Franklin LaVoie – Tree Bard

3 minute read

I perform as a Celtic Storyteller because I think these stories are essential to our wellbeing. Our ancestors traded instinct for plasticity and stored the old instinct as archetypes in these stories. So they are essential for our whole spiritual development.

I dress as a tree because the ents were the most interesting characters in The Lord of The Rings. I also intuited that the trees are sentient, intelligent, and part of a vast forest consciousness, back in the 1970’s I had any number of harrowing adventures in the ancient forest of Zoar Valley, and in the Allegheny Mountains; I knew the trees were mostly my friends and they were connected to Fairy, the “Otherworld”, the realm of beauty and wonder that’s very close to our own world, but is only discovered in magical moments of inspiration and numinous contact. This is completely in alignment with the ancient primordial wisdom, a worldview that modernity has tended to gloss over, or ignore altogether.

I learned the “Battle of the Trees”, or the Cad Goddeu, from Robin Williamson, the honorary Chief Bard of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. You can find the Cad Goddeu in his book entitled: The Wise and Foolish Tongue.

I immediately fell in love with this poem because it was obviously the source material for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Battle of Orthanc, in The Two Towers, as well as for the ents, themselves. According to ancient Hermetic Science humans have an aspect of our soul which is vegetal (obviously.) I believe salvation is at hand from that part of our soul, that part which has been seriously side-lined in the modern diaspora.

I’ve seen that there is an epic transformation happening in the world today, which involves the recovery of the Light of the Two Trees and the redemption of humankind by the appearance of a Vegetal God, who fell from the Crown of the Sky (the Pleiades- Play at Ease.) The pain, corruption, and fetid rot that humanity has cultivated with such a fervor, is the fertilizer for this divine astral being. It is not on earth to judge or forgive; it’s here to feed, and ultimately, to illuminate the darkness which has swallowed the imaginal realm for many an age. When that tree is full grown its light will illuminate the astral world, and the core of humanity’s soul, revealing the architecture of the spiritual world which has been lost to darkness, since the end of the First Age, maybe 18,000 years ago.

My attraction to the Celtic Universe comes from Arthurian Legend, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and the beauty of the ancient poetry and art of the ancient world, as well as the Pre-Raphaelite School of the 19th Century. And I credit Robin Williamson for laying the foundation of my storytelling core curriculum.

I became interested in Ogham through my reading of The Lord of The Rings. I spent more time studying and using Scandinavian Rune Stones, and the Chinese oracle called The I Ching. But all these ancient oracles have threads in common, their roots are in sacred geometry, the living cosmos, and archetypal imagination. So recently I’ve begun studying the Ogham more formally. By memorizing the Cad Goddeu I’ve prepared my mind with a rich fertile soil to grow my knowledge of the Ogham, and I’m motivated by my work in the School of Modern Soul Science, which is an on-line course, if anyone is interested in the topic of ancient shamanic wisdom and the Hermetic lineage.

These Shamanic Mandalas stem from my work in the SoMSS, this was the first creative exercise we were challenged with. It’s a marvelous vehicle for doing deep introspective soul recovery work, and discovering one’s calling in the world as a shaman-inspired individual.

My mandala has as its Core 3 Facets: Visionary Artist- Storyteller-and Traverses the World Tree. I symbolized these as the double phoenix revealing the Celtic Harp, and carrying the artist’s brushes, and the oracle bones- which denote communication with the Otherworld. There are eight Empowering Facets encircling the Core Facets, so it’s like a dynamo.

Each of these Empowering facets are associated with a tree, all inter-connected by their roots. I chose eight Empowering Facets because of its stability, and its relationship to my hometown of Buffalo, where I’ve initiated the work of “Deciphering the Enchanted Landscape of Buffalo-Niagara.”

Find Franklin here: