Silk Floss Tree
Although she’s related to the kapok and the baobab, this gorgeous, spiky, green-trunked, pink-flowered South American tree has an intoxicating, otherworldly vibration all her own. Most commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant, she gets her name from the soft fiber of seedpods. In addition to her scientific name of Ceiba speciosa, she’s known by a number of additional names, including bottle tree, palo borracho, yuchán, and toborochi.
Like all flowers with five petals, the silk floss tree is sacred to the archetypal goddess of love. Her pink blossom is particularly enticing, not just to humans but also to hummingbirds. In fact, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, there is a very ancient legend about a goddess named Araverá who was married to the hummingbird god, Colibri. When evil spirits wanted to kill her because of a prophecy that her unborn son would one day slay them, she was only able to find refuge by hiding inside the trunk of a silk floss tree. Although she successfully gave birth to a son who eventually did grow up to slay the evil spirits as prophesied, she was trapped in the trunk for all eternity. But her marriage lives on: she attracts her hummingbird husband with her entrancing pink flowers to this day.
To irresistibly attract a partner or to open your heart more fully to an existing partner, visit a silk floss tree on a Friday during a waxing moon and request Araverá’s assistance with your intention. Then gather a flower. Carry it, wear it, or place one on your altar with a pink candle and a stick of sweet-smelling incense. To increase your charm and sexual attractiveness (particularly if you identify as feminine), take two drops of the flower essence under the tongue or in a small amount of pink grapefruit juice twice a day for one month.
As described, legend has it that a goddess lives in the trunk of the silk floss tree. In addition to expressing her femininity through using the power of receptivity to attract her mate with her beautiful flowers and nectar, she also expresses her femininity through her (often) curvy, very pregnant-looking trunk. As a matter of fact, in addition to the pregnant goddess story, a legend from the Matacos Indians of northeast Argentina states that the original fish were birthed from the womblike trunk of a primordial silk floss tree.
As such, the silk floss tree can provide support with connecting to the energy center just below the navel. This is the womb area, which is aligned with the water element and the ability to express femininity (i.e., receptivity and radiance) and birth all number of things (such as projects, ideas, and conditions).
The silk floss tree’s pollination by butterflies and hummingbirds—in addition to her fluffy, parachuting seedpod that flies through the air like something out of fairyland—makes the silk floss tree naturally aligned with the magical quality of flight. This is why she can help with things like flying in dreams, astral travel, and connecting with galactic energies and wisdom.
NIGHT FLIGHT CHARM
If you’d like to fly in your dreams, when the moon is in Pisces, place one of the silk floss tree’s fluffy seedpods in a small muslin bag, tie it closed with lavender ribbon, and then place it under your bed.
While I’m not an expert on this and absolutely recommend that you not try it at home, some recipes for ayahuasca (the potent hallucinogenic mixture prepared by South American shamans) call for this tree. Apparently, she’s not one of the active ingredients, but she plays a part nonetheless. Try meditating near a silk floss tree or invoking her presence and visualizing her in your mind’s eye for the purpose of awakening to a deeper level of reality.
Planet: Pallene (a moon of Saturn)