Edit 5/2/19: I just discovered that the flowers I thought were violets are probably not violets at all, after doing a search on “eating violet leaves” and finding that the leaves of the patches I harvested my flowers from look considerably different. The flowers look incredibly similar, and searching various Flower Identification websites I could not find any other species of the type identified. Here is an example of actual Violets and their leaves. Anyway, because of their similarity in pretty much every way besides the leaves, and I consider the flowers that I harvested to be equitable to actual Violet, in the spiritual sense. And if I really want to get stancy about it, well, they are Violets. Just not of the species most commonly identified as such. The color and their sweet personality attests to that. Onward…
This year I am beginning to make my first homemade flower essences! I have been using Bach-made essences for years – I always like to have Rescue Remedy on hand – and I also started branching out and trying essences from other crafters and shops. After ordering and receiving Datura Inoxia and Henbane from Banefolk something opened up in me and I started becoming much more aware of the local wildflowers. When the first crocuses started appearing, I began preparing to make my essences.
I didn’t take as many pictures during the process as documentation would have liked, but TBH I did not really want to be near, or especially touching, electronics during my process or handling of the essence before it was finished, in the interest of keeping the vibration of the water as pure as possible. So I don’t have any pictures of the flowers from that day. So, the pictures given are are the violets I harvested this week, and a free image of crocus by Capri23auto.
Making flower essences, according to Bach technique (and seemingly across the board, from all of the research that I did) usually requires a little more care than just your average foraging for edibles, and this is because the process of making an essence is essentially the harnessing of the pure vibration of the flower (or whatever you are using). As such, whereas when just picking flowers for regular use, you just use your hands, essence preparation requires that the harvester not touch the flowers with their hands. You can use gloves, or if you have scissor skills, just use the blades of your shears to bring the flower into your carrying vessel (this is what I did).
I also took a much more ritualistic approach to the foraging than I normally would. Besides choosing a sunny day, and luckily being able to harvest on an appropriate day of the week (a Sunday), I did my best to walk and act in an intentional meditative state, verbally asked for permission, and verbally thanked the plants, and sang a song that I wrote on the spot for each plant (you can scroll down and read the handwritten versions from that day).
I also had gone out of my way the day before to acquire fresh water from the only artesian spring that I know of in the area, about a half hour drive and a half hour walk, each way. It’s a good idea to use the most pure, living water possible, though I guess when it comes down to it, you work with what you have access to, right?
There are two basic methods: Sun and Boiling. I used both – I set the water with the flowers in the sun for a few hours initially wanting to do as little harm to the flowers as possible during the process, and then eventually boiled them too, once I realized that I was not getting a thorough extraction, and anyway, I had way too much water, and it had to be reduced. Perhaps in hotter weather, the Sun method works better. But after boiling, I saw that so much more came through from the flower. For example, with the Violets, I got this really beautiful, well, violet color. Unfortunately you can’t see it in the image, but especially while boiling in the stainless steel pot, it was a very profound color. You can sort of tell, by comparing the Violet with the Crocus, which despite its purple petals, is orange, due to the saffron stamens.
After straining, I added a roughly equal amount of vodka, and then decanted into the brown glass bottles (that I cleaned and re-used – they originally held Bach brand). Most practitioners will recommend using brandy. I didn’t have brandy, though, so I chose vodka because it was the purest alcohol we had in the house. I would not recommend using wine, because eventually wine turns to vinegar – use distilled spirits only.
There are a lot of different resources for what each flower essence “means” or “does,” but of course, what they do, is energetic, and oftentimes beyond words, though words can help. And, it’s not as though the plants do one thing and not some other thing for a person. But, each flower has its own personality, that is for sure. My personal interpretations of these flowers are the following. I drew a line drawing of the flower, and some short lyric lines in my notebook, and then sang them while harvesting the flowers. Also, I did not take that many flowers for the purpose of the essence, out of respect, and in alignment with the fact that due to the fact that this is a vibrational essence, that you don’t need too many. I am pretty sure that I used the same number of flowers as there were petals on each flower, but don’t quote me on that.
we are the first born
bringing gentle beauty
breaking free of the dead time
the sweet arrival
opening up to breathe, to life
The Crocus is known as the first flower that pops up in the spring. Their incredible purple and orange coloring makes them hard to miss. You only see them for a week or two, and then they disappear. They are also known as the saffron flower, producing the most valuable spice on the planet in terms of how much people will pay per pound.
The Crocus flower essence is great for opening up to healing after a long period of stagnation, or if one is just beginning their healing journey. The Crocus is vivid. It is not shy. It is representative of hope – not a forlorn hope, but a proud, confident hope. It is astrologically associated with the Sun, and in fact, it is a Leonian energy. Crocus can help someone who feels stifled and as though there is no end to the darkness, to awaken to a new perspective of Light, and allow the new to come in – it opens the way forward.
we forgive quietly
show you that all is small
will you answer the call?
the violet grows after the violence of the cold
Violet is known as the “forgiveness flower.” Someone once shared the quotation with me, “forgiveness is the fragrance a violet emits after you crush it.” What a beautiful but sad idea. Yet, here we are. Violet is great if you are working on forgiveness issues – sure, having to do with someone else, but as healing goes, often it is ourselves who we have to forgive the most, for things we have done or not done because we had no other choice, for our dark sides that we witnessed or experienced when things were hard. That time is over now and we can heal and show our beauty.
The violet is so dainty, and with a very precise petal shape. It comes up about the same time (shortly after) the Crocus, and is the same color, so they have much in common: it also bears the energies of recovering from a dark period, and beginning the healing process, but in contract to Crocus, who bursts through the pain and leaves it behind, only to move on, the Violet sticks around for a while and lingers, taking the slow route, preferring shade or protected areas – this flower isn’t looking to be center stage – she just wants to recover, and find her own self again. Violet shows us that after a time of cold brutality, we can make it through and get to a place where life and abundance comes forth again. Violet is the bridge from the cruelty of winter, to the happiness of springtime. Often, in order to make that journey, we have to shed some tears and find a way to open up to a new level of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness for ourselves. This is why Violet belongs to Venus.
Thanks for reading about my work with these flowers!