It’s that time of year . . . Samhain is coming! Many think of it as a witchy time of year, and I suppose it is. But for me Samhain is also about getting ready for Winter, for embracing the darker days and harvest, for connecting with my ancestors and for honouring those who have passed since last Samhain.
I am gathering some elements for my Samhain ancestral altar and sensed that it needed something new. And then I heard “gingko leaves” quietly whispering from my Inner Self (or perhaps my guide), so I started exploring where I might find some locally (and ethically!).
I knew there were some in the magnificent public gardens in my city. But I also suspected there might be some gracing our local streets. I am so grateful to the City of Vancouver for their online (and downloadable!) Tree Database, listing the trees the City has planted on local streets (a few streets are not well documented, but overall a great resource!).
I discovered that there were a couple of Gingko trees in my neighbourhood, within strolling distance, one much younger and the other clearly an Elder, so visited them both to get acquainted. Rather than plucking a few leaves from each of the trees (with their permission of course!), I got a sense that what I needed was fallen leaves, those leaves already released and aligned with that late autumn / Samhain energy. So, still with permission, I chose a few from the base of the trees and took a few pictures.
I have enough leaves to also make a Fallen Leaf essence. I looked up the medicine of Ginkgo Biloba aka Maidenhair Tree in Grant Lambert’s book Falling Leaf Essences, and it said this essence would support:
“Release Inconsideration of Others: Maidenhair Tree releases a pattern of being insufficiently considerate of others and interpersonal relationships. This results in empathy and a clear appreciation of others’ feelings and perspective.”
There are many things I love about Gingko. Some call it a living fossil, as it is found in fossils over 270 million years old! All other species in the division Ginkgophyta are extinct. And, for me, it’s a wonderful tree to work with at Samhain when we look back at our Ancestors and when we remember the past (Gingko is said to aid in memory).
Some say its correspondences include Ancient Wisdom, Hope, Luck, Protection from Fire and Wealth (source: Tess Whitehurst’s book “The Magic of Trees: A Guide to their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties”.
I would love to hear how others have worked with Gingko!