Have you ever walked by something a million times and never noticed it…until you noticed it? Kind of like the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
That’s what happened with the magnolia seed head. When I really saw them, lying scattered on the ground, they struck me as one of the most exquisite and intriguing invitations from nature to explore deeper. And once they caught my attention, I saw them everywhere. I remember collecting as many as I could fit into my pocket before the shop owner came out to sweep the sidewalk where I had first “discovered” them.
At the time I’d also been working with 2 other colleagues, Martha Robinson and David Miles on developing a series of workshops called “Cosmic Flow of Gardening”. We had been meeting regularly to check in with each other on biodynamics, living soil, plant spirit guides, the 4 elements, preparing the garden, preparing the soul of the garden.... We studied plant behavior, with a desire to rest in the pure and empty listening, beyond the science of what we could read about. We studied plants in our own gardens, receiving gifts from both the seen and unseen forces. In this way we learned something about seeds, referring to them as cosmic, in that they knew exactly what their etheric blueprint was! Encoded in their biology was a journey of incredible growth, an understanding of nature’s rhythms, a vast potential to heal, teach and show us a way of understanding through the various stages of plant development.
On that day when I met the magnolia seed head, I wanted to refer to it in a feminine way. Something was happening to my heart, every time I saw or held the magnolia seed pod it seemed to move me into a softer, more intuitive, yin energy. In that shared experience of wonderment, what I “heard” was the seed itself was not feminine or masculine - but really both. The “A ha!” light went off and so began a channeled session with this beautiful tree. I didn’t know this at the time but later learned that the magnolia is a member of the evergreen family. It has very large leaves and an aromatic flower that is bisexual.
Unbeknownst to me, as I was collecting these seed pods, so was my daughter Nicola. You can imagine our surprise and joy when we each gifted the other with a found magnolia seed head! When I think of all the teachings, inquiries and willingness to explore and go deeper with nature, I stand in awe of what comes back when the mind and heart are open to receive.
These pods find their way to the ground in the way that leaves fall from trees in autumn. I wanted to preserve this pod, keep it as an object of significance. Firstly to honor what nature herself created, and also to anchor the energy in the physical plane, to give me a focal point of what the magnolia tree represents. I felt inspired to combine art and healing in such a way to offer inspiration back to the plant kingdom. My background in art and fashion lead me to weaving, sewing and adorning these magnolia seed pods with precious stones, leather, ribbons and trims. This gave me even more time to appreciate and meditate with the buds. Time to look at the amazing intricacies of the stem and pod. In working so intimately with these buds, my appreciation for the plant kingdom grew tenfold.
Magnolia is a tree whose energies help to strengthen and activate the heart chakra, the center of idealism, of love and of healing. More importantly, it aligns the heart with the higher intellect. I’ve found that just by holding the seed pod and bringing my awareness to its gifts that I’m able to shift the energy into a higher state of awareness, where the masculine and feminine reminds us to be true to our ideals and our heart, no matter what kind of external pressure is upon us.
I keep my magnolia amulet on my altar, and recently brought it to rest within the blessings of my advent wreath.