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Tree of Self-Knowledge - Black Bark (Bladder Nut)

The Black Bark teaches us that being our authentic self is all that is required. By removing the need to be other than who we truly are, our life force is liberated. Paradoxically, in our humility we access our true, authentic power. By bringing our awareness to those parts of ourselves that we find shameful or unlovable, black bark may enable us to gain a greater understanding of unconscious patterns of behaviour that we then have the ability to transform. The Black Bark can assist us with centering and enhances the sense of feeling at home in your own skin.



Affirmation: My inner Light is a gift to the world. I shine my Light and rejoice in its beauty.

Corresponding Colour: Gold

Supportive Essence: The Saffronwood essence may act as a supportive essence to the Black Bark essence – particularly if the bladder nut essence is being used to address a long-standing imbalance and an “awareness crisis” has arisen. An awareness crisis is an intensification of negative feelings or old patterns of being. It is the soul’s way of calling our attention to these old blockages that need to be acknowledged, blessed and released.



Botanical Info

The Bladder Nut / Black Bark - Diospyros whyteana
Family: EBENACEAE

Learning about how this tree grows in nature, brings further appreciation of its essence:

The bladder nut is a small, evergreen tree occurring from the Western Cape of South Africa up to Ethiopia. It is found in forests, mountain slopes and shady mountain ravines. At Platbos, the bladder nut grows as a delicate, understory tree.

White, sweetly scented flowers appear in spring. Like bonneted young girls, the flowers seem to gaze shyly downwards. The red berries that follow are encased within a papery calyx – it is this inflated, bladder-like seed pod that gave rise to one of this tree’s common names, “bladder nut”. The fruits are enjoyed by many bird species and the attractive glossy-green leaves are browsed on by buck as well as livestock.

The new leaves are covered in silky, copper-coloured hairs that bring life and sparkle to the shadows. The bark of the bladdernut is an attractive dark, grayish-black. The wood is heavy and evenly grained and makes beautiful household articles and implements. Wind-fallen branches are gathered at Platbos and hand-crafted into unique and beautiful pens, pendulums and pendants.

The seeds are roasted and used as a coffee substitute and the tree has a number of medicinal uses: bark extracts are used to treat infertility, impotency and menstrual pain, and leaf and root infusions are used to soothe skin rashes.

The bladder nut is a popular bonsai subject and it is used increasingly in landscaping – its neat form and attractive foliage make it a good choice for city gardens. It grows happily in the shade and in containers and is excellent as a clipped hedge.

The White Stinkwood tree has a very high vibration. This is an essence for aligning with your higher self, and for connecting with your soul purpose and
The energy of the Cherry Wood tree is soothing and calming. This is an essence that may balance feelings of shock, fear, fright or trauma. Cherry Wood
The Fine Ironwood essence may enhance receptivity and intuition, and may bring focus, clarity and perspective. This essence may assist us with seeing
The Saffronwood essence may be helpful for tender-hearted souls who are easily bruised by life, and for those who feel their emotions very deeply. The
The African Wild Olive essence may be useful in times of need, despair or exhaustion – when fortitude, strength and protection are required. African
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