Today, we have a very special exclusive Q&A session with Flower Essence Practitioner and Herbalist Debra Bluth.
On behalf of Manifesting with Flower Essences, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Debra. I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Debra at Herbstalk 2013 in Somerville, MA. She has some fantastic insights about flower essences from her years of experience working with them and I am thrilled that she has agreed to do a Q&A with us here.
Q: What led you to flower essences?
A: I’d been exploring herbs for a little while and I would see the Bach flower essences near the herbs in our local co-op and I felt curious about them. I decided to give one a try on a whim and my experience with that essence (mimulus) was powerful enough that I then grew really curious. Although I dabbled for many years with them, eventually something in my spirit really began hearing them call. I resisted for a few years and it actually was a kicking-and-screaming sort of thing until I finally acknowledged that this work was a real calling for me.
Q: How long have you been using flower essences and what is your most profound experience from using them?
A: Well, that dabbling started 17 years ago, and I would say I’ve been consistently using at least one essence ever since then. I didn't fully embrace them as a path, though, until about 6 years ago.
It’s hard to pinpoint one experience that is the most profound, honestly, because so much of my experience with essences has been profound. I CAN say that flower essences have literally saved me – they brought me through a very deep and dangerous period of depression that I don’t think I would have made it through otherwise. I needed a practitioner to help me through that time, because sometimes we need someone else to guide us and mirror us – it's hard to treat ourselves, as we can never really see ourselves. But aside from that experience with the essences, I can attribute flower essences to so much personal healing and development... it’s such a fascinating process to experience how the essences are working on us – the changes in our thoughts and perceptions, and then into our behavior… so many choices open up… our lives just begin to become richer and fuller, and we become so much more ourselves.
Q: If you could pick one or two flower essences that you would always have on hand, what would they be?
A: I think I would always have a protection blend with me – essences like angelica and st. john’s wort, cinquefoil and garlic. And I think I’d always have a clearing blend with me – essences that move energy out – like goldenseal and moxa and sweet annie. So I’m cheating a little with your question, because I am allowing myself blends rather than single essences! I’m also a big fan of red cedar, which is very grounding and centering. And motherwort, which helps with boundaries.
Q: Do you make your own flower essences? What inspired you to do so?
A: Yes, I do. Making essences is really important to me, and many of the essences I use in my practice are ones I’ve made. The communication and spiritual connection with the plant while making the essence leads to a very deep connection with the ‘finished’ essence, and that strengthens the possibilities of what happens when you use it. A gateway opens between you and the plant, and that energy becomes stronger with time, just like any relationship can deepen.
I've been very inspired by teachers of mine (David Dalton, Kate Gilday) and their connections with the plants. I knew I wanted to live with that kind of connection and integrity, and I want to be able to pass it on to others. The field of flower essences is always evolving, and I want to be part of that evolution and discovery, learning how to further our ability to help others.
Q: How could flower essences be used to make the world a better place? What do flowers offer us and how can we tap into that to help us live better lives?
A: That’s a profound question. I’m a huge believer that as we become more whole in ourselves (which is what the flowers help us do), the ripple of our own healing moves out into the world. We’re kinder to other people, we’re kinder to the earth. As we become more whole, we become more loving, sensitive, and patient, and this ripples out to everyone around us – and by everyone I mean not just humans. As we become more empowered, too, we are inspired to act truthfully for what we care about. Life becomes larger than just our personal story. A deepening of our sensitivity increases our capacity to feel a larger web of connection. I think personal healing is a truly political act.
Thank you Debra for sharing your insights and information with Manifesting with Flower Essences. To learn more about Debra, please visit her website at http://www.seedandlegend.com.
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Debra Bluth is a flower essence practitioner and herbalist practicing in Brighton, Massachusetts and Yarmouth, Maine. Certified to work with flower essences by David Dalton, she also completed his advanced practitioners’ clinic, and now apprentices more closely with him at Delta Gardens. Her eyes first opened to the plants 18 years ago while in a shiatsu certification program, and years later she continued training through The Boston School for Herbal Studies, Bevin Clare, Katja Swift, Mischa Schuler, and Kate Gilday, among others. Debra holds a B.S. in psychology from Tufts University, an MFA in choreography from California Institute of the Arts, is certified as an integrative yoga therapist and shiatsu practitioner, and currently teaches classes in yoga, movement, and experiential anatomy. She also facilitates an online nine-month chakra apprenticeship for women. You can contact her at and join her email list at firstname.lastname@example.org.