How to drive away the winter with the help of flower essences
Coincidence and Flowers
Most people do not really care why a plant appears at a certain time. They believe it all depends on climate, soil, animals or whatever. It seems they regard plants as victims of nature‘s power, passive, patient, without their own will. But is that really so?
If you take a look from adifferent perspective you may as well say that plants and flowers form the land and create the climate. They take influence in our lives. Just think of how trees, shrubs and grass keep mountains in their place and what would happen if they were not there.
There are plants which seem to be able to travel to certain places, they prefer. I do not mean sunny or wet regions which serve their needs best. Some plants like Belladonna avoid humans and disappear when people settle on a place that is covered of Belladonna. Others however come to where people live. Flowers and plants have their own rhythm and time, of course they do not jump to a certain place but yet let their seeds travel as if they are guided.
For instance Willowherb. Its flower essence gives us comfort, when we are in pain, injured, hurt, traumatised and humiliated. When you know that you can see the fact in a different light that Willowherb was known as „Ruinsflower“ in the bombed Germany after WW2. Out of the sudden Willowherb appeared in what once were houses and streets and stations and let her magenta shine and bring the people comfort. This is a flower that helps to deal with the unspeakable, personal desaster, pain and loss.
The common fruit bearing trees give us a similarily emotional impact. In the middle ages it was quite common in northern Germany to plant a tree when a new baby was born. Girls got a pear tree, boys an apple tree. Nowadays many people want to reconnect to their own roots and traditions and plant a tree for their child. We currently face a revival of old traditions and rituals. But what do you get when you ask them why they do it. Ok,they find it a nice idea - but there must be something more to it. But what?
The states of the USA and Australia have a symbolic plant, that is supposed to represent the the strengths and characteristics of that state. The German „states“ chose an animal (horse, lion, bear etc.), do you think by gambling? Why is Forget-Me-Not Alaska‘s, California Poppy California‘s and Sturt Desert Pea South Australia‘s symbolic flower? By accident? There is something we cannot explain logically nor rationally behind it.
Why do the people of a certain country choose a certain plant? What do they want to express? Is it a typical flower, one of special worth, one that grows around a historical important place, one that provide us with sweet fruit?
Shamanism uses the name Totem for plants that we relate to in a very special and individual way. Shamans are able to communicate with them, resp. their Devas (the light-beings that embody the flowers expression and energy). Normal resp. sceptical people however may meditate with the plant or dream of it and so make use of a different way to communcate.
The idea is to have a friend, healer and teacher in the plant kingdom. Although most people have no idea what their personal totem plant may be (to be honest there are and there should be more than one), they certainly do know their favourite one, be it a tree, a shrub or a flower. But why that special one? Do not say form, colour, smell - there is always a reason behind the reason or a question to every answer. Could you tell why that certain form, colour, smell attracts you?
Perhaps you can find the answer or at least a clue when you read about how the essence of your plant works. This may teach you about yourself by reflecting what you like and what you do not. Perhaps their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses and wishes tell you something about your ones. All these people all over the world who research flower essences are busy translating the language of the flowers into the human one. They try to make it easy for us to understand the underlying motives of any attraction to a plant as well as rejection.
But what do I tell you? Let me simply give you an example
Poppy - Papaver rhoeas
Poppy does not originate from central Europe, it has travelled the long way from Arabia. Since the flower is mentioned in the bible I suppose the middle East is the region where it came from.
Poppy has a very special friend in the plant kingdom: grain. They are real buddies and where one goes the other follows. Unless one of them is chemically attacked...
The plant impresses by its bright red flowers that can measure up to 10cm in diameter. They produce unbelievable amounts of tiny black seeds, which they release to the wind.
In former times the seeds were used in the kitchen as spice until modern agriculture was able to breed new sorts which are easier to handle and produce more.
Until then people dealt with this floral partnership by simply using both at the same time. Poppy and grain were harvested and used together. No surprise Poppy became Goddess Demeter‘s symbolic plant. Demeter rules fertility and agriculture.
The special thing about Poppy is the way it travels in order to establish itself in new regions. Whenever grain was harvested, Poppy accompagnied it. And with every sack of grain, that was exported to the north, some Poppy seeds travelled as deadheads with it. Poppy even made it over the Alps and arrived in central Europa in the late stoneage.
Poppy seeds need utraviolet light in order to sprout. What a nice coincidence that the fields are regularly ploughed which brings last years seeds back to the light. The special relationship to ultraviolet light serves the plant however even further. Bees are blind to red light, so the flowers are less than attractive to them. But Poppy pollen reflect uv light and guide the bees directly to the flowers.
In case it should not work Poppy gets some help of other insects. It does not produce any nectar, but its pollen, loaded with protein, fat and carbohydrate, offer the insects a rich meal.
And people did enjoy it, too. Besides backing the seed they also produced cooking oil, that replaced the more expensive olive oil. Even the flowers themselves were used, their leaves were the basis for a syrup for the children.
And they made red ink of them.
Of course people also tried to find out if Poppy has any healing qualities. In fact the flowers bear some alkaloids, which can be used for pain reduction. Restnessless, sleeping disorders and breathing problems are mentioned as indications, as well. However modern medicine denies these qualities - and not without reason.
What else can we do with plants besides eating them and use them for healing purposes? Decorate the land, the house, ourselves, of course, and not to forget using them in rituals. Poppy‘s German name „Klatschmohn“ as well as its Dutch name „Klaproos“ both have the „clap“ (Klatsch, klap) in it. The clapping noise Poppy flowers make when the wind makes them touch explains it. A flower that makes noise! This must mean something.
Intuitively people recognized that this flower has something to do with the heart and love, already indicated by its heart warming colour. So they asked the flower like an orcale and waited for its reply. Does he/she really love me? Hit the flower and hear what it says: if there wasn‘t anything to hear - forget it; if the noise was a real clap - be happy, the other loves you, too.
When finally the loving couple marries family and friends throws Poppy leaves on them and wish them all the best. You can say Poppy was a means to make the magic wishes for the new couple visible, when they resp. the flowers touch them.
Is it not a nice idea to say I love you and let the flower carry my love to the other? By the way Poppy‘s Bulgarian name „Bulka“ means bride.
After all we have to make it with a simple, shiny, self-assured as well as loyal being, which plays its role in the matters of the heart
Now let us take a closer look on what we already know about its essence:
Poppy Flower Essence
Knowing about all these kinds of uses of the plant it cannot really surprise that Poppy became a flower essence one day, too. As far as I know have the first Poppy essences been made around 1990. Meanwhile many many people have tried it and contributed their subjective view of its energy. It is always subjective like the question if I prefer coffee or tea, the flower essences makers‘ task is it to find out what all these description have in common, what they mean.
Without any measuring technical equipment it is not that easy. Do people really mean the same when they say they are happy? Do you really taste them same as I when you eat a strawberry? We shall never know.
So what have they found out until now:
Poppy essence opens the heart when it has been closed for a long time and the person does not feel capable of opening up to others. They seem to have forgotten how it works.
Poppy helps to cope with one‘s own vulnerability, it teaches to defend oneself in other ways than to shut oneself off. Its energy helps to get access to one‘s original self-consciuousness, that recognizes vulnerability as the price you have to pay to create trust, harmony and intimacy in your relationships. So you could as well see it as a powerful tool instead of a weakness.
This essence can teach you to notice your vulnerability in the first place and accept it. It is the first step to change, especially when your beliefs and attitudes are a little rigid. But perhaps one can recognize for the first time that the tough guy was merely a mask that has to cover one‘s sensitivity.
We can say Poppy is a softener, it helps to be open to others as well as to yourself, patient and understanding.
We know of a couple of cases in which Poppy played a helping role in overcoming female infertility. When the reason a woman can not become pregnant is emotional Poppy can help. The essence strengthens female self-assuredness, which makes a pregnancy possible in the first place.
Anyway this is not an essence solely for women. On the contrary it supports the female side in men, too. Men discover their own sensitivity, which in turn helps to cope with their women‘s pregnancy.
It has also been mentioned that Poppy helped in cases of childhood abuse.
At last there are people who reported that Poppy helped them to find rest, peace and sleep after a busy stressful day.
Openness, self-consciousness, sensitivity and a loving heart is what we wish our clients and patients and try to provide them with.