African Tree Essences of Platbos Forest
Platbos is a magical forest at the foot of Africa. Ancient and mysterious, it has special significance for all the world’s people. Many thousands of years ago, after a devastating ice age laid waste much of the Earth, our collective ancestors recovered and regrouped in this region. This is the story of my personal experience of a remarkable forest and the healing potential its trees have safeguarded for us its children at this critical juncture of the Earth’s unfolding.
Africa’s Southernmost Forest
Gnarled and wizened by the elements, the trees of Platbos comprise a strange and eccentric community, their tree tops draped in wispy old-man’s-beard, their trunks thick and squat and baobab-like. In winter, epiphytic ferns and mosses spring to life. In summer the earth is parched and sandy and the trees must quench their thirst on the early morning mists that bathe them.
The forest’s existence, on so unlikely a fire- and wind-swept landscape, is a botanical mystery. The ancient roots of Platbos Forest date back millions of years to when much of southern Africa was clad in forest finery. Platbos withstood the gradual heating up of the Earth over the millennia. Most of the primal forests perished and the hardy, fire-dependant fynbos that characterizes the Cape Floral Kingdom, took their place. A survivor of these changes, Platbos is a remnant forest, a living memory from a time long past.
Platbos grows in the heart of an archeological treasure-chest. This area was home to a tiny group of survivors of a devastating ice age who lived in a series of caves that hold the secrets of our cultural and spiritual beginnings. Blombos cave has revealed the earliest evidence of human art ever found – an engraved ochre tablet and shell necklaces dating back some 70 000 years. At another cave, Klipgat, within walking distance of Platbos, stone artifacts and human remains were discovered, estimated to be over 120 000 years old.
These findings suggest that all modern day people trace their ancestry back to African roots, and that it was here, at the very foot of Africa, that our consciousness was birthed. A number of the world’s top experts now assert that there is enough evidence to declare that the cultural modernity of human beings originated along the South African coastline.
From Africa came the spark that led to rational thought, art, philosophy and spirituality. And in the midst of this primordial home of modern humans, grew a forest sheltering an abundance of wild life and honey bees, whose trees held medicine in their leaves, bark and flowers.
Platbos, recalling the time when all of the Earth’s children were one Sisterhood, one Brotherhood, is still alive today.
Sacha Runa – the Forest Person
Five years ago a chain of synchronistic events brought our family to Platbos. We became the guardians of the forest, and made our home beneath its canopy.
Walking alone in the golden light and earthy smells of the forest was a source of comfort in those early days of adjusting to our new life. Soon I realized that I was anything but alone. Over and above the birdsong and soft rustle of the trees, I sensed another presence – like a fleeting light in the shadows. It was vital and electric; yet evasive. Each time I turned to capture it, it was gone. Years later I learnt about Sacha Runa – the Forest Person and I thought, “Aha – so that is who it was”.
In Amazonian legends, Sacha Runa, the overlighting consciousness of the natural world and guardian of the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms, lives within the old growth forest. If you want to learn about the healing powers of the plants and trees, it is he who will introduce you to the Devas – the teachers of the plant wisdom. Normally you must embark on a long process of cleansing, and go into the forest and wait – sometimes for a long time – for Sacha Runa to appear. But occasionally, as in my experience, it is Sacha Runa who will seek you out. The pagan god Pan is the European manifestation of this creative life force. The Khoisan of southern Africa – the most ancient people, the direct descendants of our common ancestors – held an unequaled knowledge and soulful understanding of Nature and her healing energies.
Hearing the Call
I realized that the forest was calling me to work urgently on this deeper level with the trees. I felt an almost palpable undercurrent of expectancy and whilst I had no idea of what form this healing would take, I understood that in time the forest would reveal this to me. During my journey, I have learnt that old growth forests have exceptionally strong and stable energy fields as they have occupied the same place for hundreds of years. No doubt Platbos’ great antiquity is the reason why the auras of the trees here are three times larger than normal. As the true alchemists of life, trees integrate what is above with what is below, transforming the elements – sun, earth, water and air – into life-sustaining matter. Channels of radiant light, trees provide not only for our material needs, they also support our spiritual well-being.
I discovered that the key to understanding the healing of the trees was to be found through what I had long considered to be a personal burden–: a heightened sensitivity – known as clairscentience – that enables me to feel, within my own being, the energetic nuances of other life forms. By attuning to the tree energies through my heart centre, I have learnt to discern the healing properties of the trees; making vibrational essences from the tree flowers was the most natural way to harness their healing powers.
The African Tree Essences
There are thirteen tree species that comprise Platbos Forest. Thirteen is a magical number of transformation, change and renewal. The African Tree Essences work profoundly, healing ancient wounds – passed down through the generations – and locked within the body’s cellular memory and energy field. When these old blockages are released, the new energies can enter, unobstructed. Bram Zaalberg of Bloesem Remedies, Netherlands says: “I have never seen such a fast and direct influence on past lifetime issues.”
Natural forests were our home before and after we fanned out from Africa to repopulate all the four corners of the world. Across cultures and continents, the mythologies of ancient civilizations have at their core a Tree of Life: trees were and always will be integral to our physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Platbos Forest safeguards a sacred truth: – it is held within its leaves, flowers and fruit; it is enclosed within its age-old roots that hold the earth: we, children of the world, are of one family, born of the forests. Each of us a golden thread and together we weave an exquisite tapestry that makes up the Golden Whole.
Melissa Krige, co-creator of the African Tree Essences