Practitioner Profile: Steven Horne
By Jann Garitty
Additional stories regarding others who have been helped by flower essences:
At an early age, while a Boy Scout working on his Nature Badge, Steven Horne initiated his life-long interest in plants. He became fascinated with identifying and learning about them and carried with him a field guide wherever he went. From this very humble beginning, he has become an internationally-renowned educator and consultant in the field of natural and holistic health care.
During childhood and in his teens, Steven began to experience health problems of his own. Then, in his 20s, he decided to try some of the herbal remedies he had learned about through the years of his plant studies because he was not getting results from traditional medical treatments. He experimented and found relief from his difficulties. This was the beginning of his work as an herbalist. Since then, he has also incorporated nutritional support and flower essences into his professional practice.
Initially, Steven’s formal education was in the field of communications, writing, and public speaking. He decided to merge his “hobby”—love of plants—and his profession into ways of teaching people about herbs and natural healing. As a result, based on his personal practice with patients, Steven has written countless books, articles, and has produced various types of educational materials. He is just now completing the production of an educational video on flower essences.
The instructive work of Matthew Wood
Early on in his herbal studies, Steven read Matthew Wood’s book Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers. After reading it, he began to fully grasp the concept of the Doctrine of Signatures, an understanding that had alluded him since first learning of the concept. (“Paracelsus’ Doctrine of Signatures, [is] an understanding that there is a correspondence between outer physical forms and the inner qualities they express,”Flower Essence Repertory, p. 39.) Wood’s book also introduced him to flower essences.
The ideas presented in the book echoed his own belief “…that symptoms are not the disease. Quite the contrary, symptoms are generated by the body in its efforts to cope with a disease.” Suppressing symptoms as is done with allopathic medicine merely drives disease more deeply into the body. “In contrast, I had learned to give natural or homeopathic medicines that strengthened the body or supported the body in trying to clear out what was bothering it.” Steven cites the example of the common cold: “The cold is the cure, cold symptoms are created by the immune response working to kick irritants out of the body. People only want to stop the symptoms. But one must utilize remedies to support the body in the detoxification process.
“Matthew’s book helped me to see that this same principle applied to emotional healing. … When this energy we call emotion is suppressed, it is stored in the body like a toxin. If a feeling cannot find a healthy way of expressing itself, it will find an unhealthy or destructive way of expressing itself. Either way, the energy cannot remain buried. It will find a way to force itself to the surface. …Flower essences…help to strengthen the emotional vibration that has been repressed and allow it to come into conscious awareness so that it can find expression and be discharged.”
The relationship between plants and their flower essences
Steven advanced his study of flower essences further by reading the Flower Essence Repertory. Coincidentally, one of Steven’s favorite herbs was Yarrow; he had always been attracted to the plant and had enjoyed studying it, learning about where it grew and learning its healing properties. When he read the description of the Yarrow flower essence in the Repertory, he realized it fit perfectly for him; his attraction to the plant had been no mere coincidence. His understanding of plant perception grew through his reading and study.
As an example, he realized that seeing the gesture of Shooting Star growing in the high mountains provided him with the perfect metaphor for its use as a flower essence. The placement of the flowers at the end of the long slender stalk, combined with the downward orientation of the pistil and stamens indicate a sort of “tension” between the earth and upper realms; Shooting Star is indicated for those with a “profound feeling of alienation”1 and “helps such persons to find their right connection to earthly life.”2
Steven’s awareness of the relationship between the flower essences and the physical nature of the plants from which they’re made deepened, and he began to experiment further with the remedies. He found that they worked well with herbal and nutritional treatments, producing “wonderful success” overall, and he also found them to be very dependable. He has learned that flower essences are not effective only when individuals stop taking them because they are simply not ready to address their emotional issues.
Experimentation shows success
Steven offered some examples of the efficacy of flower essences: some years ago, Steven’s staff members conducted “experiments” utilizing the essences—they would choose a person, assess what flower essence that person needed, and then give it to them without telling them what it was or what it was for. On one occasion, they chose the UPS man who came on a daily basis to their workplace. He was a very “uptight” person and they chose Dandelion for him. They gave it to him twice a day, at the time when he made deliveries and then later in the day when he picked up packages from them. On the third day, he asked if he could take the bottle with him saying, “I feel so much more relaxed when I leave here!”
According to Steven, “Another ‘guinea pig’ they chose was the woman I was married to at the time. My wife started many craft projects but seldom finished them. They gave her Tansy flower essence, which is for procrastination, but again, didn’t tell her what it was or what it was for. To my amazement, during the next two weeks my wife completed about 6-7 projects that had been laying around for years!” Several times, when conducting these “experiments”, the subjects described their effects in words similar to that of the written flower essence descriptions.
A hair dresser whom Steven knows said to him: “Everyday when I work on women's hair, they tell me their problems...and by the end of day, I go home depressed.” Steven gave her Yarrow, and just days later, she walked into his office beaming and said, “It worked: I listen, I empathize with them, but when they walk out the door, their problems walk out with them.” In general, Steven recommends Yarrow and Pink Yarrow for healers, citing the example of a woman who was so empathetic, it literally made her sick. The Yarrow essences allowed her to remain effective as a healer while not taking on her patients’ dis-eases.
The Tree of Life: a blueprint for health
A friend introduced Steven to the Hebrew “Tree of Life”, also known as the Kabbala. He was intrigued and pondered how it might apply to the healing work he had been doing that acknowledged and incorporated the seven chakra system of energy. Eventually he saw how the model “fit” with the human body but with twelve “emotional energy centers,” as he calls them, and it became his guide to understanding healing work. He has been utilizing this approach to healing, Emotional Anatomy (a phrase he utilized well-before the work of Caroline Myss became popularly known) for 19 years with great reliability. Steven has since related many flower essences to those centers, utilizing kinesiology with his patients to know which of them is blocked and which essence should be used to help process through the blocks.
Steven will explain to patients who are learning about flower essences for the first time, that a flower essence brings the vibration of the plant to the healing relationship, and that it is not a physical substance. “We’re not just physical beings, emotion is an energy, a particular vibration… for instance, when you walk into a room where two people have just had an argument, or if you’re in the presence of a supremely loving person, you can feel the energy.” Plants have frequencies of vibration that match emotional frequencies and they stimulate our awareness.
Oftentimes, to begin a session with a patient, Steven will place their hand over his, then run his hand over the bottles of essences. It will occur to him to select one or more of them, and then he reads out loud the descriptions of the essences. People are amazed at how accurately the descriptions relate to their own personal lives and situations. However, he says, he learned a long time ago that sometimes if he addresses their emotional states before they’re comfortable, they’re frightened of him. Therefore, in situations where he senses a level of discomfort, he builds toward the emotional work by first treating them on a more physical level.
Shedding light on energy blocks
Another concept that became important in Steven’s work is the idea that the subconscious mind is capable of producing false programming: “We can be fooled by lies and illusions into believing that something that is good for us will bring pain, and something that is bad for us will produce happiness if we just suffer with it long enough. I came to call these illusions, dragons. The goal of emotional healing is to bring the dragons into the light. Light is a symbol for truth. In the light we can see things as they really are. Dragons can only live in the dark. They disappear when they are exposed.” His process involves uncovering the dragons that block energy and cause one to pursue goals that are self-harming. Once the mind is stimulated to see a dragon for what it is, it then dissipates. He believes flower essences follow the same process. A plant teaches the body the plant’s own vibration, the ability to “flower” through both opposites, those that are addressed by it as a remedy, thereby restoring unity and balance.
“The eyes are the window to the soul”
Also, integral to Steven’s work is his use of iridology as a diagnostic tool. The iris of the eye reflects one’s genetic constitution (not the actual physical condition of an individual) and it is also a reflection of one’s personality. The inherent constitution is that of physiological strengths, weaknesses, personal traits and emotional predispositions. They can manifest positively or negatively. Here are just two examples illustrating the use of iridology for diagnosis:
Lymphatic Rosary—a ring around the outer section of the iris
Physically: indicates the tendency toward congestion in the lymph system, swollen lymph nodes, high risk of ear infections, respiratory difficulties, and a tendency toward urinary tract problems in later life
Emotionally: these people can be peacemakers, or those who try to “fix” people and situations around them
Yarrow flower essence is a perfect remedy for people exhibiting the Lymphatic Rosary, as it is not only a lymphatic cleanser but it also stops the tendency to “soak up” and try to heal the whole planet. Those individuals tend to bleed into the environment and take on more responsibility than they should.
Nerve Rings, Contraction Furrows—light colored rings set into the pigmentation of the iris
Physically: indicates a person with a high stress level and tension in the muscles
Flower essences helpful for people with Contraction Furrows might include Dandelion, Olive, Elm, Aloe Vera, Lavender or Vervain.
Re-education: the key to a paradigm shift
Steven’s ultimate goal is to change the nature of the prevailing healing paradigm, from that of the allopathic model, and to re-educate people in understanding the underlying causes and treatment of illness. To that end, he continues to teach and also to develop educational materials addressing the relationship between physical and emotional health.
Steven observes that modern society teaches people to not feel, to suppress their emotions, and to reside in their logical brains. People are also out of touch with their feelings due to the fact that there is constant stimulation in their daily environments from a barrage of information through all forms of media. The peace that comes from being present in stillness and quietude is not possible under such circumstances. This fact plus the suppression and denial of emotion have created great imbalance for both individuals and the society as a whole. Until we learn to make room for emotions, and acknowledge that we have a spiritual/emotional nature that must be attended to, the imbalance will prevail.
Additional stories regarding others who have been helped by flower essences:
1. Kaminski, Patricia & Richard Katz, Flower Essence Repertory, ©Flower Essence Society
Wood, Matthew, Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1987.
Horne, Steven, TLC: A Message of Hope Sent Forth In Love, www.steven-horne.com.
Steven Horne started his study of herbs and natural healing over 30 years ago at the age of fifteen. Today, he is an internationally recognized author, teacher and consultant in the fields of herbalism, iridology, muscle response testing, flower essences and emotional healing. His teaching has helped hundreds of people develop successful careers in the field of natural and holistic health care.
His work has taken him all over the United States and Canada teaching seminars to thousands of people. He has also visited other foreign countries in his work, such as Maylasia, Australia, New Zealand, England, China and Tibet. His travels have also enabled him to gather useful information from hundreds of experienced natural healers.
For more extensive information on Emotional Anatomy and the work of Steven Horne, please visit his website at www.steven-horne.com/index.htm.
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