Apothecary’s Corner, February 2018

by Sara Truitt


Many of our students come to the school apothecary to order bulk herbs or tinctures.  They can also order dosage bottles for flower essences.  What is a flower essence?  A flower essence is a botanical remedy that works with the emotional body.  Here at CSCH our students study and work with flower essences to deepen their personal transformation and their client’s healing as well.

In this issue we are highlighting a reflection about Ocotillo flower essence written by one of our very own clinical students, Olivia Brasseaux.

Ocotillo (from Sara’s Desert Essence set)

By Olivia Brasseaux

I took a drop, waited a minute, and then took four drops of the mother essence. Both times, the second dose with increased intensity, I felt this pulsing, Goddess-like strength radiate down through the top of my head, wash over my face, slide down my throat, into my chest and ribcage, and out through my arms. My hands felt warm, and radiant. The energy appeared blue, green, and sparkled gold, moving in downward spirals.

I recently discovered that my rising sign is Capricorn, and this essence helped to connect me to the wise Goat-Fish, and the sensual Melusine with her double tail, which are both connected to this astrological sign. Melusine, a water spirit similar to a mermaid, was said in medieval times to have fallen in love with a Count Raimondin, and had agreed to marry him, on the one condition that he leave her alone every Saturday (the day of the week closely connected to Saturn-Capricorn) to disappear into her bathroom and spend the whole day in there. Naturally, the Count agreed.

During this time, Melusine would revert back to her true form — some say she had the tail of a serpent, while others say it was definitely a fish. At any rate, one day the Count became so consumed with jealousy (might’ve done well with Holly essence) that he broke his promise and spied on Melusine as she lay in her bath. She did eventually forgive him for breaking his promise, but Raimondin used this secret against his wife, calling her a serpent in front of the whole court during a disagreement.

So Melusine turned into a dragon and flew off, never to be seen or heard from again. I actually felt a bit like the energy from Ocotillo was transformative, and powerful, like a dragon. I felt increased strength and energy, especially in my shoulders and upper back — it felt almost like I was growing taller, my head held a little higher. I also wonder now if Ocotillo (maybe in conjunction with Holly) could help to heal betrayal and heartache. Even if it is a betrayal of the self, recovering from covering up or wounding one’s true self, like Melusine, in order to save face or stay safe in a hostile crowd.

I had intended to work more with this essence around ancestral healing, and I think in some ways it actually did address those feelings. I feel more grounded, rooted to my personal and cultural values. Even feeling called to write about Melusine, an old French folktale. I feel like I can look at these stories and inherited values with a deeper understanding and clarity. I can appreciate them, without losing my individual identity in the process.

I really enjoyed working with Ocotillo. It has almost a ghostly presence, without feeling haunting or creepy. It’s just ever present, steadfast. Contemplative. Wise. And very old. Sort of like having a guardian spirit sitting on your shoulder, watching over your back. I can see how this would be helpful to someone with a fear picture — similar to the Aspen state with vague, unknown fears or a pervasive sense of being watched.

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John Whiteman
John Whiteman