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Tree of Life Magic for the New Year: Interview with Dawn D. Bengel

By Elizabeth Gracen:

I do love a special good luck charm. It's a gentle reminder to lighten up, not give up hope, and trust a little more. Trust my instinct. Trust in the good in people. Trust that I'm growing and making my way through this beautiful, horrible world with my head held high, learning from my mistakes and sending out good vibrations to world.

Dawn Bengel - Divine Sanctuary

A couple years ago, I came across the Tree of Life pendants on Instagram and reached out to Dawn D. Bengel, the owner of Divine Sanctuary, to invite her to sell the pendants on and to place my own order for a large selenite stone wrapped with a red Tree of Life. I did a bit of research before I purchased it and read that selenite has powerful healing qualities that remove negativity to promote peace, calm, mental clarity, and well-being. It sounded like the perfect good luck charm for me. Now, I always slip it over my neck when I'm feeling blue and pessimistic, and I swear it does the trick.

When I saw that Dawn was offering smaller versions of the pendants this year, I invited her to sell them in our Flapper Press Shop.

Divine Sanctuary in Jackson, Michigan

Divine Sanctuary has been in business since 2018 and is located in Jackson, Michigan, with a bustling website business that offers a wide variety of esoteric and beautiful items to add to your spiritual jewelry box. I've already purchased a few more pendants as gifts and a special carnelian wrapped in silver for myself. You can never have enough good luck!

Check out our Flapper Press Shop to pick out your new good luck charm, but in the meantime, I've reached out again to ask Dawn more about how the idea of creating Tree of Life pendants came to fruition and delve a little deeper into her philosophy behind her work.

Please enjoy our latest interview with Dawn D. Bengel of Divine Sanctuary!

EG: Dawn, Flapper Press is excited to feature your beautiful and mysterious Tree of Life pendants in our SHOP again! Welcome! Would you tell our readers a little bit about yourself, your designs, and your shop?

DB: Thank you for the opportunity! I started Divine Sanctuary as a personal blog about 10 years ago as a way to help myself cope with a dark night of the soul I was going through. That led to me wanting to create a gemstone mediation mala for myself [since], at the time, they were nowhere to be found. So I got some gemstone beads and made one for myself. It was such a beautiful feeling while making it, so I got more beads and started making more. Before I knew it, I had over 65 malas without homes. So I went to a craft show with my malas, and when I came home my partner, Steve, recommended that we clear out some space in our computer store for them. That is how Divine Sanctuary became a store. I wanted to offer that peace and love I found in my blog space and spread that feeling as much as possible.

EG: I've always had "witchy" tendencies—my grandmother used to use a fake crystal ball to predict the future for all my friends when we were in grade school. She had palm reading books around her house and told me elaborate stories about the war between the fairies and the spiders in her attic (!), so I've always believed in magic. It's come in handy to have a wild imagination in my profession. If you were going to explain the properties of crystals and stones to someone who might not believe in such things, how would you describe it to them?

DB: I meet a lot of skeptics in my store. When presented with questions about whether they work or how they work, I explain that everything in this world has an energetic vibration, even the stones. Because of how they're formed in nature, each stone has various properties associated with those vibrations. I once had a couple come in and they both chose a Tree of Life pendant based on what they thought looked pretty. When I package them up, I put a description card for the stone in the bag with them. So they left the store and three minutes later came running back in to tell me that they read their cards and couldn't believe how much they needed those exact stones. Some of my favorite stories are of people who choose a stone because they think it's pretty, and when they read the card, they're mind-blown at how much they needed that particular vibration in their life at that time.

EG: Tell our readers about the particular stones in the Flapper Press Collection and the symbology of the Tree of Life.

DB: For me, the greatest symbology of the Tree of Life has everything to do with being rooted.

I often say that if you aren't well rooted, like the tree, it's much harder to reach for the stars, or our full potential, without toppling over.

It also symbolizes the phrase "as above, so below" or "as in heaven, so on earth" for me.

For the Flapper Press collection, I've chosen amethyst, black agate, carnelian, clear quartz, green aventurine, labradorite, opalite, rose quartz, and tiger eye.

Amethyst is a great stone for anxiety and connecting to one's higher self.
Black agate is my favorite stone for assisting people through grief.
Carnelian is a creativity and motivation stone.
Clear quartz is my favorite everything stone because you can program it to do whatever you want.
Green aventurine is a great stone for luck and abundance.
Labradorite is an amazing transition and transformation stone, and I give it to high school graduates in my life to aid in their transition from high school to "adulthood."
Opalite is a wonderful stone to aid in verbalizing feelings, along with assisting in business matters.
Rose quartz is the ultimate love stone, whether speaking of romantic love, sibling love, parent love, child love, or self love.
Tiger eye is an outstanding protection, good luck, and focus stone.

EG: How did you get interested in creating these Tree of Life pendants? Why are they important to you and your creativity? Can you share a bit about your process in creating them?

DB: The Tree of Life pendants themselves were born of the suggestion by a friend who thought it would be a great focal point on the mala. I thought she was crazy to think I could make the gemstone-wrapped tree, but I tried it. Five years later, I'm still making Tree of Life pendants, putting time and love into each one as I hand wrap them. Each pendant takes approximately 40 minutes to create and is infused with love, peace, and joy while I make it. While some of the themes remain the same (I can create 2 amethyst pendants with a silver tree), each pendant is unique because it's hand wrapped. I couldn't make two identical pendants if I tried . . . and I have tried!

An 1847 depiction of the Norse Yggdrasil (Tree of Life)

EG: Why do you think so many people (like me) believe in esoteric practices? In this current world where so many people feel hopeless here around the holidays, why should we believe in magic?

DB: I think so many people believe in esoteric practices because it is a way to hope in a world that often feels filled with gloom but [is] also a way for people to feel in control of their own lives. It is for me, anyway. The holiday season brings many people down and has them often focusing on what they think they lack rather than what they actually have. But, it's a new year, and I've seen magic in action! Some people call "magic" prayer, some people call it "casting spells," some people believe in good luck charms. I believe that it all leads back to esoteric practice and a belief in magic.

We are magical beings, we just have to stop listening to the people who tell us otherwise.

Here at Divine Sanctuary, I strive to make everyone feel loved and accepted for who they are. That is a magical feeling I hope everyone walks away with.

Visit the Flapper Press Shop to order your Tree of Life pendant, and Happy New Year!


Elizabeth Gracen is the owner of Flapper Press & Flapper Films.

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