Yesterday I began to write about the initiatory experience I had with a tree in my neighborhood park. Today I’d like to share a bit of how I communicate with it, because it doesn’t look anything like how I’d imagined it would be. To me it still feels extraordinary, but I happen to know a lot of folks who talk to trees and have trees talk right back to them quite matter-of-factly. This may happen spontaneously on a hike, or a friendship might form over a period of years in someone’s backyard, and there are even cases when communication takes place over a great distance with a tree whom the person knows from memory or even just a photograph. My communication with this tree, by contrast, is wordless. Let me be clear. It’s not that we speak to each other telepathically; we don’t “talk” at all. To better explain this wordless communication, I have to rewind a bit and share a bit of backstory not just with trees, but my intuitive development in general.

Out of my love for trees, I had tried a great many times to have conversations with them, only to end up feeling foolish, frustrated, and ultimately lonely in the process. I even took a course with a really gifted animal / tree communicator, Mary Getten (whose book on orcas bowled me over with cetacean energy). Her method seemed simple enough, and encapsulated what everyone else recommended: get centered and grounded, feel into the tree, ask it a question, and wait for an answer, which may come in any number of ways via the imagination, memories, thoughts, associations, or the external and internal senses (clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, claircognizance, clairaliance, and clairgustance—collectively known as “the clairs”).

This is more or less what I do in the Akashic Records, so I’d wondered why this question / answer method should provide only mixed results for me. A similar thing happened when I took an animal communication course. Because we were working with answers that were either verifiable through data or consensus, students could gauge how reliable their own findings were. I seemed to do well with very general questions. I am pretty good at getting the feel of a personality or answers to open-ended questions such as, “How do you feel about humans?” But more specific questions—e.g., “How old are you?” or anything requiring the use of numbers—frustrated me to no end. My mind would spit back all sorts of highly implausible numbers, and I couldn’t sift through any of the chatter.

On reflection, what annoys me most about the question / answer format is that when there are very specific, correct answers to be gotten, it feels like I have to pursue a needle in a haystack and narrow my focus restrictively. This runs exactly contrary to how I work in the Records, where I ask a question and “stand” as wide open as possible so that it is answered in a way that best serves the seeker. To put it differently, I open to the answer without any preconceptions about how, why, what, when, or who. The result is that I sometimes end up offering readings where a very specific question such as, “Who is my soulmate?” will return not a name, but a philosophical discussion on the seeker’s idea of love and partnership.

My deal with the Records is that I send them a question and they return an answer in whatever form is in the highest good of the person I’m working with. In order to maintain this agreement, I open as widely as possible, and only narrow my focus when I sense an energetic thread or detail that begs pursuing. Chasing after specifics, to me, feels like running down a cattle chute. This is probably not what it feels like to individuals who are differently gifted or trained, because I’ve worked with people who really can pull numbers out of the ether swiftly and accurately.

Instead of trying to train myself otherwise, I’ve finally embraced what comes naturally to me. Clairvoyance used to be my primary faculty of intuitive knowing, but wordlessness (claircognizance and clairsentience, primarily) seems to be the general direction I’ve been heading over the past year in my Akashic Records practice and other forms of energy work. When I work with crystals, for example, I go exclusively by how they make me feel. They don’t “talk” to me, but sometimes they are so “loud” that I have to put them in another room so my body can rest.

Returning to the tree, I don’t demand any words from it. Sometimes I chat with it to share my day, but oftentimes I just send it love and see what it wants to share back. Once it showed me what it felt like to be rooted to the ground. I was actually just about to bid it goodbye because I thought I’d sensed the field between us close, but then I felt my feet quite stuck to the ground and my legs get really solid, as if I didn’t have knees anymore. Another time I was leaning on it from the side, and I felt my core start to merge with its trunk. I actually had to look down at my arms and hands to make sure they were still there.

Because I don’t ask for answers in specific ways, I think this tree is quietly showing me, in its own tree way, what life is like for it. The result is I am learning experientially, rather than intellectually, about life as a tree. The lessons feel heart-centered rather than mind-based. There’s an elegance and deep understanding in this deep form of communication that isn’t merely “wordless,” but entirely free of language. I can talk around what it feels like to be rooted into the ground or merged into a tree trunk, but I can’t truly communicate this to you in a way your mind can grasp —unless you yourself have had similar experiences. (One friend responded, “I know exactly what you mean,” the moment I told her I’d “merged with a tree trunk.” That is all I said, without any attempt at description or elaboration.)

When I checked in with my own Records and asked about what I was learning with this tree (yes, I wanted words and intellectual concepts my mind could hold onto), they said that there are two ways to work in intuitive communication with others: one active, the other receptive. The active way is to move into the field of the tree (or person, animal, etc.) and direct questions at it. The more receptive way—what I was learning—is to hold an open intention of learning and wait for the other party to show me what it wanted to teach me.

The funny thing is this is how my own personal Akashic Records practice has been like since last year. Instead of always approaching my Records with directed questions, sometimes I simply ask them to show me what I need to know / take me where I need to go. Or sometimes I open the field and just sit in meditation. This has opened up new frontiers for me, and increasingly, for clients. Speaking of which, lately I’ve been working with Akashic Records clients for whom the practice of joyful, solo, and wordless (i.e., unguided) meditation is something the Records and/or their own intuition is guiding them to pursue. So in a later post I’ll talk a little bit more about wordlessness in spiritual practice.


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