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  • Writer's pictureHannah McQuilkan

Tree Mystics Guide to Covid 19

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

This lockdown has been a mental and emotional challenge for me, as I’m sure it has been for many people. The novelty of the first one we experienced here in NZ has turned into anger, frustration and contempt. Distrust of authorities and a swirl of conflicting information has forced me to seek another path in order to feel better and see things in a new light.

To do this, I do what I always do - turn inward toward the wisdom of Spirit to see how I can change my perspective and see things in a way that benefits myself and all life.

So I sat down quietly and listened while Spirit explained to me that Covid 19 is a physical manifestation of the virus like behaviour that humans have been exhibiting toward the Earth and her creatures for centuries. They said that I already understood how all physical illness is a direct manifestation of an emotional, mental or spiritual issue and that this illness is no different. We know that we are destroying the planet and the lives of the other beings we share her with and this virus is our direct reflection. In just the same way to how human beings treat the Earth, Covid 19 puts its own desire to survive before anything else, it multiples quickly, spreading across the whole planet, it causes the world to bend to its will, it is a ruthless killer.

Until we address this disease at its root, it will likely continue to manifest in new ways until we finally get the message.

Thats not to say that vaccines, lockdowns and masks don’t have their place. In the same way that antibiotics might be used for a strep throat (step throat is a painful bacterial throat infection that feels like you are swallowing glass for those who have never experienced it!), medicines and measures that treat the symptoms are necessary at times. But until we speak whats on our mind (in the case of my experience with strep throat) and allow our anger and frustration out in words, we are not getting to the cause and our strep throat and other related issues will likely persist.

So with Covid 19, what Spirit shared with me is that we must heal the true cause. Human beings are behaving toward the Earth, plants and animals like a virus treats the human body, as things to be used for its own selfish desires, as commodities to be exploited and ultimately consumed to death.

We know this to be the truth, we know this has to stop. How we are to do this is where we often falter as it feels like too big a task and one that we are not equipped to undertake. I struggle in this place too. I like my comfortable life, I know the small sacrifices I make such as recycling, composting and using eco friendly products just aren’t going to cut it.

And so again I asked Spirit, ‘What can I do?’. The answer - we must change the way we see the human/earth relationship and make this vision a reality in word and action.

The Buddhist Teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn explains this beautifully when he says:

“So breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it, realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Not to cut the tree, not to pollute the water, that is not enough. We need a real awakening, enlightenment to change our way of thinking and seeing things.”

In many ways, modern humans are still brainwashed with the idea given to us by the main monotheistic religions which see human beings at the top of an evolutionary ladder, with all the other species at the bottom, there to serve us. Indigenous spiritual beliefs see human beings as part of the web of life, where all species are interconnected and play an equally valuable role. So put simply, to stop acting like a virus, human beings need to make this shift in perspective where all life is seen as inter-connected and sacred. We must turn to the past to move forward, back to the time of our ancient ancestors who worshipped the sun, the moon and the Earth herself and performed rituals and celebrations to honour these celestial beings upon whom all life depends.

The realisation of the urgency of making this shift is what drives Tree Mystic and the work I do in this realm. Its become clear to me that this shift in perspective from ‘human life is the most important’ to ‘all life is equally important’ is what human beings need to grasp for us to stop killing this planet and the species we share her with.

Like any belief or way of seeing the world, it cannot be forced upon people. Its an internal shift that needs to come as a realisation to each person in their own time. The shift can be inspired through things such as forest therapy, indigenous awareness work, forest walks, hikes, anything that deepens our relationship to the more than human world.

Its a mystery really what invokes this deep love for the Earth and the realisation of oneness. Astronaut’s experienced this shift when they saw the planet from so far away, tiny, fragile, unique and precious:

“We looked down and saw planet Earth and realised that it was our beautiful and very small home. We realised things were not going so well down there and we felt we had to do something about it.”

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell

My Druid studies categorise Earth healing practices into two categories - practical conservation work and ceremony, prayer and meditation. This creates a holistic view of planetary care-taking and is a model our ancient Celtic ancestors would have used naturally as part of every day life.

Physically we can always do more to help the planet. Recently I started recycling soft plastics for example. We can plant trees, pick up rubbish, buy less and of course support organisations doing good conservation work.

Prayer, ceremony and meditation offer us many gifts including experiencing ourselves as one with the Planet, awareness of the seasonal cycles, invoking beneficial healing energies and the feeling that in our own small way we can make a difference. Above all, these tools support us in bringing about the shift in consciousness needed to motivate and inspire us to heal the planet through physical action.

This simple meditation was offered by the Dalai Lama as the most important thing human beings can do to help the crisis facing the Earth and humanity. Start by closing you eyes and bringing to mind some people, pets or places that you love and care deeply about. Allow these feelings to rise up within you and then begin to radiate them out to the whole planet, see and feel the planet bathed in love, peace and harmony.

The other thing I recommend is to choose an indigenous culture, preferably one that you have an ancestral connection with and begin to learn their Earth worshipping practices, celebrations and festivals. From doing this you will start to remember that you come from an ancient lineage of Earth honouring people, with their own unique ways of expressing their love for the planet. Together we can remind each other who we really are.

Thanks to the wisdom of my Spirit helpers, my relationship with Covid is changing from something annoying to an opportunity to look deeper. All illnesses start on a vibrational level first and if left unnoticed start to manifest as emotional and mental symptoms, eventually becoming physical symptoms. Covid 19 is no different. This is not to say we should not treat the physical symptoms but if we ignore the true cause a massive opportunity will be lost.

I invite you to consider for yourself the message this virus is sending and how it mirrors the way human beings have been living on and treating the Earth. I invite you to use this time to deepen your connection to nature, to close the gap between your humanness and the vast ‘more than human world’ that surrounds you. I invite you to fall in love with this planet and to pledge yourself to be in service to all the life upon it.

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Isaac Campbell
Isaac Campbell
Sep 14, 2021

Really interesting thoughts, and a positive and practical way to interpret all the change occurring around us. Another thought I've had is that all the suffering we are going through with this virus, may lead to amazing changes to how we treat the planet and others around us... I'm sure that the present suffering we are experiencing will have unintended positive consequences for generations come...

I'm interested in your recommendation to learn about indigenous cultures. Do you have any books on Celtic cultures you would recommend?

Isaac Campbell
Isaac Campbell
Sep 14, 2021
Replying to

Thanks! I'll give them a look. I'm currently reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It's about indigenous North American plant knowledge/ world view. Not far into it but it's pretty good so far☺️

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