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The Hoop & The Tree


The Hoop & The Tree
20th anniversary edition,
revised and expanded

This simple yet life-changing volume fully explains the power of these two ubiquitous symbols to bring us a whole new understanding of ourselves and our place in the world, including guidance for initiations into our own wholeness. Through explorations of their deep meaning in psychology, Native American and other spiritual traditions, myth, and fairy tale, author Chris Hoffman shows how we can use the Hoop and the Tree to be happier in our relationships, increase our connection with nature, create a more functional society, and live lives of balance and fulfillment.

Praise & Reviews
Available from your local bookseller, or buy now:
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Hoop-and-Tree Images by students, readers, and clients
Hoop & Tree Resources and Excerpts
German Edition

In addition to some updates, this new version includes a whole new chapter (#6) “The Hoop and the Tree for Healing and Transformation: A Twenty-Year Perspective”

WATCH: "The Deep Structure of Psychological and Spiritual Health" – an overview of The Hoop and the Tree

(about 19 minutes)

Praise & Reviews

For the new edition... 

 "I admire the gentle simplicity of this book, the way it endeavors to connect us back through the power of story and the healing strength of nature—to the rootedness that so much of the modern world has lost. In our Native traditions we speak of seven generations, how our deeds will affect those who come long after us. A deep understanding of that responsibility is at the heart of The Hoop and the Tree.”
—JOSEPH BRUCHAC, Nulhegan Abenaki Nation, Author of Our Stories Remember and the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series
 "Chris Hoffman's new version of The Hoop and the Tree is even more beautiful and enlightening. You'll be uplifted as he distills world spiritual and wisdom traditions, including modern psychology, into practical guidance for a life of connectedness with all our relations. Come away feeling more grounded at home on our Mother Earth. Enjoy!”
—ANITA SANCHEZ, PhD, author of The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times
 "The new and revised edition of The Hoop and the Tree offers deeply thoughtful and wise advice. The symbol that serves as an inner compass, drawn from ancient traditions from around the world, is especially relevant for these troubling times. I couldn’t put the book down.”
—ERICA ELLIOTT, MD, author of Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert: My Life Among the Navajo People
 "Our personal, social, spiritual and ecological dis-ease these days makes the call for living in harmony with one another, the Earth and the Divine more pressing than ever. The second edition of The Hoop and the Tree offers an early roadmap for how we might go on. Re-grounding us in story, spiritual teaching and science, it reminds us of the profound wisdom of the hoop-and-tree metaphor, the gifts it has offered others, and the potential it holds for us all. It highlights archetypal initiations through which we can learn to care for one another, the earth and future generations; and it introduces concrete practices that promote personal, organizational, social and ecological wholeness.”
—AMANDA TROSTEN-BLOOM, Co-author of The Power of Appreciative Inquiry, Co-Founder, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change
 "Every once in a while, I come across a book or article that brings together all the principles, ideas, wisdom and techniques that shape my work and presents them in a way that is simple, elegant and accessible. I have just finished reading The Hoop and the Tree: A Compass for Finding a Deeper Relationship with All Life by Chris Hoffman, and this is one of those books.” [READ MORE]
—NICKI DAVEY, Director, Saltbox Training & Events

For the first edition... 

The Hoop and the Tree gives us a profound image of wholeness at the core of things.  Chris Hoffman makes the image of the Hoop and the Tree come alive through the exercises, questions and stories in the book.  Anyone concerned with therapy, mythology, ecology, spirituality or personal growth, will find rich and rewarding material here.  I recommend it highly.
    -- ELIZABETH J. ROBERTS, editor of Earth Prayers, Life Prayers, and Prayers for a Thousand Years

 "An integrative, life-sustaining, eco-spiritual point of view and practice. This book helps us to widen the boundaries of our compassion.”
—RALPH METZNER, PhD, author of Green Psychology
 “Compelling, grounded, full of hope . . . can be easily followed in our daily activities.”
—MARC BEKOFF, PhD, author of Strolling with Our Kin, Minding Animals, and The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall)
 "Destined to be a text for all those who seek balance and faith in the world our children and grandchildren will inherit."
-- STEVEN FOSTER, The School of Lost Borders

The Bloomsbury Review November/December 2000, p. 18.
Reviewer:  Alice Auer Connor
            There is an old Zuni saying that there is no "Truth," only stories.  It is with this phrase that we begin our journey into the realm of study, looking to be happier in our relationships, to release and build our inner strength, to increase our connection with nature, and to live a life of joy and satisfaction.  Author Chris Hoffman pulls from his vast knowledge of worldwide images of wholeness to present a path for the modern spiritual adventurer.  It is not always easy to find the essence of numerous spiritual traditions, much less to combine them into one meaningful pathway to happiness; however, Hoffman has succeeded.  This small travelers' guide is full of imagery, guidance, history and thought presented in a manner that is easy to read and understand.  I found it to be therapeutic, enlightening, and a joy to read. 
Branches of Light Oct/Nov 2000
            The Hoop and the Tree is a category-defying book (a key to a book with juice) that snuggles up with the best in ecopsychology, spirituality, and native studies.
            “Sit with a Hoop of friends around a fire and watch the sparks and smoke drift up to the infinite night sky, as the fire’s ashes crumble back into the earth from which we all came…Ultimately the only Hoop and Tree that matters is the Hoop and the Tree of your own unfolding in the world.”
            The Tree is the vertical growing core of individuality running through the center of your being, from your deepest roots up to your highest aspirations.  It anchors and centers you.  The Hoop of relationship consists of concentric rings of family, friends, all of humanity, and the encompassing beauty of nature, all encircling the Tree.  Drawing on world mythology and sacred traditions including Native American teachings, the long dance tradition, Taoism, Kabbalism, Sufism, Druidism, Buddhism, as well as contemporary psychology, fairy tales, and real-life examples, The Hoop and the Tree is the first book to focus on the relationship between these two powerful symbols and specifically to show how, when properly developed, they bring us a whole new understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.  It also makes clear the direct relationship between psychology and ecology, and how the mature self is necessarily ecological. 
Midwest Book Review Volume 10, Number 12 December 2000
Published online on their "Internet Bookwatch" -- Margaret Lane, Reviewer
    The Hoop & The Tree: A Compass For Finding A Deeper Relationship With All Life is a groundbreaking treatise offering the reader a practical integration of psychology, spirituality, and ecology. Chris Hoffman draws from world mythology and sacred traditions that include elements of Native American teachings, Taoism, Kabbalism, Sufism, Druidism, Buddhism, and contemporary psychology. Highly recommended reading for students of metaphysics, spirituality, psychology, and personal growth, The Hoop And The Tree makes clear that there is a direct relationship between human psychology and environmental ecology, and that the mature self is necessarily ecological in nature.

Hoop & Tree Resources and Excerpts

Blog Post for the Climate Psychology Alliance - North America

The Deep Structure of Health



The Transformative Experience of Nature (TEN) Initiation


Article in Sufi Journal

issue 103

"The Shape of All Shapes"

EXCERPTS from the book

Download a pdf of
the Hoop-and-Tree diagram

Hoop-and-Tree diagram



German Translation of the First Edition

Lebensbaum und Lebenskreis

"Chris Hoffman begibt sich auf Spurensuche und erschließt die alten Weisheitssymbole für das Leben von heute neu: Basierend auf Erkenntnissen der modernen Psychologie stellt er ein leicht umsetzbares Selbstfindungsmodell vor, um sich selbst und seinen Platz in der Welt besser zu verstehen und das eigene Potential in seiner ganzen Fülle zu entfalten."

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