The Hero – White Yarrow – Achillea millefolium

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 word, that expresses this special idea so exactly. So perhaps I start this new chapter with a short repetition of what an archetype is.

An Archetype is an idea, a concept, something immaterial, but clear and evident without further explanation to everybody no matter where she or he lives in this big world, no matter what skin colour, religion, gender etc.. Let me give you an example, his one:


The hero
A hero is by definition someone who dares to do things others are afraid of. No robot. A hero has to be capable of having feelings, even fear. Robots do not feel anything. The essence of a hero is, that he is aware of the danger he is going to face – and does it anyway.

The second characteristic of a hero is the fact, that it is not sure at all whether he will win the fight or not. It is quite possible that he may lose or even die. A hero is not invincible. Only Gods are invincible, the hero however is human.

So we have two characteristics that define a hero we always find combined in one person throughout human history and all human cultures. There is the Greek hero Achilles, whose weak point is his heel, or take Siegfried, the German Nibelungen hero, who could be injured between his shoulders, or think about the modern American cartoon character Superman, who can be injured by Kryptonite, a piece of rock from planet Krypton. You may find it funny that I quote a cartoon, but cartoons are created by humans and humans unconsciously know about archetypes and they use them. If Superman were invincible, nobody would have ever bought the comic books featuring his boring adventures.

Today I like to introduce a plant with the energy of a hero. She has been known as flower essence for more than 35 years and nobody should be surprised that she has an archetypal name:

White Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
(literally Achilles‘ thousand-leaved flower)
The plant's godfather Achilles was the son of a human man and a Goddess, so he had human as well as divine characteristics. His human feature was his vulnerability. Of course his mother wanted the best for her son, so Thetis, the Goddess of the Sea, dipped the boy in the underworldriver Styx and wherever the boy came in touch with the water, his skin could not be injured. Only one little spot was missed: the heel, where mother Thetis held her little boy.

So Achilles became a famous hero, but in the end was killed by an arrow that God Apollo lead right into his heel. Anyway things went well for him so far, and the secret of his health was not only the bath in the Styx. He also had a mighty friend, Goddess of Love Aphrodite, who in fact had a wonderful remedy to cure the hero, a herb with fine and shiny flowers and leaves that seemed to be devided a thousand times...

I find it remarkable, that in fact it was love (not the herb, that is merely a symbol of that power) that healed Achilles. Throughout the centuries all great healers knew that it is love that heals and the remedy is nothing more than a helping tool. Love has two somehow contradictory effects: on the one hand it heals our wounds, on the other hand it makes us vulnerable (and if not, it is no love). We shall find both traits in the plant, too.

White Yarrow provides us with a protective energy like a cloak, but you should not compare it to a knight‘s cloak.  Her protective cover is somehow open, she works like a filter, that allows good energy to enter but keeps the negative energy outside (keeps agression outside, but allows love to enter).

However Yarrow does not turn cowards into heros, sorry, folks. For this purpose you need some other remedy like Mimulus, Aspen or Saint John‘s Wort. But it provides us with a sense of safety and security, it protects us from negative forces. Compare the feeling it gives us with that inside the eye of a hurricane: outside there is turmoil, but inside there is stillness.

This essence helps to stay in one‘s center, keep the focus and balance. It enables to act instead of getting overwhelmed with whatever comes from outside. One is no longer easily distracted and confused. Negative influences are blocked and affected areas of the being (and the body) are healed.

This gives us the clue to her protective preventing energy, that we can use to stay unharmed while undergoing a surgery, a dental or radiation treatment, a birth etc. On the mental level you can profit from that protection when preparing for an exam or any kind of confrontation. E.g. policemen could use it to keep their temper when they have to cope with riots.

Whenever you prefer to stay focussed, calm and well balanced while chaos and confusion are all around you, try White Yarrow.

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