Tree of the Evil Eagle


Here we see a middle-aged George Washington sitting (Indian-style, haha) in a garden of tree stumps, Nightshades (Henbane, Mandrake, and Tobacco), Foxglove, and Burdock. Poisons and tonics, they serve as Washington’s ‘Philosopher’s Garden’ as he sits in contemplation in this rendition of the Prayer at Valley Forge. He is holding the top stem of a Foxglove which he broke off of the plant to the right of him, Foxglove is the source of the heart medicine Digitalis and he clutches the plant to strengthen his heart as he seeks guidance in prayer. His prayer was indeed answered in a way. However, instead of the Christian God what has manifested is an older, more elemental deity seen here atop The Tree of the Evil Eagle. This is the common name for species of Brugmansia. The tree, also a nightshade, is associated with a malevolent spirit personified as an eagle. It is said that this eagle will steal the soul of a person who falls asleep under the tree or who has a weak attachment to his soul. The eagle therefore is also a conductor who travels between dimensions, between the living and the dead - a spirit of death, cemeteries, and war. This drawing elaborates on Washington’s connection to trees and shows him as an unwitting “tree shaman” - the cherry tree tale, forever cursing him to walk with the shade of the tree he cut down.


E.A.B. 7/15/08