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Ethnobotany Data: Flower Essence Producers

Posted by admin on Jan 29, 2011

Editors’ Note: Back in July, 2010, Vibration Magazine published a request for flower essence practitioners to participate in graduate student, Erin Galiger’s masters’ thesis research in the field of Ethnobotany through University of Kent, at Canterbury (UK). She promised to share the data with participants, and she also sent a copy to Vibration.  She has kindly permitted us to publish portions of it here.  Find the intro to this series of posts here; find more of her data published here on Vibration here and here.

By Erin Galiger, M.Sc. Ethnobotany

As shown in the table below, the majorities of the respondents were female, and aged 46-59.  All of the U.S. producers have been practitioners while 5 out of 8 of the U.K. producers had at one time been practitioners.  Although there are less U.K. and U.S. producers who have remained practitioners, the data suggests that those who produce flower essences tend also to be practitioners.  Many producers practice other forms of CAM, with a higher frequency in U.S. producers.

Table. Flower essence producer personal information.

Sex Age Average # of years making flower essences % of producers who have been a practitioner % of producers who are still practitioners % of producers who practice other types of CAM
F M -45 46-59 60+
U.S. (11) 10 1 8 2 14.5 100% 82% 73%
U.K. (8) 5 3 3 4 1 18.8 75% 63% 50%

U.S. and U.K. producers believe that there are many factors that can influence the effectiveness or potency of a flower essence.  The energy of the maker, location, environmental conditions, and the willingness of the Plant Spirit/Deva were found to be most commonly influential factors viewed by both U.S. and U.K. producers.

Table. Perceived factors influencing the creation of an effective/potent flower essence.

Energy of the maker Location (garden, remote area, etc) Astrological events Who grew the flower (if not  wild) Environment  (soil, water, air, etc.) Time of day Willingness of Plant Spirt/Deva Time of Blossom
U.S. (11) 8 7 7 6 7 8 8 6
U.K. (8) 6 5 4 2 6 4 5 4

20825616.thbHowever, when asked what is believed to be the most important factor(s) in the creation of a flower essence, producers painted a clearer picture of how they view the art of making flower essences.  Responses from U.K. producers included, “Your ability to connect with Nature with your heart and not your head,” “Quiet one’s thinking and enter a state of clear meditation to establish a clear communication with the plant spirit in question,” and “Clear intention and permission given.”  Responses from U.S. producers included, “State of consciousness of human making them in sacred co-creation,” “The ability of the maker to connect to the plant, and emotional health and healing beliefs of the maker,” “Willingness of Nature Spirits (and they’re rarely unwilling!),” and “How “in tune” the maker is with the flowers.”  Regarding how the energy of the maker can influence the essence, one U.K. producer wrote, “The flowers are giving and forgiving, but different makers bring different qualities to the same flower essence, which resonate with different people.”

All of the U.S. producers collect flowers from the wild to make flower essences, and 7 of the 11 also use flowers from their own garden or farm.  Six out of eight of U.K. producers collect flowers from both the wild and their farm or garden.   As far as the reasons why producers choose to make an essence from a particular flower, the answer “they choose me” was a common response from the interviews I conducted with U.S. flower essence producers.  This answer proved to be a popular choice among both the U.K. and other U.S. producers who filled out the questionnaire.  “Intuition” was also a common reason chosen from both subgroups while “divine signs,” “plant spirit communication,” and “spirit guide(s) communication” were more often selected choices among U.S. producers than U.K. producers.

20826152.thbComparable to the practitioners, the initial experience that most of the producers (U.S. 64%, U.K. 75%) had with flower essences is from using them on themselves for life challenges.  All of the U.S. producers felt “called” to make flower essences and 6 out of 8 U.K. producers felt the same “calling.”  When asked if making flower essences is their life purpose, 8 out of the 11 U.S. producers answered yes, but 6 of them qualified it by writing in that producing flower is only one of their life purposes.  Six out of the eight U.K. producers answered yes to the question, but 4 of them also qualified it by citing that producing essences was part of their life purpose.  This data suggests that flower essence production is central in the lives of flower essence producers, and work that is highly meaningful to them.

Most of the producers (U.S. 64%, U.K. 88%) have had no formal training in botany, but several producers commented that formal training was not required for, as one U.K. producer termed, “this co-creative artistic process with nature.”  Another producer, from the U.S., wrote that formal training, “did not prepare me to the trees and their teachings.”  Other producers surveyed as well as those interviewed said to have studied botany independently or that they inevitably learned some botanical knowledge from being in the field.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Galiger has recently finished the MSc Ethnobotany program at the University of Kent, at Canterbury. She is an LMT, herbalist, and is now looking forward to incorporate FET into her practice. Having recently moved to Santa Fe, NM, she plans on conducting informal studies to aid in the further documentation of FET success with clients, and aims to spread awareness about this powerful subtle medicine to as many people as possible. Contact information: egaliger@care2.com

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