Between the Philosopher's Stone and a Hard Place

It's been really interesting the last five years being both a flower essence consultant and an astrologer. My healing practice gives me a ring-side seat to experience the emotional and spiritual ups and downs that people are undergoing, while the astrology provides a context or a map to understand the larger picture behind our individual dramas. These five years (since 1993) have been a tumultuous period of transformation for people, with new waves of change rolling over us every few years. By my reckoning, '98 and early '99 is the third such wave to hit us. Each time, we're pressed harder and harder, as though the "intensity knob" on our lives keeps getting turned farther to the right, until our abilities to cope are overwhelmed. When you can no longer hold your current situation together, structures shift and change happens of its own accord. It rarely happens in a painless or smooth fashion, leading to much stress and frustration, a kind of "spiritual trauma" where the inner life becomes too demanding. The most common symptom being reported these days is sheer exhaustion.

Without going into a lot of detail, let me sketch out the kind of energy we're dealing with in this third wave. Starting in January '98 (when the planet Neptune entered the zodiac sign of Aquarius), our focus in life shifted abruptly from the material world to more mental and visionary interests. Many of our old down-to-earth assumptions of how the world works don't work under these new circumstances, leaving people feverishly scrambling to make sense of their lives. We resonate with this energy mostly at the third eye and heart centers, the Higher Mind and Higher Heart, giving us the experience of a rapid and none too gentle spiritual awakening. However, this growth spurt is a tremendous drain on our bodies and psyches. Since most of us used up all our reserves in the second wave, we have no resistance now. Fatigue is rampant, mysterious chronic illnesses that linger for months are common. The number of people seeking help for "depression" grows all the time, as the emotional tides crash over our usual defenses. A sub-theme that I've been sensing quite recently is the clash between our inner and outer worlds. We've grown inside about as much as we possibly can until many of the restrictive circumstances in our outer lives change radically to support our growth. Unfortunately, for many reasons (mostly fear), we don't have the freedom or ability to change the outer world. We're stuck and we don't see a way out. It fuels a quiet panic and desperation inside, even a sense of hopelessness. This darkness often precedes a truly creative transformation.

All this talk about "subtle energies" may sound vague and fuzzy to most people, but in my work, they are concrete, everyday experiences. For many years, I've been creating essence-like remedies directly from these planetary energies, much like a flower essence is made by capturing the energy of a medicinal flower. These "HCW remedies" (short for "Homeopathic Crystal Waters") have captured the energies of each planetary wave to hit us the last five years, including the latest. On the homeopathic principle of "like cures like", my friends and I have been using these remedies to heal and accept the immense changes we've gone through, coming to terms in a gentler manner with the blows life has dished out. The latest remedy, called "Neptune in Aquarius", is an effective tool for working out the problems I described above. It gives one the energy, insight and optimism to approach this spiritual awakening head on, allowing us to be more authentically ourselves no matter what happens. We have a second remedy in the works for dealing with the "stuck" part of the picture.

In addition, I've found a number of regular essences to be invaluable with navigating this difficult time. One that comes up frequently is the gem elixir of Gold. It opens the heart center that allows us to connect with others. However, rather than letting other people into our hearts, Gold is more about letting us out, letting our true inner nature shine forth into the world. Lady Slipper essence is my personal favorite right now. It not only supports your faith in the things you intuitively know to be true (especially when the world is saying it's all nonsense), but it's grounding and relaxing, supporting a nervous system already burned out by the intensity of life. Quite a number of remedies can help with the feelings of exhaustion, including Elm, Oak and Olive. The panic and terror respond well to Sweet Chestnut and Fringed Violet. In fact, the list of essences that are useful now is quite long, since every person has their unique areas of life where this "stuck" pattern gets in the way of their growth.

The Spirit world loves to test new initiates, not to see who's "worthy", but to perfect us by burning off the dross in us and making us rise to the summons. The test is never more than we can handle, but these days it's rarely less. 1998 is a powerful transition time for many of us, forcing us to remake ourselves. Use all these tools of the spirit you can to make the lessons easier. Healing and growth don't have to be so difficult -- Nature always supplies a helping hand. Even when the challenges keep getting bigger...