Tilia spp. / Tilia europaea
Linden is a mother of a tree - everything about her is feminine, nurturing, loving and caring as only mothers can be. She spreads her branches protectively like and arboreal embrace. In Norse and Germanic mythology she is sacred to Freya or Frigga, Goddesses of Love and in the hearts and minds of the people she was perhaps the most beloved of all trees. Linden trees were especially honoured in Slavic countries, but also in France and Germany, where just about every village had a central Linden tree that served as the social and cultural focal point of village life. It was here that dances and festivals were celebrated, where couples promised each other their undying love, and justice was spoken in open-air courts called 'tings'. No other tree features as prominently in popular poetry, songs and literature as the Linden. The outpouring of nectar from her flowers provides a feast for gazillions of bees and epitomises her generous, providing nature. Bees, of course, are sacred to the Great Mother Goddess and the honey they produce is nectar for the Gods. Linden honey is indeed among the finest tasting and most valuable of all honeys - though unfortunately almost entirely used for pharmaceutical preparations. Linden trees are very healing indeed - not just her honey and flowers, but also the inner bark, charcoal and leaves are used in folk medicine for a wide variety of conditions. Naturally, this motherly tree is also protective against witches, devils and other evil spirits. Twigs were hung above doors and leaves were pinned to hats or collars to avert all evil. According to folklore, Mary, mother of Jesus, blessed the Linden tree with all these virtues. One day Jesus was wandering the earth feeling tired and ill. He lay down to rest under a Linden tree and fell asleep. Protectively the Linden tree spread her branches over the sick man. Some time later Mary, who had followed him, came by and found her son under the tree. Alas, when he woke up he was cured and restored. Mary, grateful to the tree for having so lovingly cared for her son, blessed it with healing and protective virtues, of which it has given generously ever since.
Linden Blossom is calming and relaxing. It also acts as a hypotensive by dilating the blood vessels. Thus it can be useful in cases of high blood pressure and angina pectoris. It is anti-spasmodic and useful for relaxing cramps. It is also one of the best diaphoretics that can be used to induce a sweat to break a fever. It opens the heart and relaxes those that feel they have too much on their chest. It can be used for migraine, stress related conditions and nervous tension. It is also beneficial for insomnia, hysterics and stomach conditions that are due to stress. It is also helpful in cases of lung catarrh and kidney troubles.
Linden represents the essence of love and compassion, the Green Tara of trees. It can be used to meditate on the Mother energy and to celebrate the mother aspect of the Great Goddess. It represents love in action, compassion and caring. It can be used to meditate on spiritual and transcendental love and to open the heart chakra. Its protective and healing energy is well suited to any healing ritual. Linden protects against demons that torture the mind with anguish and fear.