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Accessing the Grandmother and Grandfather Within Through TREE Essences
An Essence Maker's Panel by Dirk Albrodt and Diana Pepper


As introduced in an earlier article, our Archetypal Essences kit consists of a spectrum of remedies to provide healing for difficulties related to certain Jungian archetypes. Archetypal essences are meant to make flower essence therapy more complete and holistic, and are not intended to replace other flower essences. Archetypal essences do not work on the emotional level but on the unconscious level. In archetypal flower essence therapy, we look for a basic weakness of an archetype that causes the symptom. Here are two essences to help us access the grandparent archetypes within ourselves, both for our own healing and for the stage of life when we become grandparents ourselves.


In general you can say that deciduous (leafy) trees are Yin and coniferous (evergreen, cone-bearing) trees are Yang. So here, in a certain sense, we have a "female" tree that represents a woman who has successfully gone through all the usual struggles in life. Her children have grown up, and now she can view from a kind of distance how they themselves try to cope with problems she knows from her own life. She knows there is no quick solution, and that it is not always easy to experience new and difficult situations.

She has reached a point where she is relaxed, wise, and dignified. She no longer feels the need to prove she is a gentle and strong woman, because she has achieved this. She has developed her own sense of generosity and humor. In the plant kingdom, it is the birch that represents the archetype of the wise old woman. Birch helps us to broaden our perceptions and transcend limitations of mind. Through expanding our consciousness and seeing "the bigger picture" we gain understanding and peace of mind. Birch frees our imagination and gives us hope for the future.

The grandmother is the natural ally of the grandchildren. They know they can turn to her when there are difficulties with the parents because she is less strict with them and will put in a good word for them. This is the way Birch essence works. It brings comfort, calmness, wisdom, self-confidence, humor, and the feeling of being at home.


Similar to the grandmother/Birch archetype, spruce represents a man who no longer feels the need to demonstrate his masculinity or his ability to fight. He is mature, purified, and experienced. He understands the subtle patterns of being male and of a man's relationships. Here we have the image of a wise old man. Today it is the grandfather who has so many secrets and stories to tell -- some that not even the parents know. Again, we see grandchildren and grandparents as natural allies who share secrets.

The Dagora, an African people, believe in reincarnation, and so they feel that children and old people are connected in a very extraordinary and subtle way. They can all feel the presence of the magical realm of the dead, something that gets lost in the everyday working world of adults. Birch essence bears a similar energy, but in a female way.

Spruce essence can be taken whenever one feels the need to strengthen the male archetype within, especially in times of crisis. It is helpful when one does not want reproaches and criticism, but rather the support of inner gentleness and the advice of a wise old man. So, Birch and Spruce are not just for children, but for everyone lacking unconditional support and protection.


silver leaf maple leavesIn the late months of winter when the days slowing lengthen and the dark cold still lingers, our ancestors would sit around the fire and tell stories. All age groups were together. I imagine grandmothers holding the little children while both scary and funny stories were told. Each of us is like the tribe of old with children, adults and grandparents listening to the stories our mind tells. Sometimes in the dark of winter the mind remembers the scary stories of our lives.  Some are stories that happened to us, some we have heard from our parents, friends or the media. When these stories take hold, or when life feels dark and cold, it is wonderful to be snuggled into grandmother's arms.

For several years I wanted to make the Big Leaf Maple Tree Essence.  I would walk down the road to the nature preserve and sit with or talk with the tree. This very old maple tree is over 100 feet tall and 80 feet wide. She provides shelter for snowberry and osoberry bushes and for young western red cedar trees to grow. I called her grandmother maple because she also comforted and nurtured me in a caring grandmotherly way. I would nestle into a crouch in the trunk and be held for hours. Last spring when she was in bloom, I received the call.  It was time to make the essence.  

Use Grandmother Big Leaf Maple Tree Essence when you feel raw, jarred by life experiences, vulnerable, unsafe, unable to settle for fear of something happening to you or when the demands of life seem like too much to handle. This essence is also helpful when you are experiencing rapid spiritual growth that is unsettling to you physically and emotionally. Grandmother Big Leaf Maple Tree Essence assists you to relax and reconnect to feelings of safety and serenity, like a child that is being held and nurtured by a loving grandmother.

As Grandmother Big Leaf Maple Tree Essence says of herself:

I AM nurturing, peace and safety surrounding you with loving grandmotherly arms.

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Editors' Note: See more of Dirk's articles, including several about his archetypal essences here. Our archives also contain a Virtual Booklet of articles on using essences to work with dreams and archetypes here. Diana has also written about the Garry Oak in this current edition.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: DIRK ALBRODT is the maker of several essence kits and the author of several books on essences, including the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Domestic Flower Essences and Essences in Pregnancy (both in German). He runs the Blütenessenzen Büro, offering essence education and counseling services. He distributes several lines of essences at www.floweressences.de. He lives and works in Germany and the Netherlands and can be emailed at dalbrodt@web.de.

Since childhood, DIANA PEPPER has felt a close bond with plants and animals that has grown into a deep reverence for Life. She now communicates with the plants, devas/plant spirits, and fairies/nature spirits of Tree Frog Farm, and with angels and Teachers of other dimensions. Through her Flower Essence Consultations, Diana offers spiritually-based individual healing sessions, a synthesis of more than 20 years of study, training and personal healing. Creating the Tree Frog Farm Flower Essences line of flower essences & aromatherapy products for human, animal and planetary health is a natural expression of her healing practice. She also teaches classes and lectures on how flower essences are made, personal and professional use of flower essences, and other topics on alternative health.
DESIGN CREDITS: This page was designed by Deborah Bier and Donna Cunningham; photos are from Clipart.com.

The World Wide Essence Society does not mean to imply any recommendation of nor give certification to any individuals or companies above. This article is provided purely for informational purposes. We ask consumers to make their own determination as to quality of the services and products offered above. This article is not meant to be advice, and the information is not meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.
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