Lotus Flower Essence Case Studies
from Dr. Marina Angeli
There is evidence that the FES Lotus essence can become one of the major factors in the treatment of some of the most difficult aspects of certain psychological and psychiatric problems (I emphasize the FES Lotus, because other companies' Lotus essences I have worked with seemed to have different properties and did not have the particular effect).
As we read in the FES Repertory, this essence concerns the so-called "7th chakra imbalances." People with some experience in the fields of healing with energy, energy medicine etc., may have heard of psychosis, for instance, as a state characterized by an "overly opened 7th chakra." There are also a variety of situations in which people seem to be somewhat "out of" or "not quite in" their bodies. These people are unable to be fully present in the here-and-now, having lost the drive for life and the ability to feel a sufficient interest for their reality. They report feeling "not exactly alive," though not dead.
Such is often the case of people who have been on drugs for a period of time, or people who happened to go through unusually shocking experiences, often of a "metaphysical" nature. They describe such experiences as having temporarily altered their state of consciousness, saying that they "never were the same again" after them. They have the sense of being "only partly alive," lost somewhere between the different levels of consciousness.
Such a situation is often described as "loss of the drive for a goal oriented attitude." The sense of them being "beyond reach," "absent" or "departed" as far as normal life is concerned, is usually common in all the above states. The therapist feels powerless in trying to help, as there seems to be no significant response from the patient's side. Even in cases in which the patient may seem to be trying to co-operate, the actual inner state is that of resignation and apathy.
A difference between this state and that of people in pursuit of unusual, extraordinary, and paranormal experiences, which in turn take them away from the usual life concerns (as in the case of the California Poppy essence for example), seems to be that, in the Lotus case, people want to re-connect with the natural life conditions, but cannot.
Several months ago, almost by chance, the case of "N.A." opened to me the way to look at the Lotus essence as a potential healer for disorders such as described above. NA is a reflexologist and friend of mine, aged 45. In her own words she described this dynamic and how Lotus flower essence helped her:
"Years ago, I experienced some rather shattering situations in my life. These experiences coincided with some sudden, unusual, and quite intense experiences of a metaphysical nature. And I finally found myself totally exhausted--physically and emotionally.
Slowly over the next years, I began to recover. My recovery was aided by the healing effect of time, flower essences, homeopathic remedies, my personal efforts, and some favorable life conditions. But although my physical capacities and abilities improved, and I was able to live and work almost the way I did before (or at least that's how I looked), there was something which never became re-established--and that was my being fully present in life.
I generally felt as if I was just watching myself living, disassociated from what I was doing or experiencing. There was a feeling of not being quite here, of being distant and rather indifferent to what was happening... of not being really in touch with life in terms of space and time.
I felt that this was because 'my soul was not into what I was doing.' It was as if, at a certain moment, my soul had slipped out from my body. There was the experience of a great 'quietness' from that moment on, which was quite nice in itself, actually. But my life continued the same as before and I had not actually moved 'to some other dimension,' so it soon started becoming sort of frustrating.
At times I had tried to explain this situation to friends, to homeopaths, to different healers. Something inside me knew that a cure from these therapies was possible and that it could happen some day. But nobody seemed to understand exactly what I was talking about. At times I took remedies and flower essences relating to re-establishing interest in life, fulfilling one's goals, repairing 'auric damages' or 'auric holes,' etc.
They all helped in some way or another, but this help was too subtle and rather temporary. Most importantly, they did not touch that very deep level in me which was distancing from life. By using these remedies, I felt as if I was being 'plugged in' for some time--I would perform, I would do the job, everything seemed OK--while part of me actually remained distant and untouched. I don't think others really noticed anything, as my behavior to the outside always appeared normal, and they just believed that my frequent distancing or absence was a result of personal choice. It was as if I was simply watching myself doing things until the 'imported' energy was all spent and the light would go out again.
There was no way to contain the energy, as if there was a leakage in the system.
I started to resign myself to the fact that I was to live the rest of my life with my self half-emptied into space... trying to manage in the 'here and now,' being only half-present, without the expectation of things ever becoming as they were before. It was as if something very deep inside me could not or did not want to live in this world anymore, but without really dying.
I could not find the way to influence that level of my existence. I could not make myself desire to live again--while at the same time I was longing for life. I soon came to believe there was simply something wrong with me, some sort of illness in my subtle bodies perhaps. Something must have broken there and could not be repaired.
On the other hand, the situation had a profound quietness about it. Nothing really disturbed me. I had a minimal connection to this space-and-time world, with its intensities, joys and troubles. I was living in it as a part-timer only. I was doing things only out of a sense of duty, even the things I wanted and liked. Most of the time I was just postponing everything, not being really in touch with the time flow, annoyed by my inability to maintain a natural sense of time.
It was as if I was not really alive, but in an intermediate dimension from the one I was physically living in. I knew I was somewhat dead, but I could not explain what I meant by that. Something was apparently wrong. Where did I make the mistake? What could I do now? The inner sense was that of a plant which had suddenly been uprooted, the roots now floating in the air, wanting to go back into the ground again, but not being able to do so.
Then, one day, suddenly in my meditation, I heard myself saying: "My seventh chakra is too open.... It is a chakra imbalance.... "
I remember seeing the Flower Essence Repertory by my side, and, almost mechanically, opened it at random. I saw the Lotus page. 'Look, here is an essence I know nothing about,' I thought. In fact, I knew Lotus essences of different companies. Generally, they all are about enhancing spirituality. I had used some of them in the past, and had never carefully read about the FES Lotus essence, as I had hypothesized the description would be about the same.
Fortunately, I did not close the book this time, but read the text carefully. And although I was not sure I could identify with what was described, I decided to try this essence based on the statement that it concerns 'seventh chakra imbalances.'
So, without really high expectations because of all my past experiences trying to get ride of the problem, I took the essence the same day. The effect was immediate. I felt a deep sense of grounding, something deeply appeasing on the physical body level. Although it was not something I could easily describe, I had the sense that 'this was it!' I felt the roots were coming back into the ground again. Finally, 'it' was happening at last. For the first time in years I felt really happy and optimistic again--although a little worried whether this situation was to be permanent or just temporary.
The first expression of the new situation was an immediate, natural increase in creativity. In the most natural way, I started accomplishing the things which I had been wanting to do for months and years, but could not 'wake myself up' from that strange sort of half-sleep.
The normal sense of time flow returned. The basic interest for, and sense of participation in life, became re-established. The drive for life returned and became part of me again! I adjusted to the 'new' situation (which was actually my natural one) very easily. My fears for a possible impermanence of the situation did not come true. The positive results remained and stabilized as the weeks and months started to pass.
I am proceeding with my life in the way that I wanted and needed to, thus regaining a profound existential peace. "
NA reports having taken 7 drops from the stock bottle in water ecvery morning, sometimes 3-4 drops also during her lunch time, for about a month. No other modalities were used in the treatment.
NA experienced physical tranquility and a sense of groundedness in the first few minutes of taking Lotus. Changes in her overall inner state and life attitude became visible in the very first days.
"V.B." is a 30-year-old certified speech and language therapist and kindergarten teacher. Although she graduated a few years ago, she had not practiced her job, instead working as a seller of cheap jewelry in the street. She was married for two years to an unemployed, compulsive gambler and alcoholic 26 year-old-man, who often became violent with her.
Most of the time they were living apart.
"During my studies, I went through a time of rather severe depression," VB said when she first came to me last May. "After finishing I used to sleep late, would not get up from bed, would not sleep before 4 am, used to eat all the time and the only thing I did was watch TV.I used to postpone whatever I had to do."
"I want to be more happy' VB continued, "but on the other hand, I feel like I don't have a motive for this. In the past, I had a strong drive for living. Now my strength is 'dying.' I wish I had the drive to be joyful, the drive to live. Lately I started 'improving' a little bit, but it is very stressing, because it stems from an intellectual decision, and does not 'flow' from inside of me. I feel resigned. I practice visualization, and this makes me feel good. It is my natural, harmless narcotic... I feel that I have exited from life, I cannot re-enter in order to experience joy and become creative."
After my recent experience of the previous Lotus case, it was not surprising the first essence I thought of was Lotus. VB's situation was that of a person whose umbilical cord with life had been cut.
She was not a full participant in life. She could not enjoy the reality of an earth citizen. VB had become a satellite, having to watch life from afar. She had entered that half-living state, where the drive for existence in the physical plane had lost its power and where the boundaries between personality-based human experience and other, more impersonal forms of existence, were in a state of fusion.
VB's perfect mental functioning was not able to provide healing to this disturbance in her overall system. Besides possible shocks and traumas which could have led to such a resignation and distancing from life, her particular situation, as well as that of her husband, reminded me of people who had used drugs. I asked about it and, sure enough, she had made use of cannabis for 10 years, and had stopped a year ago.
"I stopped taking it, because at a certain moment, I had a death-like experience," VB recalled. "There must have been something unusual in that cigarette, because the person who gave it to me had told me to take care not to be alone when I smoked it. It really felt like death. I was wondering if I was really lying in bed then or if I existed in a delusion? Was I alive or dead?"
I wondered about the 7th chakra area, and asked VB if she felt anything on or about the top of her head. "In this part," she said, pointing to the upper part of her head, "there is a pulse. Something is pulsating up there."
I discussed the Lotus essence with VB, why I believed it would help and what I expected from it. She was very observant, so I asked her to consciously watch and follow the process. I chose only two more essences which had nothing to do with Lotus. To assist and relieve the situation she was facing in the meanwhile — I chose the Bach Scleranthus, because she was feeling ambivalent in the relationship with her husband. I also chose the Bach Chicory, as she was too touchy and overly emotional in her transaction with him.
But I knew that the key essence in this phase of her life would be Lotus. I was looking forward to see what would happen in her next visit, two weeks later. Would she finally 'land' on earth, so that any other necessary process would become possible (and accessible), or would she remain 'in the air,' requiring nothing more than some relief, to just tolerate situations the way they were, untouchable and unchangeable...?
Upon her return session, VB went straight to the point and described her experiences eloquently: "With the Lotus, I have started to experience things with the optimism I had at age 25, before I got the depression. I may feel 'down,' but I am able to 'stand up' very fast again! This is how I was until 25! But, since that time, I was very wounded and disappointed from life. I started searching for metaphysical experiences, which I used regard as medicine, as a way to get some joy--something that I could no longer get from real life. This essence grounded me!!!
"Suddenly I was able to say to myself if I don't do something about my problems I am not going to survive emotionally. Before, I used to spend my time thinking of the dreams I was having during my sleep, enjoying the fact that they were 'intuitive,' full of 'messages' for me," VB told me. "But one has to be grounded in order to get help from such dreams. I was too much into these things, as I see now. I was not living this life. I was only analyzing my dreams and my other 'paranormal experiences.' They had become the whole world for me. They were telling me: 'Come to this Land, to the Utopia, you are going to have a good time here...' There is real danger of getting caught in the trap of thinking in a way such as: 'I' am permanently in a state of consciousness which other people are not able to reach — despite the fact that I am in this state of consciousness in an effort to escapei from the soul pain."
"Actually, it was as if I was still taking drugs," she continued in the session. "I had not found the golden mean for these things. I did not want to wake up in the morning--as I said, I wanted to continue having more of such dreams. 'As things do not work for me, I will go to My Land,' I used to say to myself."
VB explained at the time she was practicing the Silva Mind Control, and often intimated to her trainer that she felt she was overdoing the practices. The trainer only replied that VB would have to decide by herself if such was true. At the same time she started a connection with a Rudolf Steiner study group, participating in their meetings from time to time. And it was a member of that group who finally suggested to VB to come to meet me and try flower essences.
"So Lotus brought me back here to the ground, don't you see?" VB said. "Suddenly I found and rented a flat in the last 10 days! Soon I will be move from my parents flat, where I have been staying for the last two years."
VB continued taking Lotus for about 2 1/2 months. Meanwhile she stopped selling jewelry in the streets and got a job in a children's hospital, according her specialization. Now, after 5 months, she continues psychological as well as flower essence work with herself, dealing with issues such as her difficulties in communication with people, self-expression, and self-esteem.
Besides Lotus, VB has used a number of other essences to catalyze the different phases of the healing process, but it was Lotus which has formed the basis for this process, and it was the essence responsible for VB to make the "transition" from the "Beyond" to the "Here and Now."
The progress VB is making is now real, happening in a frame of groundedness and normal motivation for life.
Lotus flower essence was crucial in treating "C.M.," age 53, who came to me in May 2000, referred by her psychiatrist because she was repeatedly refusing medication.
In the past she had been hospitalized and had received the diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder. The impression she was giving was that of a recessive psychotic, displaying the so- called 'negative symptomatology of psychosis,' mainly characterized by apathy, lack of motivation, blunted affect and withdrawal.
CM would spend the biggest part of the day swinging back and forth, seated on her sofa. "I cannot do much, I only do a little housework in the morning, but veeery slowly, and it takes much effort," she told me. "However, after lunch, the only thing I can do is swing. Sometimes I turn on the TV in order to see some light, something moving. Or, I go out for a walk, even if it is still dark."
She gave the impression of a mentally retarded person. She had a melancholic look and spoke in a very low voice, pausing every now and then. CM often looked as if she was not noticing my presence, absorbed as she was in what she was experiencing inside of her. Often she kept her eyes closed, and would start swinging slightly back and forth during moments of silence. She covered the entire session talking about the sensations she was having in her head.
She talked mainly about the area in the middle of her forehead. "There is something like a cloud here, which covers my eyes as well. Feels like there are wrinkles in my forehead, but not really, just in the inside of it (she described a sensation of something contracting in the forehead). It makes me feel sleepy. But it is not true sleepiness, because when I try to sleep — I can't."
Thinking of how useful it might prove in my work if
we could know more about the chakras, in this case probably the 6th
chakra, I chose a few Bach Remedies to help her start feeling a little
more 'toned up,' such as Olive, Cherry Plum and Hornbeam for her 'difficulty'
in doing the
Considering her emphatic reports of the sensations
in the forehead, which appeared to be one of her main complaints, the
only essence I could think of as possibly close to the demands of
After two weeks CM reported feeling a little better, but voiced the same complaints. Again all she spoke about were the strange sensations in her head. She appeared hypochondriacal, autistic, obsessed with her inner experiences. There seemed no way to get her to talk about her life because there seemed to be no life for her.
At that point I started to think
about Lotus, some qualities of which I just recently had come
to understand. I reflected
on how this person seemed to be 'cut off' from life, somewhere
in a world of her own. She was ungrounded, and not just in
the childish way of immaturity and lack of realism. Her general state
appeared disconnected from the collective human
With my heart beating--could people in such desperate situations ever have a chance to "come back?" I wondered--Lotus was added to the mixture.
To further enhance the benefit, I also added the "Down to Earth" Himalayan Enhancer flower essence, to tone the root chakra, and the Australian Bush "Cognis" to improve orientation, co-ordination of the brain hemispheres, and problem solving abilities. However, again the Lotus essence was the key-essence, as the other two, in many similar cases in the past, had not made any significant contribution. I added them to CM's mixture thinking they would amplify the benefits from grounding and also ease the possible shock of such a grounding, and make dealing with "everydayness" easier and friendlier for CM.
Happily, in her next visit 15 days later, CM was very different.
She did not say a word about the sensations in her head. Instead, she spoke about the problems of her life. She spoke about her family, her life conditions, her recent visit to her lawyer to discuss the pending court judgment concerning her getting a pension due to her health problems.
CM said she wanted to move to another flat because the one she was staying in "is not sunny."
On that day she told me a lot about her life all these years, life events and family history. She spoke about her parents' and her brothers' characters, of how she had been feeling about them and why--how things were now with her brothers, how much harm she believed they had done to her and how much she hated her brother and wanted "to take him to the court to punish him for what he had done to her in the course of her life."
CM still appeared childish and immature, but she was not distant. She was not autistic nor was she unapproachable. She no longer made the listener feel awkward. She was not bizarre. She did not create in me the sad feeling for a person whose situation is beyond recovery. Her situation was not hopeless anymore. The fundamental grounding had happened, she was linked with life, and I could see a way opening for her, with her next steps already apparent.
Perhaps psychiatrists, who know how difficult--practically incurable--such problems are, can better appreciate such a development as occurred with CM. She took Lotus, accompanied with other essences, for about 3 months and has continued working with other essences for another 1 1/2 months so far.
This summer she went on holidays to Crete, where she stayed and worked in a Community of Ecologists ("the best holidays of my life!!!").
She has kept her 'grounding gains,' further improved her performance. "I feel my mind is much more clear, and my brain is in a better condition," CM told me. "In the past, I used to speak very slowly and expressed myself in a way that made people think that I was mentally retarded."(!)
She comes for sessions every second week and continues working with herself.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.