JUNE 2020

The Guardian Beech & Her Oak.

The Guardian Beech  stands on the edge of Wick Hollow, right on the edge! From her roots climbs the trunk of an oak tree, who appears to have been supported in its growth by the beech.

The beech tree traditionally embodies feminine qualities, known as the queen of the woods, with the oak embodying masculine qualities. The presence of a beech and an oak here seems to be another metaphor for physical representation of the masculine feminine themes that appear generally in life, but seem to converge with frequency in Glastonbury; the Mary and Michael Leylines, the Red and White Springs, the patriarchal religious structures either facing, or paying homage in secret to, the Mary Magdalene energy. The Goddess and the Greenman.

For me, these two trees are a metaphor for the union of masculine and feminine, with the emphasis on developing both aspects in oneself, to form a coherent whole. Both the oak and the beech produce male and female flowers on the same tree. so while as a pair they embody masculine and feminine, individually and by nature, they embody both. Any imposition of gender qualities we impose such as king and queen of the woods, are constructs of our own static thinking on gender, and in fact both trees embody both masculine and feminine by nature.

I love the exposed root / extended trunk here, a claw that reaches right the way down the bank and supports the tree in it’s precarious position on the side of the gorge. The tree has been managed or damaged at some point, causing it to grow many trunks extending from it’s main body. It is possible to sit beneath it’s roots, but the material it’s growing from is fragile and crumbly. The question arises, did the tree grow from the bank, or did the bank erode to expose the tree? And how long will they last.

I imagine that over time the bank has edged it way further and further back and that at some point these trees will come down. There are many examples on both sides of wick hollow, some of the oaks further up reach further over and you can climb right in underneath them.

The Guardian Beech is such a unique tree and a perfect opportunity observe exposed roots that act almost like a tripod, propping the tree up. I wonder how far back into the bank their roots go. I love the root on the left reaching out around the trunk of the oak tree and wonder if the oak would stand without the beech.

It is also possible to visit these trees from the other side, taking the path at the top of wick hollow, you get to see just how precariously they are placed.

The tree is often noticed by tree walkers as a fairy kingdom.

Matt Witt – 25/05/2020

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Matt Witt

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