Abandonment Issues & Essences for Animals

Posted by admin on Nov 5, 2011

By C.M Barrett, excerpted from Animals Have Feelings, Too: Bach Flower Remedies for Cats and Dogs, Copyright © 2011

21419114.thbSome people think that dogs and cats, because they were long ago wild animals, can simply be dumped and thrive in the outdoor world. This is a dangerous misconception. Over the eons of their association with humans, both dogs and cats have lost many of the traits that enabled them to survive as wild animals. Some of this is due to the selective breeding of pedigreed animals. Some of it comes from the reality that those puppies and kittens that seem friendly and docile are more likely to be adopted and thus have a better chance of surviving. Whatever part of their temperament is genetically based will be passed on.

The bottom line is that domesticated cats and dogs aren’t wild animals. Experts on feral cats say that their life expectancy is about two years. Dogs may live longer because of their tendency to form packs, but their way of life threatens their well-being and often that of humans. Rescued animals have a better chance of survival, but they need extra understanding and care.

Abandoned animals may have special issues about food. Cats or dogs born to a mother who was malnourished during her pregnancy will also be malnourished. They will need extra and high-quality nutrition, and they may at first act frantic about food.

In many cases the same remedy recommendations work for abandonment as work with abuse, and animals often have a history of both issues. They may be highly traumatized. The survival strategies that animals develop to cope with their situations can include aggression, withdrawal, fear, and other negative emotions and behaviors.

Star of Bethlehem. This is the most important Remedy for abused and abandoned animals. All animals (including humans) have the primary goal of surviving and avoiding pain. On this basic level, abused and abandoned animals have experienced severe difficulties in achieving this goal.

Every animal, again including humans, has what is called the primitive or reptilian brain. This brain knows three basic responses: flight, fight, or freeze. Fight and flight are self-explanatory, but the freeze response is more complex and is usually the origin of trauma. In the wild, this doesn’t often occur.

Domesticated animals (and humans) don’t always have access to this life-giving relief. When a chained dog with a natural tendency to obey its master is beaten by that same master, it may neither flee nor fight. Instead it will freeze. The freezing literally imprints the agonizing memory of the beating—and sadly, it may experience more than one—into its awareness. Anything that reminds the dog of that experience will throw it into the same helpless, suffering state.

20836301.thbStar of Bethlehem can help to heal traumatic memories. If you even suspect that these conditions may be part of an animal’s history, recommend it or administer it.

Holly. An animal traumatized by abuse can naturally learn to defend itself with an aggressive front. Animals that display extreme forms of aggression are not considered eligible for adoption.

This Remedy can help mild to moderate cases of aggressive behavior, especially if it is combined with one of the two primary remedies for fear. Holly can also be very valuable for animals that are aggressive in protecting their food supplies.

Mimulus. As you gain experience, you’ll find that close questioning about and observation of the particulars of an animal’s current behavior can
lead you to draw accurate conclusions about the source of its fear. Even if you don’t have specific information, though, the animal knows what frightens
it, and Mimulus, the Remedy for known fears, can be very effective.

Among the emotions abandoned animals may experience, the fear that they will be abandoned again predominates. Their human companions need to consistently give them affection and attention. The humans will also benefit from understanding some of the behavior patterns a previously abandoned animal acts out. These can include a high level of dependence and possessiveness.  The animal may never want the new human out of its sight and may be particularly fearful when it senses that a human is going away, whether it’s for a few hours or a vacation. Once the animal’s fear has been addressed, the secondary behavior patterns often dissipate.

Aspen. This Remedy is for unknown fears. An abandoned animal remembers that life became uncertain and frightening once it was forced to be on its own. Abandonment also means a loss of a known environment. This particularly affects cats in terms of a familiar space, as felines are very territorial. A dog might be more affected by the loss of pack members, whether animal or human.

If you notice that an animal is generally fearful, but you can’t connect the fear to anything specific, Aspen is a good Remedy choice. In addition, since Remedies don’t have negative effects when not needed, it does no harm to give an animal both Mimulus and Aspen.

Overall, it’s important for the human companion to have realistic expectations about an abused and/or abandoned animal. Consistency and lots of affection can ease many of an animal’s fears, and essences can do a lot to help. All rescued animals have good chances to become approachable and affectionate pets.

21418953.thbThe human, however, needs to realize that the animal may not turn into a tail-wagging or purring creature that loves every human in sight. It’s important for the human companion to accept the animal at each stage of its development in socialization. If the human is disappointed in the animal’s progress, the animal will realize this and may have self-esteem issues.

The best general advice for anyone who takes in a rescued animal is that any animal placed in a loving household is likely to improve considerably. Patience and loving understanding will help the animal grow in trust.
Fortunately, those who knowingly take on a cat or dog with a history of abuse are also those usually have the commitment and compassion to appreciate the courage and devotion of an animal that, regardless of its degree of socialization, has triumphed over great adversity.

Remedies for Humans Who Have Adopted an Abandoned or Abused Animal

The Remedies below are generally helpful when you have an animal whose behavioral/emotional issues may frustrate you.

  • Impatiens. This teaches acceptance of the animal as it is and appreciation of its rate of progress, regardless of the length of time it may take.
  • Beech. This Remedy helps to release any judgment one may feel about an abused or abandoned animal’s behavior.
  • Pine. This Remedy can help if you are feeling guilty about either impatience of judgment. It also helps to remind yourself that you’re only human.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: C. M. (Connie) Barrett has been a flower essence practitioner, teacher, and writer since 1990. She is a regular contributor to this ezine, and her articles have been printed in print and online journals around the world. She teaches four courses by email including Bach Flower Remedies: A User-Friendly Guide. She is also the author of the fantasy novel:  Big Dragons Don’t Cry, Book I of A Dragon’s Guide to Destiny, and Book 2: Dance with Clouds. See her writing online at EFT Consultations.


Normal Forgetfulness? Six Points to Consider

Posted by admin on Oct 23, 2011
By Deborah Bier, PhD, Vibration Publisher and Co-Editor
Note: The following article is from Dr. Bier’s “day job” as director of the metrowest Boston office of Caring Companion Home Care.  Read this piece in its entirety here.

I’m middle-aged, and I go through this all the time: where are my house keys… purse… car in the parking lot? How did I forget those printouts for the meeting… to defrost tonight’s dinner… to move the wet wash to the dryer before it gets moldy?  Sometimes, I’m suddenly concerned I’ve forgotten an important meeting, but can’t recall quickly what day of the week it is today — much less when that appointment was to take place — which sends me scrambling for my calendar.

Now, I was about to make an important point here, but I’ve forgotten what it was… darn!  Looking above for reminders… oh, right!

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Resilience After a Failure: Larch is For Optimism and Self-Confidence

Posted by admin on Oct 8, 2011

©7-11 by Sheryl Karas and Paul Hood, in Healing Communication News

One theme for us this year – and for lots of people — is the lesson in having things go wrong, not getting what you want, working really hard over a very long period of time only to be forced to do something else. The vast majority of people who have faced job loss, foreclosure, and downsizing were not at fault – and yet the inability for so many people to simply jump back in and put things back in order right away hits like a blow to the solar plexus, it dredges up issues of self-esteem.

manbroke-a2dFailure and the ease with which we get up again afterward has a lot to do with upbringing and societal conditioning. Wouldn’t it be great if we celebrated the failures as much as the colossal successes?

“Wow man! Did you see how badly you blew that one? That was awesome! I honestly don’t think you could do any worse if you were hogtied, blindfolded and completely unconscious.

“On a scale of one to ten that was negative fifteen. If my four year old kid painted a picture like that, I’d give him a time out. Listen, you need to go to the cemetery and dig up every artist who ever lived and make a personal apology to their lifeless bodies. Right on, man! Do another!” Read the rest of this entry »


FullMoon Essences

Posted by admin on Jul 23, 2011

By Deborah Bier, PhD, Maker of the Whole Energy Essences, and Publisher & Co-Editor of this Publication

In late 1995, I was guided to prepare myself to make a new essence during each full moon in 1996. That is, to capture through the essence-making process the energies of the moon, planets, asteroids and stars for a moment during the moon’s fullness. There would be a total of 13 essences made, one for each full moon of the year. (Only 12 are available commercially….I would later find out that the first one was 34631842.thbintended to be a “practice” session and it would be replaced by the last one of the year, which was in the same astrological sign, thereby completing the set.)

This proved to be some of the most lovely, sweet, gentle, and magical essence-making I’ve ever experienced. I even felt thrilled going outside to make an essence near midnight on a winter’s evening that was -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, both thrilled AND chilled. I have always felt very at home with the moon…happy to see her…smiled upon by her. I felt totally fulfilled and content being asked to perform this service.

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More Summer Videos: Spirit-in-Nature (Masters’) Essences

Posted by admin on Jul 2, 2011

Here is another instructive set of essence videos by essence maker and educator, Lila Devi, a frequent contributor to Vibration Magazine.  She presents a series of 20 videos, one for each of the essences in the Spirit-in-Nature (formerly Masters’ Essences) line, plus one on flower essences in general. (We would embed one of these videos here in this blog post, but WordPress is giving us fits and just won’t cooperate today.) Read the rest of this entry »


Hawthorn Essence: Shapeshift Your Life!

Posted by admin on May 28, 2011

©2011 by Diana Pepper, reprinted with permission from
Tree Frog Farm Essences E-newsletter, May, 2011

Making Hawthorn Tree Essence was one of my most challenging and exciting essence making experiences. The process took about two months with vigilance, surrender, patience, intensity, focused clear intention and curiosity.

hawthornpink-wikiSince we don’t have a mature hawthorn growing on our property, first I had to find the location. The year before, I found a thicket of Hawthorn on San Juan Island about two hours away from here. I considered this, but decided to look for some on Lummi Island.

I found two on a nature preserve but they were old, shaded out and not very healthy. I found some others growing along a dirt road, but wasn’t sure if the owners of the property would agree to let me work there.

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Strength for Your Essence Mixtures: Add a Toner

Posted by admin on Apr 16, 2011

©2002 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note this is an Excerpt from Donna’s ebook, Flower Remedies—How Plants’ Energies Can Heal Us, available at Moon Maven Publications.

strengtholdtarot-mgxOne Tarot card with much to teach us is Strength, shown here in a medieval rendering (”La Forza”). The woman is able to overcome the ferocity of the lion with nothing more than gentleness. This suggests that we can overcome even the most formidable of our obstacles better with gentleness than by going at them full force.

Perhaps the greatest obstacles we face are within ourselves, and these, too, respond with less resistance when we approach them this way. In general, flower essences are among the softest and kindest tools for removing inner barriers to a peaceful life. Our mixtures, however, can have even more of this gentle strength — and fewer rough edges — when we enhance them with what I call a toner.

Years ago, I read in one of Gurudas’ books that adding Peach to a remedy mixture could strengthen it and speed the healing process. I tried it and liked the results, and this started me on a process of finding “toner” essences to enhance essence work. Now I seldom make a mixture that does not include one or more toners as a catalyst.

Since our perceptions can be so subjective, are there any objective measures of the effectiveness of toners? When selecting remedies for a particular problem or situation, I use a pendulum to approve or reject various choices that come to mind.

I then test the group of promising remedies as a whole–a very important step. This tells me whether the remedies go together harmoniously and whether the mixture as a whole is stronger or weaker than the individual components. Based on this assessment, I may eliminate one or more of my selections to get the right number of remedies in most effective combination.

pendulum1bestbd-a2dFinally, and this is what sold me on toners, I see how the pendulum behaves when I bring one or more of the toners into the lineup of bottles. Generally, at least one of them will cause the pendulum to swing wildly, meaning that it has a powerful effect.

I have consistently seen a similar effect for toners with muscle reflex testing or the thumb-forefinger lock. If you use any of these methods to confirm your suppositions about which remedies to include, do test for some of the toners to be described here, to see if they could enhance the potency of your essence mixtures.

I keep several toners on hand because different ones seem to work for different people at different times. No doubt if we queried twenty or thirty of the essence companies, each maker could suggest a toner or two from their collection. If you are partial to a particular company’s essences and they are not mentioned here, you might ask them for recommendations.

None of the Bach remedies seem–to me, at least–to fit into that category. No doubt if Dr. Bach were asked, however, he would have suggested Holly as catalyst if the healing process seems stuck. Here are my personal favorites.

selfhealbd-a2dSelf-Heal, on an herbal level, is a powerful healer and is no less potent on the essence level. Among others, it is made by the Flower Essence Society (my choice), Pegasus, Alaskan Flower Essence Project, Harebell, Deva, and Andreas Korte Essences.

Each company has a slightly different description, but FES says that it enhances one’s self-healing powers and eases self-doubt. Both of these qualities can remove blockages to a healing effort. Self-doubt weakens us, acting as a drag on our will and undermining our efforts to make progress. I do find Self-Heal often gives a tremendous boost to an essence combination, so it is the first toner I test.

Peach–the essence that started my journey of exploration–is simply listed as a catalyst by several of the makers. Others give a variety of descriptions, and no doubt each is true and part of the reason for its catalytic effect. (To compare and contrast the makers’ definitions of either Peach or Self-Heal would be an article in itself.) It is offered by Pegasus, the Flower Essence Society (again, my personal choice), Master’s, the New Zealand New Perception Essences, and no doubt by others as well.

peach-phcomA third collection of toners is not available except from the maker, Gretchen Lawlor, Astrologer.  A world traveler, Gretchen has visited many of the sacred sites of the world. She made sure to collect waters from each of those places, which she distilled into individual and combination essences. They include Lourdes, the Ganges River, and many of the holy wells in Ireland. I test one or more of her combinations when making a mixture and often find a strong, yet loving effect, much what you would expect from holy water.

Another remedy with great potential as a toner is Deborah Bier’s Full Spectrum Light Essence from Whole Energy Essences. This is a preparation which includes–just as it says–all light frequencies. She uses it to preserve all stock bottles but finds that beyond the preservative effect, it also enhances other remedies’ effects. For an in-depth portrait of this remedy, see our December 1999, issue.

nuesscvrsm This is by no means an exhaustive list, but should get you started thinking about how certain essences act on mixtures to enhance the overall effect. One of the things I look at in working with the pendulum is not just the strength of the swing but also its length, since that gives me a clue as to how long the mixture will be needed.

Often, when I test for a toner, the swing is not only stronger but also shorter, meaning that the mixture should take effect sooner and more powerfully. I wouldn’t work without toners, as life is too short to stay stuck in a problem!

Note: this has been an excerpt from Donna’s ebook, Flower Remedies—How Plants’ Energies Can Heal Us, available at Moon Maven Publications. You can order it here: http://www.moonmavenpublications.com/mysteries.html.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham, MSW is the coeditor of Vibration and a long-time educator and writer in the field of flower remedies. She is also an internationally-respected author of books, articles, and columns about astrology, flower essences and other metaphysical topics. Her insights reflect her dual background in astrology and psychotherapy. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and over 40 years of experience in working with people. Her ebooks can be found at Moon Maven Publications (http://www.moonmavenpublications.com) Visit her blog at http://skywriter.wordpress.com.

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Recovering Our Greatest Strengths Following Disaster, Illness or Injury

Posted by admin on Apr 2, 2011

By Deborah Bier, PhD, maker of the Whole Energy Essences and Co-Editor of this publication.

Here’s a little ray of sunshine to add to your day: no matter what we do or how much we wish otherwise, it’s likely that someday we each will experience illness or injury — maybe even a disaster or two. While such events may eventually help us grow and improve our lives, living through them and coming out the other side can take some doing.

Johnny JumpupThank goodness for vibrational and flower essences! They can speed the recovery process, letting us more quickly make tasty lemonade out of the sour lemons life has delivered to our doorstep. Regardless of the origin of the acute or chronic situation, if we are in an emotional and/or physical crisis, we can easily lose touch with our sense of “center” — which is right where our greatest strengths live and work best. The trauma of mass disaster, or significant illness or injury commonly disconnects us from our strengths, abilities, gifts, and talents. During or following an illness or recovery from an injury, we may find ourselves losing confidence in our previously solid abilities. We may suddenly feel unsafe or unsure. We might grow to distrust ourselves, particularly our physical or mental capabilities. We may lose touch with our inner voice, our sense of “knowing.” Read the rest of this entry »


Emergency Preparedness & Response: Prepare Hearts and Minds First

Posted by admin on Mar 26, 2011

trilliumredpainting-a2dBy Deborah Bier, PhD, Publisher and Co-Editor of this Publication

I want to give a very brief introduction of myself wearing a hat most of you aren’t aware that I have in my closet.  From 1998 to 2009, I worked with my community of Concord, Massachusetts doing emergency planning preparation and education for citizens. Our focus for the first few years was to organize neighborhoods for social cohesiveness and emergency preparedness/response within a grassroots organization.

And then the next few years training citizens for the same, but as a volunteer for my local fire department, which also was in charge of emergency management. In the process, we created some enormously inventive methods and organizations, resurrected neglected community resources, and also had a lot of fun.

Here’s one of the things that I’ve worked to make most central to my being, and how I look at emergency preparedness and response. It’s how I reply those who criticize me for working in this area because I am somehow going to create emergencies through such activities.  There are different reasons for doing emergency preparedness for ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, and beyond. I think we can boil them down to two useful ways of looking at these reasons: we can prepare out of fear, or we can prepare out of love. Read the rest of this entry »


Corrective Essences for Pets and Their Owners

Posted by admin on Mar 5, 2011

© by Lila Devi, Spirit-in-Nature Essences

The concept of a “plot” application of essences focuses on remedies for specific problems or weaknesses that we want to correct or eliminate, including disturbed behaviors, fears, or any actions troubling to the  animal or the pet owner. Most commonly, flower essences are given to fill a need or correct a fault which is usually expressed through the animal’s behavior.

The word “plot”, borrowed from literary jargon, implies that one must travel from point A to point B to achieve a goal. Plot application indicates a particular need on the part of the animal; the flower essence acts as a catalyst to restore or awaken the positive quality absent from the pet’s personality. By way of example, a skittish animal can benefit from Tomato Essence for strength and courage. The pet who constantly craves attention may be helped with Pineapple Essence for self-assuredness.

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