Today, June 18, is the kickoff to this year’s International Flower & Vibrational Essence Awareness week. I love working with flower essences – I use them daily myself and I find they’re a very helpful addition for clients I’m working with.
I’m both a flower essence practitioner and an aromatherapist, and while they are very complimentary modalities, they are different. People are often confused about this, and one of the most frequent questions I get asked is what IS the difference?
A flower essence is water-based, and contains only the energetic vibrational properties of the flower. There is NO plant material contained within the essence – and there is no aroma or taste. Flower essences are most often taken internally, either as a few drops under the tongue several times a day or added to a glass of water which is sipped. There are, of course, other wonderful ways to work with essences, including applying them to your body, but most people are less familiar with these methods.
Flower essences can be taken individually, or they can be taken as a blend of several different essences which have been combined. It can be very helpful to work with a practitioner who can custom blend a mixture of several different essences to meet your specific needs. I love doing custom blends for people, and I also enjoy doing limited-edition “monthly blends” based on the energies of the month.
Aromatherapy, on the other hand, involves the use of essential oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Essential oils are produced by various distillation processes, using the blossoms, leaves, stems, or other parts of the plant. Essential oils contain the natural scent of the plant compound. Essential oils are typically not ingested, but rather more often inhaled, applied to the skin frequently combined with an oil base, or used in diffusers.
While I’ll save talking about aromatherapy and essential oils for another time, it’s only fitting that today I focus on flower, and other vibrational, essences.
I really like what Rudolf Ballentine writes in his book Radical Healing:
“If you think about the flower and how it relates to the plant, it is analogous to our nervous system on the physical level and to our consciousness on a more subtle level. The flower is the blossoming of the plant – the emergence of its true nature. The complexity, beauty, and uniqueness of the plant is made manifest in the flower. Similarly, with us it is our consciousness, our awareness, that is our flowering. A disorder from your consciousness can often be helped with a remedy from the flower that corresponds to it.”
There are endless ways to use flower essences.
This is the method most commonly used, and certainly the essential place to begin. Essence drops are taken straight from the bottle and placed under the tongue. (You have to be careful not to contaminate the dropper by touching it to your mouth or with your hands or anything else – you don’t want to return a contaminated dropper back into your essence bottle!)
Essence drops are also commonly added to a glass of water which you then sip.
There are lots of ways to use essences externally and this can be a wonderful way to supplement your practice of taking drops internally.
Essences are perfect for adding to baths.
They can be poured on the body. I particularly like pouring essence-infused water down my spine.
They can be added to lotions. For efficacy sake I suggest adding a drop or two to the lotion as you put it on, as opposed to adding it directly to the lotion bottle. And that way you can switch up what essences you use each time if you’d like.
Used in compresses.
They can be added to water and used to mist yourself and/or your space.
I use them to anoint myself.
One of my very favorite uses: using essences to write messages on my body. Because I work as a channel and read the Akashic Records I am happy to lay claim to the title Messenger. But in an even more literal sense I am a messenger as I carry the messages I’ve written on my body around with me all day.
Essences can also be applied very specifically to your body. I highly recommend working with the acupuncture points in the method taught by Deborah Craydon and Warren Bellows in their book Floral Acupuncture.
If this interests you you may also want to check out Dietmar Kramer’s New Bach Flower Body Maps. Also Bach Flower Massage by Daniele Rito discusses massage with the Bach essences.
Additional Ways to Use Essences:
I’ve used essences with my animals.
I use them as offerings. I seriously believe it’s important to honor the flow of reciprocity in life. When I receive medicine or a gift from an ally it’s important, and not just polite, to say thank you. In the same way that for some people traditional offerings are sacred tobacco or cornmeal, I find a drop or two of essence can be a lovely way to say thank you.
I use essences in my art all the time. I use them in my paintings; in watercolors; when making paste paper; I add them when making handmade paper; when making herbal beads. I use them in ceremony when dedicating new journals.
I use essences in my home. I never paint walls without adding essences. I use them in clearing and blessing ceremonies around the house.
And here’s a final delectable way to indulge in essences: essence-infused chocolate. While it’s fun to add essences yourself to chocolate (and other things) I love Wei-chocolate!
I always think it’s fun to peek into people’s spaces, and here you can see a portion (the top three drawers) of the 12-drawer apothecary chest in which I keep a portion of my extensive inventory of essences.
One Monday we celebrate the Solstice and enter into a new season. One of the things I always do at these turning points is a number of readings. I’m planning on working on a number of flower-related projects and offerings this summer, and so one of the readings I’m doing for myself is looking at what flowers are stepping forward to support me. Just to be clear, this isn’t how I choose which flower essences to work with for myself or my clients, although in fact it is a method some people do use, often with helpful results. So please understand there’s no judgment held here. But what I’m doing is inviting clarity for myself about a couple aspects of these projects. Here’s a photo of the beginning of my layout. The cards that are already laid out are Orchid Healing Cards. I’m sitting with these and the messages they’re providing for a little longer, and then I’ll be layering in cards from Isha Lerner’s Power of Flowers deck.
There are endless ways to work with flowers, and working with flower essences is one of my favorite. But however you enjoy your blossoms, I encourage you to remember to thank them, along with our beautiful pollinating friends the Bees. And just as a little hedz up, next week is National Pollinator Week, so you likely can expect a post from me celebrating those wondrous creatures.
Now what about you? Are you an essence user? Have other ways of using them that you’d like to share? If essences aren’t your thing, what self-care practice is your favorite? Do tell – you know I love to hear.