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A World Soul Perspective on Flower Essences

Posted by admin on Aug 22, 2009

By Andrea Mathieson, maker of Raven Essences.  This article started out as a comment to and refers to Vibration Magazine Editor Deborah Bier’s article The Weirdness of Essence Education.

Some thoughts about the essential ‘weirdness’ of flower essence education from my corner of the garden…

Two Branches of Flower Essence Education

From my perspective, there are two branches to flower essence education: the ongoing experiential research that flower essence producers and practitioners are undertaking; the articulation of those understandings to a larger public. Vibration Magazine has dedicated itself to both aspects of education by offering a forum for producers and practitioners to share their experiences in creating and working with essences, and information about a wide variety of essences and their application with the general public.

34860852thb1What I’d like to consider in this article is the first aspect of flower essence education, what I and perhaps some other producers are exploring in our personal education before we ever speak to the general public. To me, this is the primary field of education for it is where we, as pioneers in a field of subtle energy working in intimate proximity to the heart of Nature, are in position to learn a great deal. As well as learning how flower essences work, we are in position to participate in the creative process of Life.

Trying to Explain Essences
Ever since I began producing flower essences in 1995, I’ve struggled with the issue of ‘educating’ my clients. I was intuitively drawn into the process of creating essences, as I suspect many producers are. (After all, most of us don’t make huge amounts of money in this industry!) I desperately wanted to understand how flower essences ‘worked’ so that I could explain their effects to others. I really struggled to sound intelligent when people asked me ‘left-brain’ questions yet when I tried to talk about essences from this perspective, my words crumbled like sawdust in my mouth.

7674353thbIn these early fumbling attempts to explain essences, my heart often sank. I felt discouraged, for I knew I was mis-representing the essences and failing to articulate the tremendous depths I’d experienced in working with them. I wanted to teach people what I knew but there was often a distinct gap between what people wanted to know about the product and the personally transformative process I’d been engaged in while creating the essences.

Looking back, I now realize that I was still being educated by the plants! As the student, I was slowly learning the ways of Nature, a process that involved deep inner changes as well as my maturation as a producer and flower essence practitioner.

The Celts called this dynamic process the way of the Wyrd. While I desperately tried not to appear ‘weird’, I was definitely being drawn in the world of sacred synchronicity — the true heart of the flower essence world. Eventually, I realized that what my clientele needed was not just left-brain information but a ‘wyrd’ experience — direct contact with the creative process!

Teaching by Direct Experience
By creating events for people to open to the active intelligence of plants, I invited people to experience the garden in a sacred way. Rather than telling them what to see or feel, I encouraged participants to honor their own intuitive connection with Nature. This link was already alive in them, though perhaps forgotten and dormant. Over the years, as I witnessed and validated their perceptions, I observed a flowering of many different of ways of knowing. Everyone who opened to Nature through direct participation experienced a sense of being met and guided by the energies in the natural world and an expansion in their intuition. Gradually, it was easy to let go of my need to instruct because I saw that the plants in my garden were by far the best teachers.

34861284thbWhile this approach did not ‘explain’ essences, it ultimately proved more successful in opening people to the sacred aliveness within all life. I find kinship in the writings of people such as Joanna Macy, Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, John O’Donohue and others. Poets such as Rilke and Mary Oliver know this wyrd territory well. Recent information about quantum physics illustrating the interconnectedness of all life reinforces the writings of romantic poets and mystics.

Remembering the Sacredness of Life
I sense we are all being re-educated to remember the sacredness of all life. Only with this understanding and experience alive within us will we have the beginning basis to understand flower essences or appreciate how they work. If we merely try to analyze their effects, we will always falter. Flower essences dance within a much larger field of energy than just our narrowly focused left-brains.

There is a wonderful video on Ted Talks with Jill Bolte about her experience of having a stroke. As a neuroscientist, she was able to witness what was happening in her brain AS it was happening. When her left brain was blocked, her right brain swooned in the beauty and majesty of life, a state of blissful connectedness. See-sawing back and forth as the stroke ravaged one side of the brain then the other, she managed to access the functionality of her left brain, realized she was having a stroke, and painfully struggled to dial the numbers on the phone for help. While the blissful state was gone, she managed to get the help she needed. Yet she remembered the ecstasy of her right-brain’s vision.

Her observation of this fascinating dance gives us some clues about our experience with flower essences. When we work with essences, whether we are producers, practitioners, or laypeople, we get occasional glimpses of another whole reality, a completely different possibility of healing. But we are not meant to stay there, swimming in the Mystery. Our left-brains click in again, and we ask, “Just how do these things work?” We may come up with some semi-intelligent answer that satisfies the left-brain for a brief while. Then this other reality reasserts itself. Something ‘wyrd’ happens, and we are back into the mystery again! Back and forth, this dance continues as people experience (and that’s the key word) the dynamic possibilities of flower essences in a direct and highly personal way.

Awakening the World Soul
Ancient mystics spoke about the Soul of the World, the anima mundi as a spiritual light emanating within matter. In the western world, we generally experience spiritual light as transcendent and disembodied. Disconnected from a sense of earth-based spirituality, our Celtic, aboriginal, or primitive roots, we have forgotten the healing reciprocity of a sacred relationship with the living earth.
Where pharmaceutical and many ‘holistic’ approaches are based solely on taking what we need from the natural world for our own purposes, flower essence research has the potential to not only heal us at many body-soul levels, but also to nourish and heal the World Soul.

Our fascination with these simple, alchemical products takes us, if we are willing to journey with them, far beyond our personal healing. The sacred intention by which most flower essences are created is a re-membering of alchemy, a living participation in the anima mundi where our thoughts and actions have a powerful, generative effect upon Nature. As we work in a sacred, open-hearted way with flower essences we are also participating in the reawakening of the World Soul.

Through our respectful participation in subtle energy exchanges with Nature, we have the opportunity to become co-creators in a new paradigm of consciousness. This is the larger vision of what we are about.

Seen from this perspective, the question ‘how do flower essences work’ becomes less important. The primary question we should be pondering is ‘How can we participate in this magnificent process of co-creative healing?’ Then the observation of what flower essences actually DO can open to a much wider field of possibility than just curing moodiness or upset stomachs!

I’m all for keeping the ‘weirdness’ alive in flower essence education for this may lead us into real wyrdness — the heart of Nature’s mysteries!

Note: Andrea’s past articles in Vibration Magazine are here:  Using Sound to Empower Flower Essences, by Adrea Mathieson, here: Listening Beneath the Surface of the Symptoms, and here: Honoring Animals in Death.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Mathieson is the producer of the Raven Essences. Created in her garden in Maple, Ontario, Andrea has produced nearly 300 of these essences. Taking people through a co-creative process, she makes specialty blends for practitioners. Her books, A Love Affair with Nature and Gaia’s Invitation — Poems from the Sacred Earth, are used as divinatory tools to connect people to the wisdom and beauty of Nature. Andrea would welcome your questions and feedback about this area of research. She can be contacted at the Raven Essences Website, or by email at info@ravenessences.com.


Lovely article, thanks for sharing. I loved the way you invited people into your garden to let them communicate directly with the plants, that is so lovely.
Indeed we are All Connected. I can relate to your experience and people thinking you are weird, I’ve been called a ‘witch’ all my life! (I didn’t like it when I was a young woman but now it doesn’t bother me). I feel the public’s consciousness is much more raised and open now than it was back then and they are eager to learn and experience nature and Essences.
Long may we all be ‘weird’ and long may we co-create with Mother Nature and make essences!
Many Blessings y’all.

August 24th, 2009 | 8:09 pm

Wonderful article, especially the exploration of the relationship between left and right brains. A powerful reminder that mystics, poets, and artists always explore the world of mystery and intuition long before scientists start trying to figure it all out.

August 24th, 2009 | 9:03 pm

Thank you for your wonderful article and reminder of the joyful re-discovery of what nature is longing to teach us if we just keep ourselves open to it, without trying to explain “what are flower essences?” from the point of view of our thinking minds. I have come across the same challenge of articulating what flower essences are so many times (chuckle) and this is helpful to remember to just allow (and invite) nature to be our teacher, instead of us trying to take on this role. My husband after 22 years of marriage, still calls me a ‘weird date’. May we continually rejoice in being ‘wyrd’!

August 24th, 2009 | 10:06 pm

Andrea, you have brought back to me good memories of my own “wyrd” introduction to flower essences! I was invited to a two-hour presentation on essences given by an alternatively-minded psychiatrist. She greeted us at the door with small cup of water that was charged with Green Bells of Ireland. I’ll never forget taking my first sip and feeling the energetic tingle.

As an energy medicine practitioner and fellow flower essence practitioner, I understand the agony of trying to explain a “right hand path” to a “left brained world.” I wish I had a perfect solution to it, but honestly, I am helped by the words of Jesus: “don’t throw pearls before swine.” In other words, be prudent with whom and how I share what I know is precious and sacred. When they are ready to hear it, they will. Until, I’ll keep my own ear pressed to the heart of God and nature.

August 25th, 2009 | 11:13 pm
Carol Rudd:

HI Elly! I loved this article. It’s very clear and pertinent to flower essence teaching.. it’s been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to see the wonders of synchronicity appear unfailingly for me, my students and clients whenever the flowers are given the respect they deserve… Love to all

August 26th, 2009 | 8:55 pm

I think it’s yet another remnant of the Piscean age that we still need to grow out of / move beyond — personally and culturally — that we expect to be given a rule book for everything in our lives. We believe if we just memorize and follow those rules, everything else will be taken care of for us. But nature and life aren’t like that — at least not for long. I believe we’re supposed to learn how to learn and then keep learning our whole life. What Andrea’s article reminds us of is the interconnected nature of life and our great need to be willing to immerse ourselves in life and nature and learn from “all our relations.” Each kingdom, each species, has its role to play and its lesson to teach if we will only sit still, pay attention, and open ourselves to that learning. Thank you for a wonderful story and a powerful reminder!

August 27th, 2009 | 6:36 pm