On the brink of the spring equinox in the Northeast, we’re hovering at a thaw. It’s cold, there’s still lots of snow, the ground is hard. It’s not easy to imagine the roots of the plants under there, gathering energy in the darkness in order to push their way through to the light, but they’re there. They know what to do and they do it, unfailingly, every Spring. Soon enough, we’ll see the green world peeking through, exquisitely ordinary and miraculous all at once.
Flower essences, with their capacity to directly shift the human energetic system, can be immensely helpful in times of transition. I’m thinking of essences like Golden Amaranthus, which supports a letting go and surrender of struggle, and American Ginseng, which is deeply nourishing to an exhausted system. Blue vervain moves energy from the upper reaches of a person to the lower ones, inviting a slower approach to the world for the person who tends to work too hard. Morning Glory attunes us to the cycles of the earth, and Self-heal helps us know what we need to help ourselves. Corn is particularly grounding for those in urban settings, and Red Cedar reminds us of our own wisdom, always there if we tap into it. There are many more choices from the flower realm available here to help.
There are seasonal changes, and then there are other physical changes and stressors, like moving, maybe, or a job change, or a relationship change. No matter how strong our center may be, sometimes the ground of our life shifts beneath us, and despite all of our best efforts, anxiety creeps in, a nagging flutter to tell us that all is not settled. Our legs cease to feel solid, and our hearts and minds race. In such cases we might benefit from essences like St. John’s Wort, Yarrow, and Angelica, which keep our energetic field protected and clear, and White Chestnut and Shasta Daisy, which help soften a mind running in circles. Linden and Chamomile help calm an upset nervous system, and Borage helps both ground and uplift us simultaneously. Elm can help with overwhelm, and Sumac can help us feel hope and increase our endurance.
And then there is another type of change. These are the sea-changes of the self – changes that stir from deep within our own consciousness, that unsettle us at the very core of who we think we are. These are changes of the psyche, a filling out and developing and deepening that nudges us more towards our own wholeness, and for many of us, these sorts of changes can be quite terrifying. We often don’t recognize these times when they are happening, but find ourselves plagued with nightmares, or persistent feelings that there’s something beneath the surface that wants attention. These are the times when the old self dismembers, necessarily, so that a newer, fuller, and perhaps wilder and more connected self can emerge. We don’t know who we’ll become if we let go of that old self, and this is its own sort of death. At times like these, we can turn to essences like Black Currant, which helps with deep identity shifts and the fear of non-existence, or Codonopsis, which helps a person look deeper within. Redwood helps ground us through inevitable change, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit can strengthen and help us hear our inner voice. Blessed Thistle can help us trust in life.
Whatever the level of transition you encounter, let the plants assist you. Remember them when your feet and heart need some stability, guidance, and nourishment. They don’t take away the pain, nor should they, but they can soften and teach and guide and help us integrate. They can bring us more into our bodies, and more into connection with life. We only need to ask for their help, and then be willing to listen.