source image: cedar tree bark
When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.
~ Arapaho Proverb
When I was reviewing this photograph of the bark of a mighty cedar tree, I clearly saw two faces snuggled up against each other, and I thought, this tree is all about giving and receiving Love.
Cedar trees are steeped in mythology from different traditions.
The cedar is referenced many times in the bible as a symbol of prosperity because of its long life. Cedar trees are also revered in Cherokee tradition; for a time the Cherokee tribe prayed for continuous days of sunshine, which was granted to them. When the people realized they had made a mistake, when their tribe began to die away from days of continuous heat, they once again asked to have night returned. This was also granted, but Spirit left them with the cedar tree as a reminder of those that had passed away. Cherokees believe powerful spirits of those who had left them lived in the trees. (from Cedar Tree Myths).
There is also a smudging ceremony, which I am most familiar with:
Cedar is burned while praying either aloud or silently. The prayers rise on the cedar smoke and are carried to the Creator. Cedar is also spread along with sage on the floor of the sweat lodges of some tribes. Cedar branches are brushed in the air to cleanse a home during the House Blessing Ceremony of many Northwest Indian nations. In the Pacific Northwest, the people burn cedar for purification in much the same way as sage - it drives out negative energy; but it also brings in good influences. The spirit of cedar is considered very ancient and wise by Pacific Northwest tribes, and old, downed cedar trees are honored with offerings and prayers. (from www.asunam.com)
I'm sure you know other stories about the cedar tree and I'd love to hear them, too.
I was guided to create the Power of Love Mandala in this configuration. It reminds me of a rose like you might see carved on a cedar chest . I also see the Four Directions. But mostly what I see and feel is the strength of never ending love.
Sacred Circle Mandalas