Bathing fun with flower essences
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Let’s take an example: the grandmother.
Who among my esteemed readers thinks that one has to explain the concept of grandmother to, say, a Siberian or a Zulu or a Papuan? The grandmother may have found her own expression in every culture, but the basic idea is valid everywhere in the world. Like all archetypes.
How do we imagine a grandmother? Sure: old, grey-haired and with wrinkles on her face, smaller than she once was - but isn’t there more? Is she not more indulgent than, say, the mother? I remember well being allowed to stay up longer than usual when I stayed overnight with my grandmother. We often played cards past the usual bedtime and sometimes I was allowed to watch programmes on TV at her place that I was forbidden to watch at home. So, my grandmother and I had our little secrets.
If there was trouble at school, I could go to her for advice and comfort. She defended me against my parents when I messed up a class assignment. She just didn’t take everything so seriously any more. She had compassion when I knocked my knees and laughed at the same time, without this seeming contradictory to me. On the contrary, it eased the pain when it was not taken so seriously.
Occasionally she would make flippant remarks about and to her husband, who knew full well that he could no longer fool this woman after all these years. They had gotten along, witnessed all the little and big weaknesses of their partner, forgave them and smiled about them. Grandmother was one of the few who could say something to mother, she was the power that was above the power and never took advantage of this other than to make peace. She cooked what you could not get elsewhere and knew stories that no one knew but her. She possessed kindness, warmth, humanity, forbearance and humour and came quite close to the archetype.
Whenever we feel small and helpless and miss this feeling of protection and security, the corresponding archetypal flower essence can help us. Birch, for that is what we are dealing with in the realm of plants, brings us exactly the serenity and inner distance that allows us to see our situation with humour or irony, that softens the seriousness of the matter and assures us that we will find the right solution. And which keeps telling us that we will laugh out loud about the matter once we have reached the age of a grandmother. The birch has yin energy, i.e. feminine power, but not one that has to compare itself with others, fight and assert itself, but one that has already done and achieved all that. She has no interest in making or keeping others small, but finds delights in their growth. Grandmother is a woman who no longer has to prove anything to anyone. She is the wise old woman from whom we gladly seek advice, even when she laughs at us.
The essence that conveys her energy purifies, centres and makes one strong inside. Even those who were never allowed to meet their grandmother and never experienced this buffer in conflicts between themselves and their parents, her comfort and her warmth, can add a whole new quality of experience to their lives with the help of the birch tree essence.
This is the concept of archetypal flower essences: ask yourself the question, the power of which archetype could I most urgently need now, the inner child or the warrior, the inner artist or the inner grandmother with all the associated qualities and energies? The corresponding flower essence allows the archetype to be traced within oneself and to grow until it has become a natural part of one’s own personality.