“When I touch that flower, I am not merely touching that flower. I am touching
infinity. That little flower existed long before there were human beings on this
earth. It will continue to exist for thousands, yes, millions of years to come.”
-George Washington Carver
CAPTURING THE ESSENCE
Preparing a flower essence is not a mechanical process-it’s a magical one. The first thing to prepare is yourself. The energy with which you make flower essences affects the quality of the finished product, as energy is constantly pouring out of our hands. Be fully in the moment, completely present and in a very positive state of mind. You might want to pause and take several deep breaths before beginning, to attune yourself with the essence-making process. Also, you may want to take a flower essence to help clear your energy.
You will want to gather your equipment-a plain, clear crystal bowl (or glass, to avoid the lead content), pure spring water, and high-quality brandy as a preservative. (Bottled spring water is fine; distilled is not. The ionization process used in distillation destroys the water’s life force that is necessary to hold the essence’s potency.) Lastly, you’ll need a cloudless, sunny morning. Even one cloud passing over the sun will break the flow of energy required to draw the life force out of the blossoms and into the water.
Now, fill the bowl with the spring water. Next, cover your fingers with a leaf from one of the plants or trees that you have selected so that you do not directly touch the blossoms. Choose flowers as you would select fruit at the grocery store-the largest, freshest and most vibrant of the group at their peak of bloom. Pick those blossoms that grow in
profusion, selecting only a few from each plant or tree so that the plant’s integrity is left intact. Work only with organically grown trees and plants whose natural growth is as undisturbed as possible.
Completely cover the surface of the water with the plucked flowers. Set the bowl in a spot where no shadows, including your own, will pass over it for the next three to four hours. At the end of that time, you will see that a magical transformation has taken place-the life force of the blossoms has been infused into the water through the magnetic energy of the sun.
Then, carefully skim off the blossoms with a leaf from the plant and pour the Mother Essence, as it is called, into an unused dark glass bottle. If you want to ensure that no blossoms will slip into the bottle, you can pour the Mother Essence through an organic coffee filter. Fill the bottle only halfway with the essence and the remainder with brandy. The brandy serves two purposes: (1) it is a chemical preservative; and (2) it is considered to be an “anchor” to hold the subtle essence vibrations in the water.
The above procedure is called the Sun Method of preparation. Should several hours of unbroken sunlight be unavailable, use the Boiling Method instead. Pick the blossoms in full sunlight in the morning. In a new and unused enamel pot, bring them to a boil in pure spring water. Then, lower the heat to simmer for thirty minutes. Add brandy and store this Mother Essence as explained above. (Note: both the bowl and the pot may be reused for essence preparation after being rinsed with warm sea-salt water. This prevents “vibrational contamination” from previous usage.)
PRESERVING AND STORING THE ESSENCES
To prepare a Stock Concentrate, place two drops of Mother Essence in a one-ounce dark-glass bottle with a glass dropper, and fill the remainder of the bottle with half brandy and half spring water. Once the essence is made, keep it out of sunlight. Mother Essence, Stock Concentrate and Dosage Bottles should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. Plastic droppers tend to react with the brandy and create an unpleasant taste, so glass is highly preferred.
The Mother Essence is not taken directly, but you may take the Stock Concentrate undiluted-two to four drops four times a day, under the tongue-or use it to prepare a Dosage Bottle. Practitioners, and those wanting the Stock Concentrate to last longer, can take the time to prepare the Dosage Bottle. This requires adding two drops of Stock Concentrate to a one-ounce dark-glass dropper bottle, one tablespoon of brandy and then filling the bottle with spring water. The essences in Dosage Bottle strength are taken four drops, four times a day. Both the Stock Concentrate and Dosage Bottle essences may be added to water, juice or tea and sipped throughout the day. If flower essences are properly and hygienically prepared as described above, they will retain their potency for at least six to ten years.
For brandy sensitivity-a consideration for many people, including recovering alcoholics, children and those with candida or other health issues-the brandy may be left out of the Dosage Bottle if it is refrigerated. The bottle will retain its potency for a month’s time. Or, both Stock and Dosage preparations may be added to a boiling beverage so that the alcohol content evaporates. As an alternative to ingestion, several drops may be placed on the underside of one wrist and rubbed into the other, much like applying perfume.
The creative usage of flower essences is infinitely varied. Here are a few suggestions. Try two Stock drops to one quarter-cup massage oil or body lotion; four Stock drops in a misting bottle to spray exposed parts of the body; or sixteen Stock drops per tub of bath water. For emergencies and also less urgent circumstances, apply the drops directly to the skin, especially on areas in particular need, and rub in the essence. Also, four Stock drops to baby’s bottle is a wonderful way to give it to children. A nursing mother can take her baby’s essence so that he can receive it through her milk. (This applies to animals as well. See chapter Thirty-five for further directions and chapter Thirty-four, for children.) Add a couple of drops to fruit popsicles of the same essence. Place on acupressure points; acupuncturists may apply Stock to the meridians. Feel free to be adventurous and explore new possibilities for taking the essences. One man shared that he liked to sleep with his Stock bottle under his pillow just to have it close by!
Unlike homeopathy, flower essences are not antidoted by the use of coffee, black tea, chocolate, mint or other strong spices. Also, there are no determined levels of potency such as 6x, 12x or 30x. Stock and Dosage preparations are reported by people to be equally as potent in their respective dosage amounts.
Often with allopathic medicines, we read of contra-indications and possible side effects. This is not a concern with flower essences. They readily enhance and supplement other medications, herbs, therapies and treatments.
Taking the essences more than the minimum suggested dosage of four times daily is helpful-ten or even twenty times, especially in an emergency situation. Although exceeding the dosage quantity is not helpful, neither is it harmful. However, other flower essence companies and practitioners vary somewhat in their recommended dosages-two to four Stock drops at a time, though, is quite within the realm of reasonable. If we remember that we’re working with vibrational remedies and not biochemical medications, the quantities are less important than taking the essence several times throughout the day. Here’s what worked for Renee:
“I could give you this Apple testimonial because I had this cold- no, seriously-I had been suffering with this little cold. It just kept dragging on, and I was taking all this stuff like echinacea, and it was-n’t going away. I didn’t take Apple the way you’re supposed to-I squeezed like a whole dropper. I stuck it in my mouth, I mean the whole dropperful every two hours, and my cold was gone the next day. I mean, it was like taking an industrial dose.”
Here’s a word of caution, however, about wasting your essence bottle, either Stock or Dosage: don’t bother trying to overdose. Flower essences are abuse-proof. Their purity makes it impossible. The essences contain an “innate safety valve” so that taking more than the recommended dosage only wastes them. A mother once called in a panic because her son had swallowed an entire Dosage Bottle of Grape. “Does he need to be rushed to the hospital?” she asked frantically. “No,” I told her, “there’s no problem at all. But you’ll need to replace his bottle.”
Often-in fact, too often to ignore-people say that they smell or taste the corresponding fruit or vegetable. This can indicate that the smell and taste of the vibration of the corresponding food source may be imprinted into the essence itself.
ONE VERSUS MANY
How many essences can we reasonably take at one time? You will find many responses to this question, as varied as the practitioners working with them. Some say nine, others recommend one. It can be argued that we’re working on many issues at one time. If we view essences as “bottled affirmations,” it is best to focus on one at a time, to “energetically sink our teeth into it,” so to speak. This is similar to the homeopathic concept of a single constitutional remedy.
In researching Spirit-in-Nature Essences for over thirty years, I first worked with combined essences for several years and have since suggested only one at a time. Why one at a time? Each essence is a complete adventure in itself, reaching far beyond the one quality associated with it. Banana for humility also addresses issues of calmness, non-identification, non-attachment, gentleness and strength. When we take only one essence at a time, we are better able to: (1) isolate which essence is working for us; (2) observe results more quickly, and more dramatically; and (3) focus on that particular essence and its corresponding qualities. People still receive their five essences per month, but sequentially instead of simultaneously. (See Chapter Thirty-three.)
Karen is a case in point. We met several years back in her small health food store. It had been a harried day, she admitted. We spoke briefly, and I left a bottle of Tomato, specifically for strength and courage. She called back three days later with the following testimonial:
“The Tomato took away my PMS in two hours-and it wasn’t time for it to be over. I took the essence frequently. Yes, I felt courage or a warrior’s spirit. I also felt healed in my heart on the subject of animal cruelty. This is an issue for me, since I am always taking in stray animals. I also now feel I can do my work more clearly, and I am less influenced by all the different energies one encounters in dealing with the public. I have tried for years through nutrition, herbs and supplements to achieve what happened overnight with Tomato. My thinking has cleared and my dreams have changed-more color and texture now. Also, even though I am remarried, I feel I have cleared some residual issues from my divorce eighteen years ago.”
Oftentimes, as in Karen’s case, a single essence will dissolve lingering subconscious issues that we are unaware of. Much like getting a massage that smoothes out knotted muscles, we may suddenly realize how much tension we’d been carrying around without even knowing it until, by contrast, the knots were released. Flower essences dissolve psycho-emotional tension in a similar fashion.
The single-essence method raises a certain paradox. While you may take an essence to both support and enhance other supplements and therapies, taking an essence with other essences seems to weaken their results, even if only slightly, according to a significant number of my clients’ responses. Why? To some extent, they cancel each other out. Would you, for example, go to several acupuncturists or psychotherapists during the same time period? So, consider: one essence at a time, per person, rather than one essence per issue.
To clarify: taking one essence at a time doesn’t mean that we are only working on one part of our lives at that time. Not at all! Here’s an analogy: would you like to listen to five radio stations at once? Clearly, one is enough. The good news is that people tend to progress through their essences more quickly when taking only one at a time. Three days to two weeks is a standard length of time on a remedy in a particular essence cycle. We may choose to return to that essence at a later date, having worked through one level of a given test to our satisfaction. Insights come quickly and change can happen fast. Of course, there are exceptions. Frank, for instance, enthusiastically remained on Cherry for six months, to deal with a particularly difficult divorce where children and many complicated emotional issues, were involved.
WHEN TO START AND WHEN TO STOP
“Oh, rats, I forgot my Pear,” said a clerk in the cosmetic section of a busy health food store. How did she know she needed an essence? She just did. Experience had taught her that on busier days, Pear was “just what the doctor ordered” to help her deal with the crowds, the questions and the craziness.
Other indications that it is time to begin an essence are:
You feel the lack of a certain quality in your life-an absence of clarity when decisions need to be made (Blackberry or Avocado), or intolerance when the in-laws pay a visit (Date or possibly Lettuce). NOTE: See Chapter Eight for plot essences.
Things are going well but you have a sense that they could go even better- you won second place in the local bake sale, cooking being a favorite way of nurturing your family and friends (Peach), or you’ve just given an excellent lecture at the PTA but felt that you could have surpassed even your own expectations (Pineapple). NOTE: See the theme essence section of Chapter Eight.
Other people comment on what they think you need for self-growth. Although it may not be easy, hear them out-and consider taking Banana to improve your listening skills!
Any time of change. All too often we resist change because it may seem frightening, threatening or overwhelming. These times, though, are fantastic opportunities for inner growth, Corn being especially helpful, although other essences may also be useful.
You find yourself drawn to a particular food, even craving it, and eating more of it than usual. Conversely, you might find yourself repelled by that food, having previously enjoyed it. This can be a way of saying, “I don’t want to grow that much.” In either case, try taking the corresponding essence and see what happens.
You want to learn more about them. We make very suitable guinea pigs for testing out the flower essences. Through our own direct experience in taking them, they open the door to our ability to work successfully with others.
How will you know when you’ve finished with an essence? See if you feel comfortably stabilized in the changes it effected. That will be a good time to stop and either begin another essence, or remain “essenceless” for awhile. Remember that flower essences are “pump primers”-there is no need to take them indefinitely or for long periods of time.
One invariably accurate clue as to when you have completed an essence is simply this: you begin forgetting to take it. When something is helpful to us, we want it. Trusting our intuition is important. However, forgetting to take a remedy from Day One of an essence program is a different issue-negligence.
WHEN THE REMEDIES DON’T WORK
Irregularity: I have learned to ask point blank when a client volunteers the no-results feedback, how many times a day he is taking the essence. Nine times out of ten, the answer is, once or twice. The essences must be taken as directed to be effective. They need to be re-introduced into our energy field at least four times a day.
The “wrong” essence: Although in truth there are no wrong essences, there are “better” and “best” choices. Use your judgment combined with intuition in assessing immediate needs. Remember to trust yourself. If you don’t experience at least the beginning of results within three days, move on to your “next best” choice.
Timing: If you have just begun a new exercise regime, seriously cleaned up your diet, or started on supplements and herbal teas all at one time, you may simply be on overload. It’s best to wait until you have integrated your new routine and then, when you can give it your focused attention, begin a program of flower essences.
Lack of need: just as we don’t need to change the oil in our car constantly, we will find times in our lives when we simply don’t need to take essences. When our inner machinery is well enough oiled with energy, insight and peace-these are the times to work with the positive momentum generated by the essences and our willingness to grow. Enjoy these times!
Sometimes the ego resists change. In every moment of our lives, we have the same choice-to move toward the light or away from it. At times, we may simply choose to resist our own growth; the essences won’t override your decision.
Dark night: Haven’t we all experienced times of suffering so profound that it seems as if no other human being has ever known such anguish? Various religions refer to this time as the “dark night of the soul.” This is a state of utter despair in which all outer methods of assistance, including flower essences, seem to fail us. What can you do? Meditation, prayer and patience are time-honored healers. Perhaps you can draw some measure of solace and hope from the following inspirational quotes:
“The diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.” -Chinese proverb
“When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs far what it has found.” -Sufi saying
“Love bears all things, believes all things . . . endures all things. Love never ends. “ -St. Paul
“As to me I know of nothing else but miracles.”
As mentioned previously, we may liken flower essences-pure vibrational examples of exalted qualities-to “bottled affirmations.” The scientific term for affirmations is autogenic training. The best times to practice them are upon falling asleep or awakening. These specific times are known as hypnogogic states. Thus, immediately before sleep and upon arising-including nap time-are the most beneficial times to repeat affirmations-and to take flower remedies. These are the periods when we can most easily penetrate the realm of super-consciousness, also called the Higher Self, that place within us where true inspiration and intuition reside. Or, we might say that these are the times when the door to the subconscious mind stands ajar and the essences are able to penetrate more deeply than during regular waking hours.
Our thoughts both express and mold who we are. Since they have such a powerful effect on our physical bodies, it is paramount to be aware of their content and quality.
Words have power. They can hurt and they can heal. We have all experienced the sting of unkind words and also the joy of being told by someone dear, “I love you.” Often, the mind thinks in words. Affirmations are words that we speak to ourselves in an affirmative state of knowing on a deep level that they ring of truth, even if unconfirmed by outer circumstances. As an experiment, repeat the Corn affirmation sometime when you are exhausted: “With boundless energy I rise to greet the world!” Affirmation is not denial. It is, rather, an unwavering declaration of a higher truth-that we are in possession of vast resources of inner vitality, even though our body at that moment may be expressing fatigue.
The best time for affirmations is when taking the corresponding essence. If you find yourself alone, repeat the affirmation aloud with energy, to help it penetrate the subconscious mind. Say it again more softly to the conscious mind and a third time silently, directed toward the superconscious mind.
As with any activity, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Affirmations recycle back to us as much power as we give to them. Said one man, “I don’t even take the essences anymore. I just use the affirmations!”
OPTIMUM TIMES TO TAKE FLOWER ESSENCES
Other times to take flower essences for maximum benefit are:
On an empty stomach. Otherwise our life force is diverted by the digestion process. Ten minutes before or one hour after a meal is fine. Before or after meditation. It has been said that meditation happens “when the mind is still and the heart is open”-a perfect time for essence therapy. This is also a wonderful time to feel their effects.
Before, during or after any quiet activity such as walking, yoga postures, light housework, handicrafts or reading-anything that clears and relaxes the body and mind simultaneously.
Any time the issue arises for which you are taking an essence. (I once took Tomato Essence twenty times in one hour to deal with Los Angeles rush hour traffic on the freeway and then didn’t need it for the next two days of driving.)
Ready to read another chapter? Here’s one you might like: How Flower Essences Work