(c)5-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Note: this article, which originally appeared on Skywriter is part of a series designed to help readers born between 1951-53 with Saturn conjunct Neptune work through their second Saturn return. We’ll be learning about a variety of healing tools, but essences are an excellent catalyst to growth.
If residues of a difficult childhood have led to painful adult relationships in which you feel compelled to give too much and try to save others, then a keynote of your second Saturn return is a need to shift this pattern and begin taking care of yourself.
For many who are over-responsible, this transit is a time when you feel physically, emotionally, or financially exhausted, so you need to set limits on yourself and others or there will be consequences. Simply put, things cannot go on in the old way!
You may need a many-layered approach to start changing the pattern—things like counseling or coaching, self-help books, bodywork, and support groups like this project.
In addition, there are flower essences (also known as flower remedies) to facilitate the healing process—not magic bullets, you understand, but helpful catalysts to new insights.
Not to be confused with aromatherapy, these gentle, natural remedies can be gotten inexpensively in many health food stores, metaphysical bookstores, and online. If you’ve never worked with them before, download the introductory chapter from my essence book: flower essence information-ch1. It explains more about flower remedies, how to use them, and what to expect.
Below are descriptions of three individual essences that relate strongly to the syndrome we are talking about. My suggestion would be that you take one of these essences at a time, especially if you’ve never used one before, so that it’s easier to sort out and process the feelings, memories, and emotions that come up. Writing your impressions down in a journal would be very helpful.
If you’re identifying with what you’ve read this far, it’s likely that you’ll relate to Centaury, the first essence on the list, and if so, that’s a good starting point. Most health food stores carry it in the Bach flower remedy section.
Three Major Essences for the Neptune-Saturn Group
Essence #1: Centaury: The classic Bach profile of Centaury states that it helps individuals who are too easily taken advantage of by others. They are quiet, gentle, submissive, eager to help and easily exploited by the unscrupulous. (Companies making the essence: Bach, Flower Essence Services- Flower Essences, Healing Herbs, Pegasus)
Lore: This herb was attributed to the mythical crippled centaur, Chiron, who was a healer and mentor to Greek Witches were said to mix Centaury into their incense in order to induce trancelike states. Burning the plants supposedly drove away snakes.
Reflections: I find that the person who needs Centaury often comes from a dysfunctional family background where their boundaries were continually violated. This includes those who have been victims of abuse or molestation.
- I STAND FIRM AGAINST PEOPLE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE.
- I RELEASE MY FEAR OF SAYING NO.
- I HELP ONLY WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE.
Astrological correlations: While I have often used it where Neptune is strong, aficionados of the asteroid Chiron feel Centaury is an important essence for difficult Chiron placements, such as to the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. This association with Chiron, the wounded healer, strengthens my belief that those who need it are often abuse victims.
Essence # 2: Golden Eardrops: Another crucial remedy is the Flower Essence Society ‘s Golden Eardrops, which is said to help a person contact and release painful feelings from an unhappy childhood, especially if it was too traumatic to acknowledge at the time. In releasing unhappy memories, the individual may release repressed tears.
This pattern of being healed through crying has resulted in this essence being nicknamed Golden Teardrops.Golden Eardropsis an important healer for those who carry around shame based in painful childhood events. (Flower Essence Services- Flower Essences also recommends Yerba Santa for gentle release of held-in trauma from childhood.)
Essence #3: Saguaro: FES’ Saguaro helps where there was a problem with the father, especially with regard to his authority. FES recommends it for clarity in relationship to authority; for alienation and conflict regarding power figures; appreciation of the wisdom of spiritual elders and ancient spiritual traditions. Balanced relationship to spiritual authority and guidance. (Companies making the essence: Desert Alchemy, FES, Pegasus.)
What the plant is like: Saguaro can become a giant of a cactus, up to 50′ (15m) high and weighing several tons, although most of the weight is water stored during the short desert rainy season. It can live to be 150 to 200 years old. The large, white flowers bloom for only one day, during the spring rainy season, and then turn to fruits that drop off for seedlings.
Uses: It is shelter for many desert creatures, including woodpeckers, who make holes in the trunk. The fruits make welcome food for small creatures. The number of saguaro is diminishing because of poachers who dig them up to sell to florists. Native Americans of the Southwest used the trunks in building homes and ate the fruits.
Reflections: This long-lived plant gives shelter and nurturance to many. It seems like a metaphor for a beneficent elder or authority figure. As it is a desert plant, it may encourage self-reliance. (Sunflower can also be helpful where the relationship with the father was damaging to the self-esteem. )
- AUTHORITY ASSUMES ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN MY LIFE.
- I RELEASE AUTHORITY CONFLICTS STEMMING FROM MY PARENTS.
- I STAND IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP TO TEACHERS AND ELDERS.
Astrological correlations: Saturn aspects to Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto, or aspects by any of these to the Midheaven or the Sun.
Why Flower Remedies are a Natural Part of this Project
As we go along in this Saturn return project, we’ll be looking at a number of healing tools, but in my healing and astrology practice, which included a great many adult children of alcoholics, flower essences were a great addition–a catalyst that enhanced other healing tools and techniques as well.
(Sometimes there is a catharsis involved—a shedding of suppressed tears or finding out you’re more angry than depressed about your situation and relationships. If so, that is part of the healing and part of what helps you make a positive shift. ( For more information, read this: Understanding Healing Reactions or Healing Crises.)
I added essences to my work in about 1979, and have since made it my mission to spread the word among astrologers and clients by editing or co-editing journals about the essences. In 1989, Dr. Deborah Bier and I founded Vibration, a free online journal, which for the last few years has been a blog. The links below are to Vibration articles.
Tired from Giving too Much to Others? Essences can Help. Related Articles from the Archives of Vibration Flower Essence Blog, the free online essence resource:
- Flower Essences for Caregivers, by Sheryl Karas, M.A.
- Self-Care: An Important Concern for Alternative Health Practitioners
- Do-Gooder or Control Freak? A Wounded Healer Gets Help from Vine
- Essences for Burnt-Out Helping Professionals
- Elm Flower Essence — The Last Straw, by Connie Barrett
- Oak–A Balm for the Driven
- A Combination Essence for “Restedness”
- Boundaries and Friendship — Are You and Your Friend Codependent?
- Radiance for Women in Mid-Life and Beyond: Flower Essences for …