A certification case study by Katherine Ziff (Athens, OH)

Editor’s note: Excessive use of marijuana can come into balanced use or cease completely when underlying soul needs are addressed. The typical soul psychological profile for marijuana use involves the polarities of inner life and outer manifestation, dream and awake life, and artistry and action. Hence in this case, the beginning essences used were Clematis and Mugwort to address the inner life, followed by Sunflower, Iris and Wild Rose to awaken the soul’s expression in the outer world.

In this and other cases, it is not a matter of a full-blown addiction, nor were the healing sessions even focused on marijuana cessation. However, when the soul finds a fuller expression of itself, the excessive need for marijuana is naturally reduced, as it was for this client.

This case study has been edited for web presentation.

L gave me an opportunity to work with a young woman finding balance and engagement in college. We began working midway through the second semester of her freshman year, in what seemed to me a dreamy swirl of Eastern philosophy, extra-terrestrials, class work (including a class on drugs and the brain), regular marijuana use, and a vague worry about getting her schoolwork done and moving forward. In the weeks following our first session she made a decision to cut back on marijuana and by the end of the semester had decided marijuana was not a good thing for her. We did not discuss this much, but I had to think regular marijuana use did not support motivation or the ability to focus on things at hand. She then “took hold” in the practical and necessary work of doing her school work and securing a part-time student job. Clematis and Explorer’s Gentian brought her “awake” and focused and allowed her to stop smoking marijuana; Sunflower let her sun Self shine.

L kept a journal, filled with a mixture of notes, references, dreams and drawings. About four weeks after beginning her first formula and two days before our second session, she decided to stop smoking marijuana for a while. Notes about concrete future events began to appear in her journal: plans to go to the movies, move from her dorm to a house, get her work done, hear back from a job application, and maybe be a farmer/artist one day. This is in contrast to an earlier entry about “wanting to dissolve in a beam of 100% pure white light.”

Vibrancy and energy begin to return


Development of positivity and clarity


Positive mood and developing confidence


Stability is established


About Katherine Ziff

L lived in a college dormitory with two roommates, and with her father and stepmom during summer and holidays, visiting her mom and stepdad from time to time. She reported that she didn’t get along with her mom and stepdad toward the end of high school, although things have improved since she began college.

L values time in nature. She noted that she began immersing herself in Hindu and Buddhist teachings (as well as marijuana) as a senior in high school and since then “has had many profound spiritual experiences in nature that have allowed me to feel one with all that is.”

L’s goals were to remember her dreams and to have more motivation to do her schoolwork. She believed she procrastinated undertaking the work for her non-major classes and was a little concerned about getting her schoolwork done and doing well. She was successful in high school with its structure and now “there are no people or requirements telling me what to do”, so she put off the work for her less enjoyable classes. She also had a desire to be able to remember her dreams and work their content into her life.

Essences chosen for L:

Clematis – for procrastination
Mugwort – to remember dreams
Explorer’s Gentian – for renewed strength for meeting one’s life purpose and spiritual destiny
Peace Rose – for courage

Vibrancy and energy begin to return

L reported that she had been doing her schoolwork and received an A on a math test. She had also “applied to many jobs” seeking summer work.

I noticed L’s bright, alert appearance. She indicated these changes: resolution of negative or painful emotions, improvement in relationships with others, enhanced creativity and self-expression, reduction in general anxiety or stress, greater spiritual awareness, generally feeling more positive and resilient, and marked increase in dreams or related psychic phenomena. L wrote that she is “noticeably vibrant and full of energy.”

L used the journal I gave her, nearly filling it with dreams, drawings, notes to self, descriptions, observations and realizations. She wrote in her journal that she had “decided to stop smoking (marijuana).”  

The flower essence formula:

Clematis, Mugwort, Explorer’s Gentian and Peace Rose – as before, since these essences seemed to be working well for her
Sunflower – to add sun radiance and self-esteem

Development of positivity and clarity

L indicated that she had noticed “significant changes in my mood: less negativity, much more positivity and neutrality” as well as feeling more positive, less stress, great clarity, and marked increase in dreams, including dreams of extra-terrestrials. 

She had obtained a summer job, completed the semester, and passed math and her other classes. She reported building friendships and “tuning in to synchronicities, symbols and creative energy.” She noted that her friends said that she “has been very positive and energetic.”

I noticed a striking difference in her appearance compared to the first session, which was in the winter. Her mood was better in the spring, with the return of sunshine in Ohio, though she did seem to have a very healthy glow and sparkle which I attributed at least in part to the essences themselves, possibly Sunflower, and the fact that she was not smoking.
L noted that she would like to continue enhancing dream recall, support creativity and maybe be less critical and judgmental.

Essences selected:

Sagebrush – for receptive “emptiness”
Hawthorn – for positive assertive forces
Sunflower – kept in the formula as she reported loving sunflowers

Positive mood and developing confidence
L had two summer jobs and had enjoyed reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. She noted resolution of negative or painful emotions, improvement of self-image, long term inner growth, and change and increase in dreams.

She reported continued and longer periods of positive moods and wrote of experiencing psychic phenomena. As far as smoking marijuana, she noted she “has cut back the whole smoking thing, it disgusts me. Too much is not good.” She would like to go to Peru and learn from shamans.

L noted she would like to work on creativity, to be creatively expressive. She had enjoyed of late expressing herself “creatively through art, mostly pen and colored pencils.” She believed she has become “more talkative and confident in her actions.”

Essences selected for L:

Iris – for creativity and soul vitality
Snap Pea – to translate daily experience into positive, understandable process – making good sense of experiences. Snap Pea is also helpful for rebalancing after a nightmare.
Sunflower – as L loved it so and it seemed to contribute much to her in the way of personal radiance. L was positively glowing, very different from her winter self. Cutting back on marijuana had likely helped with this also.

Stability is established

L noted that having jobs “organize her life, help me structure my chores.” With the arrival of a new roommate in the house she shared, she moved to a different, small room with much more light and air which she felt would be healthier for her.

She’d had “no bad dreams” and disclosed she had had some bad ones the month before – hence possibly the positive reaction to Snap Pea.

L was busy starting her second year of college, learning to live on her own, holding down student jobs and taking a full schedule of classes. She would like to be able to enjoy periods of “flowing calm.”

Essences selected:

Sunflower – as before
Five-Flower Formula – for calm
Wild Rose – for joy

This formula provided a base of radiance and calm (Sunflower and Five-Flower), with Wild Rose to bring in a vibration of joy.

About Katherine Ziff

Katherine Ziff is a flower essence practitioner in Athens, Ohio and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She holds a doctorate in counseling and is the author of Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape.



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