Nature, body, growth, roots, down-to-earth

About the meaning: Apart from my strict refusal to use the Tree as an indication for the presence (or, depending on surrounding cards, absence) of physical health, my own approach to the Tree is pretty close to the traditional one.

Nature / physical world: In the most general way the Tree stands for nature itself, and it can address our relationship with nature. Just by itself the card often seems to suggest, positively, a strong connection with nature, but sometimes it can be taken as the advice to develop a better relationship with the natural world. More specifically, the Tree represents anything which is natural (as opposed to constructed, artificial), and anything which is physical (as opposed to things which exist only in our minds; like ideas, or valuations etc.). As a world view the Tree may represent materialism.

Our body / physical activities: Although many people like to pretend it were different human beings are composed of physical matter, too. They belong to nature just like any other animal. Our bodies are as subject to the laws of physics and biology as those of other living beings. So whenever my body plays a role in a reading, I look out for the Tree and its surrounding cards. Often, the Tree suggests that we need to look after our body better. It can mean that our physical needs should be taken care of first. The combination of Tree and Clouds might hint at a body image disorder. The combination of Tree and Cross might suggest that we exert ourselves too much, that we are physically exhausted; the combination with Mice, that something is eating away at our energy reserves. And in combination with some other cards (e.g. the Rider) the Tree might stand for physical activities - e.g. sports.

Vitality / growth: Trees are very much alive; they emanate strong but calm vitality. And they grow constantly; very slowly from a human perspective, but they are constantly getting wider and taller. So, slow but constant growth is something else this card can suggest, as well as vitality, or life-force, or a strong and very stable flow of energy. The card can stand for anything that is slowly maturing. I mentioned in the introduction that I don't diagnose good or bad health based on the Tree (or any other Lenormand card, for that matter). What I do, though, is to sometimes interpret the Tree as that which is healthy for us, something which strengthens our vitality, helps us grow, replenishes our energy reserves.

Rootedness / inflexibility: Trees are a bit like icebergs in the sense that a rather large part of their bodies is hidden from sight. In the trees' case this part is their roots whose mass in many cases comes close to the mass of the aboveground parts of the tree. It is a tree's roots which connect it firmly to the earth. It is a tree's roots through which it draws water and nutrients. Because of all this, the Tree also stands for actual, physical grounding as well as, metaphorically speaking, rootedness. Sometimes it suggests that someone is very enrooted. It can represent a strong sense of belonging, or a person's ancestry. Most often, when the Tree suggests rootedness, this will be a positive thing, resulting in steadfastness, and robustness. Sometimes, though, the card suggests a specific type of inflexibility. Because trees are firmly rooted they cannot move from their position (with a few remarkable exceptions). In addition to that, while the younger branches of trees can bend and sway even with strong winds older parts of trees are comparatively inflexible. So, the Tree can represent anything which is so deeply rooted that it's difficult or impossible to change. The Tree can mean a lack of physical manoeuvrability, but also occupational immobility, a lack of interest in travelling, an unwillingness to move house, or cognitive/intellectual inflexibility - an inability to rethink.

Sense of reality / down to earth: Because the Tree represents nature to me, and that which is physical in general, I also see the card in opposition to the Stars (spirituality) and the Book (intellectualism). It's nice to follow spiritual and intellectual pursuits. But in the long run, if we want to stay physically healthy and grounded in reality, we need to frequently come back to what is actually, physically there, and we need to listen to what our body needs. I often read the Tree as the advice to stop overthinking, to stop living in a rosy fantasy world, or to let go of pseudo-scientific woo. The Tree can suggest we come back to the human basics: breathing, eating, sleeping, having sex, laughing. The Tree can represent a good dose of pragmatism; a down-to-earth lifestyle; a person who has both feet firmly on the ground.

See also the annakblogs article >> So, is the Tree a purely positive card, then?

About the Image: I love trees. I feel very strongly for them, and what I associate with them personally is very, very close to what the Lenormand Tree means. So I felt no need to put any other symbolism in the illustration apart from a tree itself. There was only the question which type of tree I wanted to use. So in preparation of painting my Tree, I looked up different types of trees for several days. And the olive trees somehow touched my heart the most. Olive trees grow very slowly, but they can become several thousand years old; growing heart-rendingly beautiful, gnarly, twisted, trunks that show every bit of their long history. They seem peaceful, and unobtrusive to me. And their fruit - olives - do not only serve as a tasteful snack but also yield gorgeous, very healthy oil. In many cultures, olive Trees were revered as holy. They represented many things, from wisdom and peace to balance and health.  
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