The Japanese Knotweed is now up to my ribs, the Trout Lilies have just lost their blossoms, and the Starflowers are just emerging here in southern Maine, where I spend half of my time. Plant-wise, we’re about 2 weeks behind Boston (where I spend the other half of my time). It’s a sunny morning here, cool enough to wear my sweatshirt.
I was just out there in the woods, squatting in a gorgeous little grove of plants, collecting blossoms, breathing in their glorious scent. My form of heaven. This morning I am in the midst of making a Lily of the Valley flower essence. I love leaving the glass bowl there, nestled within the plants, sun sparkling on the water. I’ll tune into it here and there over the next few hours from inside the house here, see how it’s coming along. Eventually I’ll head out to collect it, dilute it, and when I’ve got a stock level of the essence I’ll take a drop of that and lie down for awhile and sense what effect it has on me. I’ll also ask the spirit of the plant for any additional teaching besides what I sense personally. A very good way to spend a day.
Flower essences can work deeply and directly in our energetic system. Sometimes the effect is subtle; people will simply notice their lives are improving while on a course of essences. They’re making better choices, their thoughts are healthier. Sometimes the effect of the essences is extreme, bringing an intense response as stagnant energy begins to loosen and move. Old or held grief might stir, or rage, or sometimes these things might manifest in physical sensation such as headaches or vertigo as they move their way out of our system. Sometimes old traumas bubble up to the surface; energies we’ve carried for years can dissipate (I once, during a session with my teacher/practitioner, felt the energy of someone leave my energetic field — someone I hadn’t had literal contact with or even really consciously thought about for over thirty years). Sometimes the essences work shamanically — the vibration of a particular plant calls in situations to our lives that help us to work on and loosen an entrenched pattern. Sometimes the essences bring in new energies, healthy ones we have yet to experience — positive mothering, for example, or a respect for our own boundaries, or patience with ourselves. Whatever the level of shift, it’s my sincere belief that the essences support us in becoming who we are meant to be — they help free us from energy patterns that bind us, help us feel safer and stronger to be our real selves, help us open our hearts to love and to joy and connection with life.
I think of flower essences as a path. It’s possible to take a single step on the path and that can be very helpful, like being able to lean on an old friend in times of difficulty. It’s also possible to really go on a flower essence journey — to take yourself on, in a way, with the support of the essences (this is when it’s helpful to have a practitioner as a mirror and a guide…). This is when you take the time and the space to pay attention to the subtle shifts and changes in your body and consciousness, to pay attention to your dreams, your thought patterns, shifts in your desires and behavior. I sometimes recommend that clients also be in a course of psychotherapy while working with flower essences — in this way there is support for energetic changes to be more consciously fully integrated. I also always recommend that people take time to be quiet each day so that the busy layers can settle, leaving room for more subtle awareness to emerge.
The thing about a real path is that it’s never-ending. There’s always more to discover. We can always go deeper — with ourselves, with nature, with life. Our consciousness is unfathomably rich and mysterious. I am in awe of how the plants, each one unique in its vibration, so generously tap into our consciousness and work their magic. The more I explore with the essences, the more I feel this way. They move me, deeply. They surprise and astound me. I am so grateful that I get to share them.