Following up on the last post of a couple days ago ..
Talk about a rabbit hole!
No surprise, this - the descriptions of the attributes of the flower essences are extremely variable between sources.
There's Edward Bach's original work, (here's the official site) and those who adhere to it; that's fairly standardized (not that I believe 'standardized' is a necessarily always a good thing, but the man was a pioneer and his work is valuable ..). There's also a dizzyingly large array of essences 'discovered' since Bach, because let's face it, there are more than the 38 flowers that he had access to in the English countryside; people want to (and should) be able to use what grows near them ..
And of course there will be massive variation in experiences, even with the so called standard flower remedies. This is human beings we're talking about; our emotional/physical/spiritual selves can't be standardized. We will each have our own experience. Then there's the variations of the flowers themselves, which, just as is the case with herbal medicine, their strengths and weaknesses will vary according to growing conditions, how they're handled, and other variables too numerous to mention. Today's snapdragon will not be exactly the same as yesterday's, even taken from the same garden.
But as well as the above, there is the fact that most of the 'educational material' out there about flower essences is being put forward by the companies that sell them. Oh great.
From a post found on the blog attached to Vibration Magazine,
"For several years, I taught a class in essences to Boston pharmacy students as part of their complementary therapies course. When they asked me about how essence practitioners are educated, I always used the following analogy: what if you were to go the Hoffmann-LaRoche school of pharmacy, learning only about their products during your study? When you were done, you’d go to the Ciba-Geigy school. After that, you’d have to enroll in and graduate from the Merck school. And so on.
It would be a pretty silly way to be educated, yes? Of course, pharmacists instead first learn anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, treatment methodologies, patient management, classes of drugs, etc. They learn about specific drug companies’ products only as required by the topics covered.
This points to the greatest obstacle in essence education: learning the basic tenants of healing and essence use FIRST and THEN different company’s work certainly does seem more sensible. But no school we know of is devoid of focus on one or (at most) two company’s products..."
This is oh-so familiar to me, and I suppose to my readers, as I harp on it a lot - when it comes to modern herbal medicine, most consumers, (and sadly many so-called naturopaths) simply take at face value what the information from the suppliers says the remedy is 'supposed to' do, and go no further. If they do any research at all, it is likely to be in the form of articles written by journalists (or pseudo-journalists), not practitioners who grow, work with and know the plants themselves. Many a false meme has developed around herbs like echinacea, goldenseal and St. John'swort. What we end up with is people missing out on the real benefits of plant medicine, sometimes even coming to harm, while the companies getting rich selling low quality 'herbal' dust ...
Woops, almost got sidetracked into a rant there. Sorry.
So gee, what are we to make of our exploration of the written material about flower essences? It's a minefield. It's certainly got the potential to be just another 'alternative' medicine field wherein those who profit from it set the rules, telling us what to expect from their remedy. (Kinda like those ads from the pharmaceutical companies, now that we mention it. "Ask your doctor about fillintheblank", which is just a big shell game seeing as how your doctor most often gets his information from the pharmaceutical company that sells the drug). And let's not forget the woo factor from the purveyors of flower essences, which as you will see below, can get pretty extreme.
So let's look at one flower essence, lilac. Here are a few blurbs, chosen at random on the first page of a Google search, each from sellers, because that's all the first page offered, sellers. (the number will link you to the site):
1) For those who nostalgically cling to the past or to old ways of being, Lilac helps us to let go. It is a cleansing essence that helps us realize that we are complete or finished with something.
2) Lilac flower essences helps us to relax into the joy of being. It is perfect for those seeking a less hectic inner life.
3) Positive qualities: Deep wellsprings of memory that rejuvenate the soul, neurological regeneration through stimulation of memory forces that connect the soul with joy and life meaning
Patterns of imbalance: Soul amnesia – inability to integrate or be nourished by past experiences of the soul, especially in early childhood; sadness, depression, or sense of burden due to a feelings of isolation, alienation or abandonment; reduced sensory experience as the precursor of brain disease or dysfunction
4) Alignment with divine will, perseverance with the divine plan
Because Lilac holds the vibration of successful co-creation and constructive partnership between people and the intelligence in nature, Lilac Essence will help to keep any project we are undertaking in alignment with nature as well as the divine plan. Alignment is, in fact, the key word for Lilac in all regards. Lilac is an immense pillar of strength, supporting us to be in alignment with the divine blueprint for our lives.
-Brings wisdom to all issues of the spine.
-Helps with spinal alignment and also opens chakras for greater movement of light.
-There are reasons folks feel so passionate about this Flower, see the longer definition to find out why!
(me - and here is the 'longer definition' from that site. It's a doozy!)
During the time of Lemuria and Atlantis, there were many mystery schools dedicated to
Lilac. It remains a very significant Flower. Lilac is one of the most hybridized shrubs on
Earth, yet almost all of the hybridizations were done in alignment with an original
blueprint for this family of plants. One reason for this is that the template for this plant
was laid down with extreme clarity and strength. Another reason is that this particular
plant was the project of a group of human, Elemental and Angelic partners who worked
extremely harmoniously together. During their long and productive partnership they
stayed completely in alignment with the divine plan for Lilac. One glance at a modern
seed or plant catalog demonstrates how rare this is. Their ego free work left a vibration
in Lilac that is an energetic gift of encouragement to all of us to persevere with the divine
Many of the people who worked to co-create this plant return again and again in more
recent incarnations to a deep association with Lilac. These are the souls responsible for
modern hybrids. Many other people find themselves drawn to this plant as well. One
reason for this is because of the strong vibration of successful co-creation with nature that
this plant holds. With its vibration of constructive partnership between people and the
intelligence in nature, Lilac Essence will help to keep a project you are undertaking in
alignment with nature as well as the divine plan. Alignment is, in fact, the key word for
Lilac in all regards.
Lilac is a literal pillar of strength, vibrationally calling us into alignment with the divine
blueprint for our spine. When a friend suffered a spinal cord injury, she had many
dreams about Lilac during the early stages of her recuperation and took the opportunity
to sit with Lilacs and work with it as a Flower Essence.
The Angels and Elementals of Lilac had us plant two dozen different varieties of Lilac
here at the farm. Their blossoms come in many shades of purple, white, primrose yellow,
pink, and blue. When I make Lilac Essence, a gorgeous panicle of each variety grown
here goes into the bowl. What a magnificent symphony that is!
"I AM a pillar of strength in complete alignment with divine will"
What is of interest to me is that nowhere on the majority of the sites I'm exploring (til I'm cross-eyed) can I find reference to how the uses for the individual essences are discovered, or if they are in any way tested and confirmed. Where do they get this information that they are telling us is the "essence" of lilac's healing?
The Angels and Elementals?
Listen, I'm pretty woo myself, but I want to hear what the human experience with the essence is, on the ground. Or even what plant itself has to say, not the freaking "Angels and Elementals"
As an aside - when plants speak to us, it's on many levels, but they are all (I believe) biologically based. They and we are corporeal creatures, it's part of what we share, life in physical form. Their fragrances, colours and magnetic fields are something our brains and sensory hearts can sense. If flower essences are real - and I think they probably are - it's because they match something, or resonate with something, within us, some part of our biological make-up. It's a part of us that science has not yet "discovered", but something that humans experience. There's a lot of that to life, human experience just hasn't (yet) been mapped by human science.
I don't think it helps the case for our flower essences to start bringing in "Angels and Elementals". I'm not dismissing the possibility that such creatures exist and interact with us. I simply don't consider one writer's word that they are the source of the information enough to go on. And as for Lemuria and Atlantis ..
Okay, moving on.
I chose lilac for our example because I tripped over this post last night, again from Vibration Magazine. It opens with this editor's note:
The process of thoroughly testing a new essence is meant to be–but seldom is–a rigorous one, and collecting notes like Annabeth’s from many volunteers is a part of the process. See a collection of articles about how to do it here: Making and Testing Essences — A Virtual Booklet.
"Thoroughly testing a new essence" and "collecting notes from many volunteers", now that's what we want to see. Sadly, the link to the virtual booklet was a dead link, I'll be trying to find it through other avenues, believe me.
Please, follow the link and read the article, it's a bit too long to paste here and I don't want to lift quotes out of context. It's worth the read because it's someone's experience in working with lilac flower essence; real life, not theoretical.
So here's how I'm going to proceed with the flower essences. First, I will read, read and read some more. I'll look for first hand experiences written by people who've got their feet on the ground. I'll be comparing what I know from my own experiences with the plants as herbal medicine with the descriptions of their essences. I'll be experimenting, too.
This will take years.
And what fun it shall be! I love research, I love flowers and I love to tinker. I'll gnash my teeth aplenty, I'm sure, as I get bogged down in Lemuria with the Elementals (lordy I hope there's no reptilian alien shadow government stuff, there might well be).
But I shall remain undaunted in my explorations, because I see no reason why flower essences wouldn't be another gift from the Creator to us.
If you're joining me, please share your experiences, your links, whatever knowledge you might have in comments or by email. There will be more posts here on this theme I expect ..