinating richness of this work lies in the mythology of Art which provides a conceptual explanation of the nature of Art. With this work, not only historians of Art but anthropologists of religion will also be benefited.
Synopsis: The Green Man is the archetype of the generative masculine energy of the earth. In the ancient mythology of myriad cultures, he is Mother Nature’s consort–and their lusty union is what makes the earth fertile again every spring. Now, John Matthews says, the Green Man is re-emerging to balance the stereotype of Man as Destroyer and to heal our relationship with the natural world. With stories, lore, and poetry, Matthews tracks the Green Man in his many guises throughout history and as an icon in the modern ecological movement. His lush text is enriched with illustrations ranging from medieval architecture to modern art and with simple meditations for finding the Green Man in the forest of our own imagination. Altogether, this lively book will delight the eye, thrill the story-loving heart, and quicken the spirit.
Synopsis: The ancient Ogam alphabet is a magical and mysterious script, the Celtic equivalent of the runes that can teach us about our fate and future. Named after woodland trees, Ogam’s 20 “tree letters” all have unique wisdom to impart that is linked to figures and themes from Celtic mythology. The author addresses three major areas in this book: Ogamlore, the history of this 1500-year-old oracle of the Celtic Druids; Ogamfews, the meaning of the individual tree letters, their magic, characteristics, folklore, and related stories; and Ogamcasting, the practical art of Ogam divination, which includes spreads, castings, and how to create your own Ogam set. With these tools of ancient Celtic wisdom, readers will receive insights and guidance on how to maneuver through life’s questions and challenges.
Murray, Liz & Colin. The Celtic Tree Oracle – A system of Divination. Connections Book Publishing. 1988
Synopsis: Within this unique kit lies the secret language of the Celts. To lift the lid is to discover an ancient method of communication–and a means of divination. In the Celtic Ogham, also known as the tree alphabet, each letter embodies the spirit of a tree or plant, here represented on a richly decorated card. Whatever your question, doubt or worry, the 2,000-year-old wisdom of the Celtic tree oracle provides remarkable guidance and insight for today’s hectic world.
Nugteren, Albertina. Belief, Bounty and Beauty: Rituals around Sacred Trees in India.Brill.Leiden,Boston. 2005
Synopsis: This study is focused on the interaction of material and symbolic values in the domain of sacred trees in India. By presenting samples from 3,000 years of Indian ritual practice, it is shown that in many sacred geographies trees continue to connect the present with the past, the material with the symbolic, and the contemporary ecological with the traditionally sacred. Although in India religion may have become very much a temple cult, its embeddedness in the natural world enhances today’s ‘green’ interpretation of religious traditions. That in environmental matters such religious inspiration may be both successful and highly ambivalent at the same time is the thought-provoking position taken in the final chapters.
Paterson, Jacqueline Memory. Tree Wisdom: The Definitive Guidebook to the Myth, Folklore and Healing Power of Trees. Element, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. 2002
Synopsis: This beautifully illustrated book is the result of eight years of exhaustive research into the myths, magic, and healing power of trees.
It has comprehensive information on all the main species of tree and is written in an easy-to-use and accessible style by an Arch-druidess.
This book contains all the practical information you need to identify each tree as it changes throughout the year and includes: comprehensive physical and descriptions and botanical information the legends and myths surrounding each tree the healing powers and magical properties of the individual tree.
Synopsis: Alleged by ancient cultures around the world to possess both divine and demonic aspects, trees have frequently been linked with cult worship and pagan rituals. This volume focuses on the subject with lively insight, examining topics ranging from the deity-inhabited sycamores worshipped in Egypt to the dreaded moss-women in Central Germany.
Synopsis: Assembled from an enormous range of sources, this fascinating book is a mind-expanding compendium of facts, folklore, superstitions, myths, and anecdotes about trees and the forest. Included are descriptions of old forests; forest customs, temples and sacred groves; mythical forest creatures such as witches, fairies, demons, wood spirits, the “wild huntsman,” and wood nymphs.
The author also recounts facts and fables about individual trees, including famous trees throughout the world, unusual trees, tree worship, people’s transformation into trees, and disposal of the dead in trees — as well as folklore about fossil trees, tree bark, leaves, thorns, diving rods, and Yule logs.
Synopsis: Probably, tree-worship is one of the earliest forms of religion in Ancient India. It was through the worship of the trees that man attempted to approach and propitiate God. In the words of Lord Buddha, “The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it affords production to all beings offering shade to the axeman who destroys it.” Similarly, James Fergusson observes, “With all their poetry and all their usefulness we can hardly feel astonished that the primitive races of mankind should have considered trees as the choicest gift of the gods to men.” The author has beautifully described the tree-worship in Ancient India which became quite common in fourth millennium B.C., when there was a highly evolved Harappan culture. It has continued throughout the whole period of Ancient Indian History and still remains deep in the hearts of Hindus in Modern India. The study covers various periods, e.g., the Origin, Vedic period, Tree Worship in Buddhism and Jainism, Pre-Gupta period, Gupta period, Medieval Hindu period, Tree Worship in South India, Trees in Ancient Indian Coins, etc.