an interesting read, survey of the forest sanctuary
From ch. 9 – The Worship of Trees,
Sacred groves were common among the ancient Germans, and tree-worship
is hardly extinct amongst their descendants at the present day. How
serious that worship was in former times may be gathered from the
ferocious penalty appointed by the old German laws for such as dared
to peel the bark of a standing tree. The culprit’s navel was to be cut
out and nailed to the part of the tree which he had peeled, and he was
to be driven round and round the tree till all his guts were wound
about its trunk. The intention of the punishment clearly was to
replace the dead bark by a living substitute taken from the culprit;
it was a life for a life, the life of a man for the life of a tree.
From The Fairy Tale Forest
Copyright © 2006 by Karen Elizabeth Guerin
forests came to represent the edge of civilization and the unconscious part of the human mind, a place of entry into another world.
the Arthurian fairy-tale hero Perceval grows up in a forest, with the forest symbolizing the child’s consciousness, because of its plant and animal life and its restricted horizon (39)
from a Jungian perspective, the forest is essentially a battleground between the real and the unreal world, the higher consciousness of the mature adult, and the lower world of childhood fantasy (Heuscher 303-302).
The wood is a common symbol for the human being’s loss or abandonment of previous values and securities