As mentioned before, the use of the energies of plants and crystals has been around for thousands of years. Much of this has been through aromatherapy and herbalism, and it is questionable whether or not ancient peoples used the energy of plants or crystals to charge the water they drank. There probably was no need.
Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) devised the original Bach Flower Remedies still used today, and on which all other flower essences are based. He studied medicine at University College Hospital, London. From 1919 he worked at the London Homeopathic Hospital, and also had a successful Harley Street practice. He devised a few homeopathic remedies, but gained little recognition for these. Bach described illness as “a contradiction between the purposes of the soul and the personality’s point of view”. In 1928 (1930 according to one reference) he began to experiment with new healing techniques based on the energetic signature of flowers, derived through intuition rather than medical experimentation. One story is that he found his mood changing as he was lying in a field surrounded by a certain flower, but another tells that he would hold his hand above the flowers and see if his mood changed. He believed that early morning sun shining through dewdrops would charge the dew with the healing power of the flowers, and started to collect it. He would preserve the water with an equal amount of brandy, and use this as the Mother Tincture, which would be diluted for use. Finding he was unable to collect enough dew for the purpose, he began placing flowers in a bowl of water. Bach aimed his remedies at changing moods or emotions, and when selecting the appropriate remedy, we usually begin by looking at the negative thoughts, moods or behaviours of the client, and which remedy or remedies will alleviate these.
Today there are numerous developers of essences, often using combinations of gems, crystals, places, water from special sources, and, in some cases, essential oils. Essences are not only taken internally, they are also sprayed in rooms and around the aura. Indigo Essences are a range of gem essences, sold primarily in spray form, and were designed with children in mind. Alaskan Essences use water from a sacred well and a glacier for some of their essences. Some practitioners take this further, and charge the essences by placing them by a tree or in a specific location, as in Manx Essences, created by Julie Walker, or Green Man Essences by Simon Lilly. The new Light Frequency Essence range from the creator of Australian Bush Flower Essences, Ian White, uses the energy of larger areas, such as the Botanic Wilderness National Park in Nova Airum, Brazil. Commercial essences are generally developed by one person, or a small group of people, and produced under careful conditions. At their best, the creation of the essence forms the practice of the person or group. Makers take their work seriously. Don Dennis, founder of Living Tree Orchid Essences moved his company up to a Scottish island, far from any pollutants. The greenhouse where the orchids are grown and the mother tinctures are made has frosted windows, so the essences are not influenced by anything from outside, including colour and location. Whatever the company, he new generation of essences work at soul and Etheric level, with a more spiritual outcome, while the earlier Bach essences and some that came after focus on the physical and emotional body. All are helpful, and it’s up to you to decide what is best for your client, according to the problem and where they are in their own evolution.
Practitioner training in flower or gem essences usually takes place over two or three weekends, and in most cases will be taught by the creator of the essence range (with the exception, of course, of the Bach Remedies). Essence practitioners work through both knowledge and intuition, often dowsing for the appropriate remedy, and they incorporate well in to any healing repertoire. Flower essences form a large part of kinesiology, where practitioners use muscle testing, and the client holds the bottle of essence for a prescribed period of time without taking it internally. There are also many of books available on the subject, and you may find further training helpful.
Selection will vary depending on the range of essence you are using, and what you are treating. Familiarise yourself with the essences you are working with and their effects. With flower and combination essences, have a good reference book at hand. You may find after working with them for a period of time, you begin to sense intuitively which one is right for your client. Practitioners often use a dowsing pendulum to clarify what is needed, especially if more than one seems appropriate. I recommend using single essences to begin with, until you have more knowledge and understanding of how they may work together.
When creating your own essences, especially with crystals, be aware that the effects of the essence may not necessarily be the same as using the stone directly on the client. Experiment, trying one essence or combination for a period of a few weeks. Don’t change quickly from one essence to another, as they sometimes take some time to effect a change, and swapping too soon will confuse the information. If you are working with a group, try giving a small amount of the diluted essence to each member, and ask them to try it out over a period of, say, three weeks, keeping notes of their sense and experience. Meet with the group again at the end of the allotted time, and compare each person’s response to the essence. This can help to give a clear idea of its all-round effect.
Bach Remedies look first and foremost at the emotional cause of illness, so be aware of the negative emotional state of your client, as well as behaviour, actions or interactions with others. There may be several layers to the problem. Start with what’s on the surface, and when that appears to have cleared, begin working on the next layer.
Treating with Essences
Dosage will vary depending training and essence range, but the following are the general rules:
Taking Essences Internally
For an acute problem, normal dosage is 3-4 drops of each chosen essence, mixed into a half-full glass of water, and sipped. This is taken 3-4 times a day.
If the condition is chronic, blend 3 drops of each chosen essence in a 30 ml dropper bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with filtred or spring water, and shake well. Take 5 drops of this mixture a minimum of 4 times a day for several weeks.
Avoid eating, drinking or cleaning your teeth for at least 5 minutes before or after taking the remedies, as this may interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.
When using your own gem essences and crystal waters, use your own experience and intuition regarding doses, as some can be extremely powerful.
Using Essences Externally
Essences can be used in a compress to relieve tension or inflammation.
For a compress, use 6 drops of your chosen remedy into 1 litre of clean water, cool water when treating inflammation, warm for anything else. Soak a flannel in the prepared water, and hold against the skin around the affected area.
You can try essences in the bath. Use 12-20 drops to relieve tension or treat skin complaints.
Fresh crystal water, especially aquamarine, can make a good eye wash.
Other Ways of Using Essences
Blend 5 or more drops of your chosen essence or essences with water in a spray bottle, to use in space clearing and aura clearing. These can also be invocational, sprayed around a room or area to bring in particular energies or protection, for example Guardian and Calling All Angels from the Alaskan Essences range.
A few drops of essence in water can be used to cleanse items such as crystals. For example, I often put a few drops of white lotus essence into the water I use to cleanse my rose quartz Kwan Yin.
Creating Your Own Essences
Whether using gems, flowers or places, the formula is basically the same. There are two main methods for making the Mother Tincture. This can be used as it is, without preserving or diluting, such as in the case of crystal waters, or essences that will be used straight away for treating skin complaints and as eye washes. Otherwise, see Elixirs below.
As mentioned above, it is best to use filtred tap water. Besides the worries of pollution, etc, water with a high mineral content can influence the energetic qualities of the essence or elixir.
Just as with healing, don’t make essences when you are unwell or going through emotional difficulties, unless you are very good at working with detachment. You are part of the creative process. The very act of creating an essence will infuse it with some of your energy, and if that energy isn’t clear, it will affect the efficacy of the end product.
Start with a clear glass bowl or jug. Plastic molecules can leach into water, especially in the heat of the sun, and coloured glass will have its own effect on the water (see below under Solarised Water). Sterilise the glass and the water by boiling before preparation, if possible, especially if you are making a tincture you wish to preserve. Flowers should be free of pesticides, and rinsed before use. Crystals should be washed in warm water with a small amount of washing up liquid, unless they are water soluble, in which case the secondary method should be used. Fill the bowl or jug with water, add your flowers or crystals, or leave empty if you are charging it with the energy of an area. Cover or seal it, preferably with a clear glass plate, to keep out any impurities. Place it either outside, or on the sill of a sunny window. In Bach’s time, the water would be energised in sunlight for up to12 hours, but I prefer 24 hours, so it is bathed in sunlight, moonlight and starlight, which each have their own different quality: The Sun is masculine, the Moon feminine, and starlight represents spirit. Either way, don’t be too concerned if it’s a cloudy day – the energy will still get through (think about the times you’ve had sunburn on a cloudy day). Also, give the water a quick stir, as the spiral motion will give the water a further charge.
In some cases you may be using a potentially toxic plant or crystal, or may not wish to damage the plant you are using in order to make your essence. Also, when working with gemstones, some will be waxed or dipped in oil (usually motor oil!) to bring out depth of colour, which is to be avoided in case of toxicity.
This method uses a clear glass bowl, plate, and for crystals you will also need a high-sided drinking glass. You can also use a test tube in a jug, provided the end of the test tube is higher than the rim of the jug.
For flowers or plants, the bowl should be next to or below the bowl (see illustration). Take care that no other object or plant is near enough to influence the qualities of the water, unless you are intentionally making a combination essence.
When using this method for crystals, put the crystal in the drinking glass, and place the glass in the bowl. Fill the bowl with water, but not up to the top of the glass, and use the plate to cover over the top. This allows the vibration of the crystal to reach the water without placing the crystal in direct physical contact with it.
Michael Gienger (author of Crystal Power Crystal Healing, and Gem Waters) advocates three other methods of preparing crystal water.
The first method is useful if you need the ‘secondary method’ of preparation, but would prefer simplicity. Fill a glass or jug with water, and place the crystal or crystals you wish to use around the glass, each with a small clear quartz point between it and the glass, with the termination pointing away from the crystal and towards the glass. If you are placing the receptacle outside to charge, cover it with a clear glass plate to keep out debris. Because of the added amplification of the quartz, this method can be used if you need to charge the water quickly.
The second method is boiling certain crystals, which Gienger claims returns the water to its neutral state before taking on the energy of the gem. I am reluctant to boil crystals in case the sudden increase in heat damages them, but boiling the water before creating the gem water is a good approach.
Gienger’s third method involves suspending the crystal above an open pot of gently boiling water. The water condenses on the crystal and drips back into the pan, carrying with it the essence of the crystal. I have not attempted this method, so am not in a position to advise, but again, I would be careful, as some crystals may be damaged by the heat.
Preserve the Mother Tincture by blending it with 50-60% brandy or vodka. Store this mixture in dark glass containers, to prevent any further process taking place. Depending on your purpose, the full potency mixture can be decanted into dropper bottles and used a few drops at a time, or can be further diluted by adding a few drops of it as needed to a bowl of water, stirring and allowing the drops to diffuse through the water, and preserving the diluted mixture with 50-60% brandy or vodka. Either way, use a few drops at a time in a glass of water or juice, and sip, 2-3 times a day. In an emergency, a few drops can be placed under the tongue and held there for 30 seconds before swallowing.
Charging and Intention
As mentioned above, you can charge and activate water simply by stirring, preferably in a clockwise direction, to create an energy vortex.
To use your intention, write a word or phrase on a piece of paper. Make it something you wish to embody in your life, such as “compassion”. Place the jug of water on top of it, and leave overnight or longer.
If there is a special place for you, a tree, cave, field or river for example, and you wish to carry that energy with you, or instil it into yourself, try placing your water in that area to charge. This is easy on your own property, more difficult elsewhere, as you don’t know what might happen to the water if you leave it. Don’t put anything in the jug or bowl; just allow it to infuse with the energy of the place. Use and preservation are the same as other methods.
This was covered earlier in Colour Therapy. At times you may notice a client has a distinct lack or energy around certain chakras, or those who visualise colour may see something lacking in the energetic body. As an example, a lack of energy in the area of the Solar Plexus can indicate depleted kidney Chi, with resulting lethargy, often accompanied by depression, so you might consider treating your client with solarised water, charged with yellow or orange light. There are special stained glass pyramids available to put over your jug or glass of water, in varying colours. These are expensive, and you can economise by using coloured glass jugs and plates, or possibly lighting gels (for spotlights in theatres), although these are becoming more difficult to get hold of. As the name implies, solarised water is usually charged in sunlight alone, and sometimes only for a few hours. However, there is no harm in leaving it longer, even overnight, if this feels appropriate. Solarised water should be made fresh and drunk by the glass, rather than diluting. Lengths of treatment may vary, so use your intuition and dowsing to determine the period and frequency of treatment.
Rinse the flowers or petals to remove any impurities, and scatter on the surface of the water, using the Primary Method. If the flowers you are using are potentially toxic, you are unsure, or you do not wish to harm the plant, use the secondary method. A lovely and safe flower to start with is rose. Use the petals alone. With experimentation, you may notice a difference in energy depending on the colour of the rose you use.
The term ‘crystal water’ generally refers to water that has been charged with clear quartz, and can be drunk in quantity, as you would normal drinking water. You can simply place one or more clear quartz crystals in a water filtre jug to keep the water fresh and vibrant. Some believe this also purifies the water, but if you are in doubt about the quality of the water, please boil it first. Rose quartz is also a good choice for your filtre jug.
Crystal water can also be prepared using other crystals for specific purposes, and be taken internally, although not usually in such large quantity. The charged water is effective in space clearing or energising, by spraying them around the room or your own energy field with a clean spray bottle, and are also used when a preserved tincture is inappropriate, such as directly on the skin to treat certain ailments like eczema (quartz with included chlorite and moss agate are both good for this), and in some cases used as eye drops (aquamarine water can be used to bathe the eyes, to improve vision on many levels).
Make sure the crystals are cleansed both energetically and physically. Place the selected crystal (or crystals) in the jug or jar and fill it with water. The effect can be further strengthened by placing a clear quartz cluster on top, and 3-5 small clear quartz points around the jug with the terminations (points) pointing towards it. I recommend you do a taste test between unfiltered tap water that has been treated this way and ordinary unfiltered tap water. Experiment, starting with clear quartz. Once you get the hang of it, try other crystals, but remember that a few of these may be toxic. You will be okay with any of the silicates (members of the quartz species, SiO2), but if in doubt, use the secondary method.
As a variation of the secondary method, some practitioners place the crystals they wish to use in a circle around their glass or jug, with a small clear quartz point behind each one, terminations pointing inwards, to form a second circle.
Gem elixirs are prepared in the same way as crystal waters, but can be stored for long periods of time, to be used when needed. When the crystal water is ready, use is as the Mother Tincture. Blend with 50-60% brandy and bottle in small lightproof dropper bottles. Use 3-5 drops of elixir in water and sip, 3-4 times a day.
When experimenting with these essences, please be sensible! Make sure the crystal isn’t toxic before preparing an elixir or crystal water by the main method, think about why you have chosen your particular crystal, and also, if you do not know what affect it will have, take only a few drops at a time. You are working with a powerful tool!
Potential toxicity is covered under Special Handling in the Geology and Mineralogy section.