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a left from mother natures book danielle van de velde

A Leaf from Mother Nature’s Book

5 spiritual reminders from the humble leaf


As I write this blog, I am days away from returning to Australia’s Blue Mountains, to dip myself into autumn. This time of the year is spectacular as the Ash, Maple and Liquid Amber trees ignite in autumnal colours. Huge piles of leaves are gathered by the gardeners for mulching. Yes, I still find making a flying leap into them irresistible! There is a wholesale shedding and slowing down of the botanical realm, as the days shorten and the cool air rises from the valleys of the forest. Wild Medicine!

There’s a reason why nature moves us so profoundly, that runs far deeper than our material reliance upon it. I believe it is one of our greatest spiritual teachers, as it not only heals and regulates our state of being, but also reflects to us universal spiritual principles. The more you spend time in nature and cultivate a direct relationship with it, the more it reveals. Here are five beautiful spiritual reminders from the humble leaf! 

Transmutation is the game of life

transmutation is the game of life danielle van de velde

The innate design and purpose of the leaf is to convert energy, in the form of sunlight, into material form. Leaves are manifestors that transmute the invisible into the visible and into growth. They are the essential lifegivers to the botanical realm, which in turn mediates oxygen and CO2 levels, atmospheric currents, temperature and moisture regulation of the planet.

This is also true of the human energy system and the spiritual game. Aside from the cyclical side of our human systems also being geared to cycles of light, and our energy body reliant on the pranic-breath, our spiritual journey is about understanding and mastering energy, so we can manifest and grow. 

We are designed for it. Whether it be intentionally working with the breath, to deep introspection, playing with perspectives, the content or company we keep, self-care, practising compassion and forgiveness…these are all examples of an infinite number of invitations to convert the invisible into the visible, and grow in awareness and spiritual power.

Balance and grounding

I find it captivating that the predominant colour of the leaf, and the entire botanical realm, is green, which is also the correspondent photon ray with the human heart chakra, Anahata. 

Leaves mirror to us the higher resonance states of the human heart, which accelerate growth. 

When we plant seeds, it’s the first tiny green leaves emerging from the soil that indicate positive growth. Leaves are hope and promise. Leaves are shaped to funnel rain to the plant’s roots, and in turn, the roots absorb and send energy to the leaves to multiply. That toroidal field of ascending and descending energy is measurable in the electromagnetic field of the human heart, which pulses within a broader toroidal field of the human central nervous system/energy body. 

Leaves remind us of our own innate design that not only brings etheric energy down into our system, but also draws earth-based energy upwards. With a balanced and intentional spiritual practice, we can cultivate balance to optimise our inner growth and awareness. And the locus of a spirited life is heart-led living.

balance and grounding danielle van de velde

Letting go is essential for growth

The autumnal leaves of my garden in the Blue Mountains in Oz are always a beautiful reminder of the impermanence of life and the constancy of change. Attachment and aversion (still attachment but expressed differently), are recognised in Buddhism as two of the sure-fire states that counter compassion, create suffering and impede our spiritual growth. 

We have all experienced the tight, stalling energy of holding onto hurts, the need to be right, a failing relationship, sentimental items that are not in use, or a forced project. These attachments are almost always based in fear – of the unknown, of perceived discomfort, or unravelling. 

Yet, what the leaves remind us of, is that letting go when we feel those tightly contracted energy states, is exactly the release of energy essential to transmuting the state into more expansive and lifeward experiences. The autumnal leaves float down to the soil and release their stored energy into the root systems of the forest floor, providing the energy for new growth. Similarly, when we let go of a tight, controlling grip on life and others and follow the seasonal turns and energetic promptings from our systems, we also return energy, entangled in those situations and relationships, back into our soul beds, and growth always ensues. 

letting go is essential for growth danielle van de velde

All is interconnected

The interrelationship between us humans and our botanical cousins is a spectacular example of the interconnectedness of all of life. Leaves provide us with all the building blocks for nourishment and thriving. Oxygen, pheromones, foods, medicines, materials for clothing and dwellings, cleansing for spaces (smudging), calming (in teas), windbreaks and shade, oils, perfumes, beauty and colour. (The word count of this blog won’t allow the full list, but you get my drift). There’s a symbiosis between the human and botanical realms, just as there is between all people. We thrive in community and mutual respect, and the deal only works when we give unconditionally, like leaves do. 

Embracing all stages of life

embracing all stage of life danielle van de velde

I don’t know of anyone who would stand in front of a grand old oak tree and say, ‘It’s so ugly, look at those old wrinkly leaves’, or be able to say whether leaves in the height of summer are more beautiful than the fiery canopies of autumn. Everything has its season, and all are beautiful. Leaves remind us that there is beauty in all seasons of our bodies and lives, and it is simply a matter of perspective and working intentionally with the energy available. 

My family’s wheel is turning currently, with both my parents aging and unwell, and my first-born finishing school and preparing to launch into the world. I won’t lie, there are some big feelings in these seasonal turns, yet within them are also beautiful exchanges of forgiveness and fond reminiscing and excitement of visioning into possibilities.  

Here are some upcoming circles and workshops to support a deeper engagement with these spiritual truths from the humble leaf, and to foster a deeper relationship with our botanical cousins. 

I hope you can join!

Shield Maiden Workshop, with me, Sunday 16th April, 3 pm 

Smudging for Vitality

Energetic connection with herbs and roots associated across cultures and traditions to aid uplift and vitality. Handcrafting herbal smudging sticks and mists.

April New Moon Lodge with Margareta Stromsater, April 20th, 7.30 pm

Embracing the Empty Nest (charity event)

Come and join us for a talk and sharing on what we can do to make the transition from a full-time mother to an empty nester a smooth, positive and nurturing experience for you as a woman, your children, and the family unit as a whole. Together we will explore how to embrace the Empty Nest.

The Wonder of Spirit Retreat with Christine Morgan, May 12th & 13th

Two-day retreat in Singapore

Talks, discussions, exercises, practice and connection with like-spirited people and one of the world’s preeminent psychic mediums, Christine Morgan. This two-day retreat will open your eyes to the deeper aspects of the Intuitive/Spiritual fields from a solid understanding, and help you navigate the cycles of life and death.

Dawn Dreaming with me, commences on 19th May

Tree Wisdom (charity meditations)

In this season we will join some of my most loved arboreal meditation companions and breathe with them, connect with them and greet the dawn together with them.

Monkey Pot Magic Group – Join any time!

Join our private Facebook community of nature lovers from around the world. The next iPhone nature photography challenge will start soon, and the theme…you guessed it…LEAVES!

If you have any questions or thoughts about spiritual reminders from nature and the humble leaf, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. Wonderful new offerings are coming in 2023. Subscribe at www.daniellevandevelde.com/subscribe for notifications. 

 If you would like to explore more about a spirited life, my book, ‘Spirited – A guide to your innate spiritual design to transform your life’, is now available. See stockists here

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