Working with Spiritual Trauma

For a number of reasons, the last 5 years have been a time of accelerated and tumultuous spiritual growth for many people. Some of the reasons are related to important astrological cycles that have become active during this time. A number of authors relate it to major earth changes occuring now (see Gregg Bradon's "Awakening to Zero Point" for an especially lucid account of these changes). Many new age writers and channels report periodic influxes of "spiritual energies" affecting the earth and ourselves. Whatever the explanations, the change in our lives at many levels has become undeniable in recent years. However, these spiritual shifts have by no means been smooth and effortless. Spiritual work can be exceedingly hard! One of the consequences that I've seen as a healer on a regular basis recently can best be described as "spiritual trauma", a feeling of being overwhelmed by the inner life.

Spiritual trauma is literally a thousand headed beast, with each person experiencing a slightly different version of the problem. Nonetheless, I've noticed a number of common symptoms that serve to identify it. Sleep disturbances head the list, since it's during sleep that the unconscious does most of the work at integrating these new energies. People routinely report needing to sleep more hours than usual, often with very vivid and lengthy dreams. A feeling of physical fatigue and flu-like symptoms are common, as the physical body (especially the nervous and immune systems) is run down by the extra energy. The sense of time seems disturbed, as though time has speeded up; days can feel like weeks and anything past two days ago seems like ancient history. The emotions are more intense, making relationships more difficult -- many long-standing partnerships have fallen apart. Frequently, more sensitive people feel their life is simply spinning out of control or that they are becoming emotionally unstable (February '97 was a classic example of this craziness) -- witness the St. John's Wort craze for so many suffering from "depression" lately. It gets harder and harder to get just the basic chores in life done each day, let alone the bigger plans, since each day gets busier than the last. Also, many people report new "psychic" abilities (like sensing auras) opening up for them unexpectedly. If any of this sounds familiar to you, it may simply be your reactions to these heightened energies.

Flower essences have an important role to play with handling spiritual trauma. The list of relevant remedies is vast (I have a list of over 3 dozen already), plus each person has their special needs based on old, unresolved emotional patterns from their past. However, the most important need is to increase the person's ability to move energy from the spirit through the body and into the world. If you put 50000 volts through a 20 watt lightbulb, it burns out. The same thing happens with people. Some of the best essences for increasing your flow are Lotus, its Australian Bush cousin Red Lily, Lady's Slipper, and Lavender. It's important to remove any blockages to this flow, which usually means opening "stuck" chakra points, expecially the higher centers. Opening the heart (Lily of the Valley, Yerba Santa, Nicotiana), throat (Snapdragon, Columbine, among others) and third eye centers (Mugwort, Madia) is crucial; White Grape Hyacinth is a good opener for all the chakras. Learning to ground the energy in the body is also important. As I discussed last time, Trillium is a champ here. And the nervous system must be strengthened to handle the load -- St. John's Wort and Comfrey are worth trying.

The emotions related to this kind of trauma are varied. Often there's a feeling of suffering in silence, as though no one could understand your plight. Agrimony and Pink Monkeyflower can ease this inner loneliness. Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Aspen, and good old Rescue Remedy can alleviate the sense of panic, fear and losing control. "Psychic protection remedies" like Pink Yarrow and Fringed Violet help when you're influenced by others around you who are also freaking out. The world can seem unreal as new levels of experience open up to you. Depending upon the situation, Clematis, Purple Monkeyflower, or Queen Anne's Lace may be of assistance. Cerato can help maintain your confidence in your coping skills when stretched to the limit. And Olive or Hornbeam can work on the physical fatigue. By all means, get the specialized help you need to clean up old emotional business that's holding you back.

I've been experimenting for many years with making remedies directly from the astrological influences turning our lives upside down. This research combines a number of my esoteric interests into one package. Through a long process, I "capture" astrological energies and make a remedy similar to an essence. One of my favorites is nicknamed "Conjunction Combo", made during the Uranus-Neptune contacts in 1993 that kicked off all this accelerated growth. Another is "Sextile Supreme", made during the "kick butt" contacts of Uranus and Pluto in 95-97 that forced us to incorporate spirit in our daily lives. This is "like cures like" at its best, a chance to take these milestone energies in small, easy to assimilate doses that open these spiritual doors more gently. Many friends have tried these remedies and love the transformative results.

Obviously, this article can only scratch the surface of a very complicated situation. But flower essences are a powerful tool of the spirit for helping us come to terms with our expanding human potentials. As we pass through some of the most demanding spiritual times of all history, it's important to avail yourself of all the tools you can.