The Eight MetaFlora Levels of the Human Soul—
A talk originally delivered in Spanish
Read comments by Richard Mateos on the MetaFlora system
The MetaFlora Levels: complimentary to the work of Dr. Bach
In March 2007, I was invited to participate in Barcelona at a weekend seminar on flower essence therapy at which I decided to give a lecture inviting the attendants to reflect on the interesting and, in my opinion, rich and subtle possible combination of Bach flower essences and FES Quintessentials. Such combination, I said then, is highly dynamic and useful in the actual work with people, especially owing to the fact that both “systems,” or better said, “ranges” of flower remedies, give us two different insights of the same work. They both look at the human being as a whole, as a unique being, from different, and yet similar and thoughtful, perspectives.
I mention all of this because that is the framework, or the context, of the interesting work that Patricia Kaminski offers us as a new approach to the in-depth work with flower essences. This is a new perspective she has aptly named “The MetaFlora Approach to Healing: An Archetypal Map of the Human Soul.”
MetaFlora Level One: Extending the emotional repertoire
The first of these MetaFlora levels, and likely the most fundamental, is that of the Moon, which corresponds to Monday and to the field of a person’s essential feeling life. The Moon is the land of emotion, primary love of mother and father, original and basic nourishing, and intuition of the human being. The Moon archetype is a gateway to the human soul and there we shall work expanding the usually limited repertoire of emotions of the person’s feeling life. Most of us respond to life with a limited range of emotions that vary due to blockages, needs, lacks and a certain amount of painful experiences that constrain and determine our feeling life. We generally operate within a short range of emotions and here we shall look at those areas of the emotional repertoire that need support or further development because they are either out of balance or simply poorly nourished. Any life journey begins with the acknowledgement of one’s own emotions and any exploration in this field helps us to expand and enrich our emotional life for our wellbeing. For instance in this case, we can start asking ourselves which ones of the four basic emotions – fear, sadness, rage and joy – were not allowed to us in childhood or were not expressed within the family system so that we finally invalidated or denied them making it difficult for us to manage and handle them properly in adult life.
By working at this moon/emotional MetaFlora level, we develop a true emotional positivity allowing passion and joy to work through us so that our soul can properly shine, featuring its unique and personal expression. Some time or other we shall all walk along this territory in our personal process of growth. As a way of example, I think of a patient I’m now treating, a young girl whose feeling life is constricted because when she was four years old she went through the experience of loosing her father who committed suicide. Many essences will help us all to walk along this path but let me mention the following: Mariposa Lily, which redeems our relationship with our mother and any vulnerability we may have felt as children; Baby Blue Eyes, which soothes the emotional wound with our father, preventing us from adopting cynical attitudes to life; or Evening Primrose, for severe trauma, abuse or feeling of rejection that makes us feel unwanted and unloved.
MetaFlora Level Two: Building a Home in the Body
MetaFlora Level Two takes us to the sphere of Mars, the Warrior God, Tuesday and the physical dimension. Mars is the field where we can build a sense of home within our own physical-material body. With Mars we touch upon meat, flesh and the physical strength needed to live in the world because we can’t even imagine ourselves without a physical vehicle, a place where we can live and through which we can act and relate in the outer world and experience life. The Mars archetype celebrates the body existence through conscious incarnation and allows us to actually embrace the physical world with actions based on courage and strength. As a mediator between body and spirit, our soul can only achieve its final destiny by developing a vibrant and respectful relationship with the material part of our being.
Thinking of an example, I recall a young man whose main concern was that he felt he had no physical strength. He was homosexual and that brought about many implications regarding the image he had of himself, and of his own physical body, which was a living image of the Fairy Lantern flower. In his case, we used several essences of bell-shaped flowers such as the Fairy Lantern so that he could identify himself with a mature masculine body, and the California Pitcher Plant that has the strength of the predator that provides for food and meat.
MetaFlora Level Three: Cultivating Consciousness, Learning, Growing, Changing
MetaFlora Level Three is about Mercury and his realm, the archetype of communication, learning, the vivacity of the mind, skills of commerce and the quickening of the consciousness. Therefore in this territory, we will be able to break repetitive habits and patterns that eventually would bring us to stagnation, and to loosing the gloss and the shinning capacity of our intelligence. Mercury is Wednesday and calls forth the mind in capitals. It awakes the mind and quickens the consciousness in a somehow alchemical way, enhancing our intelligence and providing a starting point for any true transformation. Here we touch upon the capacity that our soul has to learn from life experience. But Mercury also touches upon superficiality, frivolity and all tendencies to go through things without any deep insight. In the lands of Mercury, we learn to listen, speak and develop a deep sense of communication, leaving behind all superficial approaches to life experience. The mind has to be informed of the basic lessons of the soul thus oxygenating the fire of the thinking life and the processes of active perception.
This is the MetaFlora level of knowledge and learning as pathways for the evolution of the soul. With Mercury, we develop curiosity, a capacity for observation and reflection, and the necessary flexibility to contemplate and take in new ideas. This is also the realm of intuitive thinking, good management of information, moral maturity and wisdom. No wonder then, that the Chestnut Bud flower essence, with its strong developing forces, will be essential at this point. But if Chestnut Bud helps us to penetrate the arcane mysteries of Mercury, the vivacity of the Lemon flower essence helps our mental forces to expand and contract, and the wonderful blue of Cerato enlivens our curiosity as a joyful first step towards wisdom. It is natural, then, that I invite clients to plunge into the lands of Mercury, particularly those who come to me looking for help and assistance in preparing for the very difficult and complex exams the Spanish administration requires to become a civil servant. And it works! One just needs to explore which aspects of the realm of Mercury are to be reinforced or brought to balance.
MetaFlora Level Four: Finding Life Purpose,
MetaFlora Level Four is the powerful land of Jupiter, the father of the gods, the almighty ruler of Olympus. Jupiter is Thursday and rules all the conflicts associated with power and its good or bad use. Jupiter can be generous or mean, cruel or compassionate, and touches upon the important field of the development of the idea of service. The Jupiter archetype speaks of service to the world through altruistic leadership, but also of all the misuses and perversions related to power—service and generosity versus a use of power that is inspired by manipulation, selfishness or greed.
This MetaFlora level has to do with our relationship with the world at large. It recalls illnesses and diseases arising from a soul that feels suffocated for not being able to accomplish its true life purpose. It relates to disease and distress stemming from being enslaved to values and life purposes which are not our own. So here we will develop a consciousness of work that goes beyond the mere material gain, overcoming social or family pressure, the pressure toward the tendency to accumulating power, money or material goods. In Jupiter we become a sort of “Father Christmas” who fulfils his work with joy, sympathy and generosity. So here we will treat all dysfunctions having to do with work, community consciousness and our relationship with money and material possessions. No wonder then that here we may use some flower essences of the ranunculaceae family such as Larkspur which brings about the positive leader within ourselves, or even Black Cohosh that helps us to purify the somehow perverted charismatic gifts of certain people. But it also makes me think of the lifting effect of some members of the boraginaceae plant family such as the Hound’s Tongue, when the person’s goals are too materialistically oriented. Here, I think of a client who has decided to withdraw from public life because being very popular within his community makes him feel distressed and even paranoid, and he does not feel capable of putting himself forward and using his gifts for the sake of others.
MetaFlora Level Five: Building the Chalice of the Soul, Sensitivity, Artistry and Personal Relationship
With MetaFlora Level Five, we enter the subtle realm of Venus, of Friday, the colorful region of sensuality, sexuality, receptivity, beauty and creativity. Venus appears to be a contrast to Jupiter and builds up the inner temple of the soul, touching upon inspiration, art, creation and reproduction. But brought to an excess, Venus can fall into narcissistic tendencies and get us caught in the mere contemplation of beauty, thereby bringing about stagnation. In such a case, we can’t properly relate to others but just to ourselves, and both our sexuality and our intimate relationships become determined and badly affected. Venus’ archetype builds up a chalice that is able to receive and embrace, developing compassion and companionship. Therefore, it is here that we develop the sensitivity of our soul, preventing any tendencies to self-absorption, introversion or attaching too much a value to the physical part of ourselves.
Venus helps us to see beauty both within ourselves and outside us, at home, at work and in the world at large, overcoming the pressure that comes from the hard and strong social aesthetic values regarding beauty and sexuality. In Venus we enter the territory of art, creativity and true inspiration, opening a healthy door to channeling some of our hard inner conflicts. Such is the case of a girl, whom I shall call Ana, whose greatest pain and sorrow is to regard herself as not pretty. She has suffered painfully for years but little by little she is discovering within herself many other aspects related to beauty that go far beyond her physical appearance. This is how she has been able to finally enter a relationship, slowly beginning to explore her sensuality and her sexuality and to respect herself.
Venus calls in some white lilies such as the prudish White Trumpet (Easter) Lily; or the wonderful—and yet strange in form and shape—Desert Lily, which helps us to see beauty around us even in the most deserted or perturbed surroundings. But it also resounds in the shy and timid Pink Monkeyflower, the sensitive Pink Yarrow and of course, the subtle Star Tulip, that re-creates within us the “anima” of the feminine.
MetaFlora Level Six: Shadow and Soul: Recognizing and Transforming Karma, Meeting Death
MetaFlora Level Six has to do with the gloomy lands and energies of Saturn and corresponds to Saturday. Here we open the doors to the world of the shadows and the unknown so that we can look at the hidden parts of ourselves, at the realm of the unconscious, karma, death and resurrection. With Saturn, we learn to forgive and to be forgiven. This is the time to acknowledge that we have lessons to learn in life and to accept limitation, defeat, disaster and surrender as part of the soul’s journey and development. Saturn helps us to forgive others for past deeds, leaving the past behind and moving forward in spite of old wounds and transgressions we may have suffered from others. In this territory, we find ways of expressing pain, sadness, sorrow and suffering, and we are able to cultivate “positive melancholy.” As the Dalai Lama says, love and compassion are the source of forgiveness, tolerance and all virtue.
This is true for my patient Luisa who, being unable to bear children, was going through a personal crisis, being forced to accept a fact that is far beyond her control. She went through a process of acceptance and surrender while she persevered trying artificial fertilization. Her life plan had not been achieved, but little by little, she discovered new ways to live. Good for her! And there, Gentian was much help in dispelling pessimism, as much as Love-Lies-Bleeding helped her to overcome her personal suffering. But, Saturn also calls forth other plants such as the Willow tree, with its never ending growing strength in spite of past sufferings and injuries, or the Black Cohosh that helps us to get rid of abusive relationships. Ultimately, Luisa became pregnant with twins; she now feels very happy after so many past failures and after all she has been through.
MetaFlora Level Seven: Cultivating the Spiritual Self: Transpersonal Awareness
On Sunday, we get under the glowing beams of the Sun, the realm of the spiritual self, of the radiant core of the human soul and the personality. The Sun is the integration of the self, of our inner structure, of our personality and identity within the context of the community and the whole. It helps us to find our true and unique spiritual and personal identity, transforming selfishness and pride into humility. For this is the region of the principle of order and organization of life in society.
Under the golden light of Helios, we can expand and become aware of our transcendent self without neglecting the Earthly part of our existence. Here we enter the field of reflection and open to the immaterial kingdoms, becoming aware of the spiritual community of Earth. In this MetaFlora level, we acknowledge and respect others, and work upon aspects related to the family and the community as key elements in the definition of our personality and identity. Our ego becomes healthier and better structured in order to experience the world in a stronger and clearer way. It is normal then, that here we would be working with various good essences coming from plants of the large compositae family: Sunflower that helps to balance the ego forces; Echinacea that re-builds the idea of integrity and dignity within ourselves; or the useful Goldenrod, which is so important for freeing us from peer pressure and finding our own individuality.
It reminds me of yet another young married woman who, being tempted by another man, suddenly asked herself who she really was and what her moral values were. She spoke to me of her fascination for glamour which was something she could admire in the other man and we worked upon that aspect, among others, with not only Sunflower and Goldenrod for strengthening her personality, but also with the lovely and delicate California Poppy, which I keep so much in mind. In her case, family pressure had always been very important and one of the things she found out was that up to then she had been living according to the moral values of her family but knew little about her own. One of the things she learned was to forgive herself for past circumstances when she had severely judged other women who had been in the same situation where she was now.
MetaFlora Level Eight: Nurturing Our Connection to Nature, Knowing the Earth as a Living Being
All of the seven MetaFlora Levels of the “Wheel of the Soul” we have so far spoken about, have to do with our idea of ourselves running from the moon territories of emotion up to the sunny plains of personality and individuality. But MetaFlora Level Eight includes and embraces them all, building a new layer on the periphery of the mandala that encircles it and brings in the idea of the collective reality of which we are all part.
MetaFlora Level Eight finishes the wheel of experience taking us to another realm, to a different kingdom that includes the Earth as part of the spiritual reality, the Earth as the living being of which we are a part, the Earth as a nurturer of our soul identity bringing about the union between the human soul and the soul of nature. As Teilhard de Chardin said “The more our consciousness will grow, the more conscious we shall become of the whole of the Earth.”
Plants and vegetal life purify our emotional detritus and negativity, and at this eighth MetaFlora level, we touch upon this essential reality and are able to assume our responsibility for the Earth and for those things created by us that pollute and damage not only mankind, but also the Earth and all living forms. This is the territory of the collective, where we learn that whatever we do to others and to nature is actually done back to ourselves because we are all part of one same unity. Here we touch upon the consciousness of the Earth as a living being that nurtures the individuality of our souls. Walking along this green region, we will find the unity between the human soul and the soul of nature through learning that the Earth is not yet another object but a living entity. Here we shall also become aware of how much we take from land and nature at large and shall start giving something back for the good of all of us— people, community and Earth as a whole. This is a good way to draw to a close our process of spiritual growth, because only when the other seven MetaFlora levels are sufficiently activated can we realize what this eighth MetaFlora level is about.
Green flowers are much needed at this stage because they put us in touch with nature, enhancing our sensitivity in relation to the Earth and all living beings. For instance, the Green Rose that connects our heart with the heart of the Earth, or the appealing Green Bells of Ireland that helps us to go beyond an extended naivete and romantic idea of nature as the French garden we can enjoy and keep under control by uprooting, pruning and hybridizing plants. So far, I have not worked on this MetaFlora level with my clients but I would not doubt to do so if I were to treat, for instance, some sufferer whose work happens to be responsible for the ill-treatment of members of the community, animals or nature. And now as I write this, I ask myself whether I’ve not yet been aware of how important this MetaFlora level is in our times when we see more and more cruelty being performed towards humans, animals and other living beings around us.
This work with the map of MetaFlora levels, with the wheel of the soul, that today I invite you to take into consideration, is a true dynamic process, because no matter which territory we will start working with, we shall eventually be moving along the whole wheel of experience. As one aspect will be healed, others would also be stimulated and we would eventually be moving from one region to another; because as we all know, the soul is always aiming toward its full expression. As Patricia Kaminski says, through the development of the Wheel of the Soul, we connect with future potentials and possibilities of our soul that question the limits of our daily identity.
As an example of work according to the idea of MetaFlora levels, I would like to mention the case of Auguste, a French man living in Barcelona. Auguste comes to see me because he has a reproductive problem. He has been told by his doctor that he can’t have children; even though his sperm is seemingly well formed and in proper shape and size, it does not move at all and can’t therefore fertilize his wife’s ovules. The couple has already been through artificial fertilization processes but with no luck, and he wants to try flower essences. Born in 1962, Auguste, who actually bears three Christian names recalling powerful kings and emperors of ancient times, seems to be a peaceful man who has led the normal life of a French man of his time. He has neither old traumas that he can recall, nor great family upheavals or other troubles in his past or present life that he can tell me about. However, there is something very passive within him that makes me think of the Mars MetaFlora level as soon as he starts talking about his problem. It seems that he somehow has a kind of weak relationship with his physical body that manifests in his sperm being so lazy that it does not move and does not, therefore, accomplish its instinctive task with passion and the needed physical strength. So I was sure that it was through the Mars MetaFlora level that I would start working with him. We spoke about strength and movement, and he told me that he is prone to procrastination and slow movements. He works on computer programs and his energy is mostly in the mind and not so much on the lower parts of the body. Whenever he has to deal with material things or realities, procrastination comes up.
Auguste’s is not a case of lack of maturity (his sperm is mature but lacks movement), but of poor connection to the strong living forces that bring about physical manifestation and reproduction. Therefore, I thought of a combination of flower essences that could touch upon manifestation in the world, movement and strength– Mars MetaFlora level:
I wanted to soften his intellectual tendencies and his being prone to live in the mind and/or other worlds (Nasturtium, Clematis), and yet promote his getting in touch with creative and instinctive-bound procreative forces (Indian Paintbrush, Trumpet Vine, California Pitcher Plant) so that he could fully manifest in the world (Blackberry).
We met two more times and he told me how he had become more aware of his tendencies toward slow movement and passivity. I told him how the seeds of the Clematis are similar in shape to human sperm in their form and that the Clematis person lives within other realms away from material reality. In the meantime, I had removed some of the essences such as Trumpet Vine and Indian Paintbrush replacing them by another rose – the California Wild Rose – and the spicy Cayenne. Then, his wife said that something within him was moving faster although he did not seem to be aware of it.
Next, his flower essence combination was as follows, while we waited for the results of some additional tests he had to find out whether his sperm was now more prone to movement:
Mountain Pride may not work so much at the physical Mars level, but it brings about within the person the archetype of the spiritual warrior and although it seems to touch more upon MetaFlora Level 4, Jupiter, I thought it would be a good leading essence in this combination that heads more towards Mars MetaFlora level and the physical reality. The same can be said of Clematis, a member of the ranunculaceae family that may have more to do with the Mercury MetaFlora level. However, I couldn't forget how the Clematis seeds’ shape is similar to the human sperm and on the other hand, it might be that the over-expansion of the mental might have been affecting the physical in this case.
Yes, MetaFlora levels are not rigid structures but rather flexible regions that overlap here and there. Thus this flower essence combination, although almost focused on Mars, touched also upon Mercury and Jupiter. Three male gods!
Auguste's more accurate medical tests showed that although so far his sperm is still as it was (there is no movement recorded), the good news is that the doctors have discovered that the sperm, which up to some months ago apparently were only partially formed in their physical shape, are now fully formed and therefore much more fit to achieve their purpose. He is very happy to have been told this and we both feel that he has moved a further step in our joint work.
Auguste and I continue to work at the Mars MetaFlora level because his body is getting ready for the battle his sperm is due to fight in order to eventually start a race that will bring it to his wife’s ovules and bring about fertilization and reproduction. We shall see where this journey takes us!
Read comments by Richard Mateos on the MetaFlora system.
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