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Emotions and Animal Essences
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How Essences Work: A Brief Review

The idea that energy can get blocked and prevent or limit the flow of healing, balancing energies is fairly well known today. Edward Bach, M.D., originated the idea's application to flower essence work by noticing that blockages often took a particular form. One person might be blocked from expressing unconditional love by feelings and thoughts of anger, another by resentment. Someone else might find her ability to be guided by her inner source limited by the feeling she had to ask the opinions of others; another might always feel there were too many choices available to decide.

In the Bach Flower Essence system (and in many others), each of the flowers embodies a particular energy frequency. When an individual resists the expression of that particular energy (i.e., patience, calmness, enthusiasm), she is out of touch with that aspect of her fundamental nature.

Melting Emotional Blockages with Wild Earth Animal Essences

While these essences also relate to specific qualities, I have noticed that some of them have a more general effect on emotional release and rebalance. No matter what emotion I'm choosing to release with the appropriate essence, the addition of one of the following essences in my mixture seems to make it easier to let go of the persistent emotional pattern.

You probably couldn't go wrong in choosing any of the three below. Each, however, has a particular relationship to emotional release.

Big Girls Don't Cry (or Big Boys):
Frog Medicine

They'd be happier if they did. That's my opinion, and for those interested in astrology, I have Moon in Pisces, which is about as wet and emotional as it gets. I believe that a good cry, like the rain that relieves drought, revives us and gives us a new beginning.

The deepest levels of healing are accomplished on the emotional level. Emotions are associated with water, especially in the context of tears. If we are brought up to believe that tears are shameful and childish, we deprive ourselves of a powerful form of emotional release.

Frog medicine follows this principle. With its help, we can begin to experience tears as being as natural and necessary as rain.

For me, one of the most welcome signs of spring is the evening chorus of the spring peepers. Their song tells me that the ice in the ponds and streams where they live has melted. So Frog medicine symbolizes the unfreezing and flow of emotions.

Water cleanses and replenishes the earth, and in terms of healing, this animal's medicine can help when our lives feel dry and dull, when we feel mired in the mud of circumstances, or when we have allowed emotional toxins to poison our outlook on life.

A Scottish version of the story of the Frog Prince illustrates the power of this medicine.

A queen who was ill could only be healed by a drink from the well of true water. When each of her three daughters tried to get this water, a monstrous frog refused to allow them access unless they agreed to marry him. The youngest daughter agreed and was able to heal her mother. She also later discovered that her unattractive bridegroom was actually a prince.

This story teaches us that to heal ourselves (and others), it is often necessary to face the emotions within ourselves that we've buried because we find them unacceptable, or "ugly." When we can honestly look at all aspects of ourselves, we find that the "ugliness" washes away, and our true beauty shines, like the sun after healing rain.

Seal: The Inner Voice

As humans, we often don't realize the purpose of negative emotions, which are intended to tell us when we're out of harmony. Guilt, for example, is meant to warn us when we're about to violate our true nature. If we find our love for someone diminished because we judge them, we may feel guilty. This emotion isn't intended to beat us up but to guide us back to unconditional love.

Fear is supposed to tell us of true danger, as opposed to an imagined danger. If I see a bear in the background, I am wise to stay inside, but if I spend my waking hours worried that a bear might appear, I am misusing the power of fear.

We humans have the tendency to let negative emotion misguide us that we can't hear the deeper song of inner guidance. The seal reminds us of our connection to our inner rhythms, feelings, and knowing.

Often, when we create, the feeling aspect is missing. As a sea mammal, Seal is strongly symbolic of our feeling, sensual selves, and connects us to our deep inner rhythms and knowing. As animals with intellects that we believe set us apart from other animals we often resist surrendering to these deep rhythms, being fearful that we will lose what we think of as ourselves.

Playful Seal leads us to the water's edge and urges us to lose our heaviness in the buoyancy of the sea. This animal reminds us that we can swim gracefully with the current, and that when we do, we can learn to release the worries created by our minds. With this perspective, our emotions, rather than pulling us down, provide us with the buoyancy that gives joy to our journeys.

Though the seal spends much of its life in the sea, it gives birth on land. This helps us to know that there are two essential ingredients to the fulfillment of our dreams and visions. They are optimally conceived in the deepest part of ourselves and given nurturance through the strength of our ability to imagine them with all the senses. They are then most easily realized when we help to bring them to birth with the help of practical and material acts.

Dove: Peace

Where I live one of the most familiar sounds of a summer evening or early morning is the cooing of the mourning dove. When all the other birds are asleep (except the robin and nightingale), the dove's haunting call fills the air.

Thus, this bird is associated with these transitional periods in the day's cycle, during which, according to mystical and magical traditions, the veils between the physical and spiritual worlds are at their thinnest.

I find it interesting that the crystal, amethyst, which is the color the skies of sunset and sunrise often assume, is, like the dove, related to peacefulness. Amethyst is one of the most popular crystals, and a comfort to those of us who live in a world that seems to be characterized by stress, tension, and major changes.

It is certainly a world in which we all need peace, and we can work with both amethyst and Dove Medicine to achieve it, especially when we are going through major changes and transitions. The peace symbolized by Dove is that of the deepest kind. It quiets our worried and troubled thoughts, and allows us to find renewal in the silence of mind.

It teaches us that, regardless of external circumstances, this quality of peace is within us, and always available to us. The regular practices of deep breathing and meditation can help us to find inner peace and enable us to move calmly and with purpose during the hours between dawn and dusk.

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