About the Ash(ley) Tree


As you can see, I engage in a variety of services. It was important to me that they be all in one place for many reasons, the most prevalent being I've always appreciated "Renaissance" people and I'm not a fan of the way the culture I was raised in tries to limit people, companies, websites etc, to only one thing; we each have the capacity to embrace that a single entity does many things, and to take them all in. I don't see the point in limiting ourselves or others, and so I will not. So, there.

That said, while these things do objectively fall under only two umbrellas; Arts and Healing Arts, that wasn't enough for me. The storyteller in me needed an umbrella name that articulated the way all the parts are connected.

I was at a Tibetan Medicine retreat, like ya do, and deep in a mantra meditation, an image of a mandala came to me with the things I do as each of the extensions from the middle, forming a perfectly symmetrical image of where I put my energies. As I explored further ways to deepen and expand my understanding, skills, and talents, I kept seeing that symmetrical connection in my mind's eye. It felt close, but no shigah.

Months later, I was in India studying an Ayurvedic method of reading pulses (such a relatable reference!), and I was still mentally refining my company. The concept of the Tree of Life kept coming to me; one day the words, another an image of it from the visually stunning film, The Fountain. I was even drawn to a necklace in a shop in Manali with a tree. The place was filled with all sorts of things I could have felt connected to. And this was on the back wall near a corner; not in the cases at the center register, or the racks lining the walls from beside the doorway all the way back. The owner said that one was an interpretation of? The Tree of Life...It's a theme that does seem to run through multiple cultures, worldwide...SO here I was in India for the first time, experiencing so many things. And among them, I received and answer to this question I'd been having for a way to articulate all my offerings in one space, and as a cohort. As Thomas Amelio has said, "There’s something about India that...if you’re willing to listen to something beneath the cacophony and…all the contrasts; there’s something there that just will buoy you up and take care of you -- if you let it… "

I DID like the idea of something extending in all different directions, even into the ground, and from a single source, that is also always growing, adapting, and transforming. Not still, eternal, etheric as a mandala seems; more earthbound, tangible, evolving; simultaneously reaching into Earth, Ether, and inbetween.


Also true, Vrkshasana, Tree Pose, has always been a personal favorite Asana; simultaneously grounding into balance on one leg (IF that is available to you - if not, trees come in all different sorts of shapes); opening the heart: aligning all major energy centers (because the Crown is not a Chakra) for a balanced center line; and either extending out and upward toward the sky in prayer, doibg the sane with hands out at diagonals, or one's hands meeting at the heart; our human internal network's medium point between Heaven and Earth.

In Chinese medicine I have strong Earth and Wood energy in my birth chart - born in Spring in an Earth Year. Earth people tend to be more rooted and Wood people always want to grow and expand, (a reason I will always be a student, even if in my own home surrounded by books that quench me). That energy is an ingredient that makes acting is so great for me; with each character and story, as my father says, 'You get to do your research!' In addition, trees teach us so much; from them we can learn patience of the time it takes to grow, perseverance to weather a storm, creativity and wisdom in the way each branch finds it way to the light, adaptability throughout the seasons, medicine and shelter for those in need, and as I said of tree pose, staying rooted while stretching up and moving with the waters and the winds. Recent studies show us that they communicate; they send signals. And as much as they collaborate, they compete; they find ways to achieve and work together simultaneously.


Another reason it suits a company of mine is that I AM a tree-hugger, and I love when nature is rightfully associated with the divine.


Also? I'm, like, really tall.

Still, I thought it felt self-aggrandizing to name my company after the Tree of frigging Life.

Nonetheless, I looked it up so that The Universe would stop shouting at me. The first description that came up said that, in Norse Mythology, The Tree of Life is? An ASH Tree -- so literal I had to keep reasearching.

I already knew, from studies into my Black Irish side of the family's Celtic history, that Ash means Dream in Gaelic because the Ash Tree symbolizes the connection between fantasy and reality (Ash-leigh means Dream-like), so I could see the ways it could align with meditation and visualization, and all kinds of storytelling.

What I didn't know was that the Ash family has qualities of various different kinds of trees all wound into one. Depending on its environment and the variety of Ash, the same tree can end up in very different shapes. (One of which is akin to a willow, always a favorite of mine). The tree itself also has an interesting characteristic; as soon as a branch starts too grow on one side, another branch begins to grow opposite it; never extending in only one direction; balanced on both sides - exactly; a-like a mandala. And it also has a mirror of being used for holistic healing (as do most trees named some version of 'Tree of Life' in various cultures) every part of the tree can be used to support our existence.

I was thrilled to learn that every part of the tree can be used for different sorts of healing. In addition to leaves, it offers both berries, and flowers. It is literally a (wonderfully diverse) tool for earthbound healing in itself.

All of the above, and more I won't ask you to read, are possible reasons for it being chosen to be aligned with the Tree of Life; a connector of multiple worlds, a facilitator in the healing of multiple things, something that innately understands the way to balance, and a bit enigmatic; a shapeshifter; a trickster of a tree.

All of this built a case that helped my inner teenager to roll her eyes a lot less as she saw the symmetries develop.

Ultimately, a thing I've seen across so many spiritual, psychological, and creative philosophies is that the more we allow our own truth to shine, the more space we make for others to be able to do the same. That in itself is an act of service. Trees teach us this. And so I surrendered to this being the company name.

Thank you for visiting,