Sing for the Trees - Susan Elizabeth Hale

In this episode of the Sagoheim podcast, I share my interview with Susan Elizabeth Hale M.A., an American-born music therapist, writer and tree singer living in Malvern, England. Susan is the author of "Sacred Space, Sacred Sound: The Acoustic Mysteries of Holy Places” and creator of the global event "Earth Day – Sing for the Trees.” Her latest book "Emma Oliver and the Song of Creation" follows the story of eleven-year-old Emma Oliver, who doesn’t know that she comes from generations of tree singers, passed from mother to daughter. With the Great Mother Tree dying in the Shining Land, Emma must sing the Song of Creation before it's too late.
Like Emma, we too are being called to raise our voices and take action. “We are being asked by the trees to sing,” says Susan, “to give to them, to notice them, to say how beautiful you are, thank you, thank you for the service that you do for us all the time… and we want to help you because we’re the ones who can walk around on two legs, we’re the ones with voices…”
In the interview, Susan shares the story of her own journey of raising her voice for the trees. While writing Emma Oliver and the Song of Creation, she felt a strong urge to do something for the trees. “It takes such a long time to write a book and find a publisher,” says Susan, “and I thought, what can I do now? The trees were speaking to me and saying – do something. Take action for our future, for our children.” As she asked that question, an answer immediately appeared, saying “Earth day sing for the trees, sing for the trees you love!”
In 2010, she posted the Earth Day – Sing for the Trees event on Facebook for the first time, thinking that she might get 100 people to join if she was lucky. “Getting people to sing isn’t easy as many people have issues with their voices, but getting people to sing for trees? Woah… what’s that about? So that’s barking mad as they say here in the UK. But we have to take action and we have to take risks now. If we hear these instructions, we have to do that. That’s what I believe with all my heart. And to do it in our own unique way, and to take the risk to be different, to stand out, to be vocal, to be heard!”
Over one-thousand people sang for the trees that first year – people from all over the world, sharing stories, posting photos of their favourite trees and inviting Susan to come and visit the trees that they sang to. Among those people was a man named Ian Woodcock who sang for ancient trees in England. The following year, Susan met Ian for the first time and he took her to Malvern to visit an ancient tree known as the White Leaved Oak. Now Susan and Ian are married and living in Malvern where they sing for the trees together.

Ian and Susan

Susan Elizabeth Hale’s website
Earth Day – Sing for the Trees facebook page
Susan Elizabeth Hale author facebook page
Tree Sisters website
Blog post about my visit to the White Leaved Oak in 2017
The Story of the Woodswomen

Books mentioned in the episode
“Calling in The One: 7 weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life” by Katherine Woodward Thomas

Tree Songs and Chants
Beautiful Trees by Susan Elizabeth Hale
Song of the Woods by Stina Gray 
Mother Earth Song (song from a tree in Luthrie, Scotland) by Stina Gray
Goddess Woman Tree by Jean Anthony 

White Leaved Oak


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