(Originally appearing in The Crow’s Calling.)

Not so long ago, I heard a few little words that would change my life. I was speaking to a healer, someone who used both massage and energy work like Reiki to help people. She said, “I use flower essences in my practice.” I had no idea what she was talking about, and at the time, didn’t care. I thought it was a new form of aromatherapy and that didn’t interest me at all. Not to say aromatherapy isn’t worthwhile, but I knew it was not for me. Flower essences, on the other hand, kept knocking on my door. Little did I know the power of the natural kingdom was inviting me to change my whole outlook towards healing.

A few weeks later, I met up with this healer again, at a meditation workshop. She introduced me to her friend, who makes the flower essences she uses. We didn’t have a chance to really talk at the time, but the topic of flower essences kept popping up in my life. A good friend of mine started going to him for flower essence consultations to help her through some emotional issues. Soon many of my friends were going for Flower Essence sessions, including me.

Flower essences are vibrational remedies, solutions made from the vibrations of plants, specifically their flowers since energetically, the flower is the most powerful part of the plant. A flower is placed in pure water under the sun or moon to create an essence and then the solution is mixed with a preservative and later diluted to dosage level. Each remedy has a specific signature, a specific area of expertise where it affects your life. While herbs work mostly on the physical level, flower essences, being vibrational, work on an energy level. They work on the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. They heal by changing your vibration in these areas, which then brings change to your physical life. Essences treat the issues behind your problems, imbalances and illnesses, to heal you from within. The most famous line of essences is from Dr. Bach, originally researched in the 1930′s, but many have expanded upon his work since them. Some speculate flower essences were a holistic form of treatment found in many ancient cultures.

Flowers speak to us in their own secret language. Through shape, color and symbolism, they tell us what they heal and how they work. Flowers have something called an alchemal signature. It is the symbolism in the plant giving us clues to how they heal. Red, orange and yellow flowers have a fire signature, so they burn away harmful emotions, protect and move things out. Plants that are tall, look like stars or have a relationship with air (like dandelion seeds) have an air signature. They work with the mind and spirit. Plants low to the ground or with large roots, like Potato, have Earth signatures. They are used for grounding, balance and bringing changes into the physical. Plants with a strong relationship to water, either holding a lot of water, shaped like a cup, or living in the water, have obviously a water signature, and work in the emotional realms, to heal and cleanse. Sometimes the signature will correspond with a part of the body. Think about a walnut. It looks a lot like the different hemispheres of the brain. Walnut essence is used for brain and mind ailments, to balance both hemispheres. Many will have multiple signatures, like the aforementioned dandelion. The flower is yellow, indicating fire. It moves things out. The root is deep, reaching deeply into issues we repress. The seeds have an air aspect, regarding thoughts and mind. Herbally it is used for liver disorders. The flower essence is used for the etheric disorders of the liver. In Chinese medicine, the liver deals with fear and anger. While the herb cleanses the physical liver, the flower essence cleanses the fear and anger stored in the energy of the liver. It reaches deeply to move out old, repressed patterns and bring them to the forefront, to reflect on and release. Think about that the next time you are pulling weeds. The secrets of the flowers are often unlocked in such symbolism. Any intuitive information should be backed up with research into the effects of the essence on real people.

The purpose of a consultation is to talk about the issues you face with someone coming from a detached perspective. Using that information and a combination of deductive and intuitive methods, the consultant chooses essences suited to aid you in solving your problems. You take this combination of essences from a dosage bottle for about one month, and note the changes occurring inside you and in your life.

I went into my session wanting to be “more spiritual and more loving.” I felt stuck in my spiritual practices. They took me far, but I felt I reached a plateau and needed a jump-start. I though essences would be this magical jumpstart. All the essences I tested positive for were for anger and setting boundaries. “Not for me,” I thought, but my consultant asked me to try it. Within a week, I found myself confronted with feelings and situations of my repressed anger, stemming from not knowing when to say no to those who would take advantage of me. I denied it because I thought saying yes made me more “spiritual.” It didn’t. All it served was to make me angrier. This was a stumbling block on my spiritual path, and since I didn’t acknowledge it, I couldn’t remove it. The experience was very eye opening for me.

I stuck with my flower essence therapy for almost a year. That felt correct for me. Through the journey, I learned a lot about myself, my goals and needs. The essences supported me through the end of an old career, the beginning of a new one, some personal conflicts, health issues and my main goal, spiritual growth.

After that year of introspection, I decided to involve myself more in flower essences and train to become a certified flower essence consultant. They changed my life and I decided I wanted to be able to share their gifts in my healing practice, both alone and with my other work, Reiki, crystals and shamanic healing. Being involved in researching essences truly proved to me that these changes were no result of the placebo effect. The majority of those testing a new essence would feel similar effects and face similar issues while participating in the test. They did not know what the essence was “suppose” to do or even what flower was used to make the essence.

I have watched many taking flower essences go through wonderful transformations in mind, body and soul. Beyond my own personal experience, I truly have no doubt. The subtle energies of the essences are very powerful healers. They have taught me much on my own spiritual, magical path. The essences are a vessel for the plant spirit medicine, and an opportunity to reconnect with nature, and ultimately, ourselves. I am eternally grateful for the gifts they continue to bring me.