Some Thoughts on Rock Water


Some Thoughts on Rock Water
by Barbara Schuster, FES Certified Practitioner



The conventional use of Rock Water: strictness and restriction

Discovering a new understanding of Rock Water:
reviving the flow of energy

The study of water

Broadening the application of Rock Water:
the flow of energy and physical effects

About Barbara Schuster

Dr. Bach’s Rock Water is an essence which has become one of my favourites in the recent past. The more I discover its transformative potential, the greater my admiration of this essence becomes.

Rock Water is prepared from water from a rocky spring. Dr. Bach suggested this spring should have traditional healing qualities and be “unhampered by any shrines of man’s making.” 1

Dr. Bach first made this essence in 1933 as one of the “Four Helpers.”  In people with strong Rock Water traits, the true personality type was supposed to be overlaid by an unhealthy state of mind to which the suffering person had gradually become accustomed, and was unable to leave behind without help. The Four Helpers were to lift them out of this groove into a state of activity, and then the true personality type and their true type remedy may be discovered. 2

The conventional use of Rock Water: strictness and restriction

Flower essence literature describes Rock Water as an essence for people that hold high standards, mainly towards themselves. These people lean towards self-martyrdom, an ascetic approach to life and strict self-discipline. Götz Blome writes that the Rock Water people usually feel somewhat uncertain in regards to their feelings, emotions and natural desires 3. They have a hard time handling the colourful reality of their feelings and of life in general. At the same time, they tend to have a strong will combined with high ideals. Their thinking shows a trend towards a certain immobility. They try to get a handle on their perceived weakness by keeping a tight reign on their feelings through concepts and ideas. Here their strictness towards themselves comes into play. Based on their clear-cut views of right and wrong and of (self-)perfection, they often follow strict self-improvement regimes of one sort or another. These self-improvement regimes may be aimed at their diets, exercise, meditation practice or something else. True Rock Water people typically have long lists of what they are doing to improve or maintain their physical, mental and spiritual health. I remember a Rock Water client who would come to her appointments with me with a well filled-in Case Evaluation Form. Under the section Please list other therapies engaged in while taking the essences there would often appear a list of at least ten other health measures she was pursuing. At first, I usually felt that I was really negligent in taking care of myself when I read through these lists... Yet, true Rock Water might still feel miserable because they are unable to fulfill their self-imposed standards and expectations.

Other Rock Water personalities may simply hold very principled views on life issues, deny inner needs and realities that don’t fit their standards, and generally suffer from distorted views of self-mastery.4 Pioneers in the health field, or practitioners (not flower essence practitioners of course!) that frequently use the words: only, never, always may also be Rock Water types. Religious, spiritual or ideological congregations, various fitness or health programs are ideal soil for this type of dogmatic idealism. These people are candidates for sainthood while still on earth.

Discovering a new understanding of Rock Water: reviving the flow of energy

The descriptions we read of the type of person in need of Rock Water are not very flattering. However, I have found that Rock Water essence can have much much wider applications than helping people out of the above described mind-set.

My first ‘non-conventional’ experience of Rock Water essence goes back more than 10 years. Being quite ill at the time, I had taken up the practice of Qi Gong. After a week or two of practice, I would feel a profound energy drain every time I started the exercises. While tiredness was certainly a key symptom of the illness I had, this rather sudden onset of exhaustion was different. At the time, I was using only the Bach remedies. As far as I remember, I had tried Olive, Elm, etc., to no avail. A friend of mine who was a skilled dowser and whom I asked for help, suggested Rock Water essence. Neither of us understood why this particular essence tested positive.  However, next time I started the Qi Gong exercises and the feeling of exhaustion set in, I took Rock Water. Lo and behold, as soon as I took it, the exhaustion started to lift. This experience kept repeating itself during my subsequent Qi Gong practice.

Why did Rock Water help when Olive, Elm and other essences normally used in cases of exhaustion had no effect? I later learned through another therapy session that the Qi Gong exercises had brought a particular energy blockage to the surface. However, the particular energy blockage I was facing had nothing to do with rigidity of thought, with pushing myself too hard or trying to be perfect. Yet, what Rock Water essence had done was to get the energy flowing again, and this removed the cause of the exhaustion. This is a quality of this essence which I have rediscovered many times since, as I will explain below.


The study of water

Today, these seemingly perplexing effects of Rock Water make perfect sense to me. They can be better understood when one looks more closely at the omnipresent and mysterious substance we call water. In his book Bach Flower Remedies - Form & Function, Julian Barnard gives an eye-opening introduction into the element of water.5 Stories of creation tell us that water is the substance of primal beginnings. It is found in the brightness of the sky and in the dark depths of the earth; it passes through global cycles of movement, transforming and being transformed. It rises from the earth, comes back to it, merges with the depths of the earth and rises again. The movement of water is essential for all natural processes including the weather. Water is the element that creates wholeness, globality, like the cosmos forms a whole.

It is out of the formative forces active in water that all living organs are formed. All forms in plants, and organs of animals and humans arise from patterns that can be found in water—so do the phenomena of weather and the movements of galaxies.
Theodor Schwenk explores these qualities in depth in his book Sensitive Chaos.  His observations from the chapter ‘on the spiritual nature of the liquid element’ are worth quoting at length:

Wherever there is water, life can become active in the material world: where there is not water, this possibility ceases. Water is essentially the element of life, wherever possible it wrests life from death. It is the great healer of all that is sick and has lost its living poise; for water forever strives after balance, a living balance, never a static one that would extinguish life. It is everywhere a mediator between contrasts, which grow sharper where it is absent. Thus it brings together elements hostile to one another, constantly creating something new about of them. It dissolves what is solid, rendering it back to life.

... Water desires nothing for itself, it gives of itself freely... . As in its very nature it is itself pure, it can purify, refresh, heal, strengthen, revive and clarify all things... . Water...makes itself clear and transparent; in the pure play of colour in the rainbow it attains the fullness of possibilities.

...Water holds a balance between extremes of solidification and evaporation, always retaining its possibilities of transformation. Like an echo of the ever changing events of the heavens, the fullness of form in the world comes forth from water.

...Qualities such as the overcoming of rigidity in thought, of prejudice, of intolerance; the ability to enter into all things and to learn to understand them out of their own nature and to create out of polarities a higher unity; all these are aims of human striving which we can recognize also in the qualities of water.

...Just as water aids them (human beings) in their entry into the earthly world, mediating to them the heavenly forces, so it can also lead them to a rebirth of their spiritual nature. 6

Nothing could better describe the gifts of Rock Water essence.

The philosopher Hegel called water ‘the mother of all that is special’ 7. Rock water is the mother essence of all - special - flower essences.

 Schwenk writes about the brain: “...its undulations are the movements of the etheric element of ‘water’ that have become organ: they have been laid down in flowing lines. There is a particular relationship between thinking with the etheric world. The activity of thinking is essentially an expression of flowing movement.”8.

If we now consider that spiritually the world is created from thought, as physically it arises from water, we can understand that Rock Water can prepare the way to let the spiritual activity of thinking unfold in the human being.


Broadening the application of Rock Water: the flow of energy and physical effects

These observations, while offering a perfect description of the gifts of Rock Water essence the way we know it, also give us a glimpse of why this essence may have much wider uses.
If water is a carrier of formative or etheric forces, and what is called Qi (Chi) in Eastern traditions, another name for etheric energy, it makes perfect sense to me today that Rock Water essence would have helped where a block of the flow of energy was the key reason for the exhaustion I was experiencing.
I made a similar observation in a client I was treating years ago with Bach flower remedies alone. This client was a sensitive person suffering from numerous health complaints including a psychiatric disorder. She responded very well to the essences, yet once when I gave her Rock Water as part of her formula, she described the essence mixture as a “hot mixture.” It stirred up more than she was ready to handle at the time and had to be excluded at that time. Here one can really notice the power of this essence to bring things back into flow, and with some very sensitive people, the flow may be experienced as too strong for a while.

Rock Water can have definite physical effects. I once saw a young girl as a client who had Downs syndrome as well as some features of an Indigo child. Her bowel movement was minimal. Rock Water was included in her essence formula, and I would ascribe the improvement of her bowel movement to this essence.

In another client who was a Rock Water type, (although Bach and Barnard would suggest that there are no Rock Water types, something of which I am not convinced), this essence was used both internally and on the Rock Water area near the hip9 and  improved flexibility in the hips.

A few years back when I had kidney stones (gravel or sand to be precise), Rock Water came up as one essence to ease the process I was going through. The essence selection was determined through dowsing, and there is no way I can determine whether it actually helped dissolving any of the kidneys stones. Yet today, I would not hesitate to give Rock Water as a support essence in such a situation. Water and Rock Water help to dissolve what is crystallized. One only has to think of the polarity of water and rock to understand its use when stones form in the human organism.

There is another atypical observation I made just recently. A client of mine had kept mentioning the word “flow” or rather lack thereof in the description of some difficulties she had with family members. There was no rigidity of conviction or strict principles playing a role in the family situation, but in the relationship with both her daughter and mother, a lack of flow was felt. It was the repeated mention of the word “flow” that made me think of selecting Rock Water essence. This was the 14th time I saw this client, and we had used many other essences successfully. It was however, the first time we introduced Rock Water. Generally, the results of this essence were astonishing. First, the client had a dream about of the bottom of a lake the week after she started taking this essence. She also had a sense that she was being washed from inside and that everything was becoming more multidimensional. Knots in her being seemed to be soothed. However, what struck me most during our conversation was the effect this essence seemed to have on dealing with “family molds,” patterns of behaviour that exist between family members and seem to have an existence of their own. During the consultation, we were both marveling at the power these molds can have in our relationships with family members. Yet Rock Water seemed to have the ability (it was used in a larger formula) to make these molds conscious first of all, and then dissolve them. The family situation she was describing was one where I would normally have considered numerous other essences, like Walnut, Goldenrod, etc. etc. Yet it was the repeated use of the word “flow” that had made me choose Rock Water, not with intention in mind to dissolve family pattern/or molds, but with the intention to bring back flow into the relationships. Rock Water seems to be an essence that can be of assistance in dissolving crystallized patterns of behaviour between people, even if none of the people involved displays particular Rock Water traits.

As Götz Blome aptly summarizes in his book The New Bach Flower Essence Book:

 “Rock Water is a primal remedy. This inconspicuous essence, prepared form pure water sprung from a pristine rocky source and charged energetically by the sun, is the life elixir amongst the Bach remedies, because it dissolves self-destructive life-denying tendencies... . It represents basically the life enhancing and life maintaining function of natural water.10


1. Quoted from: Barnard, Julian, Bach Flower Remedies - Form and Function, Great Barrington, MA, 2004, p. 163
2.  Collected Writings of Edward Bach, edited by Julian Barnard, Bach Educational Programme, 1987, p. 70
3. Blome, Götz, Das neue Bach-Blüten-Buch, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1995, p. 164
4. Scheffer, Mechthild, Bach Flower Therapy - Theory and Practice, Rochester, Vermont, 1987
5. Barnard, Julian, op. cit.,  pp.166-168.
6. Schwenk, Theordor, Sensitive Chaos, Rudolf Steiner Press, Forest Row, East Sussex, 2004, pp. 98-99.
7.  Quoted from: Schwenk, Theodor, op. cit., p. 98
8.  Ibid., p. 96
9.  Krämer, Dietmar & Wild, Helmut, Neue Therapien mit Bach-Blüten 2, Ansata-Verlag, Interlaken, p. 226
10. Blome, op. cit., p. 165; translated by me.

About Barbara Schuster

Barbara Schuster grew up in Germany where she studied languages and trained to be a Waldorf teacher. She moved to Ottawa, Canada in 1984, where she found out about the Bach flower remedies and started using them regularly. Later she lived in Zimbabwe for several years with her family, where she fell sick from a mysterious illness which took several years to be diagnosed and eventually healed. During her recovery, she started making flower essences from local wildflowers and also discovered FES and Pacific Essences. Barbara went through the FES certification process in 2003/2004. Apart from working with flower essences, Barbara also practices Therapeutic Touch and works as a part-time translator. In addition, Barbara pursues studies in Anthroposophy, particularly the subject of socio-economics.

Barbara can be reached at 613-820-4303 or at



[ About FES | Online Repertory |Class Offerings | Research & Case Studies | Interviews and Articles]
[ What's New | Publications | Membership | Find a Practitioner | Members' Pages | Home ]


P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA  95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163    fax: 530-265-0584


Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.