In contemplation while in the shade of the Tree of Life.

"… under the shade of some apple trees...he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. It was occasion'd by the fall of an apple..."


IN 1752 William Stukeley

a personal friend of…

In 1752 William Stukeley, a personal friend of Sir Isaac Newton, wrote about Newton’s aha moment involving gravity and an apple. Most of us are familiar with Mr. Newton’s gravity theory and how, while sitting under a tree, an apple bonks him on the head.

Isaac Newton and others like him excelled in the exploration of self and the world around them. I am unclear if he ever studied The Tree of Life (“The Tree”), or was even aware of it. I do know that, among other things, he was an astronomer and theologian. Still, it is interesting that Mr. Stukeley states confidently that an apple falls, yet nowhere does he or any other factual document say it lands on Sir Isaac’s head. They all state he saw an apple fall. I feel the liberty with how the story is told is similar to the misconceptions we share in telling our own stories. 

It must have seemed so simple, a cartoon drawing perhaps of Newton sitting under a tree, the apple bouncing off his head. It may be justified as art suggesting that the clarity he received was like a bonk on the head. However innocuous the imagery, the retelling changed our belief in what actually occurred.

I can tell you that in my many years of personal exploration within the Tree, I have seen how the stories we tell ourselves shift as we look at them. In structured review, we see both the truth and the stories we made up about past events. Even if the stories we tell ourselves seem innocuous, if they keep recreating negative patterns in your life, how is this an asset? The Tree invites each person to look at their role in specific events, past and present.

Energy, like Newton’s falling apple, flows from top to bottom. The Tree encourages us to be the observer and then make sense of the journey.  To explore key points, known as Sephora, along the way and shed light on what is truly occurring. Some believe that, like Newton’s bonk, in order to receive insights or wondrous aha moments there must be a pain first, then clarity. The Tree sees it differently.

When we encounter stress events in our day, The Tree teaches us to free ourselves of those limiting thoughts and beliefs about the world, our Creator and ourselves. Then allow what is truly occurring to be revealed. With this clarity we are able to see distractions for what they truly are and what follows becomes clean and succinct.

Then, we are able to live our lives equipped with a clearer sense of purpose. We may now see what we thought was previously unknown.

Ok, I admit this seems simple, and it takes a special person to walk this path. It takes someone willing to both look at themselves in the mirror, and to see what they are really creating for themselves. It helps to walk with others on this journey. In a group, others are able to help you see what may be unclear to you, and in return you for them. Together, the aha becomes a group experience, the insight is received effortlessly. No bonking apples required.

Mr. Stukeley was a personal friend of Sir Isaac Newton and shares what he believes to be the truth of what occurred. Nowhere does he say the aha moment was accompanied with an unpleasant experience. If we could be Isaac Newton, resting under our tree, we would watch the apple fall, see the trajectory and decide what we would like to do with the apple, catch it or let it be. Either way, it’s just an event and we have found peace in being able to observe it.

Ground Hog Day.

Weatherman Phil Connors is a character in the movie Groundhog Day. It begins with Phil going to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to cover the Groundhog Day celebrations held there. He is obviously unhappy with his assignment. As the story develops he must relive the same day over and over until he anticipates the events of the day and is released from his repeating cycle.

I, like most people, can appreciate that experience. As such, in my personal journey I like to observe cyclical patterns so they may support rather than upset me. So upon waking each morning, I like to review the position of our solar system’s planets and for the most part the time in which I look is the same. Therefore the houses Pluto and Saturn occupy haven’t changed much, the Sun is pretty much the same as yesterday, and there’s only a slight difference in the other celestial bodies as they do what they do. However, from day to day or week to week the sign the planets are in changes and this I take note of.

While living in India, I had the honour of watching an astrologer predict the best time for an arranged marriage. Upon finishing his complicated equations he stated, “this date would be favourable.” I instantly noted he said favourable, not perfect. How diplomatic, I thought. Now, many years later, I really appreciate what he was actually saying.  He was taking into account those involved, and their free will choice to do or not do something. If they followed his suggestion, the prevailing energy would support a successful union. Astrology will show us what is presenting, what is available, not what we’ll do.

Each day, the sun rises at a slightly different place along the horizon, shedding light a little differently. If we put two sticks in the ground, one to cast a shadow the other to show where the shadow is/was we know that, daily, the 2nd stick will be moved slightly. We can see examples of this support by a corn farmer looking at the sun in spring and knowing it’s very different than autumn.  One is a time of planting, the latter tells of harvest to come. These predictable cycles support the farmer in knowing what to do and when, which makes a world of difference to him. Ask the farmer who planted corn in autumn how his crops did.

For those of us in Astrology, the sun’s placement throughout the day is also relevant. Radio stations figured out a long time ago that ads you listen to in the morning may not be suitable for the afternoon or evening. There are just some things best sold in the morning. The time of day and sign the celestial body is in adds hues (energies) to the outcome as well. Let’s say you wake at 7am everyday, with the sun in the 12th house of Spirituality. Astrologically, as you start your day, you may be considering life in a spiritual way, looking at something ethically, religiously, or viewing the actions of others. At 6am with the sun in the 1st house of Self, you may be more self-focused. At 4 or 3am the sun is in the 2nd house of Resources. Ask anyone who awakes from a sound sleep at 3 or 4am what they are thinking about and more times than not it’s about being resourceful.

In Astrology perspective is also important. Hanging on my wall is a painting of a rocky shoreline. Up close it has hard lines and defined shading, further back the image is softer and takes on the qualities of a photograph. The painting however, is just a painting, it’s how I choose to see it that matters.

Weatherman Phil Connors struggles within his cycles for a long time until he begins to allow predictable events to support him. Then in mastery, he finally anticipates the upcoming events and is able to put his best self forward. In so doing he achieves his desired outcome. Are we talking about predicting the future with astrology? No. We are noticing and consciously being aware of the best time to plant our seeds and the best time to reap what we sow. Again, Astrology may suggest what we are prone to, yet is free of making our choices for us. Phil’s character reminds us to know who we are, see what’s presenting, and then make good choices.