Essences for Fear of Public Speaking

Posted by admin on Jul 16, 2011

By Marion Leigh, Founder, Findhorn Flower Essences

Fear of being performing before unfamiliar people is a problem I have been battling with personally all my life. My family and friends were surprised when I revealed this about myself.  This is because I have either managed to overcome the extremes of this condition, or I have been able to ‘mask’ it. I hope it is the former.

air-windyguy-a2dThroughout my childhood, adolescence and early twenties, I was frightened to death of ‘performance’ situations, and would do anything and everything to avoid them. When there was no running away from it, I was so traumatized I would inevitably perform badly, and the fear and humiliation would send me into shock and withdrawal. Read the rest of this entry »

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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:

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 ( Visit her blog at


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 »

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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Essences for the Shadow in Relationships

Posted by admin on Feb 25, 2011

©2002 by Jannet Unite-Penny

Editors’ Note: This article is excerpted with permission from Jannet’s chapter in, I’m Fine! Learning to Unblock Your Emotions, edited by Dr. Andrew Tresidder, 2002 by Gill & Macmillan Ltd. If you would like more explanation of the concept of the shadow, see Jannet’s earlier article in our archives.

Carl Jung first popularised the concept of the Shadow in his work with the unconscious aspects of the Self. The Shadow is actually a component of the Self, more than just the sum of its parts. Since it is always with us and holds so much of our life energy, anyone serious about increasing self-awareness or about growing spiritually, must of necessity, tangle with this Shadow Self.

To work with our Shadow we need to look at the characteristics of the people in our lives whose behaviour pushes our buttons, at people we dislike or hate, at what irritates or angers us the most. It is very possible that we may pride ourselves on having the opposite of these particular qualities for, ironically, the more intensely we polarise ourselves in any characteristic, the more we will attract its opposite to us in our lives. Also we need to look at what we really admire in others. This is information that teaches us so much about ourselves.

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Honeysuckle and Walnut: Helping Children Adapt to Change

Posted by admin on Feb 12, 2011

©2003 by Barbara Mazzarella

Note: The following is an excerpt from Bach Flower Remedies for Children: A Parents’ Guide , published 1997 by Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT, and reprinted here with their permission.  This parent-friendly guide to the Bach remedies contains wise and valuable parenting advice, as well as charming fairy tales for the children about the remedies they need.

childteddybear-a2d Honeysuckle  is for children who are homesick, for the first days of school, or for vacations when they want to go home. It is for those who are stuck in the past and refuse to grow.

For this reason, it is beneficial to children who do not want to grow up, like Peter Pan. They may be thirteen years old and still go on vacation clutching a teddy bear stained and musty with age.

If they are visiting relatives or going off to camp, give them Honeysuckle to help them enjoy their vacation without suffering from homesickness. This remedy is also useful for adolescents stuck in infantile attitudes and behavior, rebelling against the normal evolutionary process.

What these children need is a sense of continuity. Accustom them to the fact that, although the past is valid and memories are beautiful and important, the here and now is where we live our lives.

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Essences for the Holidays

Posted by admin on Dec 11, 2010

Editors’ Note: Also see our “Essences for Happier Holidays” issue from 2003 for more about essences to ease the way through this time of  year.

By Kathleen Aspenns

19180233.thbWhile the holiday season is full of fun and heartwarming connections with friends and family, it can also be an incredibly challenging time. The added stress of planning parties, cooking, cleaning and shopping can push us far off balance. Throw in traveling, and spending time with rarely seen family members and you have the recipe for holiday stress! Fortunately, flower essences can support us and help us enjoy the holidays.

Holly and Pine have been used as holiday decorations for as long as humans have been seeking help from the green world to survive cold, dark winters. The evergreen foliage of both plants gives us hope that the sun will shine again and warm, pleasant days will return. As flower essences, they also have powerful resonance with issues surrounding the holidays. Holly (Bach) is a broadly applicable essence for anyone feeling unloved and hurt. It can help with siblings feeling slighted in the gift department, or grownups who re-enact old family dramas each time they meet. Holly helps us realize that there is enough love and attention to go around, helps us to be happy for our friend who received the gift we really wanted for ourselves.

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Making Easier and More Confident Decisions with Australian Bush Flowers!

Posted by admin on Nov 27, 2010

©2009 by Clare Chapman of Baliena Flower Therapies

Is decision-making more painful than a trip to the dentist for you?

I can’t imagine there would be too many things that people would be more afraid of dealing with in their life than having to make a decision.questiondirectionb-a2d

“But what if I make the wrong decision”, is often the common remark, or at least the internal thought that plagues most people at the time they face a cross-roads: left or right, up or down, should I stay or should I?

Based on the fact that it is critical in so many aspects of our lives, I thought it may be helpful to look at how we can use Australian Bush Flower Essences in the decision-making process to help with: making your decision; feeling more confident with yourself after you have made your decision; and having the confidence to know that no matter which decision you have made, you are always able to adjust course at any point in your journey.

:: Self-Esteem ::

I believe that one of the most important aspects of good decision-making is believing in yourself: believing that you have the ability and life experience to weigh up the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of your current situation, and deliver a decision that will keep you moving in what you deem to be the right direction or at least keep you moving!

Five Corners (Styphelia triflora) is the remedy to help you here, as it will help you to realise that you are the only person who can know what is best for you, and can therefore never make an incorrect decision. Dog Rose (Bauera rubioides) may also be helpful here to remove any fears you may have about your own ability to make decisions, and to instill more confidence in your own abilities.

Another good remedy to ensure you are confident in your past actions and achievements is Philotheca (Philotheca salsolifolia) as it may be that you just don’t recognise the good decisions you have made to date and you need to commend yourself more for all your past achievements. Having a healthy level of self-esteem will ensure that you will never see any decision as incorrect nor punish yourself for what you deem in hindsight to have been a wrong decision: it will instead leave you viewing your decisions as nothing more than learning curves or opportunities to move towards your goals in different directions – some via the fastest option and some via the ‘scenic’ route!

:: How clear are your goals? ::

questiondirection-a2dSometimes one of the simplest things hindering good decision-making is how clearly we articulate or are aware of our goals. Even if that goal is just a short-term one, such as ‘which restaurant should I eat at tomorrow night’, you still need to be aware of what your goal is for the evening: are you entertaining a work colleague that you need to impress or are you just having a cozy evening with a loved one?

Something as simple as working out your objectives can make the decision making process so much simpler. A good Essence to assist with getting clear on your goals is Sundew (Drosera spathulata) which can help you think clearly and focus while you are asking yourself about your objective.

Maybe you don’t know what direction in life you want to head in and therefore find it hard to make goals that suit your unknown objectives. Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia) would be a good remedy here to help you to find your life direction and purpose. If you don’t know where you want to go, it is almost impossible to work out how to get there!

:: Do you determine when you have to make decisions or do circumstances? ::roadfogbd-phcom

This may sound like a strange question, but do you tend to ‘steer’ your life or do you end up making decisions by default: that is, do the decisions you face tend to come about after others around you have made their decisions and you simply react to them by choosing what you are left with?

Christmas Bell (Blandfordia nobilis) may be helpful if you feel that you don’t create your life, but rather you only react to what circumstances around you dictate after they occur. It is an empowering remedy that will help you to sculpt your life and help you to manifest some of your own desires, rather than letting yourself get pushed along by the crowd around you.

Perhaps, though, your problem is that you find yourself making the same decisions over and over again, with similar results (e.g. you may find yourself constantly choosing to work in similar jobs where you keep getting disillusioned and ultimately leave, or you keep choosing the same type of person for a partner which leaves you ultimately feeling unhappy and ending your relationships). If this is the case, you would most likely benefit from using some Isopogon (Isopogon anethifolius) to help you learn the lessons you are missing from these past decisions, which in turn will empower you to make better decisions in future.

:: Have you made ‘bad’ decisions in the past? ::

Remembering I pointed out earlier that there is no such thing as a bad decision, only different lessons to be learned (see Isopogon above if you aren’t doing this!), maybe you feel disillusioned by what your decisions lead you to in life. If this is you, then maybe some Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis) is just what you need to give you a more optimistic outlook on life and the decisions you face.

And if a lot of the time you feel that you don’t really have a choice (an indicator of which might be if you use the expression ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ a lot!), then you may benefit from using Southern Cross (Xanthosia rotundifolia) to remind you that you are indeed responsible for your life and decisions. It is important to note that even if you don’t make a decision, you are still choosing to forego your right to decide.

:: One final note ::

Still dreading decision-making? Maybe some Pink Flannel Flower (Actinotus forsythii) may help you to be grateful that you indeed do have choices when you do not want to make a decision. After all, the fact that you are feeling burdened with options when making a decision is at least a sign that you have freedom of choice! So it may give you peace of mind to know that no matter how tormented you feel by the decision you face, at least you get to choose where you go next and it is not being decided by someone else.

About Clare Chapman: Clare is an accredited Australian Bush Flower Essences College Course Teacher and is a full member of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT). Clare has been using and prescribing Australian Bush Flower Essences for over 6 years, and under the personal guidance of ABFE founder, Ian White, has been teaching the official Australian Bush Flower Essences College Course for the past 3 years.

Clare established Baliena Flower Therapies in early 2008, with the aim of creating a business solely dedicated to the purpose of empowering people through the use of Australian Bush Flower Essences and other supportive techniques – enabling people to gain better health and wellbeing by healing and understanding their own emotions. Visit her website at Clare Chapman – and her blog at

Rocks and Dogs Don’t Mix

Posted by admin on Nov 20, 2010

Editors’ Note: Interesting in more articles about flower essences and animals? See our Virtual Booklet on the topic:

By Deborah Bier, PhD

“My dog won’t stop eating rocks,” moaned my new client’s human. “He’s only a year old, and he’s had stomach surgery THREE TIMES already because he keeps swallowing rocks too large to pass. Can essences help? I’m desperate!”

rocksanddogsThis case was not only an experience in working with a serious animal behavior, but it also went on to affirm my belief that the “identified patient” — that is, the one who is described as having the problem — is so often just the tip of the family iceberg. Many times the symptoms which bring the client to seek help have complex origins: other (or all) members of the family may need intervention in order for the original problem to find healing. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, so the outcome can end up being somewhat less than desired.

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Flower Essences for Animal Issues

Posted by admin on Nov 13, 2010

Editors’ Note: Interesting in more articles about flower essences and animals? See our Virtual Booklet on the topic:

by Kitty Holman

Many people use flower essences as gentle, healing remedies for various types of problems. But these essences are not just for humans; animals can benefit from their use as well. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the more popular uses of essence as they can be used to treat our pets. It is important to note that all animals are unique and different in their own ways. These guidelines should be used as just that, and not taken as recommendations for use in all cases.

22308169.thbUnfortunately, it’s true that many animals suffer abuse at the hands of humans, either from owners, handlers, or strangers. This abuse can be physical mistreatment, neglect, and even abandonment. Because animals are highly sensitive creatures, the effects of this abuse can often be long lasting. If you have adopted an animal from a rescue organization or taken in a pet that is known to have a less than appealing past, consider these essences for their treatment. First, Aspen is often used to address and assuage unknown fears and promote centeredness or groundedness. Larch is used to generate self-confidence and boost self-esteem, as well as creative expression. To help animals recover from feelings of guilt and shame, try using essence of pine which will help them feel freer and forgiven. Finally, to reduce the symptoms of shock and to promote healing, the Star of Bethlehem is the best choice.

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