How to Make Flower Essences
Flower essences originated with Paracelsus, the parent of modern alchemy, who collected dew from plants to treat his patients. They were later developed by Edward Bach, a doctor interested in homeopathy (which also uses ideas from alchemy). This method for making essences describes using the Sun, but you can also use the full Moon (and even tweak it by choosing the Moon when it's in a particular sign) or pure starlight (after the Moon has set). Needless to say, you can also use a particular aspect of the Moon's phase to develop an essence that speaks to particular level of consciousness, type of emotion, aspect of the spirit, or type of magick. This describes making an essence of flowers, but you can use the same technique to make an essence of leaves, whole herbs, roots, crystals, etc.
Get a clear glass bowl that has no markings. Since you have to cover the entire surface of the water with flowers, get a smallish bowl. You'll also need some sort of filter (an unbleached coffee filter works well). A funnel is useful for pouring the resulting essence into a small brown bottle (there is lots of discussion which color bottles preserve best--some people insist on using only brown, others recommend using violet or black). You'll need another clean glass container to filter the essence into. The water you use should not be from the faucet but spring water, rain water, or dew. The bottle you pour the essence into should be at least 30 ml.
When you decide what you want to make an essence of, ask the plant if you have permission to use it. You can do this by using your intuition (sit in front of the plant and let it talk to you) or by using a pendulum. On a sunny morning, fill the bowl half full of water. Pick enough flowers to cover the surface, being careful to keep them as whole as possible; some people believe that it is best not to touch the flowers but to cut them so they fall directly into the water. Leave the bowl in full sunlight for three hours. Make sure shadows don't fall on it in that time, and that children and animals don't mess with it. Remove the flowers carefully (you can use your hand or a leaf of the plant you are making an essence of) and filter the water into the clean container. Fill the brown bottle half full with vodka, brandy, Everclear, 151 rum, or wine (wine won't last as long but has its own energy). Top up with the essence. This is the mother essence. Label with the flower and the date. Store in a cool, dark place away from electrical and other energy sources, and it will keep indefinitely.
You can make stock bottles by putting one to seven drops of the mother essence into a bottle filled with either alcohol or a 50/50 mix of alcohol and water. If you are sensitive to alcohol, you can use glycerine or vinegar. In turn, use essence from the stock bottle to make a medicine bottle, adding 2-7 drops of the stock essence to a bottle of alcohol or alcohol/water mix. You can put them in plain water if they are going to be used relatively quickly. With essences, the greater the dilution, the greater the power.
Flower essences work on a vibrational level to encourage balance. They are not biochemical medicines. Take them two to four drops four times a day. You can put them under your tongue, rub them on your skin, put them in bath water, or mist them into the air. Take ten minutes prior to eating or one hour afterward. You can take them more often if you want. Essences can effect change slowly or quickly, but the change should be subtle--changes in eating, sleeping, dreaming, energy, thinking, feeling, working. Top
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