Birch - The Wise Old Woman

I am often asked about the basic principles of the use of archetypal essences. What are archetypal essences? May I reply by asking you a question in return? What do you think would you have done if you were Noah? Most of us would have certainly and instinctively tried to rescue all kinds of animals just like Noah did with the help of the Ark as the Bible tells us. The word archetype, which reminds us of the Ark, in fact is even older than Noah‘s story. In old Greece it already meant the basic idea of phenomena even nowadays everyone of us knows. An archetype is something one does not have to explain since everybody instictively understands the underlying concept.


Let me explain this by using an example:
the Grandmother Archetype

Who of you, my dear readers, sees the necessity of explaining the meaning of the word grandmother to a let us say Zulu or Russian or Eskimo? There may be many kinds of grandmothers all around the world with different expressions in regard to the culture this woman belongs to, but anyway just like a rose is a rose a grandmother is a grandmother, no matter where she lives or which education she once had or which language she speaks. You see that the idea of what a grandmother is does not have to be explained, since everybody already knows...

Birch bark

How do you imagine a grandmother? Sure, she is old with grey hair and wrinkles in her face and certainly not as tall as she once was – but what else? Is she not more indulgent than mother? I remember my own grandmother very well and I also remember she let me stay up late, when I slept in her house, much later than I was allowed at home. We often played cards in the evening at times when I should have been in bed. She allowed me to watch the ‚forbidden‘ tv shows. Me and my grandma we shared some secrets not even my parents knew about. When I had trouble in school grandma gave me comfort and advice. When I came home with a terrible mark it was her who protected and defended me. She simply did not take everything so seriously. She offered her sympathy when my knees bleeded while she laughed at the same time about me. Her laughing did not hurt me, it rather took the pain. Sometimes I heard her making jokes about her husband – and he knew, that after all the years he had no chance to fool her. They knew each other, the good and the bad sides, their fights took place long ago, but they were able to forgive everything and smiled about it.  Grandmother belonged to the few people who were even able to take influence on mother. She had the power stonger than mother‘s power, however she never used it in an insensitive way but always to bring peace. She also knew some secret recipes and prepared mysterious meals, she knew  stories nobody else knew, and she had so much warmth, goodness and generosity and a laugh that uplifted the hearts of her grandchildren. She was not far from the original archetype, was she?


Whenever we feel helpless and miss the feeling of being protected and safety, we can help ourselves with the ‚grandmother essence‘. It is the Birch essence, as you may already have assumed. Birch essence brings us calmness and inner distance, that helps us to see the whole situation ironically or spiced with a little humour. Birch insures we are going to find the right solution for any problem. She tells us, one day we shall laugh about all our little troubles, that seem so overbearing today.

Birch is a carrier of Yin- or female energy, but it is not the kind of energy of a young woman, who needs to still find her own personality, her inner strength and prove her own femininity. Birch knows without the slightest doubt, that she is female, she is the wise old woman, who we love to give us advice, even when she laughs at us.


Birch essence purifies, centres and strengthens us internally. All those of us, we have not had the experience of having a grandmother in their lives, can add this special quality anyway. Their lives will become more fulfilling and complete.

So this is in short words the basics of how archetypal essences work: you simply ask yourself, how you feel in your current situation and which kind of energy you need most. Is it the energy of the inner artist, the inner child or the inner warrior? You can get in touch with these inner forces within yourself by taking the related essence. It is just as simple as that.

I know many people are not very familiar with the expression „archetype“, but to be honest I have to admit I do not know any other or better
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