The symbolism of the Bay tree and its relevance to counselling
Throughout history, many civilisations have attached special meaning to the bay tree (or laurel). The Romans offered wreaths of bay leaves as a symbol of triumph and peace. Earlier, in ancient Greece, the tree was associated with the myth of Apollo and Daphne. It was considered sacred and to be a protector, as well as a symbol of achievement, power and courage. At the spiritual level, bay leaves were believed to help awaken awareness and were symbols of intuitive and acquired wisdom, courage, and strength.
For me, there is a strong affinity between the symbolism of the bay tree and the counselling process.
The bay tree reminds us of the importance of striving for self-knowledge and inner wisdom. By allowing us to take time out to stop and look inward, counselling, can help us discover a deeper understanding of our self, hear our inner voice and connect with our truth. This empowers us to realise that we are the moderators of our life and that no one speaks for us unless we allow them to. The bay tree also signals a warning against following false truths, or giving our power away to others.