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



IxChel!  I first heard about this goddess in 1994 when the book Sastun, by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, floated into my life.  I read the book in one sitting, in one night.  Being of Belizean heritage, this story of an American woman who lived in the jungles of Belize, studying herbs with one of the last known Mayan shaman healers of the region, had me absolutely intrigued and awakened.  Within six weeks of reading this true account of Dr. Rosita and Don Elijio Panti’s life, I was packed and moving to Belize.  Little did I know, at the time, the Goddess had beckoned.

I had a wild idea… and the Fool/Maiden (Tarot Card 0) set that journey in motion.  I found myself in a canoe on the Macal River in Belize, with a Mayan man, being rowed six miles upriver to Ixchel Farm, home and workplace of Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  Although I had the moxy to get myself to her doorstep, I didn’t quite have the self esteem to pronounce that I wanted to be her next apprentice.  Whatever did stumble out of my mouth, I’ll never quite forget her reply.  She told me I was unseasoned for work in the jungle, that I was a young girl who needed some life experience.  She told me to go have a baby.

Well, since she was my absolute heroine for the moment.  I took her advice seriously, and quite literally.  Without a husband, man or prospect of any mate, I decided it was time to have a child.  Quite honestly, a strong biological urge had been nagging me to do just this.  So without further ado, the next man who showed interest was my prey.  Hence, began my journey into motherhood.  I was living on a three mile island, Caye Caulker, Belize and had been forbidden by the local health officials to deliver my first child at home, seeing as how there was no doctor, not to mention a hospital, on the island.  I do believe this is where my true relationship with Ixchel, a fellow Caribbean islander, Goddess of fertility, childbirth, healing & herbs, rainbow, the moon and all female issues, began in earnest.

I called Dr. Rosita to ask for her advice in locating a midwife.  I was determined to stay at home, like my Belizean grandmother before me, who had all twelve kids in the family home. Dr. Rosita referred me to one of her main herbal teachers and ally’s in Belize; the lovely, kind Hortence Robinson, who could neither read or write, but had delivered over 2000 babies in her career as a midwife.  Needless to say, all went very well and my first son Angel entered the world, not quite as we all planned, but safe and sound, on a wooden terrace in the tropics, with his Papa, my black cat Eclipse and the seagrape tree as witnesses.  Hortence arrived shortly post delivery, but just in time to facilitate my after-care, which is where I began to experience firsthand Belize’s deep & rich history with massage, abdominal care, vaginal steams and herbs; all treatments over which Ixchel definitely presides.


True to my lot in life, ever keen to take on more than I can manage, I went on to have five lovely children as the Empress (Tarot Card 3) walked hand in hand with me for many years.  Each and every child was delivered at home, three, in the conscientious care of indigenous midwives, and two, mysteriously, of my own accord.  Again, this is where Ixchel guided and led me through these deep rites of passage & initiations to womanhood.  I’m gonna be honest, nothing is going to make you feel stronger than delivering your own babies.  (please note:  I’m not recommending anyone to run out and do anything quite so steeped in the unknown).

Living in Meso-America will keep you right in the arms of Ixchel and once you have called upon her, be prepared to meet her in all her aspects.  She can be depicted as a beautiful Maiden holding onto her rabbit, bringing fertility, abundance and all the hope of youth.  She can be depicted as the caring Mother weaving the dreams of her life and the universe, working with the healing herbs, and offering her good medicine.  She can also be depicted as the Crone, the cosmic midwife and the destroyer, accompanied by the transformational snake on her head, wearing crossbones on her skirt and pouring out a water jug onto the Earth that may bring floods and rainstorms of destruction.

13490995 - ix chel mayan - aztec goddess of moon and fertility

I came to know her in every aspect she choose to appear.  As the Maiden she gifted me with endless fertility.  As the Mother, she offered me multiple webs to weave in which to care for my family.  As the Crone, she came to teach me about death, decay and tragic loss.

Shockingly, my fourth child and only daughter died (Tarot Card 13) on the island, at age two, of dysenterry.  My tropical dream was no longer so magical.  The path I walked, no-one coveted.  Ergo, Ix-Chel could not remain my most venerated Deity.  She was a force with whom to be reckoned.  I had to blame someone.  I blamed God/dess.  I was a grief-stricken mother whose spiritual path had failed her, a woman with no religion, a born-again atheist.

I relocated back to the USA to a small town, Ashland, Oregon (Tarot Card 16, the Tower).  I was driving one day with my friend, shortly after arriving, a huge double rainbow extended itself from one side of our 4 mile by 4 mile town, to the other.  It was so magnificent, we stopped the car to admire the width and breath and beauty of these rainbows (the picture below does not do the rainbow proper justice).  Although my friend could not possibly know the context of this appearance, I knew this was IxChel, The Lady Rainbow herself, communicating that she was indeed with me, that she had actually never forsaken me, and that I was to carry her with me to this new land.  The Goddess diaspora is real.  Atheism is terribly lonely.


I surrendered to the spiritual journey once again and began my small practice of spiritual healing with a few humble offerings, but with IxChel always at my side as my patron guide & goddess.  It took six years in Ashland to come alive and heed her call to return to Belize to work with Dr. Rosita Arvigo in earnest.  Thus, I arrived at IxChel Farm, 24 years after my initial pilgrimage, this time by road & vehicle, carrying 24 pounds of rose quartz for my daughters grave, and enrolled as a student to participate in a Mayan spiritual healing course being offered to learn the art of spiritual bathing.  A dream realized.  Some things take time.

I needed each and every one of the multiple herbal flower baths we took through these trainings.  Layers upon layers of memories and grief were released into the land of Belize at IxChel Farm.

I came to realize that due to Dr. Rosita’s life path and story, she had brought me numerous gifts: she lured me back to my homeland where I could establish real roots in sweet Belize, she gifted me the omnipotent IxChel, she encouraged me to get on with my life as a mother, she guides me in healing with the plants and herbs of Belize, but most importantly, she opened the door for me to find my true life calling and purpose (Tarot Card 21, the World).


As I approach menopause and the crone phase of life, I am busy researching a trip to Isla de Mujeres, the Island of Women, in Mexico which was IxChel’s original home.  I am spiritually preparing for this epic ceremonial pilgrimage to Her power place.  Historically women travelled to island three times in their life, to consecrate their menstruation, to pray for fertility & safe passage with childbirth and to bring offerings at menopause.  I am gathering up my gifts:  jade, clay statues, cocoa beans, turquoise, and hand woven objects; and planning, as well as anyone can plan for such a journey.  Lady Rainbow has looked after me and it is soon time to pay homage to this mysterious Goddess of the Moon (Tarot Card, 18).

This true tale, obviously, is to be continued…

In the Temple of Ixchel

I have come with my sisters before
where aqua waters arc their constant caress
around the southern point of the island.
Now when the ruins are nearly disappeared,
I walk this path that curves above the cliffs,
but once before,
I prayed and sang in procession.
Once before we laughed to be so safe
in the Temple of Ix Chelab Yax.
Faint music from the past—

flute and voice, gull,
something sweetly strung—
all for Her, the Fecund Mother.
Here I greet my gone-before,
who nods in glad surprise
to me, her elder descendant.
I walk the sea wall singing
for Daughter IxChel, for Mama Tonantzin.
The rocks remain, and the rolling sea,

where I return to honor Her.
Ask, Ixchel demands. And so, again, I do.
Goddess of Conception, change my view
and let me trust in Love.
Goddess of Birth,
in the time of the fifth sun, may I give light,
and may I learn to receive it.
Goddess of all Nurture,
grant that I and the world be done with blaming.
May I with the earth, rise as your daughter,
free and whole in love.

©Susa Silvermarie 2013


Denai Grace 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 @