Are you a tree hugger? I'm betting you will be by the time you've finished reading Tree Magic: Connecting with the Spirit & Wisdom of Trees. Too often, we take for granted the simple, everyday things in life. What is commonplace becomes barely noticeable. The author of this informative book reawakens awareness of things ordinary and tells you why they are often extraordinary.

She takes you on a magical journey that can be as easy as a walk through  the woods, in a park or even your own backyard. You'll gain a new-found respect for trees and learn how they can help you. One of the things we often forget or overlook is that a tree is a living thing. It is, after all, a plant just like a flower or an herb. And as a living thing, it has energy. The Native Americans knew this and blessed the tree and thanked it before cutting it down to be turned into bows or arrows or some other useful item. Trees don't just build houses or furniture, they can also supply you with magical tools, like wands. Certain trees, like maples, can be a food source giving maple syrup or walnuts from walnut trees and almonds or pecans from those nut trees. Others yield fruits like apples, oranges, cherries or pears. Some feed wildlife like oaks which produce acorns.

As well as teaching you about working magic in sacred groves, forests and fairy rings, the author will also teach you how old, mature trees help young trees grow. And how trees help your yard grow and thrive, Some homeowners have guard dogs. Those of us who have a yard also have tree guardians. Yes, guardians. They stand straight and tall outside. Being tall, they're usually the first object struck by lightning, thus protecting your house. .Trees are buffeted by wind and rain and sleet and snow and yet your house stands. Be grateful to your tree or trees. Touch it, pat it, hug it. Lay your head against its trunk and let your imagination flow.  Let it inspire you. Lots of perfectly sane people talk to their plants. Let the tree talk to you. Form a bond. Let it take you to places you've never been before.

The book is huge but that's because the author describes 66 trees. And each one has its own personality; its interesting lore and history. Another section of the book relates certain trees to zodiac signs, to elements. to the Druidic calendar, to Oghams.There's interesting and then there's fascinating. This is one of those.

You can tell great care was taken in researching this book. The author really cares about trees and it shows. Tree Magic is a useful reference guide you'll refer to often. You'll never look at a tree in the same way again.

~review by Judy Blackstone

author: Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn Publications, 2021
350 pp., $24.99