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THE CULT OF THE YEW

Tree of Life, Mystery and Magic

Janis Fry

Publication date 31/03/23

480 pages

114 illustrations

£19.99 | $21.95

Moon Books, John Hunt Publishing

Winchester (UK) and Wisconsin (USA)

The ancients revered this sacred tree that has existed on Earth for 200 millions years - some trees, still alive today, even survived the last ice age. This immortal tree was therefore venerated as the triple goddess of life, death and rebirth, and was believed to be the guardian of our planet. With climate change threatening our existence, many are now turning to the Tree of Life, identified with the ancient yew, for answers to our predicament. Through groundbreaking research, Janis Fry answers our modern yearning to make sense of life through a god/dess of Nature that guides our lives and connects us to people and events, to which we are answerable as custodians of life on Earth. The Cult of the Yew: Tree of Life, Mystery and Magic explores the spiritual history of this iconic tree and aims to change how those who read it think and understand life in these times.

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What others are saying about THE CULT OF THE YEW - 

‘Janis Fry’s endeavours to spread appreciation and reverence for ancient yew trees spans over four decades and is an inspiration to all of us who love trees. As one of the longest living life forms on our planet, the yew tree has rightly been celebrated as the Tree of Life. In this book, Janis takes us on a journey of discovery and wonder that skilfully weaves together the magic and history of these trees’

Andy Egan, Director of Fellowship of the trees and former CEO of International Tree Foundation.

‘For those fascinated by the sacred power of the Yew, Janis Fry’s book The Cult of the Yew - Tree of Life, Mystery and Magic offers a vast array of mythical connections to ponder and botanical wonders to marvel at, exploring not only the Yew’s extraordinary physical qualities but also the archetypal and poetic truths at the heart of this tree’s deeper mysteries. It confirms that this most compelling and Otherworldly Tree of Life, Death and Rebirth is a phenomenon to be valued, honoured and protected.’

Eimear Burke, Chosen Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

Review of Janis Fry’s ‘The Cult of the Yew Tree of Life, Mystery and Magic’ from Yew Shaman, Michael Dunning.

I have always said that the yew mysteries are ‘living mysteries,’ representing the embodiment of an otherworldly wisdom - stream preserved from ancient times by the world’s surviving ancient yew trees.

According to Janis Fry, the Cult of the Yew that was once widespread in Britain, throughout mainland Europe and beyond, had its roots in ancient Mesopotamia. Fry also says that the yew was the original Tree of Life in ancient Egypt and traces it back to Heliopolis, some 15,000 years ago. From Egypt this special yew was transported to Eden and dispersed throughout that part of the world forming a bloodline of sacred yews – many of which are still alive today! As dramatic as these claims are, Janis Fry provides an abundance of multi-disciplinary evidence to convincingly back them up.

To a modern consciousness educated into a material culture, the mysteries of the cult of yew are highly elusive. Direct experience of the consciousness of an ancient yew is paramount and yet paradoxically such experience can only be gained through the adoption of perceptual principles as given by the yew herself!

In the ancient mystery schools, the initiate would be given the fundamentals of a mystery knowledge through which to develop a higher capacity for spiritual perception. Today and with regard to the mysteries of yew, it may seem that we have lost such a capacity. However, after 40 years of dedicated research and direct experience, Janis Fry surprises us by offering key elements of a mystery knowledge based on the yew – a knowledge that will become essential learning to all modern yew-enthusiasts and would be yew-initiates. Through this resuscitation of a mystery knowledge based around the yew as Tree of Life, Janis Fry also invites a radical re-evaluation and re-invigoration of the esoteric roots of Christianity, especially in relation to the British Isles. For example, we learn that some of Britain’s ancient yews – mainly yews in Wales - were planted by holy hermits travelling from the Holy land - and that Joseph of Arimathea carried a yew branch from the Tree of Life into Britain and met with Silurian Druids in Wales. We also learn of the Armenian yew tribe that brought sacred yews to Devon and Dorset.

This book offers other astounding revelations concerning the Golden Bough, the area of location of the Garden of Eden, the dragon-serpent yew god/desses, the bleeding yews of Nevern linking with the Roman Emperor Constantine, Jesus’ use of a wand and the site of Arthur’s burial on a Yew Isle.

At last – and thanks to the courageous work of Janis Fry - we can confidently claim the yew as the original Tree of Life and as the divinely incarnate guide to human evolution during ancient times and now reclaimed for the modern era.

Are you ready to step through the veil into the magic and mysteries of the cult of yew?

Michael Dunning (America) www.yewmysteries.com

What Janis Fry the author says about THE CULT OF THE YEW

This is the most important thing I will ever do - to tell people about the ancient sacred yew and its role as Guardian of Life on Earth. There are the indigenous yews and the sacred yews. Obviously they are related and both are important but it is the latter that interest me and what it is about these particular trees, Taxus Sanctus, this particular blood line, that is so precious that saints and holy people over thousands of years protected, transported and carried it with them, to be in contact with its power and preserve the knowledge and wisdom it held. This tree is the goddess that lives amongst us, the keeper of graveyards and the secrets of our continued existence. It is holder of the records of our past, where we came from, where we are going and why we are here.

This book is the story of how this immortal tree, the Tree of Eternity and the Resurrection, found its way through various ancient cultures finally arriving in Britain where it was brought for protection and planted in various sanctuaries. I would suggest Fortingall, Ankerwycke, Kenn, Mamhead, Nevern, Bernera and Llanilid were just some of the chosen places. They were adopted by the Christian Church, which understood something of the Holy Wood from one of its founders, the Emperor Constantine. Many of these places were in Wales. In fact Wales’ true importance in the world is that it has the largest collection of ancient yews on Earth. The Church did a great job of protecting these trees until now when, with the demise of the Church and our forgetfulness of the yew’s importance, their existence is threatened, their future in doubt. Even with the Christian story of the Trees of Life and Knowledge, protected by angels in the Garden of Eden depicted in churches, the link is rarely made these days with the trees outside in the churchyard. It is thought too fantastical to be connected and even when, sadly so rarely now, a holy well still springs from beneath a sacred yew, people fail to make the link with the river that flowed forth from the Tree of Life. These trees must be protected at all costs as our direct living link with Divinity and Divine consciousness. The ancients knew the power of the Yew and the Church still vaguely remembered until a few hundred years ago. The Celts, like the Neolithic people before them and the Saxons who came after, were in awe of this tree which became the Cross and planted it on burial grounds. Today as ever, our continued survival on this planet is bound up with the Yew and our own return to an understanding that we only exist as part of Nature and by Her grace and must do everything we can to understand, support and work with Her, finally ending our attitude of subjugation and exploitation. Here at last, with the return of the Golden Bough, it is finally time to stand again with the Tree of Life and receive its blessings.