“Let’s take a moment to settle into our chairs, relax our shoulders, take a breath, feel the chair beneath your seat and the ground beneath your feet. Now from the base of your spine or your feet, begin to send a tap root down into the earth, as a grounding cord… deep, deep into mother earth.  As you feel yourself rooted, anchored, begin to imagine energy stretching up through your crown chakra into the cosmos, like the branches of a tree, to draw down energy from the heavens into your body, your soul. As above, so below… bring the two together at your heart…”

This is an abbreviated version of how I often begin a session with clients, and how my time with my spiritual director regularly begin. Embodying the Tree of Life helps ground one into one’s Self, while connecting with the earth below and the heavens above. This is a meditation I was introduced to over a decade ago at the Nine Gates Mystery School and continued to practice during my training with the Tree of Life/Kabbalah school, and the Chaplaincy Institute. It is part of my spiritual identity.

So when my friend Mary and I walked into a little unassuming jewelry shop in Clonmel Ireland recently we had no idea the treat we were in for.  Proprietor, Rory Donohoe silver and goldsmith, not only makes beautiful jewelry right in front of you, he explains the meaning behind every detail in a piece. See his work on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rorydonohoegoldsilver/

His shock of silver hair, whisper of a goatee, flashing blue eyes, and robust laughter make him a delightful fellow to chat with. Straight away, Mary found a bangle bracelet and I found this beautiful hand crafted sterling silver Tree of Life pendant. I couldn’t put her down. While Rory worked to resize Mary’s bracelet, the Tree of Life Pendant came to life in my hands.

Noticing every minute detail, I called them out and Rory confirmed them while explaining others. The tree itself is a woman’s body. Roots stretch into the Underworld, branches reach up to the sky. At the top sits one star symbolizing the cosmos.  On the sides are 2 birds, a Swift, and a Kestral … Clouds runs across the middle of the circle to symbolize middle earth, that which we currently inhabit. The pendant is encircled with braid work which I interpret to be our connective tissue with all of life, DNA.

This is what Rory says about the piece: This pendant was inspired by the Shamanic description of the Tree of Life with its roots in the Underworld, trunk and clouds in the Middle World and branches in the Upper world. In the outer band of woven silver I have represented the Underworld with the idea of looking into a cave and seeing the mountains therein. The middle world with the Swift (life on the wing) and The Kestrel being present (hovering) yet as one with the four winds. The star representing the Universe or Upper world. A piece of Joy.

I wore the pendant during the final week of our travels in Ireland and then put it in my jewelry box when I arrived home… until the other day, when during a session with my spiritual director, I talked about the piece and what it meant for me. It was then that I realized I needed to be wearing it as a talisman.   Thank you Rory!

More blog posts coming soon about our time travels in Scotland and Ireland!