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Speaking Trees

Speaking Trees : Trees of the Sun and of the Moon
These two trees are believed to grow on the Indian border and are revered in a Persian legend. The tree was reputed to be guarded by frightening birds that would spit fire by day but that disappeared at night. It is also said to have two parts to the trunk; one being male representing the day, the other female representing the night. The two parts only spoke according to the time of day each symbolised. Alexander the Great, revered as conqueror of the world, is said to have come upon the trees when travelling to India at a place called ‘Damghan’. The solitary ‘Plane’ tree was stood in the middle of a dry arid area and is thought to have sought counsel with the trees who could foretell the future. Alexander was advised that he would die young at the height of his notoriety, that he would not return to Macedonia, and that others would be credited with the success. This forecast appears to have been true as Alexander died in 323 BC at Babylon.

Some believe that Marco Polo was advised by the Tree of the Sun, some believe it was the ‘Dry Tree’. He described it as a:

‘tall and thick tree, having the bark on one side green and the other white; and it
produces a rough husk like that of a chestnut, but without anything in it. The
wood is yellow like box, and very strong, and there are no other trees near it nor
within a hundred miles of it, except on one side, where you find trees within about
ten miles distance. And there, the people of the country will tell you, was fought
the battle between Alexander and King Darius.’

The legend of the Dry Tree, also known as the ‘Withered Tree’, is thought to have originated from the Prophet Ezekiel:

‘And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the
high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made
the dry tree to flourish : I the Lord have spoke n and have done it.’
(xvii. 24)