Resolving Depression through Emotional Transformation
A Case Profile
Rachel is a 36-year old woman who consulted me because she wanted to discontinue her medications for depression and anxiety. She had recently been diagnosed as bi-polar and wanted to avoid drug use for this condition as well. Rachel was in good health and functioning somewhat effectively in her life. She was working and was also involved in family life with her husband and two children. Her family background included an extensive history of mental illness (including paranoid schizophrenia, manic depression and depression). Rachel’s upbringing was severely abusive both mentally and physically, and perhaps sexually.
Two characteristics that arose during the course of this case related to Rachel’s manic depression, were impulsivity and embodiment.When she became manic, she intensified her energetic state and disassociated from her physical body. This hyper condition allowed her to avoid feeling. In general, Rachel had a detached relationship to her body and a somewhat flat emotional persona. Rachel’s marriage was the key relationship which shifted during her work with the flowers.
In my initial reading of Rachel’s aura, I noted that it was not on the ground; it was about 4 inches above her feet. Although the aura was normal in size, it mirrored the etheric body in shape, and was not elliptical. Her etheric body was slightly taut but had good color (people who seem to live “too tightly in their skin” can often have etheric body problems or abuse issues). The colors and energetic patterns in the astral body were light and diffuse, but were not leaking anywhere. I saw a major block on the back of her neck and across her shoulders and received the image of someone “manhandling” Rachel by grabbing the back of her neck to move her forward. She spoke of a teacher from her high school days who actually did this to her.
We tested many remedies in this session. Some interesting rejections at this time were Echinacea, St. John’s Wort, Yerba Santa and Mariposa Lily. Rachel had spontaneously drawn Echinacea before our first meeting. Although Echinacea is her favorite wildflower, it looked and felt somewhat flat when she held it. Arnica, on the other hand, immediately started moving the energy block at the back of her neck. St. John’sWort felt very deep and somewhat dark, and Mariposa Lily caused Rachel to break down in a flood of tears. I did not want to over extend Rachel’s emotional capacity in the first cycle of flower essence use. Also, she did not want to resort to using her medications for overwhelming anxiety or depression. Therefore our strategy was to eliminate any essences that felt too demanding. Yarrow made the edge of her aura more defined without hardening it and also instilled a brighter quality to the whole aura.Walnut and Self-Heal gave Rachel an immediate clarity and strength, while California Wild Rose brought a lovely softness to her.
First Cycle: Five-Flower, Walnut, Self-Heal, Arnica, California Wild Rose, and Yarrow. St. John’s Shield Oil applied at night.
The first cycle of essences was chosen to soothe, anchor and protect Rachel. We wanted to enable her to experience being grounded in her body without sliding into depression or returning to a scattered, manic mode of behavior. Five-Flower and Self-Heal were selected to center her from the inside out, while Walnut and Yarrow were used to contain Rachel from the outside in. California Wild Rose was indicated to help with her depression and to provide more warmth. Arnica began to move the energy block in her shoulders and neck.
(From top to bottom) Yarrow, California Wild Rose & Arnica
The St. John’s Shield oil was used as an additional stabilizer throughout Rachel’s healing process. This flower essence massage oil contains St. John’s Wort in both herbal and flower essence potency and is beneficial for protecting the astral field during sleep. Rachel applied it to her heart at night to improve sleep and to ritualize the journey of deep self care upon which she was embarking.
During this cycle of essences, a number of significant changes occurred. Rachel’s habit of “leaving her body” by escalating her energy toward a scattered and impulsive mode of behavior had stopped. However, her depressive symptoms worsened. She quit a teaching job during this time because it had become “more of a chore than a pleasure.” The amount of interaction with people that the job required was too much for Rachel while she was experiencing depression. I believe this first cycle of essences brought Rachel into her body consistently enough for her to acknowledge the depression she had probably avoided through her manic behavior.
A new image emerged when I looked at Rachel with subtle sense. Her pelvic region now attracted my attention, bearing a depleted, stiff signature. It looked like the pelvis of a very old woman. I believe that the Arnica began to loosen up the energetic webbing which may have been masking her pelvic region. When Rachel checked in with her body worker, she was informed that her cranial sacral rhythm had slowed and weakened greatly in her pelvic region. Rachel disclosed that she had many reasons to disown this part of her body, that there may have been past sexual abuse and that there was certainly abusive lack of self respect during her twenties which included a lot of sexual promiscuity. We agreed that the next cycle of flowers should be formulated to look deeply into her past and to continue working on warmth and embodiment.
Second Cycle: Walnut, Arnica, Rosemary, Mariposa Lily, Black Eyed Susan and Golden Ear Drops
The Walnut flower essence was retained in the formula for containment and protection, and to help break old family behavior patterns. Arnica was continued to loosen prior trauma and entrenched energy patterns. Black Eyed Susan and Golden Ear Drops were added to begin to stir childhood memories, including the possibility of childhood trauma or abuse that Rachel was blocking. We tested Rosemary for embodiment and to help bring needed warmth to Rachel’s cool demeanor. While Rachel held Rosemary, I observed her aura, and it was evident to both of us that Rosemary was a real winner. She immediately began to glow all over and look more relaxed and literally more beautiful. Rachel said she had an immediate feeling of ‘loveliness’ as she held Rosemary. Mariposa Lily was checked again in Rachel’s aura. Unlike the first time we tested Mariposa Lily, Rachel was much more able to hold the grief it brought to the surface. During her first energetic encounter with this flower, Rachel physically collapsed in her chair with grief. This time she softened and looked very sad, but felt she could journey forward and reap the eventual healing that Mariposa Lily had to offer.
From left to right: Walnut and Arnica
Mariposa Lily and Rosemary
After taking this cycle of essences for a month, Rachel reported a significant shift in her marriage. We both felt the flowers were allowing her to more fully express her core identity, although this awareness triggered a strong negative reaction from her husband. The cathartic flowers in this cycle didn’t appear to be overly strong for Rachel. She mostly felt sad and discouraged about her marriage and wanted her next set of flowers to ‘meet her where she was in the moment.’
Third Cycle: Walnut, Yarrow, Mariposa Lily, Yerba Santa, and Gorse
Walnut was becoming a real flower of choice for Rachel, she felt it really helped her to stay on track. It continued to provide a bright focus in Rachel’s eye area whenever it was tested. I returned Yarrow to her formula based solely on how it looked when she held it. It enhanced the size of her aura and firmed the edges. To continue to gently heal grief and sadness, we retained Mariposa Lily and added Yerba Santa. Yerba Santa had been considered a good candidate all along for Rachel because she originally presented with a chronic cough and also had a slightly collapsed look in her upper body posture. However, as with Mariposa Lily, Yerba Santa had proved too intense for Rachel in the initial testing session, but was now tolerable. I added Gorse at this time because it had the same beautiful, warming effect of Rosemary, but would better speak to her discouragement and underlying depression.
After finishing this cycle of essences, Rachel reported delightful improvements in her marriage. We both felt that the Yerba Santa had softened and opened her heart, allowing for movement in the emotional quality of her relationship.
Fourth Cycle: Walnut, Yarrow, Yerba Santa, Gorse, and Buttercup
The only change for this cycle was to replace Mariposa Lily with Buttercup. Walnut, Yarrow, Gorse and Yerba Santa seemed to be a very beneficial combination for Rachel. Rachel requested a flower to help support her during a change in her work life. Buttercup was chosen to build her esteem and confidence.
During our follow-up appointment Rachel expressed her appreciation for this particular formula. She felt contained, warm and open with these flowers. These were soul feelings Rachel had been searching for all her life. Along with this glowing report, Rachel abruptly disclosed during our session that she realized her parents never really wanted her. They were much older when she was born. As a child, Rachel had often been told that she was “a mistake.” She revealed that she became a tom-boy because her father wished for a boy. Rachel realized that she had been inflicting pain upon herself for a lifetime by apologizing for her very existence. It is likely the effect of the Golden Ear Drops, a flower remedy helping to stir the emotional well of memory in the soul, was continuing to work into Rachel’s awareness. Also the Buttercup flower essence had helped her begin to accept and acknowledge her own true worth. Rachel related that she had become aware of how self-conscious and protective she was about letting various body workers see her breathe. Evidently the Yerba Santa was helping her come to more awareness about this part of her body.
Fifth Cycle: Evening Primrose – A Cathartic Remedy for Rachel
Evening Primrose flower essence addresses the core emotional condition of not being wanted, including primal feelings of rejection from the mother or both parents while still in the womb. This flower remedy now emerged as the next layer of Rachel’s healing journey. Because it would address a core feeling, probably at the root of Rachel’s soul imbalance, the Evening Primrose was given as a single remedy.
Rachel had taken this formula for 2-½ weeks when she called to say that her experience of the Evening Primrose was not going well. This essence mirrored core dysfunctional feelings back to her, but she could not resolve them. She described herself as having regressed to her former emotional disposition that was cool, flat, and withdrawn. She reported her dream life had come to a complete standstill. Her aura was in good shape although there was significant energetic compression in the chest and shoulder region, and her posture slumped. When I “listened in” for a core emotion, I heard Rachel screaming. Evening Primrose was working on an intense archetypal level, provoking a catharsis.
Rachel agreed that Evening Primrose was an important flower essence, but she eventually decided not to take it. Auric healing work can help us to understand why a remedy may be appropriate for the client and yet the client is simply not willing or ready to handle the information. It is always important to respect where the client is, and accept their choices for continuing the healing journey. The Evening Primrose flower essence probably represents very deep karmic wounds that Rachel maybe willing to resolve at another developmental stage in her life.
Concluding Remarks about Rachel’s Case
Rachel continued with the supportive flower essences of Walnut, Yarrow, Yerba Santa and Gorse, with beneficial results. Since the time of writing this case (more than one year), Rachel has remained free of all medications for depression, anxiety and manic depression. She continues to do emotionally-centered bodywork. Whenever I see Rachel, she reports that she is doing very well.
Rachel’s married relationship went through many changes as her true identity revealed itself, and she eventually decided to end her marriage. She came to me once during a time of great stress because she was considering taking her medications again. She requested a flower essence for emotional support. Chamomile and Star of Bethlehem were selected to soothe and calm her, Bleeding Heart and Borage to protect and uplift her heart, and Yarrow and Walnut to contain her. We added Shasta Daisy to help integrate the formula. Rachel reported later that she was “back on track” and doing well.
Read Trish's Subtle Body Sensing: The Impact of Flower Essences in the Human Aura
About Trish Mooney
Trish Mooney has degrees in English and Dance. It was through her work as a dance and movement instructor that she discovered she could see aura and energy. She became a FES Certified Practitioner after attending the 1999 FES Practitioner Training Program. Trish maintains a private practice and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also a trained facilitator in consensus decision making. She lives with her husband and three children in Takoma Park, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC.)
Andrews, Ted, How to See and Read Auras, Llewellyn Publications, 1991.
Brennen, Barbara, Hands of Light, A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field, New York, Bantam Books, 1988.
Bruyere, Rosalyn, Wheels of Light, Chakras, Auras, and the Healing Energy of the Body, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1994.
Rosetree, Rose, Aura Reading Through All Your Senses, Sterling, VA, 1996.
Reprinted with the kind permission of the Flower Essence Society (see below). All photos provided by the Flower Essence Society with our thanks.
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"The Flower Essence Society (FES) is an international membership organization of health practitioners, researchers, students, and others interested in deepening knowledge of flower essence therapy. Originally founded in 1979 by Richard Katz, the society has been co-directed since 1980 by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, who are married and professional partners.The Society promotes plant research and empirical clinical research on the therapeutic effects of flower essences, conducts training, certification programs, and seminars throughout the world as well as disseminating publications about flower essence and provides a communication & referral network for an estimated 50,000 active flower essence practitioners who are teaching, researching and practicing flower essence therapy in their healing work.”
The Flower Essence Society maintains a beautiful and informative website with an abundance of free research articles by & about practitioner research in the field and in depth case studies. You can make online donations at the website. You can also become a member in the society right online giving you access to an additional wealth of research essence profiles. Membership also includes access to the book, Flower Essence Repertory. The Repertory is a richly illustrated, cross referenced informative resource for anyone interested in Flower Essence therapies. Patricia and Richard also manage Flower Essence Services, which produces flower essences and herbal products at Terra Flora, their 17 acre biodynamic/organic garden and wildlife sanctuary in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills of Nevada City, California.
(Note: Jane Sherry & Curtis Lang, Satya Center Founders have been using the Flower Essence Services products for several years, and have found that they provide consistant, vital and exquisite flower essences and herbal products of a very high vibrational quality. They have a deep and profound effect personally and in their healing practice. FES very generously provides a discount for health practioners and their products are very affordable for the general public.
And, if you are interested in learning more about flower essences, reading up on groundbreaking research, flower profiles, flower affirmations, discounts on publications, practitioner referral network and member newsletters, I highly recommend investing a small amount of time and money in becoming a member of the Flower Essence Society. It costs only $25 per year, and is a valuable way to contribute your love and energy into healing yourself, your loved ones and our only home, Planet Earth.)