My Shamanic Journey with Linden
I close my eyes and begin to heart breathe. I cast out my senses for Linden and..
I am in a garden at the height of summer and am drawn to a tree with exquisite shape and dense with heart shaped leaves. Dropping from the leaves are flowers with a sweet fragrance. I inhale deeply, my breathe drawing the essence of linden into me, I expand outward with lightness and love. Exhaling, I settle into the serenity and calm of this moment. My heart is lifted and light with Linden.
As I sit under this tree, time begins to move around me. The flowers fall to the ground, scattered by the wind. The branches lengthen and stretch towards the sun in a spiraling movement. New leaves emerge, unfurling themselves in the dawn light. And then, the leaves have brightened to a brilliant yellow, reflecting the warmth and beauty of the sun set against a clear blue sky. With graceful beauty and effortlessness, they begin to drop, floating in the breeze, scattering around the garden. The winds around me increase in intensity, rustling and whipping the leaves around the other plants in the garden, protecting them. The wind settles and all is quiet. The tree is bare, it’s branches that are revealed show a quiet strength that give the tree is shape and resilience. It barely moves as the winter snow falls around it, some resting on the branches. Suddenly the quiet is broken, and the songs and calls of birds fill the air. New leaves from swollen buds begin to spiral open into the spring day.
This movement of time continues as I sit under the Linden Tree. I am filled with love and wonder at the beauty of the tree as it moves and shifts through the seasons. I notice that I am beginning to become part of this tree. My back has grown to become part of the trunk of the tree, my hair falling down like roots spreading over the ground. My eyes reflect the color of the leaves.
Time moves around me in this ever present moment, the tree and me growing, changing and spiraling through time. Each aspect of me assisting, giving rise to, and being helped by my allies and friends, moments and experiences.
At last, I am aware of myself as myself but that awareness is now indecipherable from myself as the whole of Nature and the Universe. I move to stand and realize that I am not attached to the tree as I thought but able to shift and meld and transform at will. I stretch and feel my arms stretch towards the sky like the branches stretching to the sun. I feel my feet solid on the ground, invisible roots holding me steady.
I walk away from the tree and out of the garden, my internal image of myself as the linden tree, that my shadow that is cast upon the ground is that of a tree walking in the garden. A home and support to multitudes wherever I roam.
Drawing in several deep breaths, I return to the here of my physical place. Appreciating the journey with wonder of what has emerged.
Linear information about Linden:
Linden flower (Tilia)
The world's leading anti-cold anti-flu remedy
Amazingly soothing to the body/
Gentle and nice immune system tonic – lovely herb / very mild and ordinary / good sweetened /
Helps with Thyroid /
Wonderful anti-inflammatory – lungs/ bronchi/ calms down the
blood vessels / cholesterol
No downside to drinking a lot
Brings peace and amicable resolution to conflicts
Remedy for distress and sorrow
Helps with digestive complaints, fevers, and high blood pressure
Linden is sacred in many traditions
Soothing, relaxing, opening
Encouraging love and appreciation
Suited for those who are stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed
Remedy for those who are irritable
Helps you to unplug and appreciate the nourishment and love around you
A powerful remedy strong and beautiful
Shifts consciousness to a more joyful and calm place
Allows you to relax and appreciate the moment
Fosters love and an open heart
*source: Wise Woman Wortcunner by Mary Ann Copson, Evenstar Earth Path Seminary
Linden flower tea has a delightful smell and flavor, that sipped before bedtime, can help to relax the body while soothing an irritable and tense mind which enables the person to unwind and rest (Holmes, 1997). As a relaxing nervine, linden has been used to assist folks struggling with insomnia, nervous and muscle tension, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, digestive issues originating from emotional unrest, and even hysteria and mania (The Herbal Academy, n.d.; Holmes, 1997). It was “historically used to soothe nerves and treat health problems associated with anxiety” (McIntyre, n.d.). Further, its calming nervine, antispasmodic, and helpful circulatory properties are used to help to ease spasms and cramps that contribute to headaches, tight muscles, and migraines as well as menstrual cramps (Tilgner, 1999; Holmes, 1997).
Linden flower and leaf is a special herbal friend of children. Its gentle nature makes it a safe herb to share with children and it has been used for centuries to help soothe children. In particular, linden is used for excessive heat in children which manifests as hyperactivity or fever (Wood, 2008). You know, the kid who is so wound up and hot that they just can’t relax? Make them a cup of linden tea, a nice linden bath, or even a linden popsicle and watch them settle down. Combine linden with lemon balm to help a child during viral infections. Other good linden combinations for children are offered to us by Matthew Wood, who says, “yarrow, elder and linden are particularly good when we are dealing with children that are already over-active and hot to begin with—hyper-active, as we say. Elder, linden, and hawthorn will usually, in my experience, totally cure hyperactivity and often, attention deficit” (Wood, n.d., p. 27).
Kids get nervous and stressed just like adults. Linden flower can help to ease some of that stress so the child can rest and face their day. Stress in kids before exams, performances, when starting a new school, or even when meeting a new person can cause some physical as well as emotional tension. So when a nervous tummy, headache, or troubles with sleep pop up, offer your child a cup of linden tea and perhaps a kind ear to talk to.
Relaxing nervine – helps to calm tension and irritability in the nervous system
Anxiolytic – eases anxiety
Antispasmodic – eases muscle cramping
Hypotensive – assists in lowering blood pressure
Vasodilator – helps to dilate blood vessels
Demulcent – rich in mucilage which helps to soothe and protect tissues
Diaphoretic – helps to promote perspiration
Anti-inflammatory – eases inflammation
*The above information was taken from Linden Monograph by the Herbal Academy, The Energetics of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes, Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Groves, and Tilia europea/americana/ platyphyllos/cordata: Lime flowers by Anne McIntyre.
Linden offers a medicine that is soothing, relaxing, opening and encouraging to love and appreciation. It is best suited for those who are anxious, overwhelmed and irritable.
Alleviating impatience and anger as well as high pressure.
Helpful for the digestive system, it’s aromatic qualities relaxing the muscles of the gut, softening and healing areas of irritation.
*From The Wild Medicine Solution- by Guido Mase
Making a Nourishing Infusion:
An infusion is a very strong tea that extracts the vitamins and minerals from the plant. Linden is one of my favorite nourishing infusions and these Sacred Trees are beginning to burst with their flowers right now.
Harvest some fresh or dried from Mountain Rose Herbs or other stores that sell bulk herbs.
Add 1 cup of flowers to a glass quart jar- A large mason jar works, I reuse a large olive jar
Add boiling water and screw the lid on.
Let sit for 6 hours or overnight.
Strain and compost the flowers.
This makes a delicious iced tea that can be sweetened if you prefer.