Flower Essences for My Loss and Grief
I wanted to share with friends the combination of flower essences which I have been using to help me as I live through a time of the deepest soul-pain I've ever experienced. During the first week after I learned of my son Patrick's death, I used Bach Rescue Remedy which is a combination of five flower remedies especially for dealing with sudden and profound shock. I continue to use it occasionally, but I have created another combination of essences to help more specifically with the things I am confronted with in learning to live in the world without my son.
I was granted permission to share the following pictures and descriptions from the Flower Essence Repertory. This is available in book form, as well as online to members of the Flower Essence Society.
For further information, contact:
Flower Essence Society
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959 USA
800-736-9222 (USA & Canada), 530-265-9163, fax: 530-265-0584
Positive Qualities: Freedom from limiting influences, making healthy transitions in life, inner strength to follow one’s own path and destiny
Patterns of Imbalance: Overly influenced by the social expectations or values of family or community, past experiences or beliefs that inhibit the soul’s evolution
Definition: The human soul is akin to the plant in its patterns of growth. It grows slowly, almost imperceptibly from day to day, but there are moments when it makes radical, metamorphic changes, moving beyond its current form to something utterly new. Thus the plant transforms from root, to shoot, to leaf, to flower, to fruit, to seed. Walnut flower essence is an important remedy for times of great life transition; it assists the soul in making metamorphic change. It is indicated for those life passages when the Self must be completely and irrevocably transformed in order to continue its evolution. At these moments, the soul must be unwavering in its sense of inner purpose and conviction. If the mind experiences doubt or confusion, the progress of the Self is impeded, if not imperiled. Walnut is particularly helpful for those who may be easily influenced by family ties, community morés, social conventions, strong personalities, or past habits, and who are unable to muster the strength to make a break with the past and with the ideas of others. It is especially powerful in the mental field, helping to dispel any enchantment, illusion, or spell which may bind the soul to the past. This remedy can be broadly applied and is valuable for all life transitions including birth and death, moving, career changes, and ending or beginning relationships. Walnut helps the soul to perceive and follow its true Star of Destiny.
Positive Qualities: Awareness of karmic connections in one's personal relationships; perceptive mindfulness of subtle realms and transpersonal relationships
Patterns of Imbalance: Lack of connection with souls in the spiritual world; loneliness and isolation due to death of a loved one; soul myopia
Definition: If we are to heal the wounds imposed on human culture by its overly materialistic viewpoint, it is necessary to lift our consciousness of the human family to include those souls who live outside the earthly dimension. Our hearts can naturally feel grief and concern for a living child who is abandoned and lacks the loving care and attention of a family; however, our materialistic bias makes us totally oblivious to the needs of souls who have departed from the physical realm. This blindness prevents us from providing sustenance and support to such souls, and also from receiving guidance and counsel from them for our earthly affairs. Yet establishing healthy contact with souls beyond the physical dimension is not easy. Many attempt unlawful contact through lower astral currents using drugs, sexuality, mediumism, or dangerous occult techniques. Rather than using these methods, we must be able to make contact with such souls in a heartfelt, conscious manner. The path of soul communion beyond the earthly threshold is a path of love it depends on our ability to believe in the continued existence of the soul who has departed from physical form; remaining faithful to, and continuing to nurture the bonds of love which began on Earth. Forget-Me-Not helps awaken the soul to this higher level of heart exchange. It is an important essence to consider following the initial stage of grief after the death of a loved one, and can be very helpful for those who have never fully resolved their feelings of isolation and abandonment following the loss of an important family member or friend during childhood. Forget-Me-Not can also be used by expectant parents who wish to establish a conscious link with the soul seeking to be incarnated through them, or it can be beneficial when one wishes to understand the deeper, karmic soul connection which inspires or challenges any current relationship. In all these instances, Forget-Me-Not guides us toward greater love for the human family, and greater awareness of the incredible depth, beauty, and possibility of soul-based relationships.
Positive Qualities: Spiritual depth, faith derived from encountering adversity; solitude rooted in spiritual communion
Patterns of Imbalance: Pronounced despair and agony; feeling of aloneness or abandonment due to a “dark night of the soul”
Definition: Sweet Chestnut heals the deepest form of soul anguish and despair that which is often referred to as the “dark night of the soul.” The conditions which require Sweet Chestnut are extreme, and the individual is often in the most negative and acute form of suffering; however, this remedy is the harbinger of great spiritual transformation. The one who needs Sweet Chestnut is tested literally to the breaking point of endurance. Although the cause of such pain is based on a deeply personal situation, there is nevertheless a profound existential quality related to this state, for the soul feels utterly alone in its suffering. Sweet Chestnut is often indicated in drug addiction or suicide therapy, when the individual feels that he or she has hit “rock bottom.” It can be indicated for many other extreme conditions, such as the death of a loved one or realization that one has a life-threatening illness. Through these forms of intense suffering, the Self surrenders to a Higher Power and is able to be reborn. It is precisely in this way that transformational healing is possible, for when the soul is stretched to its limits it also becomes transcendent. Sweet Chestnut helps the soul surrender and open to a new spiritual identity.
Positive Qualities: Ability to love others unconditionally, with an open heart; emotional freedom
Patterns of Imbalance: Entangled in relationships based on fear, possessiveness or neediness; emotional co-dependence
Definition: Bleeding Heart flower essence is a very powerful heart cleanser and strengthener for those who must learn the deeper spiritual lessons of love and freedom. Those needing this remedy suffer enormous pain and brokenheartedness because their feelings have been poured out so completely into another soul who is no longer present. Perhaps this happens because a loved one has died, or a cherished friend or family member has moved away. Most frequently, such anguish arises in personal relationships which have dissolved, or in relationships that are greatly afflicted. Although love for another may have many genuine aspects, very often the Bleeding Heart type has made the error of living too extensively outside the boundaries of its own Self. This intense desire for connection is often felt by the partner as emotional dependence, causing the partner to feel a need for distance. Such a co-dependent relationship is devoid of real freedom and a balanced exchange of heart energies. The loss and pain which are consequently felt by those in need of Bleeding Heart are therefore necessary experiences, when viewed from a larger perspective. Through Bleeding Heart flower essence, the soul learns to fill itself from within with strong spiritual forces, so that the capacity to love another is based on the ability to honor and nourish the Self.
Positive Qualities: Ebullient heart forces, buoyant courage and optimism
Patterns of Imbalance: Heavy-heartedness or grief, lack of confidence in facing difficult circumstances; depressive behavior
Definition: Borage is an excellent heart remedy, especially for the feeling of heaviness in the heart, and perhaps throughout the body. The “Borago” plant was originally called “Corago,” referring to a state of courage associated with it. The word courage implies a soul quality intimately related to the heart (cor is Latin for heart); for it is through this energy center that one's essence is radiated outward to others. At times when the soul experiences too much grief, sadness, or other adversity, the heart can become contracted and heavy. We call this feeling “discouraged” or “disheartened.” The soul needs to learn that it can counterbalance this fettered feeling in the heart by contacting that which is “light,” or uplifting. Thus, the soul quality of courage is not so much connected to grit or strength, but to a condition of buoyancy in the soul which helps it to rise above, rather than sink into the weight of discouragement or depression. Borage flower essence helps the heart to experience this ebullience and lightness, filling the soul with fresh forces of optimism and enthusiasm. It is an excellent all-purpose balm and toner in many formulas when the soul needs upliftment and encouragement.
From the Flower Essence Repertory
Text by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz
Photos: Richard Katz
© 2006 Flower Essence Society, used by permission, permission is required for re-use.
Last Update: 04/07/2006