Have you ever wondered how to make a flower essence?
It’s the most blissful, sacred and joyful way to spend a sunny summer’s day and it helps you to develop your intuition and deepen your connection to the subtle realms of nature too. Win win, I’d say!
I hope this post inspires you to make your first flower essence, or gives you ideas about how to connect more deeply to the plant’s spirit if you’ve made an essence before.
The process of making an essence usually begins at least a day before.
I recommend choosing a plant that you feel an affinity with, because that natural state of love you feel for the plant will open your heart to hear the subtlety of nature’s messages more easily. Choose a plant that’s coming into bloom and has an abundance of flowers to choose from, located far from pollution like roads or agricultural spraying.
Spend time with the plant getting a sense of whether it’s willing to be made into an essence. You can either say aloud or silently that your intention is to make a healing essence and be open to messages you receive from the plant. This is usually felt in your inner senses and you need to trust your intuition. Often the sun will come out and shine bright over the plant, or the flowers will seem to be nodding with excitement.
You will get an inner sense of ‘yes’.
A ‘no’ will feel like you’re unwelcome, you might trip over or feel a negativity or in some other way you’ll sense that it just isn’t right.
I find that plants are usually delighted to be able to share their gifts in this way and as long as you respectfully ask for permission, you will tend to get an inner ‘yes’ especially if the plant has been calling out to you anyway!
Back indoors you’ll need to sterilise your equipment:
- 1 clear glass bowl with no pattern that is never used for anything else
- funnel (preferably glass)
- dark coloured medicine bottle
And you’ll need these goodies too:
- unbleached coffee filter paper
- brandy (or vodka, glycerin or cider vinegar) as a preservative
- label for your bottle
Avoid alcohol the night before you plan to make your essence and make sure you get a good restful sleep. It’s worth checking the weather forecast for the next day just to make sure it looks like you’ll be waking to a sunny day.
Wake early on the day you make your essence. You will need a bright blue cloudless sky with no rain. Check in with your guidance about whether it feels like a good essence-making day.
You need to be feeling centred and calm before you begin.
I would never make an essence if I’m feeling emotional because most of my attention would be drawn into that inner drama rather than into the sacred process I’m participating in. This is a process of subtle energies so if you are feeling emotionally unbalanced, that energy will go into your essence.
The clearer you are, the clearer the messages you receive will be.
Otherwise you won’t know whether you’re picking up on emotional ‘stuff’ that you would be feeling anyway rather than sensing how the plant works.
Begin early in the morning because the blooms should be placed in the bowl before 9am, although this varies a little according to time, of year, part of the world and the direction where your plant is growing. Ideally the sun should be shining on the blooms before you begin.
I prepare by having a bath or shower, wearing natural fabrics and avoiding jewellery, make-up, perfume, strongly scented deodorant etc. Since I’m meeting nature in its natural state, I like to be the same. I also prefer to make essences on an empty stomach as the connection to nature’s messages seems stronger that way, but if you’re hungry you may wish to have a piece of fruit before you begin.
I like to be barefoot and take 100 slow deep breaths next to the plant to feel my connection to the land and myself before I begin. Then I consciously call in the four elements that participate in the process. The heat of the sun, the water inside the plant (and in the bowl), the earth that nurtures the plant and the air all around us. Use whatever ritual or sacred practice you are already familiar with to create a sacred space to make your essence. You’re working in the spirit realms here so intention makes a huge difference to the potency of an essence.
Ask the plant’s deva (the energetic being that holds the blueprint for the plant’s growth) and nature spirits to co-operate with you and give you any messages you need.
You can call upon spirit helpers you feel an affinity with including ascended masters or animal guides, or you can simply ask to be helped by any other unseen beings who support this work.
It’s time to get the sterilised bowl and fill it just over half way with pure water. Traditionally spring water or distilled water is used.
You will be covering the surface of the bowl with blooms so if you are using a flower with a large head like a rose you’ll probably just need one bloom to cover the surface. For smaller flowers like daisies you’d need about 30 flowers to cover the surface of a small bowl. Use as small a bowl as you can get away with so that you’re not using more flowers than you will need. Flower essences go a very long way and I like to be economical with nature’s gifts.
Ask the plant which blooms you are to use and notice how you’re guided. Cut each bloom carefully with the sterilised scissors, making sure your fingers don’t touch the flowers. It helps to hold the bowl just under where the flower will drop, so that it lands in the bowl without your interference.
Every time you cut a flower give heartfelt thanks to the plant for its healing gift.
When the surface of the bowl is covered in bloom/s, lay the bowl on the earth (not concrete or wood) close to the plant in full sun. Be careful that your shadow doesn’t cross the bowl while the essence is being made.
I like to spend some time with the plant with my eyes open, observing what I notice about a plant: colour, shape, spread, how it grows, how it interrelates to its environment (Is it solitary? Does it wind its way around other plants? Is it low growing or reaching up to the sky? Are the blooms big and bold or delicate and gentle?). Write down your observations and sketch the plant.
Now close your eyes and turn inward in a meditative state.
Ask the question ‘tell me how you can heal’ and then open yourself up to the messages that come. You might feel strong sensations in particular parts of your body; you might get impressions/feelings about how the plant heals. You might see images in your inner vision that could be symbolic or real and obvious. You might see images of people you know who carry the energy that this plant embodies.
Be open to any messages you receive and write them down, even if they don’t seem to make sense. A couple of words. Subtle impressions. Keep on asking the plant to show you how it heals. Your mind might take you off on a tangent somewhere reminding you of something from your past. Write it all down, it could be significant.
Taking a Shamanic journey to meet the spirit of the plant opens you up to more messages from the plant but should only be done if you have experience of journeying safely. Write down your impressions from the journey.
It will take 3-4 hours of full sunshine for the essence to be complete. In springtime it will probably take longer than summer because there isn’t usually the same heat in the sun.
You will know it’s ready because you’ll see bubbles in the water and the blooms will look faded, as though they’ve given their life force into the water (which they have!) The sun has transmitted its energy through the blooms into the water. Check your guidance and ask if the essence is complete. When it feels ready, it’s time to mix your essence with brandy or your alternative preservative.
Filter the liquid into a clean dark glass medicine bottle, using an unbleached coffee filter paper and funnel and stop when the bottle is about half full. Add 40-50% preservative (brandy, vodka, cider vinegar, glycerin etc.) to the liquid, put the lid on the bottle and shake it up.
Label it with the date, location and the name of the plant. If you’re interested in astrology, you can also record the signs the Sun and Moon were in when you made your essence.
Give thanks to the plant and all the unseen beings who have co-created with you and offer a physical gift e.g. a hair from your head or a food offering or simply offer your open-hearted gratitude.
Potentise the essence for 2 hours under a copper pyramid if you have one.
This is your Mother Tincture, and from this you would take put 7 drops into a 25ml dropper bottle and dilute it with water and brandy (or alternative) to make a stock bottle, which is the potency you will see for sale in the shops. Store it in a cool dark place.
Test it out by taking it yourself for a month and journalling how you feel and what you notice. Ask others to help you to test it, and invite them to share their experiences of using the essence. Come back, and tell me all about your essence in the comments!
Would you like to make your own flower essence in a small group of kindred souls? If so, join us for this gorgeous workshop on Saturday 23rd June 2018. Book by 14th May to receive the early bird rate.
N.B. This is making an essence by the ‘sun method’ originally used by Dr Edward Bach in the 1920s and 1930s. There are other ways to make essences (e.g. boiling the blooms or simply using your intention without actually putting plant material in the bowl) but the sun method is the most common and popular way to make an essence.