I am the type of person who cries at the site of a tree dying. My tradition uses plants as guides so they mean a lot to me. I love plants, adore them, especially trees. Shane and I even have a large tulip tree in our yard that I affectionately call the Mama tree based on the idea that trees communicate through their roots and tend to have an elder in each group or family. I have several friends that come by just to touch her and spend time with her.
There is a certain vibration (see my last blog) that trees give off. People call it forest therapy. One can be having the worst day ever, go hiking and somehow the trees absorb that negativity and make things good again. I actually highly recommend a good hike on a rough day.
Herkimer mining has always, in my experience, been conducted in the woods. To me, it adds a certain peace and magic to the whole experience. But there is more than just peace provided by the trees. Many times the root systems of a tree hold beautiful Herkimer diamonds The trick is getting them out without damaging the tree.
Now of course you can go right ahead and hack at the roots, killing the tree and easily get the minerals out. You can also do your best to avoid destroying the tap root and just move fibrous roots aside. The thing is, you will more than likely find something there. Why? Well simply erosion drag the crystals and soil and get them caught up in the root system.
Personally, I always thought well roots are looking for water and minerals to absorb into the tree and thus would find the mineral rich area in which our dear Herkimers grow. There may be something to that, there may not be but one thing is for sure, the roots will catch the minerals, especially the large ones as the soil is moved.
So X may not always mark the spot but a tree will.
Side note: I am good friends with a Navajo Medicine Man, Sam Tso out in Arizona. (If ever you need a healing or help and are interested, let me know) Anyway, he always spoke of great concern about taking from the Earth and not giving back, especially when it comes to taking a tree.
So to help with this, Area 51 has brought 100s of seeds from Mama tree to plant along the property (not that we took any trees down)
We did this as a thank you to the beautiful land for the gifts of Herkimers. You can plant, enrich the soil, hang a feeder whatever. But never forget to be good to Mother Earth.