While the name baobab (BAY-oh-bob) might not exactly be a household word in the United States, for those of us interested in the magic of trees, it certainly ought to be. As you’ll see from the magical qualities listed below, baobab (Adansonia) is a spiritual superstar of the arboreal world, ranking right up there with time-honored celebrities such as oak, palm, peach, and sequoia.
A native to Madagascar, Australia, and the Arabian peninsula, the baobab can grow to an immense size and live for up to 3,000 years.
Simply gazing at a baobab tree, or even an image of a baobab tree, is likely to invoke a very ancient feeling—perhaps due to genetic memory or even a past life. Indeed, the baobab appears otherworldly in a most ancient way, like a fern, a trilobite, or a pterodactyl. Not only that, but baobabs are also a species that can grow to be extremely old. Indeed, there are some alive on earth today that have been here since biblical times.
Along similar lines, the size of a baobab can be so immense that it quickly reminds us of how small and temporary we actually are. With all of this ancient vastness in mind, baobab can help us connect with past life and genetic memories for the purpose of healing. For example:
TREE TRUNK TIME TUNNEL
Sit with your spine straight, close your eyes, relax your body, and take some deep breaths. Begin to feel that you’re standing in front of a giant baobab just before sunset. Bring to mind a present difficulty or challenge, and set the intention to travel back in time to a source of this challenge. In your mind, speak this intention to the tree, whom you know hears and understands. Then walk respectfully to the other side of the giant trunk and notice a door or another kind of portal in the trunk. Open the door (if necessary) and walk inside.
Once inside the hollow trunk, feel yourself being sucked downward or upward, through a time tunnel, knowing that wherever you land will be perfect. In time, you feel your feet gently yet firmly land upon something solid, again inside a tree trunk (but possibly a different species of tree). Feel around for a door and push it open. When it opens, allow yourself to be in another time and place, and even another body and lifetime. Be aware that this may be your own previous lifetime, or the lifetime of an ancestor with whom you share DNA. Explore this lifetime and learn what you need to know with regard to your present challenge. When this feels complete, find your way back to the door in the tree trunk and step inside. Feel yourself transported back to the baobab through the tree trunk time tunnel.
When you arrive to the interior of this original tree, ask the tree for help transmuting the old challenge or hardship into pure positivity and blessings. Feel the tree bathe you in light, shifting the old pattern into a beautiful new one that perfectly complements and supports your most ideal life flow in every way. Thank the tree from the bottom of your heart. Feel for the door, push it open, and exit. Come back into the present moment. Open your eyes.
Divine Communion and Blessings
An alternative name for the baobab is the “upside-down tree,” as her top half appears to be a bottom half—her trunk a large taproot and her branches spreading roots. In fact, there are numerous legends about the tree falling top down from the divine sky realm, and lodging its top half into the earth. As such, the baobab may be thought of as a gift from, and gateway to, the sky realm and all its power. Spend time with a baobab to receive wisdom and gifts from angels and the Great Mystery. Incorporate baobab ingredients—bark, flowers, fruit, or leaves—into rituals designed for the purpose. If you can locate or create a flower essence or other vibrational essence created from the baobab, it will be powerful medicine for aligning with the Divine.
Grounding and Earth Wisdom
In addition to her alignment with the sky realm, the baobab is deeply aligned with the power of the earth. Another of her alternative monikers is “tree of life,” and she does indeed resemble that culturally ubiquitous symbol of a pillar between the worlds, and a key to the wisdom and beauty of both. Spend time with a baobab (or simply visualize one) to get grounded in the physical world: to awaken your senses and receive access to the ancient knowing that resides eternally within the earth and your own body.
There is an African saying that “Knowledge is like the baobab tree. No single human can embrace it.” If building your library of knowledge is important to you right now—for example if you’re a college student or interested in deepening your magical repertoire—you’ll receive great benefits from reminding yourself that you’ll never know it all and there’s always more to learn. After all, it really is all about the journey and the joy of learning, and not about the destination or the aim of knowing all there is to know. To bless your studies and formally commit yourself to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, you might try spending time with a baobab tree and—inwardly or aloud—communicating your intention to offer yourself up to this path. Respectfully request assistance and support, and affirm that you will remain a passionate seeker, in a state of constant curiosity. Then offer a symbolic gift to the tree, such as a shiny coin or a clear quartz point.
Natural Abundance, Sustenance, and Generosity
Although Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of monetary wealth, it is blessed with the considerable abundance of the baobab tree (as are the other regions where it appears). Baobab fruit is delicious and exceptionally nutritious. It tastes like sherbet, and astonishingly turns into something like candy inside its slightly fuzzy, coconut-like shell by dehydrating all on its own. Baobab’s bark is medicinal, and the shoots and leaves are edible like vegetables. As if all that weren’t enough, the trunk stores a huge amount of water, something that is invaluable for humans and other animals in extremely dry climates… The majestic baobab is a “tree of life” indeed!
Call upon your alliance with the baobab tree for sustenance and gifts of abundance from the universe. You might call to mind an image of the baobab and feel deeply supported and loved by this ancient and generous being as you remember that you are perfectly provided for in every way. The baobab reminds you that just as she offers her many gifts, the universe is your source and will produce exactly what you need exactly when you need it, as long as you trust that this is so.
All of baobab’s other magical gifts—ancient awareness, divine communion, earth wisdom, knowledge, natural abundance, and spirit world alignment—lend themselves to the magical gift discussed in this section: spiritual power. There is an African legend about a son who takes an entire baobab tree up from its roots and presents it to his father. According to author Moyra Caldecott in Myths of the Sacred Tree, in doing so he symbolically “takes the whole teaching of the spirit world and brings it back with him to use when it is his turn to lead the tribe.”
While actually uprooting a baobab tree is both prohibitively difficult (not to mention harmful to the environment), there are a number of ways you might incorporate baobab’s essence in order to initiate yourself into greater levels of spiritual and magical power. For example, for this purpose you might:
· • Spend time with a baobab, request an infusion of magical and spiritual power, and then allow yourself to receive it by feeling yourself soaking up the energy of the tree.
· • Take a vibrational essence made from baobab or add it to your bathwater.
· • Mindfully eat baobab fruit.
· • Incorporate parts of the tree into rituals or charms designed for the purpose.
· • Visualize standing before a baobab tree, and honoring her intense magic and power. Then see the tree shrink, while retaining her concentrated energetic essence. Finally, place the tree within your heart, and feel her flood you with increased spiritual power.
Transitioning To and From the Spirit World
Baobabs are considered potent portals between this world and the spirit world. Consequently, in some areas, the hollow trunk of cracked baobab trees have been employed as vertical tombs, particularly for members of the tribe who were particularly revered.
Baobab’s alignment with the otherworld is also mirrored in the fact that its flowers are pollinated by nocturnal animals such as bats.
The upside-down nature of the baobab lends itself to seeing beneath the obvious surface and bringing what lies beneath into the light.
With all of this in mind, you might incorporate the baobab into rituals or meditations designed for mediumship (communicating with people who have transitioned) or for supporting a loved one as they transition from this realm to the next.
Time travel, travel from the realm of heaven, and travel between the worlds of the living and the transitioned … it seems we have a theme! Along the same lines (although slightly less mystical), for harmonious travel in the physical world, tie a bit of baobab bark into a muslin bag and stow it in your suitcase or carry-on.