The Sacred One: Ceiba Tree, Flower Essence

Ceiba Tree, Tikal National Park, Peten, Guatemala

First Tree
Mother, Father, Creator
Supreme Being
Hunab Ku
Lord and Lady of the Duality

The Spiky One
Protecting my vulnerable growth 
Through seven cycles,
Until full maturity is achieved

La Ceiba
Axis Mundi
230 feet tall,
with roots descending
Into the nine underworlds of Xibalba

The Green Tree
Stretching upwards to the 13 heavens
Yet, fiercely rooted
With a 4 buttressed base facing
East, West, North, South

Silk Cotton Tree
Gentle Spirit
Spreading filaments of light
On which to rest your weary soul

The Tree of Life
Call my name
In times of great change
My presence
Opens the portals of vision

The Ancient One
I have been called
The Way, The Truth 
and the Light
No-one comes to the Heavens, but by me.

Ceiba pentandra @ Cocoplum Gardens, Caye Caulker Belize

A young Ceiba tree is covered in spiky, conical thorns which are very prickly, making it nearly impossible for anyone to climb its trunk, and commanding respect during its vulnerable stages of growth. It takes a Ceiba tree approximately seven sacred years to mature its deep root system and to achieve a stage of growth in which to flower, at which point the tree will lose its thorns. A huge buttress base of the tree often displays four distinct areas linking this tree to the four cardinal directions.

Meso-American cultural folklore believes this tree is actually the Axis Mundi of the World. With branches reaching up into the 13 heavens where the Supreme Creator resides, and roots diving deep into the 9 levels of the underworlds. The huge trunk, which can reach up to 230 feet tall is believed to center & stabilize the entire Middle Earth; connecting to the heavens above and to the underworlds below, as well as connecting the south & north poles.

It is a well known fact that the entire cosmology of Mayan Deities and other spirits live in this tree, both benevolent and malevolent. In Trinidad and Tobago, this tree is called the Castle of the Devil as their God of Death is captured in the tree. Throughout the Caribbean, in many places, it is illegal to cut down a Ceiba tree due to the unshakeable knowledge that the spirits of the dead reside in the tree. Farmers and builders alike, who may chop down everything in their path, will work around the Ceiba tree, leaving it in its place to grow, lest they release the spirits and accrue the angst of the these beings which is said to bring death.

The Taino of the Caribbean held this majestic tree to be very sacred and would use the trunk to create hollowed out canoes in which to travel the waterways of their lands. In their legends, La Ceiba is female (versus the Spanish word for tree – el arbol) and the daughter of Yaya, the all-powerful goddess. ‘Canoe’ is in fact a Taino word, and this indigenous tribe of Puerto Rico built impressive dugout canoes that could carry over 100 people.

The unusually beautiful pink tinted, colored flower opens by night to be pollinated mostly by the bats. In the early morning, hoards of honeybees will arrive for the delectable nectar that the Ceiba so generously offers. Birds, bugs and a variety of insects & frogs will also thrive on this trees nectar. The five petalled flower will eventually become a large elliptical seed pod resembling an avocado. Eventually the seed will ‘burst open’ and cotton fibers will spring forth from the oval, nut-shaped pod which will spread far & wide, carrying a plethora of Ceiba seeds in its silky offering. Silk that can be used for pillows, parachutes, stuffed toys and other items requiring soft stuffing.

Flowering Ceiba Tree, photo by Eva Sengfelder

Ceiba has long played a critical role in the spiritual and economic lives of people of the Caribbean. Puerto Rico has the oldest standing Ceiba associated with the town of Ponce’s early settlement, about 500 years ago. After the destructive Hurricane Maria in 2017, the tree flowered offering the locals a symbol of hope that they could continue, that though life may get hard, if they but stand strong, they will survive.

“The trees will tell their secrets to those that tune in.”

– Steven Magee

I had a Ceiba dream recently…

I was on the island Caye Caulker, Belize in the Caribbean with a local family who owned beachfront property & a dive shop which was built at the end of their wood pier which stretched into the Caribbean Sea. They were panicked, sad, angry, and grief-stricken; the waters had risen and their pier was completely submerged, soon their land would be underwater too.  They were having to move hundreds of miles West, to the mainland of Belize, losing all they had worked their entire life to accumulate.  I walked around their property to the backside and I saw 3 huge Ceiba trees: massive, exemplar trees.  Gods! I was awestruck, I couldn’t even begin to imagine leaving these trees.  The trees let me know they would always protect those who honored them.  One of them morphed right before my eyes into an African Baobab Tree.

I went back to the family to show them the treasure of the land. When they came back with me to see what I had seen, the trees were gone, and in its place, rising waters.

I was so confused.  The family got mad at me for offering false hope and fled.  As soon as they were gone, I could see the trees again.  As if we were all in different dimensions entirely.

This was the dream I had after orally ingesting the flower essence of Yaxche after only one day. I set out to take the flower essence for one full moon cycle and this is what the flower of the Ceiba Tree continued to reveal:

Ya’axche Flower Essence:

For anyone who is struggling with ‘belonging’ on the Earth, this essence communicates with all World Tress and can help you find your true place. For those who easily disassociate from their body, this essence will assist you to remain grounded and safe in your body. It can be used for those who are depressed, sad or hopeless due to trauma or hardships experienced in life. For those who are lifeless, listless or without joy, this essence brings the much needed Elixir, the honey of life, to awaken the spirit.

For spiritual seekers, this flower essence can facilitate growth on the path by connecting you with your lineage teachers, vision and other important information needed to grow. For shamans and those who travel the dimensions, this essence opens the portals and gateways to the Otherworlds, while offering the much needed protection to journey.

Further uses:

  • *protection in times of adversity when one may feel fearful or unsafe
  • *light, for the dark times
  • *strength, to survive
  • *hope, when life is hard
  • *deep sustenance, akin to life renewing honey, for a sad soul
  • *deep comfort, like a silky cotton pillow, for a tired soul
  • *embodiment, for those not grounded on the Earth
  • *shamanic travel, for healers ready to journey
  • *connection to one’s ancestors or teachers of a lineage
  • *visionary, for those seeking a Vision Quest

My dream continued…

I was partaking in a spiritual healing class being led by my teacher’s current apprentice Eva Sengfelder at Iris Arco Finca in the Valley of Peace, Belize, Central America. Two men were assisting her, both had red eyes (in Mexhica dream trainings, this is a sign that an ancestor (or important person) is visiting you). My teacher, Dr. Rosita Arvigo, surprisingly came up behind me and whispered in my ear that she was really enjoying the Baobab Tree essence that I had previously gifted her.

Dr. Rosita Arvigo with the Ceiba Tree, Valley of Peace, Belize, photo Eva Sengfelder

Wado. Aho. Omeoteotl.

Denai Grace Seacombe-Fuller, Cihuatochtli, is a Mama of five, Tarot Guide, Acolyte of IxChel, spiritual healer, flower essence practitioner, flower alchemist and student of Nahualism.

She can be found at

Ceiba flowers in spring water, photo by Eva Sengfelder

Belizean Ceiba Flower Essence, 1 ounce bottle is available for $18+ ship

(contact me for order at

If you’d like to explore ingesting another Tree of Life, consider this essence as well:

Baobab Flower Essence is available with


“A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism.”
― Dion Fortune



Goddess of the Sea. Mother of the Sea. Mother of Pearl. Mother of Dreams & Secrets. Empress of the Seven Oceans. Orisha of the Oceans. Womb of Creation. Constantly Coming Woman. Stella Maris (Star of the Sea). Mama Watta (Mother Water). Truly, THE Mother of All. Her name is spelled in many different ways depending on where one resides: Yemeya, Yemaya, Ymoja, Yemaja, Iemanja, Yemalla, Yemalia, Yemonja, Yemana, Balianna.

In Yoroba land, from where this Goddess originates, Yeye Omo Eja means The Mother Whose Children Are Fish. We begin as fish-like fetuses in the waters of our mothers’ wombs, we must traverse those early embryonic fluids and evolve to our human baby form. Both modern-day science and ancient cultures have an understanding that all life originated from the sea. And, one day, it is to these waters and the earth itself that we shall again return.


In the oral tradition of the Yoruba tribe of West Africa, originally Yemeya was the river goddess of their largest tributary, Ogun River, which was well-known to bring fertility. She resided far away from any ocean. She was an Orisha, a powerful force of nature. Yemeya was married to Aganyu, both were mortal god-humans, children of other mortal god-humans, created by Olodumare, the God Almighty.

Together, Yemeya and Aganyu had a son named Orungun. When Orungun became a teenager, he rebelled against his Father by raping his Mother. When Orungun attempted to rape his Mother a second time, she escaped to the highest mountaintop, the Chappal Waddi also known as the Mountain of Death, where she evoked all manner of retribution and justice by cursing her son until he died. Soon after, Yemeya found herself pregnant for her son, thus it came to pass, on that majestic mountaintop, 7900 feet above sea level, that she gave birth to 14 powerful nature spirits called Orishas. As her uterine waters spilled forth, a Great Flood ensued, which in turn created our world’s seven oceans. In her deep and regretful sorrow, Yemeya decided to take her life. Much later her bones birthed the first mortal man and woman, hence, Yemoja is called the Mother of All.

When her people were brutally captured and hoarded onto the slave ships, Yemaya had no choice but to gather her Spirit and go on this frightful journey, to protect and to guide the lives of her tribe, granting as many as possible safe passage to the New World. Africans, from this area, having never experience the expansive salty waterways, and under severe distress, naturally elevated Yemeya to the Goddess of the Ocean. The African diaspora brought Yemeya to a new land where she was to be worshiped by West Africans, Afro-Caribbeans and Brazilians alike for many purposes… fisherman pray to her for fish and prosperity, travelers and sailors pray to her for safe passage and calm seas, mothers pray to her for protection and guidance, maidens & women with empty wombs pray to her for fertility, all manners of people pray to her for seductive prowess and wealth, inhabitants of the coastal terrains pray to her for benevolent waves and gentle storms, and, of course, in those early slave days, Africans and their offspring simply prayed to survive.

Dedicated to slaves thrown over during Middle Passage!

Dedicated to slaves thrown over during Middle Passage!

According to legend, Yemaya’s first gift to the Africans of the New World was a sea shell in which her voice could always be heard. To this day we honor Yemaya when we hold a shell to our ear in order to hear her voice, the ocean. Listen!


I met Yemeya while living on the islands of Belize. She taught me how to float, how to surrender and definitely how to play in her waters. She reminded me to take time to replenish, to nurture and to nourish myself. She brought me coral, conch pearls and all manner of conch jewelry in which to beautify my body. She bewitched the fisherman on my behalf ensuring a constant supply of good seafood to my home and restaurant. She protected my young boys as they traversed the Caribbean Sea, learning to swim, to snorkel, to dive, to haul lobster, to spearfish and to play. She saved my life one stormy day on the sea while I was drowning by sending me her most treasured consort, Old Man of the Sea, Juni Zladivar. She entertained me with dolphins, turtles, manatees and many more sea creatures. She magically enlivened my life with her incandescent colors on the early morning seascapes. She healed my aches and pains with her salty waters. She comforted me when life seemed like it offered more than I could bear. She is my unwavering, most trustworthy friend. She continues to be my benefactor!


Yemeya embodies all aspects of a balanced, healthy Mother archetype… Deeply caring, kind, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, protective, comforting, empowered, abundant, providing, resplendent, nurturing, creative, merciful, generous, forbidding, powerful and stern.

“Invoke Yemeya for blessings, compassion, wisdom, fertility, creation, riches, inspiration, mother hood, female power, natural wealth, love spells, white magic, sea spells, fertility rituals, water magic, women’s issues, childbirth, sustaining life, washing away sorrows, revealing mysteries, acquiring ancient wisdom, protecting the home, learning not to give your power away, and comforting children in crisis. Invoke her as Erzukie for beauty, good fortune, and good health. Invoke her as Yemoja to cure infertility, as Yemana for rain, as Emanjah for teaching children, as Yemaya Olokun for dream magic and protecting babies in the womb; and as Yemaya Atarmagwa for money spells. Invoke Yemaya as Agwe for affection and blessings.” (

Consider this when building an altar to her…


Yemeya is worshiped by crescent or full moons and on February 2nd as well as the Eve of Summer Solstice. Her lucky number is seven, like the seven seas. Her favorite day of the week is Saturday. Don the colors of blue, white or silver. She loves the smell of raspberry and cinnamon. Her coveted Gems are lapis lazuli, quartz crystals, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, moonstone, aquamarine, and turquoise. Naturally, she loves fish and all the creatures of the sea including ducks, as well as doves, but especially peacocks as they have her favorite colors. Her most coveted food and flower objects are oranges, tropical flowers, watermelons, yams, grains, seaweeds and other plants growing in the sea. Bring additional offerings of melons, molasses, whole fried fish and/or pork rinds to gain her favor.

Yemaya has graced my presence to grant me her energies: a woman who has been uprooted, relocated and challenged to unbearable extremes. A mother who has created, birthed, loved, cared, and tended her child only to lose that cherished baby. An empress who has been adored, worshiped and exalted and then quite suddenly, deviled, denied and enslaved only then to rise again to her rightful and truthful position and station in life.

As I call upon the sacred energies of the Mt. Shasta glaciers, high up in the Northern California Cascade ranges, galaxies away from West Africa, I hear Yemaya… she shows me the drought conditions of the once abundant Sacramento headwaters, she turns my attention to the polluted, rapidly declining state of our Seven Seas, she holds me (and all of us Wo/Men) accountable for this imbalance.

The Goddess speaks…”Until the Mother is worshiped and returned to her rightful place as the eternal creative force of this Earth, your world will remain in turmoil and the balance of your eco-systems will continue to deteriorate. Until the Goddess is exalted and revered for the never-ending source of everything she provides, human existence itself stands threatened. It is time now to carefully listen as the Mother is calling!”

“Only women who are enabled to sense a female divinity within their own spirit can bring about the profound changes that need to be made if humanity is to last much longer as one of earth’s life forms. The survival of any species depends on the nurturing behavior of its females, not the aggressive behavior of its males. It seems clear that the best hope for humanity is to return to its pre-patriarchal ethic of male submission to the Goddess spirit, not in the hierarchical sense that men understand as power-over.” Barbara G. Walker from Restoring the Goddess

An Altar for the Ancestors!

day of dead

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” -Linda Hogan, Native American Writer

My ancestral worship began early this year, at the end of August actually. I was fortunate enough to be invited into a wonderful circle of women for an in-depth story telling ritual. Our commitment was to hear each others life stories, in full, with complete attention & awareness, without judgement or critique, hopefully, with love & compassion. There were six of us and the process took approximately 7 non consecutive weeks of meeting with one another for a three-hour period. I didn’t know these women well, it was definitely a stretch to share brutal truths amongst strangers and yet, from the very beginning, it was clear to me that the ancestors had been summoned and were indeed intrigued and listening…

Maybe it’s because the intention was to tell our stories from the beginning, from our births and ancestry to present day. Imagine! How would you be able to fully tell ones life story without an inadvertent homage to all those who have come before you? Thus, we wove our tales, week after week, outdoors, by a gentle creek, with the sound of bubbling and moving water, with benevolent breezes and more oft than not, the summer’s heat. In witnessing, hearing and holding each other stories, there were tears, there were sighs, there were gasps, there was outrage, there was shock, there was compassion, there was respect and most of all there was acknowledgement for six wild women and their passionate life journey’s.

In completion, we decided to build an ancestral altar thereby introducing our ancestors to each other. Afterall, we had just heard the guts and the glory of all these family lineages. We had opened closets, pulled out skeletons, called on ghosts all while declaring our sovereignty from lineage traumas, challenges, patterns, addictions and other inflicted pains. We had stated our truths to the four corners of the universe and we were ready to release and celebrate all that we had been through, in our time together as a woman’s circle, and in our lifetimes of collected stories.


We began by laying a red velvet clothe on the ground at the base of a tree, perhaps it was symbolic of a world tree. We topped the red with a sacred & pure white clothe. We began placing our photos & memorabilia, items such as a Jewish star, A Cherokee poem, a Catholic rosary decorated the altar, which also included candles, incense, alcohol, chocolate, fruit, toys, clothes, crystals, bowls, feathers, jewelry, essential oils, flowers. We collectively adorned a space filled with beauty, with heartfelt prayers, in deep reverence, we built our group ancestral altar and we allowed that sacred space to sit under the tree for 9 long days and nights.

I imagine that our ancestors spoke, while they laughed, and drank, possibly they smoked, maybe they even gambled, they definitely danced and celebrated in a joyous manner. They were remembered! When the six of us eventually returned to break down the altar, it was a solemn affair, a drum beat sounded, the wind rustled around our feet, we made our goodbyes, like a quiet dawn of a new morning, we took our ancestral talismans home, and this ritual was declared complete.

“No one can be free who has a thousand ancestors” -LM Montgomery


It is that time of the year now, Halloween, when the veils are thinning, that I consciously, purposefully and willingly acknowledge my ancestors. From All Hallows Eve through All Saints Day to All Souls Day (October 31- November 2), I celebrate all three days of Day of the Dead. I have written in great length and detail on this topic before, so as not to repeat myself, this Samhein season, I will simply share my process in building an ancestral altar.

Begin by clearing a space in your home or garden to create an altar, quite often a designated table top will do just fine. I like to ritually clean it with white vinegar prior to spreading a beautiful piece of ceremonial clothe atop your chosen altar space (this varies from tradition to tradition, some require white or red clothes, some require clothe with fringe… in all matters of the esoteric world, do what feels correct to you). Next, it is important to maintain a clean & clear space, free of clutter, thus malignant or unwanted spiritual forces will not be attracted to your home. Afterall, we wouldn’t invite Great Gram over to a dirty house. Before I bring anything to the altar, I clear my home with a strong smudging ritual of Belizean copal… I begin with black copal to dispel any darkness, then I end with the white copal, which welcomes the heavenly & angelic presence of my ancestors. (Note: any smudge of your preference will do… sage, sweatgrass, cedar, etc…).


Now, consecrate your space with a prayer. Because I follow a Native American path blended with some old school pagaen worship… I welcome in the four directions by turning to the east with an offering of AIR (a feather) and say, “I show honor and respect to the ancestors of my mother’s side.” I turn to the west with an offering of water (a glass) and say, “I show honor and respect to the ancestors of my father’s side.” I turn to the north with an offering of earth (a crystal) and say, “I show honor and respect to the spirits that are known to me.” Finally, I turn to the south with an offering of fire (a candle) and say, “I show honor and respect to the spirits that are unknown to me.”

“To my ancestors, all those remembered, I honor you. To my ancestors, all those whose names have been forgotten, I honor you. To my ancestors, those who dust is scattered to the four winds, I honor you. To my ancestors, those whose bones lie within the Earth. I honor you”..;wap2-

It is now time to conjure up your ancestors and decorate the altar. Contemplate who you are inviting to the altar this year. If you are not adept in this sort of ritual, please use extreme caution in inviting any deceased family members who committed suicide or who died a traumatic death, or anyone who was emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive and/or those who had an unresolved substance abuse. These characters tend to bring disruptive energies to your life if they have not been assisted in an elevated crossing. Pets? Yes, you can welcome deceased pets. Living people with who you are disenfranchised? No, do not put a picture of a living person on the altar lest your bring some harm to their lives.

Old photographs, objects of memorabilia, flags, stones from their birth country, dirt from a graveyard, jewelry, names written on paper, official documents, alcohol for the drinkers, tobacco for the smokers, family heirlooms, money, food, fruit, candy and lastly, flowers are a MUST. Some traditions insist on white flowers, white candles and white everything! Being from Caribbean ethnicity, I use lots of color!


Prostrate yourself in front of this beautiful creation with a commitment to communicate with these wonderful relatives over the next days (or whatever time frame you deccide on, I leave my altar up til after the Winter Solstice holidays). Bring them food, refresh their water, direct prayers at them, share their stories with your living relatives. They are pleased to be called on, they would love to assist you in the current dilemmas of your life. Celebrate them! Remember them! Honor them! They are the road map that has led you to the place you currently find yourself in your own life.

We all will die, maybe we will be remembered, by a future ancestor, possibly our story will be told!


Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps. Continue reading