Over the next few weeks, many gardens will be dotted with the emergence of the earliest spring blooms, most notably many perennial bulbs. On our farm in the Idaho panhandle , we can expect to see a number of flowers, from hyacinth and crocus to narcissus and daffodils, emerging with fresh promise from late March through May. It’s the perfect time to engage and honor these spring blooms with thoughtful contemplation and quiet reverence through the creation of flower essences. Because while distilling essential oils requires special equipment and not a small amount of knowledge and skill, flower essences can readily be crafted by absolutely anyone with a blossom, some water, and a bowl.
About the Energetics of Spring Blooms
Generally speaking, earliest spring blooms often address grief, depression, lack of purpose, and feelings of isolation while encouraging new growth, confidence, social ease, and connection.
As the first, brave flowers after the winter, the earliest blooms represent a reemergence from darkness and from feelings of being frozen.
Many different spring blooms impart powerful energetics that can facilitate growth and reinvigorate our emotional bodies after winter; these are just a few of the ones in which we delight here on Five Element Farm.
About the Individual Flowers
DAFFODILS are wee trumpets of golden light, heralds of big things coming down the road to you. They embody optimism and resilience. Their bright energy aligns with several chakras including the sacral, solar plexus, throat, and crown chakras. Daffodils facilitate the movement of energy in our lives from deep inner contemplation about our purpose (sacral) through our decision to own that purpose as part of our being in the world (solar plexus). They energize communication of our intention (throat), and connect that intention in communion with the divine (crown). When we are particularly challenged to overcome negativity in our thinking to feel safe in bringing our truth to light, daffodils help us to speak our truth confidently while remaining open to the messages and heralds that serve the ongoing growth and development of our desired outcome.
Daffodils provide unique support to those who feel like the must maintain a perfectly sunny disposition in the public eye. Daffodil is also especially effective in helping public speakers claim and own their voice when they are feeling shaky.
Aromatic HYACINTH addresses depression and grief partly by reducing overindulgence in obsessive thoughts, particularly about a lost love. She embodies love and protection by overcoming dark, underlying thought patterns to allow fresh hope to emerge. The delicate, fragrant blossoms can be cut and enjoyed in the home, but I’m partial to enjoying them by laying on the grass next to where they bloom. When I experience dark thoughts at night, however, I will sometimes cut a single flower to place in a bedside vase as Hyacinth is reputed to clear the dreamscape of negative thoughts and guard against nightmares.
CROCUS strengthens our active engagement with the world after particularly paralyzing loss. It helps us to peacefully release, effectively move forward, fearlessly embrace the new, and close the channels that connected us to past grief. Crocus is particularly valuable when we have lost our gumption, sat idle, and gotten “stuck” because of deep emotional pain. It encourages us to overcome fear and take tiny steps toward our divine purpose. Crocus also helps us to feel divinely guided and protected as we venture forward after having remained “still” in our journey. It is generally considered to be a tonic for the heart and is therefore often aligned with the heart chakra.
Beautiful, fragrant LILAC offers innate lightness and hopefulness; it is particularly restorative for those who have lost their connection to both their personal nature and to nature itself. Lilac allows us to stop beating ourselves up, delivering forgiveness of our trespasses and a chance to move forward without the burden of deep regret.
Like Hyacinth, Lilac has an inimitable aroma that is considered to be antidepressant. A deep, hearty “whiff” of her blossoms delivers a bright beam of light to the soul. Because her stems are so woody, Lilac often doesn’t do well as a “cut” flower. While one can “smash” her woody stems with a hammer to facilitate the uptake of water in cut Lilac, I find that to be a bit harsh and inappropriate–I don’t have an easy time taking a hammer to things from my garden…. I prefer her blooms to remain alive on the shrub where they last and last in an epic profusion of aroma, color, and joy. When her branches are thick with blossoms, I’ll just sit near her on a warm day to enjoy her fragrance on the breeze.
TULIPS are associated with love, prosperity, and protection; they guard against bad luck and promote abundance. They energetically remind us that growth is still possible where we had otherwise given up hope. Tulips also help us release the bonds that keep us feeling “stuck” and help us to embrace change. They help us to welcome transformation that leaves behind black thoughts, negative feelings, and low self-esteem. Tulips encourage us to rediscover a sense of wonder and reconnect with simple joys.
CLEMATIS helps us to combat “the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side” syndrome. When we are prone to fantasizing about how things would be “better if…” or will be “better when…”, Clematis can help us ground us in the now. It brings us back energetically into the present.
Where focus on work or personal growth is consistently disrupted by daydreaming, particularly when we fantasize about unrealistic solutions to resolve our perceived challenges, Clematis can be especially effective at providing a gentle reality check. It grounds us and helps us connect with more realistic approaches to move forward.
It’s probably not surprising that the flower called NARCISSUS addresses low self-esteem and a lack of self-love or self-care in our lives. Narcissus allows our innermost love to radiate through our own bodies and shine radiantly into the world.
About Flower Essences
Flower essences (or flower remedies) emphasize and leverage the fundamental energetics and vibrations of the flowers used in their creation. They represent a most subtle form of vibrational therapy.
Many people are familiar with the 38 formal flower remedies created by Dr. Bach (who is also responsible for the widely popular Rescue Remedy® that bears his name and trademark). While some argue that true flower remedies are limited to the 38 remedies in Dr. Bach’s collection, my personal engagement with magical alchemy, energetics, and the celebration of nature encourages me to look beyond Dr. Bach’s established archetypes in entertaining how my understanding of flowers, colors, alignments, and energetics can inspire other flower essences for my use as well.
There is a wealth of information available on the folklore, associations, and energetics of plants and flowers. Honestly, the only thing likely to limit the available associations is your imagination!
Beyond the established associations for flower essences, additional inspiration can be found in everything from their shapes and colors to their signatures and aromas. When we craft our own essences, we are empowered to incorporate our personal associations and leverage the messages and energetics that are most meaningful specifically to us.
In mourning the loss of my father, for example, I found a whole new energetic association for sunflowers. While they already carry alignment with father energy and the sun, the fact that they were my also father’s favorite flower gave sunflowers new importance as I sought to recover and brighten my outlook on life after my dad died.
I especially love flower essences for their emphasis on energetics, not only in their use, but in their creation. The process is remarkably simple, but it is also anchored in deep intention and mindfulness. Creating a flower essence not only connects us to the energetics of the flower we are engaging, it also requires us to be fundamentally present. It is, in my mind, an inherently magical process. Whether or not there is homeopathic benefit (or whether or not homeopathy is effective at all) never enters my mind as my process and intention extends to a truly esoteric and magical engagement with the individual flowers and plants I choose to use.
For me, flower essences require stillness and listening. I don’t create a heap of essences every spring; instead, I attune to which individual flower’s emergence really calls to me.
I often find that the flower I am most excited to see is the very flower whose essence supports what I need the most.
I’m also charmed and heartened by the fact that flower essences don’t require the wholesale destruction of an entire plant–a single, solitary bloom is all that’s required. I’ve even left the bowl for my flower or plant essence among the flowers whose energy I desired to draw down without ever having to cut a single bloom! One of my favorite essences of all time was crafted by resting a crystal bowl under our old willow tree and just allowing the rainwater to fall from the tree directly into the bowl.
Crafting Your Own Flower Essence
I have a few rules I personally employ in crafting my own flower essences. First, I only use glass or crystal supplies–and absolutely no plastic! Glass and crystal amplify the vibration of flower or plant material. Plastic not only does nothing to amplify vibration, it directly disrupts the plant’s core energy in my opinion.
Second, I personally avoid any supplies that are branded, so no Pyrex cups or Mason jars that have “Pyrex” and “Ball” imprinted upon them. I personally put a great deal of stock in the energetics such branding can impart (not least because of the late, great Masaru Emoto’s work in exploring “the hidden messages in water”). An unbranded, stemless crystal wine glass can be lovely. Honestly, the absolute best vessel, in my personal experience, has been a pure crystal singing bowl.
The supplies I personally use in crafting flower and plant essences are only used for them: I have a glass funnel and crystal singing bowls that are dedicated to flower essence creation. The separation prevents the vessels and tools from being “muddied” by other energies.
I prefer to use moving spring water, clean, collected rain water, or well water that has been in the sun as the water base for my essences. I would avoid tap water from a public system that may be contaminated with fluoride.
I craft my flower essences outside in the sun. Everything from adding the flowers to mixing the mother blend with alcohol is done among the flowers/plants from which my essence is sourced whenever possible.
Throughout the process, I allow my gratitude, reverence, and intention to inform my thoughts, movements, and actions. I stay present with my process while allowing for deep engagement with the flower or plant whose essence I am both asking for and embracing. Before ever cutting a source material, I also listen intently for permission to engage the flower. It has happened before that I felt a cut was unwelcome as was the case with a single red tulip that graced my garden last year; I placed my bowl at her base without cutting her bloom instead.
- A small glass or crystal bowl
- Pure spring water or clean rain water
- Your chosen flower, leaf, etc.
- Glass stir rods or twigs (for removing the flowers)
- A glass funnel
- A large, dark glass bottle (for the mother/stock blend); I use 8 oz cobalt glass jars
- Organic 80+ proof vodka
- A 20 ml dark glass bottle with glass dropper (for day-to-day use of your essence)
Note that crafting a flower essence produces two distinct iterations of the essence: a master or mother blend and the daily dose blend. You will need two bottles, a large one for the mother blend and a smaller one for daily doses, to create and use your flower essence.
In close proximity to the flower or leaf you intend to use, place the water into your glass or crystal bowl.
Sit for a moment and listen for permission to cut your desired flower or leaf. Without permission, do not cut the plant. Instead, rest your bowl among the plants whose energy you hope to draw down without cutting the plants.
If you do receive permission, cut the flower or leaf as close to the emerging bloom or leaf base as possible all the while maintaining deep gratitude for the blessing of its participation in your process.
Thoughtfully place your flower(s) on top of the water in bowl. (It’s fine if they’re just floating on the water’s surface.)
Place in a consistently sunny location (protected from both shade and shadow), preferably among the plants from which the flowers or plants were sourced.
Allow the bowl to absorb the sun’s rays for a few hours (being sure to retrieve it before the sun’s beams shift from the bowl).
Carefully remove the flower(s) without touching the water/essence. (I use two crystal stirring rods.)
Using your funnel (preferably glass), fill your large, dark glass bottle halfway with the essence then fill to the top with your 80 proof vodka. This large bottle is your mother blend or stock blend from which you’ll craft your smaller bottle for daily use.
To create your daily use blend, take seven drops of your mother blend and put them in your 20 ml dropper bottle; fill the bottle with your 80 proof vodka.
To use, take a couple of drops under the tongue or added to a glass of water between meals. Take a moment to recognize your essence’s energy and blessing with a deep, slow breath.
For more complete information on making and using flower essences, I highly recommend Cathy Skipper’s wonderful article on same, available on the NAHA blog.