as promised, here is my tutorial on making flower essences.
if you are not familiar with flower essences, i have created a page giving some background on them; including their history, what they are and how they work, etc. in addition, i will add that if you have never used them, or other subtle therapies, vibrational medicine can seem…how shall i put it
…woo woo to the max? like downright quackerie? like donkey breath, horsefeathers or bull muffins? i know, i don’t usually go for such things myself. except that i have experienced so many positive results with flower essences in my own life and process that i have no doubt of their effectiveness. i have also seen them work on children and animals, subjects who are unaware of what they are taking and therefore cannot fake it for a placebo effect. even if you are not interested in taking them for their psychotherapeutic benefits, it is a wonderful way to increase your intimacy with your favorite flowers, and the rest of nature for that matter. i will also include some links at the end of this post to more information and books, as well as companies i recommend purchasing them from.
YOU WILL NEED:
- purified water
- clear glass bowl
- garden shears or scissors
- brandy or vodka (not for drinking. although you may want to by the end of this tutorial.)
- unbleached coffee filter
- large glass jar (and smaller jars or bottles for later, if you want)
Choosing the Flower
more appropriately, this could be called letting the flower choose you. it can be tempting, especially during wildflower season, to use up every flower you see like it’s a bargain at walmart. “i’ll just make a whole bunch, from every type of flower, and then i’ll have a whole medicine cabinet!” except that what is called for here is respect and a reciprocal relationship between yourself and the flower. you are asking the flower queendom for help…
and if you think of it that way, you want the flower that “you choose” to be one that has stepped forward and offered itself.
unless it looks like this. in which case, you obviously need no disclaimers about “woo woo”.
there are two ways i will suggest to go about this. both require that you be familiar with a way of quieting your mind and getting in a receptive mood.
Way #1: THE OBVIOUS. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS PLANTS SHOUTING AT YOU.
sigh…not that plant. come on people…focus.
this is the method that worked for my lilac flower essence. during my recent weekend in shasta county, i was completely enraptured with the lilac bush that was in bloom near the house. i had gone outside in the early morning with the intention of making an essence if the right flower offered itself.
i was holding at the forefront of my attention some emotional questions that are “up” for me. (another way to think of this is to have a prayer in your heart that you can really feel.)
i approached the lilac bush for another scent snarfing session, and while i stood there in appreciation, the connection i felt with the plant was so strong that the message was very clear. there was no doubt in my mind or heart that this was the flower i should use. and not only that it was the right one, but there was also the element of the flower offering itself (joyfully, i might add). for me, a felt sense like this often translates into an experience of “seeing” or “hearing” (i “heard” the flower tell me it was the right one to use)
but what we’re really talking about here is being in touch with your intuition and knowing how to listen to it. (as in, getting out of your own way and telling the “rational” naysayer in your head to shush.)
Way #2: ASK PERMISSION
if you are still reading at this point, this is a method to use if you are not experiencing being screamed at by nature.
you can either deliberately look for a certain flower; for instance if you have looked it up in a book and know that you want to use buttercup flower essence for your issue of low self esteem, and also happen to know where some of these flowers reside. or perhaps you have some pretty wildflowers in a field by your house, and you are intrigued to make an essence out of them…in either case, asking permission is key. go out to the flower and get yourself in that aforementioned receptive state of mind (mindfulness meditation is a good way. or even just close your eyes and focus on your breath going in and out for a couple of minutes).
when you feel relatively centered, focus gently on the flower in front of you. and just like you were talking to a friend, ask the flower if you may use it to make a flower essence. you can say it aloud, but it may be more effective to do it silently, like a prayer. then wait for the answer. it’s possible you will hear the response in words. more likely, the answer will come as a feeling, or perhaps an image. pay attention to how your heart (or body) feels when someone tells you “no”. now, pay attention to how it feels when someone tells you “yes”. this sense is what you are waiting for.
the most important aspect to this method is be prepared to take “no” for an answer. it can be a bummer, especially when you are all riled up to make an essence. however, this is where that part about respect and reciprocal relationship comes in. there may be a wisdom at work that is worth paying attention to. and don’t worry, the opportunity will arise again.
STEP TWO: (we’re only on step two??)
Picking the Flowers
keeping yourself in that receptive, neutral state of mind….
you want to pick your flowers and begin making your essence early in the morning, after the plants have sent the majority of their energy into the flowers (in other words, wait until they are fully open). you also may want to pay attention to astrological aspects, if you are into that kind of stuff (i TOTALLY AM unlike me). grab those garden shears or scissors. it won’t ruin your essence if you touch the flower, but the less contact you have with it, the better.
you can hold it by the stem, it’s the flower you want to avoid touching.
fill your bowl with the purified water. clip the flowers, as close to the head as you can, into the bowl.
yes, i KNOW my bowl isn’t clear glass. don’t get smart with me.
Energizing the Water
find a nice sunny spot for your bowl to sit in for at least 3-4 hours, preferably all day. leave it alone! a watched essence doesn’t…?
Strain the Essence
place the coffee filter over the jar you want to decant the essence into. why not just pick out the flower? because you may discover that every little insect you hadn’t noticed before has crawled out of the flower and is hanging out in the bowl. strain the water into the jar, and then put the filter with the critters on it outside so they can go back home.
Sealing the Essence
add an equal amount of vodka or brandy to the essence in the jar. this is the mother essence…it can be taken straight, but you can also dilute it significantly with more water and alcohol. fill a small jar with equal amounts purified water and alcohol, then add several drops of the “mother” to it. in this way your mother essence can last you a long time. keep your stock in a cool dark place. and don’t forget to label the jar with the type of flower, and date bottled!
(if you have alcohol sensitivity, essences can be made/bought with glycerine. i am not familiar with how to make them this way, but i know several brands sell them like this.)
a note on using flower essences
remember that confounded receptive state of mind? this is the same frame within which you want to take your flower essences. don’t expect them to work if you ingest the drops like popping pills or vitamins and then continue running around at breakneck speed. it only takes a bit of quiet head space for less than 5 minutes, but it really makes all the difference.
also, it’s frequency of dosage, not quantity. drinking half a bottle in one sitting will just give you a buzz from the alcohol. take 3-4 drops under the tongue 2-5 times a day. you can also put a few drops in a water bottle and sip on it all day.