Tree Houses


In this world of oil and concrete, trees are the surest way to find the shaman who is in us. While the wild man is conniving with nature, we, domesticated men, have lost this power. Children easily enter into the consciousness of the trees, they just love it and are greedy to practise.

In the 60s in Paris, my mother took us to the Bois de Boulogne to play after school. The Bois de Boulogne was not yet the Brazilian brothel that we know now. Tell me, Where do the children play? (source)Cat Stevens

Young mothers used to stroll in peace with their innocent little ones. I was one of them, but was I innocent? I am not sure. We played to build the fastest and best possible, a tree house. We first had to find the appropriate tree, a tree with multiple trunks. Some trees come out two or three trunks of the same root system. 


The triple oak is one of the guardians of the dolmen Roche aux Fees, Ille-et-VillaineThe tree with four trunks or more had my preference, I call them tree-spiders. If you cut the stem of a plant, any one, at the location of the fracture will grow back two new stems. If you cut these stems, very close to their base, four rods will regrow. One day, these rods will become trunks, and bark will cover the wounds of the young plant. By chance these multiple trees abounded in Bois de Boulogne. Why? Who broke all of these saplings? Was it deliberate? Was it a fad at one time? In any case, when a kid sees one of these multi-trunk trees, the appeal is irresistible and requires him to embed it, suddenly the king on his island.


Nestled in one of these trees, you feel like a birdie. Safe, cozy, protected. And without doubt you are. The child who still feels inside the omnipresent energy, feels at once the cosiness of these shelter plants.

You feel so good, your confidence is enhanced, without noticing you absorb the beneficial energy of the tree, which gives you a part of its power. 




The point was to identify quickly the safest shelter, the one with the most trunks. 
 Then you have to harvest enough dead wood to make walls by wedging sticks between two trunks.

The challenge is to ensure these openings against any scrap or against the fists of future attackers. To this end, you constantly strengthen your wallswith new sticks. So your nest becomes more and more cosy.

While you are imagining the Homeric battles that will take place right here and quite soon, the attacks, responses, as a matter of life or death you are redoubling your effort.   

Two steps away, your future attackers are building their own tree house, reinforcing their walls for battle, just as you do. Drum roll! The first phase of the game ends, the tree houses are built.

The second phase of the game – the most exciting in my opinion – was the fight between Houses, from one tree to another. At no time we figured out that the funniest thing is neither the fight nor the meticulous construction.


xs-brehat-lz-200poThe most exciting, most delicious and most exotic, was to stay connected for long moments on the conscience of an old tree. To my great regret, in the years-long game, I never had the chance to sample life in the tree houses. Coincidentally, when our houses were finished, my mother called us to return. “But Mom, we did not have time to play!” I protested. “No time? You’ve been playing for hours!” replied my mother who’s been frozing on the bench for quite a long time indeed. I came home dragging my feet. Next Thursday, we would start the game all over again. 


Since then, the old delusion haunts me still, like the sword of Damocles.

Hurry up and finish your home, afraid of not having time to enjoy, repeat a tireless voice. So I restore, I sand, I paint, I polish, I turn to my taste all the places where I happen to live, which are getting numerous. And soon, in fact, I quit.

As far as I remember, I never took advantage. Once a place is made, I silently leave and and I don’t look back, it is my rule. The tree houses bewitched me, I’m glad.


The birds have their nest, the wolves have their lodging, but the son of Man has not even a stone to lay his head. (Jesus Christ)


That summer, I was a Boy Scout, our troop leader had found a good place to camp, the valley of the Orient Forest, near Troyes. This beautiful forest would be engulfed in a reservoir. So we could cut all the trees in this sentenced forest.

So we built tree houses to accommodate our four patrols’ tents. We spent three weeks between earth and sky, carried by the trees, deep in their spirit, and passion came back. The following summer, in the wild garden of my parents in Brittany, I built another tree house.




It was not built at ground level as the time of the Bois de Boulogne. I wanted just a little higher, not too much, because the consciousness of the tree is near the strain. To contact a tree, don’t apply to its branches, but to the trunk at breast height, because the vital area of the tree is there. The trees have taught me many things. Their worldview is the Hanged Man Arcanum XII of Tarot. They see the world upside down for the trees are upside down. Their arms are roots which draw life in the motherland, while their feet are leaves projected skyward, toward solar energy.  

Once a year, the trees are covered with countless vaginas perfuming the tips of their toes. These are the flowers, which bear the fruits and seeds of eternal life. Their reversed position, their still life and their total lack of aggressiveness  give trees a great wisdom.

They send us a total detachment they get from the wind, quietness and serenity they get from the soil. They gave me a taste for walking barefoot, to let  my subtle roots into the earth-mother’s vital energy.


Monks have kept this fashion worldwide.


Barefoot in sandals, summer and winter, most of the monks don’t remember the reason why they do that. A monk obeys. But some of them are curious anyway. Earth’s  energy is the origin of this ancient custom.




Shamanic peoples who play such a part in the harmony of the world are still very aware of the phenomenon: they respect the holy habit of going barefoot on the sacred soil, to feed on the fumes of the earth

This power comes from our plant side. That’s why part of our body that draws from the earth these subtle energies is called the soles of the feet. I like to sit at the foot of a tree, leaning against the trunk,  feeling the vibrations of his vegetable soul. An old oak in majesty, a powerful force, radiate nothing but peace. The trees are devoid of aggressiveness. Very old trees over the centuries have gained some wisdom of the megaliths. Jean-Jacques Beineix called them pachyderms, the word is found. He dedicated to these ancient trees a wonderful film, IP5 – the last film with Yves Montand who died shortly after.

The trees gave me a green thumb, and since then the company of plants is a powerful reassurance to me.

For me, there are only good omens, because whatever happens it’s up to me to take advantage. (Epictetus)


Free your mind and your ass will follow.
Bill Clinton