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Grandmother's Red Braids Singing in the Winds

“Our songs began one primordial dawn,

and our glorious chorus was vast…

We sing of Life in all it’s cyclic glory,

Unity, Community, Harmony, and

Wisdom of days long passed.

Patience is the wellspring

from which all things flow;

Strength to endure,

Wisdom in silence,

Vision in action.

Living with Great Heart

could set the World aglow!

Although we are few now,

you may yet gather within our colossal court

where still we whisper of forgotten lore

As All Our Relations we support

with eternally generous root and bough.”

Who Sings Now?

“Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks with a thousand voices.” Carl Jung

The giant sequoia, also called “Sierra redwood” and the “Big Tree”, were once found almost world wide. Their natural range is now restricted to the moist coastal belt of Northern California, a strip in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and a small group of meta sequoia (Dawn Redwood) in a remote valley in China. These are the only living examples of a tree line that at one time spanned the earth and was growing at the time of the dinosaurs. This is one of the oldest (a recorded 2,000 years) and fastest growing species of trees around. Sequoia’s have reached well over 200 feet in height!

The bark alone can be two feet thick, and is it’s main defense against disease, fire, and invasion, although insects seem to find this tree distasteful. The taller and more slender California Redwood has a more conifer-like appearance and can reach over 300 feet in height! Their native areas provide them with heavy rains, cool coastal air, and fog year round. As heavy rains have left the soil with few nutrients, these trees depend on the entire biotic community of the forest, and complete recycling of those that have passed before them. Sequoia teaches us the value of patience, time, planning, connectivity to nature, and keeping a thick skin between us and the many potential hurts and invasions we encounter while living.

The Redwood speaks to us of slowing down and really listening to life; seeking the wisdom gained by our forefathers as well as looking ahead with clear vision to make better choices. Unity and living in Harmony with All Our Relations are part of the primordial message of this Teacher, as well as strength, endurance, resilience, and triumph over adversity. Sequoia is a powerful Teacher who sings of many Mysteries long forgotten. They can teach us how to recognize, unlock, and best pass through any transformative doorway in life. Sequoia asks that we remember that connectivity to Nature and All Our Relations is our most consistent pathway to Wisdom and Creator.

Balanced Sequoia people will seem wise or knowledgeable beyond their years, quiet, patient, thoughtful…as un-hasty as an Ent on a mild afternoon. Both have an amazing ability to adapt, survive, and thrive in many places and conditions, even after devastating injury! Sequoias support entire ecosystems within their broad spaces, and Sequoia people can have an amazing assortment of people in their lives. Their great hearts require them to be involved on many levels with the World, as this is what feeds and nurtures them, and to return those loving attitudes by supporting others. They also, like their leafy cousins, operate best when saturated with healthy emotions (water) and when they keep themselves rooted in reality in a healthy way (rich soil). The potential wealth of Wisdom from this Teacher is limitless and best received directly from the source.

“. . . Poets . . . create from the very depths of the collective unconscious, voicing aloud what others only dream.”~Carl Jung

Potential Balancing Energies: Ants, Beetles, Bees, Dragonfly and other Insects, Spiders, Birds (like the marbled murrelet or the northern spotted owl), Lepidoptera, Fungi, Mulberry, Fire, Water, Earth, Sun, Air, Bear, Moose, Elk, Earthworm, Squirrel, Mouse and other Rodents, Rhododendron, Hazel, Redwood Sorrel, Raccoon, Porcupine, Marten, Banana Slug, Ferns, Bobcat, Turkey Vulture, Gray Fox, Rabbit, Toad and Salamander

Key Concepts: Time, Ancestors, Ancient wisdom and ancestral memory, patience, endurance, far-sightedness, strength, harmonious Unity, Longevity, resilience, perseverance, life/death/rebirth cycle, Creation, Mysteries, Doorways, the connectivity of Nature, and the collective unconscious, Visions and Dreamtime energy

Associated Gods/Goddesses or Mythic figures: I do not know that the Sequoia is associated with any particular Deity, but this Teacher was named after the Cherokee half-blooded man who devoted himself to studying language so that he might give his people a written language, George Gist. The exact meaning of this name seems much contested. Not being a scholar of the Cherokee language, or a knowledgeable historian I cannot even guess at the meaning of “Sequoia”. Other names refer to the distinctive color and vast size of this Teacher. Through it’s Key Concepts, the Sequoia could be associated with Ptah, Thoth, Osiris, Aeon/Chronos, Cernunnos, Herne, Ogham, and Janus. Plants and Trees are often depicted as the hair or features of Grandmother Earth, hence the title of this poem.

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Grandmother's Red Braids Singing in the Winds by 

Each Who Sings Now? poem I have written is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a tree, star, animal, stone, etc. from which we can learn so many priceless lessons… if we only take the time to listen. Many people enjoy trying to guess which Teacher inspired the poem before going on to read about them in detail. Can you guess who is singing?

I look to All My Relations for advice, wisdom, and inspiration. I’m a Gemini with Pisces rising…everything else is subject to change without notice.

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  • lianne
    lianneabout 5 years ago

    Awww I should have gotten that after all – they are so majestic and I was completely enthralled by their size and their beauty when I got out west to see them. When I think of all they have seen in the years they have been here, it’s just astonishing to me. Beautiful work as always Quinn – and a valuable lesson for us all to cherish the fragile ecosystems that have been here much longer than we have!

  • It’s been too many years since I last land hand to these trunks… I miss them like I miss the Ocean :-) wishing you laughter dearheart

    – Quinn Blackburn

  • Donna Ridgway
    Donna Ridgwayabout 5 years ago

    This is beautiful Quinn!

  • Thank you, Donna :-)

    – Quinn Blackburn

  • Medusa
    Medusaabout 5 years ago

    Sublime… You amaze me Dear Quinn…I remember hugging Dawn Redwoods and painting them as small as I could… I guess I was trying to bring them home… ;-)


  • One of these days, I’ll have the time and means to take a trip back and visit them again. :-) I love to imagine what the World might have been like when those great Monarchs were widespread. I can easily undestand wanting to bring them home with you! Richard Preston gives amazing talks about these impressive Nature Teachers in which he describes what it is like moving through their canopy… surely a once in a lifetime experience! :-) xo

    – Quinn Blackburn

  • Medusa
    Medusaabout 5 years ago

    WOW! That was fascinating and informative…Thankyou Quinn, I’ve always loved climbing trees and hills…I may have to join a club and get in touch with my inner child again… ;-)
    I do hope you make that trip some day soon my friend… Who knows, I may well get the opportunity to come with you… !The world is not so vast when one is connected… :-)

    You have truly lifted my spirits from a deep dark pit, to the top of a Mighty Tree…
    You indeed have a Maternal Spirit… Thankyou Dearest Quinn…

    Delphine x

  • I always feel better after listening to that piece, which is why it’s in my favorites :-) So very true too that nothing seems too far or impossible when you feel connected to the World around you. I was reminded of an important bit of Spider wisdom the other day… we weave our little webs, but sometimes something comes along and tears out what we’ve taken the time to create. Spider reminds us that this is just a natural part of life, and that our next step is to connect to something/someone and begin again to spin our own web, running our thread from that first point to the next, and the next, and the next throughout our day until we hang again, connected to the world, in the center of our new creation… until it is time to spin again. Spider never seems to mourn the loss, content simply to spin her next unique creation…. whether it’s at the top of a mighty Sequoia or in a bottomless crack in the Earth. So much wisdom from such a tiny Teacher! Lovely to hear you find comfort from the same well I do :-) Nature is always there waiting to play with us and teach us… thank goodness! :-)

    – Quinn Blackburn

  • autumnwind
    autumnwindabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful and so informative as always. You are a treasure! xoxoxo

  • I’m sure this Singer has more to share, but I was very pleased with the poetry. Sometimes I return to a piece and fiddle with it, include more, but this poem said exactly what needed to be said in the very first writing. I’m especially fond of the ones that seem to write themselves! :)

    – Quinn Blackburn

  • bearwings
    bearwingsalmost 5 years ago

    I have a photo of a large kauri trunk on its side in a park in western australia. a monument to the logging industry. far better if it had stayed with its friends i visited down south. you would think we’d know better………………..vote1 for tree…………humans nil…we are not ready to rule the world

  • I could spend my days with trees for company and know it to be some of the best I’ve ever had. Much easier to love a tree than like a human. :) wishing you laughter

    – Quinn Blackburn

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