My spiritual inspiration
Flower essence healer Sophie Knock reveals how an ancient yew tree has given her profound advice
Flower essence healer Sophie Knock talks about seeking messages of profound wisdom from an ancient yew tree whenever she needs guidance
When I was 25, my boyfriend Tim, who’s a film-maker, and I were asked to film the preparations for the May Day celebrations at the sacred and holy Chalice Well in Glastonbury. We actually ended up stepping into roles of Sun King and Spring Maiden after the original couple split up at the eleventh hour. This involved us getting intimate in a special bower, in a magical moonlit fertility ritual. What I hadn’t bargained for was it working – I conceived that night!
Tim and I loved each other and had been together three years, but I wanted to know whether I should marry him now that I was pregnant. So, on Samhain (Halloween), I decided to seek the advice of the ancient yew trees of Chalice Well, as according to folklore, you can seek guidance from these trees on this date.
We have more than one soulmate
I was drawn to the energy and presence of a particular tree at the entrance to the Chalice Well gardens. I placed one hand on my heart and the other on the trunk. Then I rested my forehead against the tree and asked, ‘Is this person my soulmate? Should I marry him?’ Immediately, I heard the tree’s words in my head, saying, ‘In life there’s not just one soulmate, but a number who can help you complete your journey. This is one of your soulmates who you can learn life lessons from.’ I took this as a message that Tim was someone who I could fulfil my soul’s purpose with, and we married at Winter Solstice, six weeks later. On February 4, 1999, our baby, Oscar, was born. The first time we took him out was to visit the Chalice Well garden where, in the shadow of the great yew trees, we anointed his head with water from the well, to welcome him into the world.
Be open to divine inspiration
Communicating with this ancient yew inspired me to learn how to make plant and flower essences, for the good of others. I co-created the Wild Medicine Flower Essences company in 2004 and use them to help people emotionally and spiritually. When I take a group that I’m teaching into the Chalice Well garden to make essences, I always greet my favourite ancient yew tree by resting my head against it.
Over the years, I’ve turned to my special tree for guidance many times.
I remember one occasion when someone I was working with wasn’t being a team player, and had said some hurtful things. I asked my yew tree what to do, and as soon as I put my head against its trunk I heard its words in my mind: ‘Get out of the detail and into the depth.’
I took this to mean you can’t be accountable for what others do, only for your own actions and that I should cast aside all the distracting superficial stuff, and focus on being true to myself. The tree’s wisdom has helped me to believe in myself.
Love takes many forms
Tim and I are in the process of separating, after 22 years together. When I went to ask 'my' yew tree for guidance a few weeks ago, it was reassuring to receive the message that, ‘You might not be in a marriage together, but this person is still going to continue to give you deep and meaningful life lessons.’ This message from the tree made me understand that love evolves and to accept that the form of relationships changes and that is fine. It’s all part of the cycle of life, just like in nature.
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