Born in 1972, Tree has explored the realms of spirituality and consciousness since she was a child. As an intuitive empath, she is self taught in divinatory guidance: The Tarot, Rune Stones and Astrology and has facilitated readings, rituals, classes and courses spanning a wide variety of esoteric subjects- making her the ideal partner for our FIENA Heart & Soul division!
We caught up with Tree to explore spiritual wellness in 2022 and pick her brains on some pressing topics...
Would you connect the word 'Spirituality' to wellness?
Yes I think the two are interchangeable. I see 'spirituality' as simply a state of consciousness of being within the present moment.
It's centered-ness within oneself as well as a connectivity to all things at the same time. It's being in the flow of life. Consequently this can contribute to a person's positive wellbeing, which is part of the 'wellness' container.
You wrote a book called Conscious Dreamer. Isn't that a paradox? How can you be a conscious dreamer?
Dreaming is the exploration of your own consciousness in the altered state of sleep. Every single one of us experiences dreaming whether we remember our dreams or not. Dreams are experiences of consciousness. If you are alive, you experience consciousness. It is your personal awareness and perception of your reality, environment and experiences. It encompasses your senses, emotions, sensations and thoughts. Most would think that consciousness is what you are experiencing when you are awake but there is much more to it. Consciousness can also be experienced through dreams, memories, comas, trance states, daydreams and psychedelic experiences. These types of experiences are coined as Altered States of Consciousness because they do not align with the definition of an awake, pragmatic and sober state of perception. They are, however, valid forms of consciousness because they fall within the experience of perception. Even when we are asleep, our consciousness is still present, we are just unaware. You can become a 'conscious' dreamer' through a variety of daily pracitises and techniques that train your mind to be able to 'wake up' within the dream. This is known as lucid dreaming, conscious dreaming or mega-cognitive dreaming. When you 'wake up' and become conscious in your dream it can be deeply transformative and often it feels more real than waking reality!
How incredible is that! You also talk about building your 'dream temple'. Why is bedtime so important for opening up mystical channels?
Yes! Your bedroom should be your temple for dreams. A relaxing, comfortable and positive sleeping environment will give you much better sleep and as a result a deeper connection to your dreams. Sleep is important for opening mystical channels because it is the liminal realm. In the thresholds of sleep and dreaming our brain waves slow down to the theta wave. This is the brainwave responsible for creative flow states, meditation, daydreaming, hypnosis and altered states of consciousness. It is within the theta brainwave where we are able to access the unconscious mind as well as experience non-ordinary states of consciousness. This is the brainwave zone where 'mystical' experiences seem to be accessed.
Can you describe what divination is? And how do you practice it?
Divination is the ancient practise of gaining insights, knowledge, intuition or even events of the future through accessing a non-ordinary state of consciousness: dreams, mediations, trance-states, various plants and herbs and more. Some common tools for divination include tarot cards, rune stones and scrying mirrors. The tools serve as a talking point to the messages that are being 'downloaded' into the field of awareness of the divinor.
Got it! And... you're known as a death doula? (which sounds fascinating!) What does that mean - and how are you trying to change the way society thinks about death?
The one thing we know that happens in life is that we all eventually die. Yet as a society, we hate talking about death, and avoid it. When it happens, we don't expect it and are panicked into a world of grief. My work as a Death Doula involves helping people spiritually, emotionally, existentially and practically at the end of their lives. I hold space for healing, peace, support and compassion during the profound and sacred time of death . My work embraces a transpersonal psychological approach and I guide those who are dying with a person centred approach to the journey. I am an advocate for death positivity and believe that it shouldn't be a taboo subject. It should be openly discussed and taught in school just like sex education is taught. I facilitate Death Cafes, which are safe spaces for people to come and chat about all things death, over a cup of tea and cake. I also hold workshops and lectures around death positivity, transpersonal approaches to death and grief and presenting new ways we can evolve as a society to become more comfortable around the reality of death.
Is it important to connect with nature? And why?
Yes, it is. It's healthy. Studies have shown that when people are sitting on a beach, their brain waves slow down. This brings about deeper relaxation. Scientists believe there to be a link between breathing ocean air and feelings of happiness. Ocean air contains a high percentage of ions The theories advocating the medicinal properties of ions tend to focus on the effects of breathing them in. It is thought that the extra charge helps our bodies take in oxygen and thus increases oxygen flow to the brain. There are also healing benefits of forest bathing. The number of studies on forest bathing have shown that spending time in forests slows down brainwaves and can reduce stress, improve resiliency, increase creativity, and help to improve mental health. It would seem that the busy, noisy and distracted components of modern, consumerist culture has caused us to experience a disconnect from nature and the natural world. We are more than ever dedicating more time with our smartphones than we are in our gardens or local parks. This increasing disconnect from nature and the natural world in return keeps us disconnected from the quiet of our minds and our dreams. The wise and timely words of the Lakota tribe would say: ‘When a person moves away from nature their heart becomes hard’
What would you say to any newbies to the realms of spirituality and consciousness? Where can they start?
Start by following what you feel naturally drawn towards. It's a personal pursuit. Spirituality for one person could mean mediation and spending time in nature and for another person it could mean creating artwork, making music or exercising. Whatever it is that excites you, that makes you feel connected to yourself and to the universe.. follow that.
What would you say to those who actively practise spirituality. Do you have any advice on how to raise ones spiritual vibrations and stay connected?
The more you find moments within your day to be fully present, fully aware and in the power of the 'now' moment, the more you will connect to this sense of 'spirituality'. This is about coming back to YOU and the awareness of the 'alive' moment. The more you do this, the more you will feel the electricity of life flowing through you. As the late great Terence McKenna once said: 'Recede into the primacy of immediate experience'.