An Animist Tree Planting Ritual - Experiential Online Animism Class
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An Animist Tree Planting Ritual

tree planting ritual

An Animist Tree Planting Ritual

Spring is well under way. Everything is greening up and coming alive. It’s the perfect time for renewing life. If you’re planning on doing this by adding trees to your landscape, why not include an animist tree planting ritual? 


Everything in animism is symbolic. Trees symbolize:

  • life
  • deep roots
  • contributing to things you may not live long enough to enjoy or see the full benefit of
  • transformation
  • union
  • growth
  • nourishment
  • shelter
  • wisdom
  • medicine

Rather than simply planting a tree with no fanfare, you may wish to do a tree planting ritual to bring the energy of your intention into the world. You could plant a tree for peace, to commemorate your wedding, to honor Mother Earth, to mark the birth of a child, or to bless a new business venture.


Specific trees have qualities of their own. So you could make choosing the type of tree part of your tree planting ritual. Here are some trees you may wish to consider. Please keep in mind that trees thrive in their native habitat due to their soil, sun, and water requirements.

Oaks are associated with strength. Therefore, oaks are a good choice for people who are exhausted from overwork, yet fight on.

Beech trees bring in compassion. They are good for people who have a critical nature who need to see more goodness and beauty in the world.

Holly brings with calm, protection, and security. Additionally, they give faeries a place to live so they don’t bring mischief into your house.

Aspens are good for people who are anxious and fearful of things they cannot put their finger on. They bring calm.

Elms are for holding away despair. Consequently, they are good for those who have a calling yet also fear they may run out of time before they can realize it.

Pines are good for those who lack confidence, play small, and live in guilt or shame. Pines bring joy, healing, and protection to our lives.

Of course, every tree has a personality and energy signature. It’s a good idea to get to know your trees so you can surround yourself with what you most need.

Getting Ready

Before the ritual actually takes place, you will need to set your intention, choose your tree, and dig your hole. You could make digging the hole part of the ritual. You could also make the soil part of the ritual.

For example, if you are moving to a new home and want to plant a tree to mark the new beginning, you could bring some soil from the old home to add to the hole. This could represent the continuity of life. If you’re doing the tree planting ritual as part of a commitment ceremony, each person could bring soil from their homes to signify the joining of households or families.

Biohazard warning: it’s increasingly common for farmers to limit people on their land for biosecurity reasons. People can track in diseases on their shoes, by bringing firewood to campgrounds, or by carrying soil from place to place.


Now that you’re all ready to go, you want to personalize your ritual.

Open the ritual with a few words about why you are here and why you chose this tree. For example:

As life is renewing again in Spring, I am reminded of my childhood. We had an awesome beech tree in the backyard that I use to climb. It was such a time of calm, innocence, and peace. I bring this energy back into my life today with this beech tree.  or

As we join our two families together, we hope to start our new life with strength, growth, and wisdom of a tree. We hope that as this tree becomes stronger, so shall we.  

Then plant your tree.

Next we bless it with wishes, the four elements, or however you choose. For example, at the close of each moon circle, we bless each other with the things we’d most like to receive that lunar cycle. We say, “I wish you…” We continue around the circle until we’re bursting with kind loving wishes.

Here is an example of how you might bless the tree with wholeness from the elements. Before filling the hole with soil, add a pinch of ash to represent fire and say something like, “May the Fire from the Sun keep your roots warm so that you grow strong.” Then fill the hole with soil and say, “May the Earth hold you steady when you’re troubled by the winds and bugs.” Then place a feather or feathers at the tree roots and say, “May the Air carry your pollen and seeds so that life renews itself.” Finally, water the tree and say something like, “May the Water nourish you so that you grow old here.”

If you wish, you could ask the spirits of this place to bless the tree to help welcome it to the landscape.

Finally, you can signify the en of the ritual with “And it is so” or “blessed be” or the AO tone.


Laura grew up with animism. She is a co-founder of Pan Society, a licensed clinical social worker, author of Angel Whispering: How to Talk to Your Spiritual Guides and How To Be A Panist: A Guide to Creating a Modern Animist Lifestyle. She also facilitates spiritual pilgrimages. For more information about Laura Giles, see her websites at

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