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Spirits of the Penn Charter Tree

September 21, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Dating back to before William Penn arrived to establish Pennsylvania, this white oak houses the image of an area pioneer and her Guardian Angel.

Quaker and Angel in TreeQuaker and Angel in TreeAt the heart of the tree, between all its branches, rests a trableau showing the profile of a sharp-nosed long-haired lady who is being supported and protected by a round-face smiling angel, with long wing indicating her height and flames of wisdom emerging from her head. Note the fine chiseled profile, left, of the long-haired lady - a happy and inspired woman. Behind her on the right is her Guardian Angel - a cheerful round-faced protector with a very long wing, indicating her height (and standing in the angelic realms) with multiple flames of wisdom emerging from the crown of her head. These are two dynamic, adventurous, cheerful, highly intelligent beings the white oak deeply admired.

Their immense joy at being accorded the freedom to practice their own personal connection to spirit - the core of Quaker practice - is the prevalent energy of this tree.

For clarity of viewing, I diagrammed the two images - see at the bottom of this story.

Inscribed in Bark

When trees are young, they sometimes experience events that profoundly affect their spirit and many will process the event by inscribing it as an image in their bark. Such appears to be the case here. History tells us that a widow named Pusey, and a few other pioneers, arrived in this area of the Brandywine Valley prior to William Penn's 1682 arrival in America. They had come to scope out the area, in preparation for the settling of this vast land grant as a place all could practice freedom of religion. The grant was made by King Charles II, as repayment for a loan owed to William Penn's father, and the grant's first settlers were Quakers seeking the freedom to practice their faith.

This area of Pennsylvania - now called the Brandywine Valley, and the specific community London Grove - was settled by pioneer farmers. William Penn himself visited the area a number of times.

Long View of Penn Charter TreeLong View of Penn Charter Tree History tells us that the Pusey widow pictured here was a major player in the settling of this area. She contributed stability, drive, determination and profound faith to her community. Parts of her Pusey family have remained in the area to this day.


This site housed the first meetinghouse of the Quakers of the area and over the centuries since the buildings expanded. You can see behind the tree one of the old horse carriage shelters.

Meetinghouse and TreeMeetinghouse and TreeA view of the old Meetinghouse, dating back to the late 1700s. Classic Pennsylvania stone construction of that era. The current Meetinghouse, seen through the trees, was built back in the late 1700s. It is classic Quaker design and of classic Pennsylvania brown stone. The indoors meeting room still has the old pews, the wood well-worn from centuries of use.  The Meeting is still active, serving as the Quarterly Meeting site for the area.

Penn Charter Tree

But back to the tree. This white oak is highly valued by the community, due to its historical significance.

The oak is one of a number of trees found throughout Pennsylvania and called Penn Charter Trees because of their association with William Penn and his efforts on behalf of religious freedom.

Today this specific white oak has reached a massive size, with a girth at breast height of 22 feet 2 inches; a height of 82.5 feet and a spread of 117 feet. Once a month, in good weather, Sunday worship is held under the tree itself. Documentation of TreeDocumentation of TreeTree labels giving details about this tree, which was here in 1682, prior to the arrival of William Penn.

This is a warm and protective tree and the reciprocity of love between humans and tree are evident. The commitment of the tree to the community can be seen in these two images - of pioneer and angel.

Outline of ImagesOutline of ImagesI've outlined the images for ease of viewing The image is located at the heart of the tree, from where its many branch/arms reach out in all directions. The energy of this image area reaches down into the ground, serving as a gateway between the worlds all trees occupy - inner earth (roots), outer earth (trunk) and spirit (branches and leaves).





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