The way we stand, you can see we have grown up this way together, out of the same soil, with the same rains, leaning in the same way toward the sun. See how we lean together in the same direction. How the dead limbs of one of us rest in the branches of another. ~Susan Griffin, Women and Nature
Myths of women and nature, common throughout antiquity, have devolved into a vague association where “nature” is seen as the passive feminine while “culture” represents creative masculinity. Daphne, a beautiful virgin nymph, upon being pursued by the God Apollo, entreats her father to protect her from this unwanted fate. He grants her wish. As Apollo reaches the object of his lust, she metamorphoses into a laurel tree.
Greek mythology abounds with tales of Dryads, Hamadryads, Alseids and Meliads – various trees and groves inhabited by female spirits as nymphs. Groups of three women carry additional archetypal meaning. Where are the Graces, the Fates, the Norns to regulate our activities and shape our fate? Perhaps they, too, are trapped within the trees.