Chartres and tree connections

Over the past week Tracey and Marty have been recharging their energy in the medieval French village of Chartres.

It has been a hectic few months with launching the studio, working on projects and Tracey finally submitting her Masters of Applied Science by Research thesis.

Chartres is a magical place and one where you can feel the layers of time vibrate through your being. It is known for its beautiful gothic cathedral which has a labyrinth which is almost a thousand years old.

On Fridays the public can walk the laybrinth at the cathedral.

The site of the cathedral was also a sacred place for the Druids to meet, long before the Romans came. There is quite a lot of information about this online and in books, but in short it has been a place for worshipping the sacred mother for millennia. It is also one of the main leylines connecting other sacred sites in this part of the world according to the Ancient Origins website:

The monumental Chartres Cathedral hides within its walls stories which connect the world of ancient Druids, the cult of the Divine Feminine and Christianity. It is located on a leyline linking Glastonbury, Stonehenge, and the Pyramids of Egypt.

The Ancient Pages website talks about how Chartres has been :

The Cathedral’s name “Chartres” comes from the Carnutes, a powerful Celtic people that lived in the region. Located southwest of Paris, France, in a small town of Chartres with 42000 inhabitants, the Cathedral has strong connections with the Knights Templar and sacred geometry.

The Druids held sacred rites in forests and underground grottoes that once lay at Chartres. According to M.L. Charpentier, an angel appeared and gave a message to the Druid priests that a Virgin would give birth to a “radiation of divine quality and power that affects the life of man.” (M. L. Charpentier, Les Mystéres de la Cathédrale de Chartres).

Tree connections

When the Druids were meeting at Chartres it is said that there was a grove of Oak trees where the cathedral now stands. The Oak is a sacred tree for the Druids and they frequently worshipped and practised their rites in oak groves. The word Druid may derive from a Celtic word meaning “knower of the oak tree” according to the Trees for Life website.

It seems timely that during our stay in Chartres we came across an exhibition in one of the smaller churches in Chartres. This exhibition was presented by the organisation Arbres28. Their values are very much in alignment with Treecreate. Here is an auto-translate summary of their role and association with

ARBRES 28 et Environnement aims to promote the role of remarkable trees in the territorial ecosystem, by acting on different levers:

  • The enhancement of trees considered remarkable by giving them a label that guarantees their protection
  • Taking into account and respecting the tree as an individual, often located in a larger set of forest biodiversity, knowing that forests occupy a prominent place in the fight against global warming and against the degradation of biodiversity ,
  • The legal protection of the remarkable tree,
  • Raising awareness and informing the public by all means of communication, by disseminating knowledge of all kinds concerning remarkable trees and trees in general: public and private forests
  • The production, in partnership with professionals in education, the world of culture and/or the media, of educational materials, particularly for young people,
  • Exchanges of experiences and expertise with other professionals and/or representatives of the associative world. 

The exhibition featured the work of Constance Fulda, whose project The Oaks of Notre Dame had taken prints from the bark of some ancient trees which were destined to be built into the iconic French cathedral in Paris.

It really has been a beautiful time for contemplation and deeply listening to the earth and so much inspiration to bring back to the studio when we return to Yarun!

Published by bytetime

Tracey M Benson is a lover of travel, having a diverse background as an artist, writer and researcher. Working with online environments since 1994, Tracey's experience includes providing digital media, web and social media solutions to government, non-profit, private industry and tertiary sectors. Her focus is on sustainability behaviour change and the use of communications and emerging technologies to empower community and build culture.

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