Baobab Flower Essence
- Heals ancient wounds
- Supports healing and integration of the Shadow-Self
- Awakens and empowers the Divine Feminine within
- Connects and grounds “Cosmic Consciousness”
- Holds alchemical powers
- Guardians: watching over, protecting and nourishing the Earth
- Offers a profound new perspective on what has, until this moment, appeared ‘impossible’
Baobab Essence ~ Blessed Flower of the World Tree
The Baobab (Adansonia digitata) is the largest flowering organism in the world, and is appropriately graced with giant, brilliant-white flowers. The flowers open at sunset and by morning are fertilized by bats, moths and bush-babies who drink the flower nectar. The hours between dusk and dawn – when the cosmos awakens in all its starry mystery – are the domain of the soul, the intuition and feminine wisdom.
A Journey Home to Wholeness
(White Flower Light in the Night)
The flowering time of the Baobab is at nightfall, when the heavens come alive to their starry brilliance, and the moon – astrologically associated with the Divine Feminine – casts her soft light upon the land. The Baobab flower essence illuminates and empowers aspects of the Divine Feminine that have been rejected, denied, wounded, subjugated and buried deep within the shadow-self: the Baobab Journey is primarily concerned with the healing and reclamation of the Divine Feminine within us, male and female alike.
The Baobab flower takes us deep within – illuminating our shadows with brilliant white light, casting clarity and self-awareness. The shadow-self – held in the subconscious – holds the rejected, denied and wounded parts of ourselves.
Reconciling and integrating the shadow-self is deeply spiritual work. As C.G. Jung said: “One does not become enlightened by imaging figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”. Reclaiming and reintegrating our shadow-self back into wholeness begins with bringing it into the light of consciousness. The initial step on the Baobab healing journey begins with becoming aware of the shadow-self.
The Baobab Essence can assist with this challenging yet vital journey back to wholeness.
Finding the Treasures Held in the Dark
(Flower Fades from White to Gold)
Hidden within the shadows are nuggets of gold. Working with and embracing our shadow-self can reveal untapped talents, energy and creativity. The parts of ourselves that we have abandoned need to be unearthed, retrieved and gathered back home to our hearts if we are to make ourselves whole once more. Shadow-work leads to growth, vitality, wisdom and increased compassion for ourselves and others. It brings wholeness.
Gold energy connects us with our authentic power. We stand in our authentic power when we come from a place of love, not fear. Investigating our shadow-self with love and acceptance will reveal the gifts that it holds. The loving and reassuring energy of the Baobab is there to support us through this process of turning to face our fears. We can draw on the strength of this powerful tree as we sift through the debris locked away in our subconscious. This part of the journey is inward looking; in essence, it’s a time of soul-searching. It is also a time for re-evaluating those parts of ourselves that we deem ‘unacceptable’ with new eyes. Emotions like anger, fear, jealousy and hatred are toxic when they remain buried and unexamined. How can we heal these emotions, and express them in appropriate and non-harmful ways? This part of the Journey also entails letting go of all our limiting beliefs about ourselves and life that no longer support us or the greater good. Inner- child healing and working with the support of a healer or therapist familiar with shadow-work will be of value for this part of the Baobab Journey. Like the mighty Baobabs who fully occupy their space on the Earth, we step into and embrace our true and full selves.
Sharing the Gift
(Flower Fades from Gold to Magenta)
As the flower slowly fades from gold to dark magenta, and the fruit pod, holding thousands of the tiny Baobab seeds, begins to develop, so we embark on the path of reintegration and wholeness.
The Baobab is dormant and leafless for nine months of the year. The human foetus takes nine months to reach full development. Creating a new life takes time. This correspondence with the dormant, quiet time of the Baobab’s life cycle may indicate that the seed we plant in the fertile soil will also require a cycle of nine months or more to reach its time for birthing. Baobabs, like all trees, teach us patience, stillness and the value of self-discipline and focus, all necessary attributes for realizing our dreams.
The mystical properties of the number nine holds, amongst others, the following vibrations: Universal love, eternity, prophesy, faith, humanitarianism, responsibility, tolerance, empathy, mysticism and karmic wisdom. Nine is also the number of completion as following it comes ten, which in numerology reduces to one, the beginning of a new cycle, a new beginning. Interestingly, Odin, the supreme Nordic God associated with healing, wisdom, death and prophesy, hung himself upside down from Yggdrasil – the World Tree that connects the Underworld, Earth and Heaven – for nine days and nights. He hung upside down in order to gain wisdom of the Runes.
Exploring the symbolism of the “Upside Down” / Inverted Tree, the Baobab essence literally turns beliefs, behaviours and habitual patterns ‘upside down’: what had appeared to be impossible, stuck and resistant to change, is miraculously transformed and a ‘Eureka’ moment is experienced. This Baobab quality is beautifully encapsulated in Omdenken – a Dutch word coined by Berthold Gunster to describe the art of “flip- thinking” which is a technique used to transform problems into opportunities. When working with the energies of the Baobab, expect to find – in a flash of insight – solutions to the seemingly impossible suddenly appear; see how situations will change when seen through the lens of love, not fear – this is the magic of the Baobab at work.
At the completion of the Baobab Journey, we are ready to plant the seeds of the golden fruit. By planting the seeds, we are grounding our visions, dreams, and intentions into reality, so that they may grow and flourish for the benefit of all. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world: The Baobab Essence holds great healing for us as individuals, and for our beloved home: Mother Gaia. It is an essence to use with mindfulness, respect and love for the greater good of All. And at the root of this essence is love of the self. When using this essence, one must remember who the Baobab is: a sustainer and giver of life. Baobabs hold their own place very solidly on the Earth. Only after ensuring their own sustenance and survival, are they able to give, with great abundance, to the world at large.
Baobabs are truly amazing trees: Below I have written more about some of their many qualities and these add further insights into their incredible healing energy and their flower essence.
Journey to the Baobabs
I was born and spent my first year of life in a rustic farm cottage set deep in the Limpopo veld, home of the Baobabs. Prior to embarking on my journey to make the essence, I knew little about them, other than that I loved them. I have read that the plants and waters from the land of your birth hold your medicine, that they are part of you – so it was a personal pilgrimage to return there and to reconnect with them once again. It was a magical experience and Francois Krige, my fellow guardian of Platbos Forest, was the perfect companion. He is a great navigator and a seasoned traveller of Africa.
Our five thousand kilometre round trip, which included whimsical meanders off the beaten track, took us to the northern-most reaches of South Africa. The Baobabs flower from October to December each year, timed with the arrival of the first summer rains. We were taking a chance as it was already mid-December 2015. Driving through the Kruger National Park, I began to doubt – all of the baobabs we passed had already flowered. I consulted my pendulum for reassurance: would we still find a Baobab in flower? Yes, was the answer. Dowsing over a map of the region, my pendulum pinpointed the area where I would find the single flower needed for the essence making: I would find my flowering Baobab in Vendaland Limpopo, just east of Tshipise where I was conceived. This is also the homeland of the Sagole Baobab, the Big Tree, known as Muri kunguluwa, The Tree that Roars. It is the largest Baobab in South Africa, measuring 22 metres high and with a girth of just over 33 metres. I was drawn to the tree’s master numbers and 22 is my birth date. My guidance was indeed accurate for this was where we found my flowering Baobab. I co-created the essence beneath a mighty Baobab in the veld, calling in all the surrounding Baobabs to participate in the process. The quiet of the vast landscape enfolded and held us; the exhalations of the trees and the tinkling of goat bells were the only sounds we heard.
The Baobab, Tree of Life
David Livingstone, the great explorer of Africa, nicknamed the Baobabs the eighth wonder of the world. And surely they are, for when you delve deeper into their ancient association with humanity, the gifts they share with us and the myriad of creatures who live in their shade, then a silence settles over you. How to describe these magnificent beings?
Following my successful quest to find a Baobab flower, I tried to capture in words the essence of these remarkable trees and my experience of their profound healing energy. I soon realized that this was no simple task and was stumped by an unusual writer’s block: These trees, they are too big to capture in words. Yes, you can describe them by their height of up to 25 metres and their incredible girth. After the Montezuma Cypress in Mexico which has a circumference of 36.2 metres, the second stoutest tree in the world is South Africa’s own Sagole Baobab, measuring 33.72 metres in girth and 22 metres in height. You can describe them too by their longevity, for Baobabs can live for a good few thousand years, yet to capture all that they are: this would require a baobabian of a book. My offerings here cannot do full justice to the Baobab: they are but a small glimpse into who and what these great trees may be.
They have medicine and nutrition in their leaves, fruit pods and seeds. Nutrition so superb that they are now known world-wide as a ‘super food’. These part of the tree have a long shelf-life and are easily transported. One could likely live on the Baobab alone for extended periods, but this would not be necessary as Baobabs also provide humans with the means to further enhance our lives and nutrition. Their bark tissue is used to make snares for hunting, fishing nets, baskets and sacks for transporting goods and harnesses to tether livestock. The bark of the Baobab was used to make boats, and the trunks made into dug-out canoes. From their bark tissue, clothes, hats, shoes and beehives were also fashioned. The durability of the bark is illustrated by this saying in Bengal: “As secure as an elephant bound with a baobab rope.” Ancient trade routes wound their way through the lands of the Baobabs and their seed pods were taken along, not only as sustenance, but also so that these trees of infinite provision could be planted in far-off places.
The Baobab caters too for the joys of life: strings for musical instruments made from their bark, and seed pods for percussion. Soap, shampoo and moisturisers from the pulp of the seed pods and nourishing oil from the seeds. Their roots produce a red dye, and the fruit fibre provides a light pink dye. The fruit stalk can be powdered and used as a substitute for tobacco and the seeds roasted in place of coffee. The pods can be burnt as fuel, and glue made from the pollen of the flowers. People have made homes and holy shrines in their hollowed out trunks.
Baobabs may yet prove to be the super heroes of the future: it is said that on account of their ability to absorb large stores of carbon dioxide – the gas responsible for global warming – they may well become the most important tree species in the world.
Water is Life
The Inverted Tree
The Inverted or Upside-Down tree – its roots springing from the galactic centre of the Milky Way – is central to the creation myths of many ancient cultures throughout the world. As long as five thousand years ago, this Universal World Tree, the Ashvattha, was first mentioned and praised in The Rigveda, an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns:
“What is that tree, what kind of wood is it made from,
from which the Earth and Heaven are fashioned?”
Could the African Baobab be the originator of the World Tree, the Axis Mundi, which is at the root of most of the world’s ancient religions and primordial creation myths?
The descendants of our collective ancestors dispersed from Africa to cover all four corners of the world, and so they found new trees in their verdant new homes to symbolize this Tree of Life: The Ceiba Tree of Maya (interestingly, the Ceiba Tree is a close relative of the Baobab!), Yggdrasil, the Ash Tree in Norse mythology, the Oak Tree of the Celtic Druids, the Banyan Fig of the Hindu and Buddhist religions, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life of the Christian Bible, the Kabbala’s Tree of Sephiroth to name but a handful of the world’s sacred trees of life.
Many of these cosmologies, in addition to holding the Tree of Life as a central pillar in their belief systems, view the awakened human being as an axis mundi – the link between Heaven and Earth. Again, this is mirroring what trees literally do: they ground the cosmic light in the fertile earth and by so doing they create and maintain a world of great abundance and prosperity through their alchemical powers that we call photosynthesis.
“Connecting and Grounding Cosmic Consciousness” is a key gift of the Baobab Essence. If we imagine a tree, the Inverted Tree, with its branches and leaves – the parts of a tree that absorb and alchemize light energy into sugars and other compounds – ‘plugged’ into the Earth, and the roots – the parts of the tree that draw sustenance, life-giving water and stability – ‘plugged’ into the Heavens, by turn we can see ourselves as no longer earth-bound, wingless and disconnected from Spirit as so many believe themselves to be, but in truth a living conduit that integrates what is above with what is below. Thus, the Baobab, the living Tree of Life, reminds us of who we truly are: Spiritual Beings having an Earthly experience (to put it in a nutshell!). Trees are our partners on our life journey. Even on a seemingly mundane level, we can see the profundity of our connection with them: trees provide the oxygen we breathe – we in turn provide the carbon dioxide that they thrive upon. I wrote a poem a number of years ago about this beautiful partnership:
As the forests exhale
so we inhale.
as we exhale
so the forests inhale.
In giving we receive
and in receiving we give.
A sacred bond, a delicate balance.