Flower Power Heals

Whatever else happens in our lives, we must have flowers. These gifts from Nature nourish our very souls. We scatter their petals when we marry. We send bouquets of them to celebrate the birth of a child. We decorate our homes and our places of worship with them. We use flowers to comfort the lonely and the ill. We even honor the end of a person’s life by laying floral wreathes on a grave. Not only do flowers play a central role in the rituals of life; they also bless our ordinary daily existence by blossoming in our gardens, waste ground, and hedgerows, and gracing our windowsills by protruding gaily from a cracked teapot. Perhaps it is the velvet softness of their petals and their luminous colors that make these affirmations from Nature so precious to us. Maybe it is the uplifting energy they carry —an energy you sense when lying in a field of poppies or when you go into a florist’s shop. It could be the fragrance of flowers, or the transient nature of their coming and going. I don’t know.


love-from-flowersWhat I do know is this: not only does humanity have a passion for flowers—flowers also have a passion for us. They love to share with us their beauty, their healing powers—their very life force.

“When I touch a flower, I am touching infinity. Through the flower I talk to the Infinite… a silent force… that still small voice.” George Washington, American botanist

American clairvoyant and healer Edgar Cayce celebrated the healing power of flowers again and again. He insisted that flowers bring companionship to those of us who are lonely, that they speak to the “shut in,” and that they bring Divine grace and upliftment to everyone. That is certainly my own experience of flowers.


neanderthal-beginningsOur passion for flowers and the awareness that they carry deep healing and sanctifying energies are both as old as history itself. For example, not long ago, archaeologists digging in the Cave of Shanidar within the Zagros Mountains of Iran unearthed nine bodies of primitive people and discovered that at least 60,000 years ago, men and women were carrying out flower rituals similar to those we use today. The archaeologists found soil samples in which clusters of pollen from 28 different species of flowers lay in a circle, forming a wreath that had been laid to rest with human remains. One of the interesting things about the find was that the flowers these primitive people chose to use as sacred and healing offerings to their dead were not the most beautiful, nor were they the most readily available in the area. The flowers from which these wreathes had been made were chosen from plants that are specifically known for their healing properties—hollyhock, grape hyacinth, and horsetail—all of which we still use today for medicinal purposes.


expand-realityThe Ancient Greeks and the Egyptians used aromatic oils and flowers for healing too, as they did for embalming, expanding consciousness, and for sanctifying space. The Bible is riddled with words of praise for flowers and what they have to teach us, both about the realms of Spirit and about the ordinary world in which we live most of our lives. It tells us “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Mathew 6:28-29). In Song of Solomon 2:12: “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is at hand…”


nurture-your-spiritDespite our longstanding love affair with flowers and the ways in which we have used them for healing and to mark life’s passages for thousands of years, never in recorded history have we experienced a greater need for their healing and their blessings than right now. For we, who live in the post-modern world, often feel alienated, isolated, suspended, and caught somewhere between the magnificent technology we have created and a longing to bond with the earth and with our own souls.


end-anorexiaFlowers help to bridge this gap. In fact, I think they do this better than anything else in Nature. Flowers delight us, bless us, and heal us. They clear the spiritual anorexia so widespread in urban life and help to fill up our starving souls. They remind us of our own simple humanity as well as our essentially divine nature. They whisper to us the splendor of the world around us—a world of which we humans are the guardians. Most important of all, in a very real and powerful way, our relationship with flowers helps to realign our ordinary day-to-day lives with the authenticity of our unique soul energies. A big statement to make? Yes, but having worked with flower meditation for many years and explored the potential that flower essences have to build bridges for us between our inner truth and our outer lives, I have come to believe with all my being that this is so.


blessed-energiesLike biofeedback, homeopathy, spiritual healing, acupuncture, and other energetic forms of treatment, flowers rely on subtle vibrational energies for their healing powers. This helps expand our awareness of reality. I have long relied on herbs, flowers, and floral essential oils to strengthen immunity, clear colds and flu, strengthen my ability to deal with stress, and sanctify the spaces in which I live and work. Flowers, in one form or another, help to heal confusion and grief, frustration, and isolation. Flowers sing of joy, splendor, fun, and the indomitable spirit of renewal on which each of us depends for growth and rebirth. Their presence becomes particularly important when, in the midst of crises or deep change, our soul song has gone mute or we feel we have lost touch with our life direction.


how-flowers-healNo-one knows for sure. There are so many of their elements that carry healing potential that it would be hard to list them all. But some of these elements include their colors. Their colors influence our mind, our energy levels, and our clarity of thought. Colorful flowers and the plants they come from often carry health-enhancing nutrients within them. For example, anti-oxidants like flavonoids give plants their colors and protect from degeneration. Other phyto-chemicals help strengthen immunity, improve circulation, and delay aging. Then there are the more recently discovered vibrational energies, which Dr. Bach called on when he fashioned flower essences and, of course, essential oil treats and treatments for person and place. Last, but by no means least, is the power of flower meditation. Here is where the soul of a human being meets the soul of a flower to bring healing, friendship, and blessings to both.


power-of-fragranceThe smell of flowers can move us deeply. Your sense of smell is the most primitive and evocative you have. When a child is born, it bonds to its mother through her fragrance. So long as that scent is present, the child senses that all things shall be well. In the last decade or two a lot of research has been done into how to use fragrance to shift consciousness in very specific ways. For example, the Shimizu Corporation of Japan discovered that when you diffuse the fragrance of floral essential oils like jasmine or lavender into the areas of a building where workers have to sit for long hours in front of computers, productivity increases dramatically, while stress-related problems from work decrease. As human beings, we all thrive on change. Alter the fragrance in your environment and you can restore your alertness and sense of well-being again and again. Even in our hospitals the fragrance of flowers is used more and more to calm patients when they have to undergo lengthy and confining medical diagnostic procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging, where a person’s whole body is encased in a big machine. Doctors and technicians find that even something as simple as the scent of lavender decreases a patient’s tendency to become claustrophobic and to panic.


each-is-uniqueFlowers are as individual in their personalities as they are in their looks and fragrance. Some love the night. They only display their beauty and emit their fragrance once the sun goes down. Like night-owl people, at their best in the wee small hours of the morning, these blossoms have a passionate nature. They often carry exotic names like Queen of the Night, Night-Blooming Selene, and Gillyflower. Other flowers, like goatsbeard, poppy, and marigold, open their petals at the crack of dawn then close down each evening and drift away into sleep. The sunflower stretches itself boldly towards heaven, while the bright blue borage flower, worshiped by Celtic warriors for its ability to bring courage in battle, bows its tiny head towards the ground. Borage, a shy soul with a great power to heal, prefers to go unnoticed, despite its heart-rending beauty.


focus-on-a-flowerI have learned much about the individual personalities and soul nature of flowers, not only from meditating and using them for healing but also from photographing them. Some, like peony, love the spotlight. Put them in front of a camera and they upstage everything else. Others have strong likes and dislikes about where you plant them and where you place a bouquet of them in a room. On one table a particular flower becomes recalcitrant. But move it to the top of a bookcase in front of a window and suddenly it surrenders its beauty to the camera the way a woman yields to the touch of her lover. Each flower has unique healing properties and each speaks its own silent language. Learning that language, listening to flower wisdom, and opening your heart to a flower’s healing energy can be a joyous and often life-changing experience.


discover-new-realmsExploring the world of flower healing takes us deep into mythological stories rich in symbolism and traditional flower practices, as well as down the well-trodden paths of herbal healing and aromatherapy. But it goes much further too—especially when it comes to flower essence healing and flower meditation. Here it demands that each of us make a quantum leap in understanding the very nature of healing itself. It asks that we expand our awareness on all levels and revise our worldview—those unconscious assumptions about the nature of reality on which everybody seems to agree but which are often untrue or outdated. It asks that we move forward in our thinking to a new perspective about life and health that is not just chemical in orientation and materialistic in outlook. It introduces us to an approach to life and to healing that mystics have long understood but which is only beginning to be described by science, thanks to the findings of emerging paradigm physicists and biologists. The implications of such a shift in perspective is only now beginning to filter into the awareness of the general public and forward-thinking physicians. We stand poised at the brink of a new world of healing where subtle energies and even consciousness itself meet and change material reality.


blindnessMainstream medicine still remains blind to the complex interactions and feedback loops that integrate living systems and the universe as a whole. For almost a century or more we have been living with an approach to the treatment of mental as well as physical disorders that is both mechanistic and reductionist. It ignores two things: The first is that living organisms, including the human body, are in truth integrated energetic systems within an integrated universe. It is not possible to consider them just a collection of parts that you can manipulate if you are to bring about a high level of health, energy, and well-being. The second thing that mechanistic medicine ignores—in fact tends to leave out altogether—is the power of consciousness—how we think and feel—which can both create illness and heal it.


mind-shifts-matterA massive volume of well-conducted experiments carried out by leading-edge scientists have demonstrated that consciousness brings about changes in material reality—not just in medicine but in every area of your life. One of the earlier experiments—one that I have always found particularly amusing, I guess because I have always jokingly complained that computers have a mind of their own—was carried out at Princeton University in the United States. There, in the School of Engineering, scientists were working with random event generators to find out if human consciousness can affect the outpourings of these totally mechanical and electronic machines. Random event generators are designed to throw out a series of numbers in a completely chaotic and haphazard way. What researchers discovered is that their output is significantly altered when groups of people focus their consciousness on a particular numerical outcome or share an emotional experience. For instance, when a group of people in the same room was asked to visualize the number ‘two’ appearing, this number comes up again and again. The statistical probability of such a thing happening is more than 5,000 to 1. Yet it occurred consistently.


consciousness-nowWhen it comes to your own body, the way consciousness affects physical changes is easier to understand. Leading researchers in the psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) field, like Dr. G. F. Solomon at the University of California, find that the consciousness of the human mind (which includes your conscious thoughts and unconscious impulses, as well as your superconscious or transcendent mind and your emotions) is elaborately interwoven with every function of the body via nerve pathways and chemical messengers—such as the endorphins, neuropeptides, and hormones. A hormonal-nerve relationship exists between your endocrine glands via the pituitary, the adrenals, and the hypothalamus. PNI evidence even suggests that, rather like the physicists’ electrons that appear as waves or particles depending upon expectation, the molecular configuration of your body’s chemical messengers—the neuropeptides—can be altered by consciousness—our mental, emotional, and spiritual states—to create new material forms.


all-is-oneWhere herbal healing and aromatherapy bring help to body and mind, primarily through their physical actions, flower healing, and flower meditation, prayer and spiritual healing work wonders where the universal energy fields interact and influence each other. When the magic of a flower meets the spirit of a human being asking for help, wonderful things happen. And, like most things infinitely rich in the gifts they bring, the theory behind how flowers work wonders pales beside the experience of using it.


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