After many days of mysterious technical difficulties with the New St John Flower Essence blog and many fruitless hours of me rebuilding it and reposting it to no avail, I am going to try and get Ben to come help me figure out why the photographs are failing to post. In the meantime, I am just going to leave up this modified version that has no photos. Will hopefully fix this soon. Thank you to all of you who alerted me that there were still problems with the posting! It continues to take a village!
Here is the Calabash Tree I have been studying for a decade.
FABULOUS PHOTO COMING SOON!
Here are some Calabash fruits beginning to grow on some of the main branches. They can take up to seven months to mature to full sized fruits. The Flowers are wide open cup shaped blossoms in pale green with some slightly maroon stripping,
ANOTHER PHOTO TO COME!
Here is my Flower Essence definition for Calabash:
Calabash Crescentia cujete
I am thrilled to offer Calabash Flower Essence. For a number of trips to St John, the Calabash blossoms appeared to be just past when we arrived, with blossoms on the tree shriveled and beyond use in a Flower Essence. This year there were still some blossoms coming along, but when I returned to check on them, they would be shriveled as well. I grew more determined to figure out how I could make this Essence. I studied the plant books I had with me and learned that Calabash is a night bloomer, pollinated by bats. Each blossom is only opened for one night. This meant I needed to look for blossoms very early in the morning before they finished their bloom cycle. And so I finally landed this Essence, collecting its beautiful soft green Flowers early one morning before the blossoms had closed.
I was interested in this tree for many reasons. There were silly reasons, including the fact that I love saying the word CALABASH! Another reason I looked so hard for Calabash is that I have noticed that trees that are a vital part of human community often have great Flower Essences and Calabash has a long history of close connection to humans. Throughout the Americas, Calabash is the source for maracas and many other gourd creations including bowls, water jugs, sacred art, and masks.
Another reason I was drawn to the tree is that it has an unusual configuration of fruit and Flower placement and these kinds of difference often mean unique Flower Essence strengths. Calabash unusual configuration gives it a very distinctive look with its Flowers and green fruits hanging right from the trunk of the tree and its angular main limbs instead of off smaller branches as is the case with most fruits. This Flower and fruit placement is an unusual adaptation for a plant, brought about because Calabash fruits can get to the size of basketballs before falling from the trees and these fruits are too weighty to be held on the tree by smaller branches.
I also noticed that Calabash is much beloved by epiphytic orchids and bromeliads and I was interested in what that plant association suggested about Calabash.
Calabash interested me for one last reason. Traditional herbal uses for Calabash included giving roasted Calabash pulp to newly delivered mothers to help with the delivery of the placenta. This, combined with the fact that the hard shelled Calabash fruits are so sturdy that only horses can crack open a ripened fruit, suggested to me a protective quality to Calabash as it relates to the feminine and issues of creativity.
Even since we first started sharing this Essence a few short weeks ago, we have gotten much feedback from you as well as more data from the Angels about the importance of Calabash Flower Essence. The feedback and insights from the Angels has been linked in particular to the plant’s signature of impenetrable shells and the use of Calabash inner pulp post partum.
The Angels are adamant that it is time for women to get clear about what is their true calling as opposed to what they are being told is their work in the world. The Angels have used the word hemorrhage to describe the current situation of women leaking of their life force energy and creative energy into projects, lives, and situations that are not their responsibility. Just as we must sustain the placenta while giving birth, we must let it go completely after birth. This complete cut and dried necessity underscores Calabashâ€™s great support to help us get clear what is and what isnâ€™t our work in the world. The time has come to know what we must let go of, even though these things we must release once served us and those we love.
It is time to radically improve our boundaries.
Calabash speak for itself to underscore and better explain its myriad vibrational strengths, â€œI AM a nurturing vessel. My ability to cradle water for civilization, my tenderly yet strongly held fruits generously offered to the human community, my soft green Flowers and green fruits all indicate my essential vibration as nurturer and sustainer. As a Flower Essence, I bring you generous support and sustenance for your spiritual journey. I help you make it a practical journey, a well stocked expedition, and one in which you feel amply supported. I embrace you and help you carry on. I AM good for the weary and foot sore. I AM good for those birthing new creations, offering much needed support after the birth. I help you jettison all that you donâ€™t need after a birth process, helping you know it is safe and necessary to let go of things that once served you, but no longer do. I AM both a comfort and a rock of strength. I help you feel strong and able to keep on keeping on. I AM for you. Avail yourself to me and feel my bedrock love for you.â€
I AM a Wellspring of Love.
SOON THERE WILL BE a photo of Cat’s Claw, sadly a bit out of focus, BUT HOPEFULLY VISIBLE RIGHT HERE!
Catâ€™s Claw Macfadyena unguis-cati
This gorgeous yellow Flowered vine is one many of you have requested we make into a Flower Essence. When I met it for the first time along the Leinster Bay Road in St. John, I was most delighted to make its acquaintance. I made the Essences in the sunshine of our tentâ€™s small deck, poised about thirty feet from the beach. While this Essence sat in the sunshine, I had to guard it with great care, as local birds would just not leave this Essence alone. Their relentless interest in the Essence indicated to me that Catâ€™s Claw was going to be a vibrant and helpful healing ally. After all, if the bananaquits and pearly-eyed thrashers needed this remedy so much, even while living in a tropical paradise, what a source of helpful information it must be for animals and humans more removed from nature, like us humans of the modern world. This conclusion was backed up by the Angels who again, directed me to bring back as much of this Essence as I could.
Catâ€™s Claw is a tendriled liana, a vine with hooked tendrils resembling animal claws. These hooks help the vine to grow upwards. The Angels of Catâ€™s Claw and Flower Essences explain, â€œOne gift of catâ€™s claws is the ability to smoothly engage and disengage as needed. This Essence supports us to move forward in a situation with both appropriate holding on and appropriate letting go. Many difficulties faced by humans and animals alike come from misunderstanding when it is time to let go of a situation and when it is time to hold on. This Essence brings its wisdom of discernment to this issue. Consider Catâ€™s Claw for all the situations that this discernment would be helpful, such as when embroiled in any situation without clarity about whether it serves you to stay in this situation or leave or when an animal in your care is engaged in a counter productive pattern that it cannot seem to abandon. Holding the image of the engagement and retraction of a catâ€™s claw will help you know when this Flower Essence will serve you.â€
I AM the balance of engagement and retraction.
Below is Christmas Bush, followed by its Flower Essence definition.
Christmas Bush Chromolaena odorata
When I met this Flower for the first time on my 2007 trip to St. John, I suspected this would be a marvelous Flower Essence. Its presence was sparkling and its Flowers closely resembled Boneset, a veritable font of healing energy and information. The Angels asked me to make a lot of Christmas Bush and so indicated that Christmas Bush was an important Flower Essence to bring into our collection.
When I went to research this plant, I found it is a well known healing plant, used in topical creams throughout the world and studied by many scientists. It is used clinically in the treatment of soft tissue wounds, burns, skin infections, and for plastic and reconstructive surgery. Its leaf extract has anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and anti staphylococcal properties. It enhances the growth of fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Fibroblasts provide a structural framework for many tissues and play a critical role in wound healing. Endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system and reduce friction of the flow of blood allowing fluid to be pumped further.
As a Flower Essence, Christmas Bush will do what all Flower Essences do. It will offer a road map for healing without bringing the actual chemicals of the plant to bear. It offers a tutorial to our own electrical system about how to do maximize our own wound healing, circulatory flow, and viral and bacterial resistance capabilities.
Christmas Bush clarified that its wound healing gifts extend well beyond the physical body and that this should be an Essence considered for emotional wounds as well.
At the Angelsâ€™ behest, we have already added Christmas Bush to our Healthy Coat mix, but of course it is available as a separate Flower Essence as well.
I AM the safe closure of all wounds.
Here is Coco Plum with Flower Essence definition to follow.
Given its definition, this was a very appropriate and sweet way to take its picture, though at the time Elizabeth and I did this because we could not get a picture in focus any other way, not because we consciously knew what it was about.
Coco Plum Chrysobalanus icaco This was a Flower I noticed for the first time this trip. It was the honeybees that called me to Coco Plum. They obviously liked the small slightly greenish Flowers of this small beachside tree. Coco Plum tells us, â€œ I AM for healing the particular. My small green Flowers cluster round to offer their vibrational wisdom about healing and nurturing in the particulars of life. I AM for the little things, the small insults, the little hurts, the insect bites, the tiny discomforts. I work on the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical levels, offering ways to soothe discomfort in the particulars.
I AM a soothing balm, mending and healing the discomforts of daily life
MISSING PHOTO is of Inkberry Flower.
MISSING PHOTO is what Inkberry looks like growing on the beach. What a view this specimen has, looking out across a lovely passage toTortola in the British Virgin Islands.
Inkberry Scaevola plumieri
Also known as Fanflower, Beach Lobelia, Sea Lobelia, Gullfeed, Half Flower, Waxy Bush and in Ghana, West Africa, it is known as â€œblue fruit of the spirits.â€
Native to Western Australia, this plant is rarely found outside Oceania. As a drift seed, Inkberry will occasionally drift to Africa, the Pacific, and the Caribbean after a journey of tens of thousands of miles. Drift seeds account for .1 percent of the 250,000 seed bearing plant species on earth. Half of these drift seed species will not last for more than a month or so in ocean waters. Inkberry is a valiant and tough exception in the seed bearing world. It can withstand the many months, even year long, journey to new shores before establishing itself on new beachheads. Somehow an Inkberry seed found its way to the beach where I have always gone to look for Painkiller Plant, Red Mangrove, and Bay Cedar and established itself convincingly since my last trip to St John in 2005.
The Flower resembles other Lobelia Flowers though it is larger with soft striping on white petals. Its fruits are a dark inky purple, giving rise to the name the Angels chose from amongst its other common names. Inkberryâ€™s wide open and spreading bottom petals resemble the open tailgate on an amphibious vehicle that allows vehicles onboard to drive onto the sands. So too, this plant lands and colonizes on shifting sands.
Once ashore, Inkberry forms many spreading branches anchored deeply in the sand. It traps the sand in this many branched configuration and thus creates and stabilizes dunes, all of which contribute to land formation. Once Inkberry is in place and has stabilized the terrain, other plants are able to grow.
Inkberry tells us, â€œI AM for grounding new ideas, new visions, new ways to solve old problems, and new intellectual properties into daily consciousness. I support the bringing of new thought forms out of the unconscious and then grounding these ideas in a way that others can grasp and then make use of. I offer my support to innovators during the transition from idea into form and will serve anyone who is part of a paradigm shift, big or little.â€
I AM the indelible manifestation of the new.
This is Madagascar Periwinkle, followed by its Flower Essence definition. The Flower in the far left that is the deeper pink is the color of all the blossoms. This photo was washed out and I did not get another shot, because I was keeping a truck load of people waiting while I scrambled around in the underbrush (my children would tell you this is the story of their lives).
Madagascar Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus
This is a Flower I hoped to make into a Flower Essence for many years. During all the years, I have made Flower Essences, the Angels have asked us to sending healing love to the island of Madagascar, source of so many healing plants not found to naturally occur anywhere else on earth. This Flower is a shining example of a healing plant originating in Madagascar. When a St. John friend driving us across the island from Salt Pond Bay stopped at the Love Market Mini Mart in Coral Bay, he gave us a chance to hop out and buy a bottle of water. Instead I high tailed it through the underbrush when a glint of this Flower showed its bright face.
Why the desire to bring this gem into our already burgeoning collection? Extracts from Madagascar Periwinkle have been used for centuries to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, constipation, and menstrual problems. More recently extracts have been shown effective in the treatment of various kinds of leukemia, skin cancer, lymph cancer, breast cancer and Hodgkins disease.
As a Flower Essence, it offers a tutorial on igniting our own healing capacities around these and many other issues. The Essence will not offer the same gifts as the extract but will offer instead a comprehensive roadmap of what exactly Madagascar Periwinkle has learned on its way to becoming such a profound healing plant.
Madagascar Periwinkle speaks for herself, â€œI know how to break up recalcitrant thought forms and other stuck energy. I am both precise and complete in my healing movement. I have a great deal of star energy and while this may be a rather obscure reference, what I mean to suggest by mentioning this is that I bring higher dimensional healing energy to earth and can help you utilize this energy through exposure to my vibrational matrix. I AM a force of illuminating star energies and my Flower Essence is a very potent way to access my wisdom.
I AM illumined by starlight.
Here is Nicker Nut, followed by its Flower Essence definition.
Nicker Nut Caesalpinia bonduc â€œI AM another drift seed like my counterpart on the beach, Inkberry, but we have different trans-global missions and move about the oceans of the world bringing different gifts to the same shores.
I offer gifts of discrimination. My upright wands of yellow Flowers suggest my embodiment of this wisdom. My chosen territory on the between world of the beach, a place that is neither land nor sea, suggests the terrain of my wisdom. When something is being born, be it a project, a new idea, a new way to live, a new understanding of your life purpose, I AM adept at supporting you to know if it is something you want to continue on with. I illuminate the change process so that you can move forward or let go with much greater confidence. As my travels suggest, I also support you to find the courage of your convictions. I help you do what you are deeply called to do. Then I help you know how to protect your new creation. My seedpods are so spiny and sharp that very little gets to my nut, my kernel of manifest wisdom, until my say so. And my nut is a gem of resilience, beauty, solidity, and presence. Once a path is chosen in all your wisdom, I support you to bring it to fruition safely and surely.â€
MISSING PHOTO of Spoon Wood, with its Flower Essence definition to follow.
Spoon Tree Bourreria succukenta For clarity of creative vision. Creativity comes from many places, within and without. It springs from the interface of objects, mediums, personalities, as well as from a place deep within each of us. Yet creative acts call us to refine our own distinct voice out of this welter of stimulation.
An artist recently asked me what Essence might help when a creative person is feeling â€œtoo porousâ€, when creative juices get murky, when there is too much stimulation to sort the wheat from the chaff. The Angels offered up Spoon Tree, an elegant white blossomed tree. Each blossom has a noticeable clarity. Other kinds of Flowers sometimes blend and merge in color tones and petal divisibility. Some, like Spoon Tree blossoms, seem particularly articulate in their self definition. I had wondered why the Angels chose Spoon Tree as the common name they wanted us to use for this Flower Essence. There were so many other nicknames for this tree to choose from. But as I thought about this in light of Spoon Tree Essencesâ€™s mission, it made more sense. Just as a spoon allows us to take a separate bite, so too Spoon Tree Essence allows us to initiate an unique expression of creativity out of the creative soup which is reality.
I AM the clear expression of my creative self.