Towering above other trees in the Amazon jungle, the kapok tree is a giant guardian. It stretches pale green-striped branches to the sky. Its canopy spreads wide, providing shelter for many creatures, embracing the land with its arching shade. The limbs are studded with white petals of night-blooming flowers which attract bats as pollinators.
The ancient Maya held the kapok tree as sacred. It was called Yaxche, tree of life. Yaxche stands at the center of the earth as a conduit between the spirit and physical worlds. Its long vines are the channels by which the realms are interconnected.
Tucked among its roots are bats, who are representative of the underworld. The trunk is host to birds, insects, and animals, and provides them shelter and nourishment for life and growth. Perched at the crown, which points north, south, east, and west, is an eagle who represents the celestial.
Yaxche is the home for the Gods, as well as supernatural creatures, and kapok trees are revered for medicinal qualities, and the practical uses of the silk-like fibers from the seedpods.
Stephanie Law's work follows in the tradition of the mythic arts. She is based in Oakland, CA. Her paintings explores a surreal otherworld, and the manifestations of desire and archetype when seen with a shifted perception. Much of her inspiration stems from mythology and folklore, mingled with the movement of dance, and the chaos of Nature's wild growth. She has authored and illustrated 4 books ("Dreamscapes", through North Light Books), a series on watercolor technique within a fantastical framework, and she is also the author and illustrator of the Shadowscapes Tarot (2009, Llewellyn Worldwide).
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