I've been studying Ogham, the Celtic language of the trees, used in the British Isles from around 600 BC. Each letter in the alphabet is created based on the first sound of the tree name, and holds with it that particular tree's teaching. These letters are in relationship to the cycles of the moon, so each year one gets to tune into the teachings of the particular tree when its moon cycle comes.
The Blackthorn tree (Straith in Gaelic), is symbolized by a straight line crossed by four diagonal ones. This symbol is its "letter". Its name comes from the long, dark thorns and its bark, which is almost black. It flowers in the spring - five creamy-white petals, and its wood has been use for years as walking sticks, its thorns to enhance cursings by being pressed into inanimate objects. The thorn can cause deep and poisonous wounds on humans. Its message is retribution.
One thing I love about the ancient Celtic spiritual traditions is they acknowledge the depth of experience of human nature, and include ways to deal without retreating or denying reality. In other words, yeah, sometimes we really fuck up, and its not because we aren't light beings or whatever.
That's where the concept of retribution comes in. It is about the righting of wrongs. My Christian upbringing told me "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind", but the Celts say that it is essential we pay our debts and settle our scores. In doing so we re-tribute that which we have disrespected. A reckoning takes forgiveness out of our heads and into our hearts through action.
When we learn these teachings from the Blackthorn tree, we allow ourselves to pay our debts, to live in balance with one another, to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. This is not revenge or returning hate with more hate. This is about give and take. What wrongs do we need to right with one another? With our Earth?
Hold the medicine of Blackthorn in your heart, and allow it to fill you with the strength to admit when relationships are out of balance. Admit to your mistakes, and stand honorably in the repair process. With accountability, we will heal. Then maybe in seeking justice, we will find peace. Know justice, know peace. Breonna Taylor #sayhername