Creating a Prayer Tree
"Here is a wonderful tradition you can share to bring your community together. You can create a prayer tree for loved ones, coworkers, and community to tie prayer ribbons on the branches to support each other's prayers. It is something that you can create in your house, at work, and in your community. This tradition is seen in many different countries. I first learned about it as a Siberian tradition, where it is common to find a prayer tree. In Siberia trees are seen as the most sacred beings because they bridge heaven and earth. They bridge heaven through their branches and the earth through their roots. As humans we bridge heaven and earth with our arms up to heaven and our feet planted on the earth. We create that bridge through our hearts.
"Juniper trees are typically used for a Siberian prayer tree. The shaman divines the appropriate tree. After the right tree is found, there are days of ceremony performed where traditional food and drink offerings are left by the tree. The tree is honored for volunteering to carry prayers to the creative forces of the universe. The shaman in the community chants and gives thanks to the helping spirits for carrying the prayers of the people up to the universe so that their dreams can manifest on Earth. The ribbons tied on to the tree are empowered by individuals in the community with personal prayers for themselves, for loved ones, for family, and the community.
"You can see these trees throughout Siberia with brightly colored large ribbons tied on branches. I saw a photo of a prayer tree in Siberia where there were so many ribbons and pieces of fabric on the tree, the branches started touching the ground. The branches had become so heavy from all the ribbons empowered with the prayers of those who made pilgrimages to the tree. An important teaching is to tie the ribbons loosely onto the branches so their growth is not choked off or stunned."