The tree in the Earth Traditions logo is an aspen; its crown mirrors its roots. Aspens typically grow in what is referred to as a clonal colony meaning their origin is from a single seedling that spreads by the use of root suckers. A clonal colony is a “group of genetically identical individuals that have grown in a given location, all originating…from a single ancestor.” ¹
Above the ground these trees may appear to be distinct individuals. While each individual stem that rises into a tree can live for up to 150 years, according to the Discovery Channel the root system can last for thousands of years sending up new trunks as the older ones die off. Underground they remain interconnected and are all clones of the same plant. Some aspen colonies become very large with time. The oldest known colony, the Pando Clone, is in the Fishlake National Forest in Utah and has been estimated to be over 80,000 years old. ²
Aspens are able to survive forest fires since the roots are below the heat of the fire, with new sprouts growing after the fire burns out. Their rapid re-growth serves well toward reforestation. It is for these reasons the aspen is often used as a representative of ancient forests.
We chose the aspen tree because its qualities reflect what we see in the community that comprises Earth Traditions and the foundation upon which we wanted to build our organization. We embrace the concept that we come from a long and strong ancestral bloodline and that we are connected as a tribe. We celebrate the contribution that each individual makes to the whole in their own unique way, and we recognize the importance of the natural cycles of Nature in the life of each tree.
Even though we may not always be in close proximity of one another, our roots are hearty; we are many that emanate from the same source. For centuries, like the aspen, the pagan spirit that inspires communities like ours has withstood strong winds and the fires that have threatened it to the brink of extinction.
We have survived and reforested ourselves, reviving the language of the Earth in order to fulfill a vision for a peaceful, sustainable future, in partnership with the planet itself. We look to the wisdom of the past to help inform our present path and the power of the group to support one another.
We welcome you into our grove; into this forest of ancient whispers and magic where the traditions of our ancestors are not forgotten. We want to meet you; we want to know how you move through the world. We look forward to getting to know you; to shaping our future and the future of our world together.
Paula Alejandre, Angie Buchanan, Dave Espinosa Aguilar, Nancy Halwix, and Drake Spaeth
- Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- The Discovery Channel