Ghost Cypress Tree

Trees do not preach learning and precepts. They preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

~ Herman Hesse

In classical Greek tradition, cypress was associated with death and the underworld. The Roman poet Ovid recorded the Greek myth of Cyparissus who was turned into a cypress tree because he wanted to grieve forever for accidentally killing his beloved pet stag. Cypress trees are named after him

The cypress tree, Cupressus sempervirens, was also seen as the tree of immortality and deathlessness to the Persian prophet Zoroaster. The Zoroastrian belief was based on his vision of one deity and the cosmic strife between the forces of light/good (Ahura Mazda) and dark/evil (Angra Mainyu). Angra Mainyu was seen as the originator of death. In death, a person was judged on their deeds as they crossed a bridge between eternal darkness or eternal light.

Followers of Zoroastrianism worshiped in “fire temples” where they maintained fires fueled exclusively by the wood of cypress trees. These fires were seen as symbols of divine light.

This ghost cypress tree intrigued me, without knowing that the Cypress tree has a connection to death. This was the 1st time I saw the ghost cypress tree. It was November 25. 2012, the skies were gray, the rocks were almost mourning. You could feel the dreariness of the day. So fitting for a cypress tree.

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