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Meeting Southern Cross in the Stirling Range

In October, a long time wish came true to visit and walk the Stirling Range National Park which is located about 340 km south-east of Perth, Western Australia.

The Aboriginal name for the range, Koi Kyenunu-ruff, means ‘mist moving around the mountains’.

Stirling Ranges view from Bluff Knoll

The Stirling Range is internationally recognised as one of the world’s 34 hotspots for biodiversity. This biodiversity is a result of the multitude of conditions of this landscape with mountain peaks, sheltered valleys, windswept lowlands and moist gullies. The Stirlings are home to more than 1,500 species of flowering plants and 80 of those only exist in the range.

Flower field Stirling Ranges

My heart jumped with delight when seeing the multitude of wild flowers during my visit in the height of the Spring wild flower season. Sometimes I come face to face with flowers that I’d been studying and using as a flower essence practitioner and these encounters are akin to meeting someone in person you have known for a while but never met.

Here in the Stirling Range I met up with Southern Cross.

Southern Cross (Xanthosia rotundifolia) is an herb from the large Apiaceae family that includes carrots, parsley and fennel. With about 20 species Xanthosia are endemic to Australia and 11 of those can only be found in Western Australia.

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The common name Southern Cross comes from the resemblance of the flower to the constellation of the same name.

Southern Cross flower essence is available in the Australian Bush Flower Essence and the Living Essences of Australia  ranges.

The essence from the Australian Bush Flower Essence range supports personal power, taking responsibility and being positive. It allows you to take responsibility for the circumstances you find yourself in instead of succumbing to a victim mentality and blaming the circumstances itself for your lack and misfortune in life.

 

The life we want is not merely the one we have chosen and made. It is the one we must be choosing and making. ~Wendell Berry

 

It also helps us opening up to the abundance around us, overcoming poverty consciousness.

Southern Cross flower essence from the Living Essences of Australia range supports positive aspects of acceptance, empathy, wisdom, understanding and awareness. It is indicated for being judgemental helping us to put ourselves into the shoes of others overcoming judgemental attitudes and short sightedness stemming from inexperience, arrogance or a sheltered life.

In summary, both essences deal with aspects of a belief that focuses on judgement of others either by shifting blame towards others and circumstances for our lack of achievement or by being judgemental due to a lack of understanding and short sightedness. They support us in taking responsibility for our lives and with this comes a feeling of having personal power which in turn allows for wisdom and empathy to blossom.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Eucalyptus macrocarpa – Recharge your batteries

On my recent visit to Kings Park in Perth I was excited to finally see Eucalyptus macrocarpa in bloom knowing it to have the largest flowers of all the eucalypts. I’ve read about the the bright red or pink flowers that can grow up to 10 cm in diameter when studying the Australian Bush Flower Essences. Eucalyptus macrocarpa or Mottlecah is a mallee-type species from the wheat-belt region of south-western Australia. This shrubby eucalypt grows up to 4 metres in height with stunning large flowers and fruit. The name macrocarpa stems from the Greek macros (large) and carpos (fruit).

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The healing properties of the Macrocarpa flower essence are derived from its doctrine of signature … the strength of energy that is released when the large cap is catapulted off by the stamens of the flower. This remedy supports energy, vitality and physical endurance and is described by Ian White, founder of the Australian Bush Flower Essences, to have an affinity with the adrenal glands. As a quick reminder, the adrenals produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol in response to short and long-term stress exposure. The flower essence can be of support to us when convalescing, we’re tired and exhausted, burned out and have low immunity.

 

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. ~ Martha Graham

 

On a physical level Macrocarpa can help to recharge and vitalise the body and serves as a tonic for people that need a quick energy boost. It supports endurance at competitive sports and prolonged physical labour. Macrocarpa is a component of the Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Nasturtiums

The Abbortsford Convent is perfect for spending a leisurely Sunday afternoon with friends sharing delicious Japanese treats at Kappaya, afternoon tea or a vegetarian meal at Lentil As Anything. At the banks of the Yarra and with the Collingwood Children’s Farm next door it feels just like being in the country, yet Abbotsford is a 4km hop, skip and jump from the Melbourne CBD.

On a walk through the convent’s garden, the sunshine magnified the bright orange and yellow coloured Nasturtium flowers growing in one of the garden beds.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) have their origins in South America and were introduced to Europe around 1684 by the Dutch statesman and botanist van Beverning.  Nasturtiums made their way into monastery gardens for their medicinal properties as they had been found useful against scurvy. They contain high levels of vitamin C and a natural antibiotic to reduce throat infections. The leaves are still used in South America for treatment of bladder and kidney ailments as well as colds, coughs, flu, sore throats and bronchitis.

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As a flower essence Nasturtiums support glowing vitality and radiant warmth when the life force is depleted by over study and over thinking. The Flower Essence Society writes on their essence: ‘This remedy is very helpful for students, those whose career demands strong intellectual activity, or for any phase of life where the intellect predominates. If these head forces are allowed to prevail, the soul life will become cold and disconnected from its physical body and from the larger physical body of the Earth. This imbalance predisposes the individual to many forms of physical illness, from colds and congestion in the head, to immune dysfunction and general hardening of the body.’

In her book Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume Silvena Rowe highlights cooking with flower petals such as roses and hibiscus and uses nasturtium flowers in a sauce over asparagus and an aioli to accompany fish or vegetable dishes. Their sweet, peppery taste adds a delicious flavour to salads or to this pesto recipe. You can pickle the half green seeds and use to substitute capers.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Boronia – Reset Your Mind To Clarity

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This week, a friend introduced me to the St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Co-operative in Port Melbourne. The nursery offers seedlings and plants of a wide range of coastal, heathland, woodland and grassland species that are native to the Melbourne area.

The pictured boronia (Boronia muelleri) seedling greeted me with a cascade of pink and white flowers. Boronias are native to Australia with around 100 or so different species. The genus is named after Francesco Borone, an eighteenth-century Italian botanist.

As a flower essence Boronia (Boronia ledifolia)  helps people to resolve obsessive and stuck thought patterns into clarity. For me, the signature of the flower with its four open petals symbolises a clear, focused and open mind. It supports a serene and quiet mind allowing us to get out of our heads, become aware of our bodies and to connect to our hearts.  It can be used to intensify focus in creative visualisation and guided meditation.

You can take the flower essence to clear your mind after a busy day at work leaving your thoughts behind at the door when going home or to turn off the dialogue in your head before you go to sleep.

Boronia assists us when a relationship has broken up and we can’t stop thinking about the lost partner, particularly when we feel hurt and sad. In this case, you could combine Boronia with Bottlebrush essence to be able to release the past and move forward. For long term grief and sadness combine with Sturt Desert Pea.

Boronia, Bottlebrush and Sturt Desert Pea essences are available in the Australian Bush Flower Essence range.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Impatiens – For Our Hurried Lives

Impatiens is a flower essence to bring patience to our fast-paced lives. When we are rushing from place to place like a headless chicken, frenetic getting to work in the morning, the kettle takes ages to boil,  … the driver in front is too slow; … irritable because the train’s running late … the microwave’s not fast enough …the computer’s too slow … the webpage takes ages to load …

 

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.  ~ Lily Tomlin

 

Impatiens flower essence from the Bach Flower Essence range is for people with impatience, irritability, and who react too quickly. For those that are mentally tense, constantly pressured by time, want to finish everything quickly, those that cut off other people in mid-sentence and finish their sentence before they can. If you are driven crazy by people who work too slowly and impatiently take things into your own hands or feel too hurried to meditate then this flower essence is for you.

The positive potential of the essence is patience and gentleness and having the ability to wait for things to take their natural course. It supports alertness, quick thinking, quick acting and independent mindedness but respects the slower pace of others at the same time.

In closing, some interesting facts on the plant. Impatiens glandulifera is native to the Himalayas and also known as Himalayan Balsam or Policeman’s Helmet. In 1839 it was imported from Kashmir to England to be used as a decorative garden plant for those gardeners that couldn’t afford growing expensive orchids. The species name ‘Impatiens’ is derived from its seeding habits with the seed pods exploding when disturbed and scattering the seeds over a distance of up to seven metres. I still have fond childhood memories of gently touching the pods and feel them curl up in my fingers.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Blackberry – In any way you like

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Blackberries are one of my favourite foods and on my recent visit to Germany it was just the beginning of the season for me to enjoy the first freshly picked berries from my mother’s garden.

Apart from being delicious, blackberries are high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins and phenolics topping raspberries, blueberries, spinach or broccoli in the list of antioxidant foods. The fruit can be preserved in jellies, conserves, liqueur, wine or syrup or eaten fresh as in this recipe of Peach-Blackberry Compote with Basil Syrup.

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The leaves, containing more vitamin C than the berries, can be drunk as a fermented tea to support the immune system. Chewing fresh blackberry leaves can help to treat bleeding gums due to their tannin constituents. A naturopath may use blackberry root for the treatment of diarrhoea, fever, regulating menstruation and purifying the blood.

 

‘The power of intention is the power to manifest, to create, to live a life of unlimited abundance, and to attract into your life the right people at the right moments.’ ~ Wayne Dyer

 

Blackberry flower essence from the Flower Essence Society supports competent manifestation in the world, clearly directing forces of will and intentional and decisive action.  It is indicated for those people who have many ideas but are unable to manifest those onto the earth plane. While having great intentions, they lack the ability to organise their thoughts into specific priorities and then execute their goals into manifestation.

“Such persons often have a great deal of light around the head, which does not radiate and circulate properly throughout the body. The blood is often sluggish, as is the entire lower metabolism. As the light comes more into the limbs, the soul feels greater inner power to take real action in the world and to translate what is spiritual into actual change in the world. Blackberry flower essence bestows this radiant, awakened light to the will-life of the human soul.” (Flower Essence Society on Blackberry flower essence)

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

Silver Princess flower

Silver Princess – The princess that gives direction

‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

Silver Princess waves her languid branches, long silvery grey leaves and shining red flower heads in the breeze as if to gently guide us … “Over here dear traveller, this is your path, take this direction”.

This eucalypt tree, Eucalyptus caesia, is also known as Caesia and Gungurru and is endemic to the Central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. The name ‘Gungurru’ comes from the indigenous Noongar people of this region. The tree was in danger of extinction some years ago when it was only found inhabiting Boyagin Rock, a granite outcrop believed to be up to 2000 million years old, but has now become a popular cultivar and can be found in gardens and parks across Australia.

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As her appearance suggests, the flower essence supports us on our life path when we are aimless, feeling flat, find ourselves without direction or not knowing which step to take next when standing at a crossroads. When having achieved a life goal the essence gives us the motivation to pursue a new direction.

Part of the Australian Bush Flower Essence range Silver Princess is included in the Combination essences ‘Transition’ and ‘Travel’. In the later it resets our inner gyro system for latitudinal or north/south travel.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

 

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Forget-me-not

It’s Spring in Melbourne and the sky blue of just flowering Forget-Me-Not’s greeted me on my walk through the St Kilda Botanic gardens this week.

Originating from Northern Europe, the genus Myosotis has about 50 species and is widely distributed across the globe. The plant is known across many countries and languages as ‘Forget-Me-Not’ … called ‘Vergissmeinnicht’ in German, ‘Ne M’oubliez pas’ in French and ‘Wu Wang Cao’ in Chinese.

In folklore, Forget-me-not’s are related to faithful love. The flower was adopted by Henry IV as an emblem when going into exile in 1398 and on his return the following year retained the symbol.

When feeling lonely, isolated or lacking awareness of a spiritual connection to others Forget-me-not flower essence can be of emotional support to us. It inspires awareness of karmic connections in personal relationships and with those in the spiritual world. It guides us toward greater love for the human family, and greater awareness of the incredible depth, beauty, and possibility of soul-based relationships. The essence is part of the Flower Essence Society (FES) range.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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Change, the only constant

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

Beginning where I ended my last blog with this quote by Lao Tzu there is a flow taking place that is asking to write on change. It was sparked this week, when I listened to a program about astrological aspects of the current Uranus – Pluto square while initially wanting to write about Bottlebrush flower essence. Co-incidentally, both are about change.

The Pluto – Uranus square is about major changes that are shaking up all aspects of our lives – personal, political, institutional, banking and big corporations.  It allows for old patterns to be released, to clear them, for transformation to take place. Uranus apparently let’s us see new perspectives, allowing for new insights and therefore, to support the letting go of the old.  These planets moved into this position sometime in 2011, setting in motion the wheel of change. It impacted me personally late last year, when I resigned from a permanent job in the media I’ve had for 20 years to set up my own business in complementary health. Not having a regular income has brought with it anxieties, yet at the same time, I’ve never know myself being so congruent with what I do for a living and who I am, my interests and joys in life. Now my life has started to move again, to be in flow, where before I felt stuck and unmotivated, without direction. It is, as if the seed that has been planted a long time ago has taken hold of the earth, is sprouting and breaking through the earth to be seen.

The more often we are confronted with having to change, the more we learn to deal with and respond to constant change. This in turn allows us to be able to handle its dynamics and as a result, be in the flow of life. You can find out more on the astrological aspects when following the links below, while I will highlight some flower essences that can be of support when being confronted with change.

Bottlebrush

Bottlebrush, an essence from the Australian Bush Flower Essences (ABFE) range, helps you deal emotionally with major changes in life that may include starting school, getting a job, redundancy, marriage, divorce, buying or selling a house, retirement, moving interstate or to another country. Also including the two major changes in life … birth and death.  These events can involve feelings of uncertainty, apprehension or overwhelm. When taking the Bottlebrush essence, it allows a person to flow through life and its changes. It fosters the ability to let go of the past and move ahead into new experiences. Bottlebrush is also part of the ABFE Emergency Essence.

From the Desert Alchemy range, Prickly Pear Cactus encourages adaptability to situations and events in our life. It helps us find a state of active surrender to what is and supports our awareness in being synchronous with the events in our lives. The essence supports the harmony between feelings, thoughts and intuition and resulting in taking action when the time is right. “The strengths, calm and centredness that is fostered within us by Prickly Pear Cactus can allow us to wander the earth and always feel at home.” (Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer in ‘The Alchemy of The Desert’)

You can take Bach’s Rescue Remedy for a sudden shock, emotional upset or in a stressful situation at work or home.

For further reading here are some websites on the Uranus – Pluto square.

http://www.lunarplanner.com/Uranus-Pluto-Square/index.html

http://darkstarastrology.com/uranus-square-pluto-horoscopes-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015-predictions/

http://www.alanoken.com/newsletter/Aug11_C.htm

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

 

Mulla Mulla

Suspended worlds

This is a close up of a Mulla Mulla plant that was growing in a pot on my balcony. I was fascinated by the raindrops suspended in the fine hair of the plant containing a mesmerising world of its own. This plant not only looks stunning but you can try its healing powers in a flower essence from the Australian Bush Flower Essence range.

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Pink Mulla Mulla supports trust and openness as well as deep spiritual healing.

Tall Mulla Mulla helps to feel relaxed and secure with other people and encourages social interaction.

Mulla Mulla helps to calm fear of fire and heat, and can support you when feeling stressed during the hot summer months.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin