Essences, generally, are ritually prepared imprints on water of a plant, stone, or even a place. Unlike Tinctures, Essences contain little to no constituents of the plants themselves, and just 2-8 drops are taken in a dose, making them a safe herbal option for children, animals, other plants, elders, pregnant and breastfeeding folks, and those on medications. Some may call them energetic medicine, others a kind of magic, and these types of remedies for the spirit have been used in different ways by ancestral cultures across the world and time. Think of the wonder you had as a child seeing dew on a blade of grass, how you may have wanted to bottle it and carry it with you, perhaps as a gift from a fairy—that was its own kind of essence! We can evoke that wonder even now.
When I consider how to describe them, I think of Dori Midnight’s naming of Essences as a radical ally. In our capitalist culture of over-extraction and entitlement to consume, Essences are a radical choice of herbal ally because they use so little plant material (they can actually be made without harvesting a single flower, though all of ours are made by taking a small, ethically responsible amount of blooms) and draw on ritual, relationship, and subtle shifts over time to work their powerful healing magic. Essences build relationships with the plant, stone, etc. working through intimacy and trust. They heal parts of our hearts and spirits that are often just as aching for attention as our physical bodies. We make our our Flower Essences from plants that have grown in places of significance to us: our mothers’ and grandmothers’ gardens, spaces where we live and work, and occasionally, a plant that speaks out as a protector or ally of a community. We draw on the gifts of these sites and relationships as the ground from which these flowers emerged. Essences teach us that each element that has a hand in somethings development, from the makeup of soil and rain, to local communities (plant and creature, including human!), to what kind of vessels are used in production, to the intention of the gardener (if applicable), maker, and user, impact the energy that creation will transmit.
Essences can be a great way to distill the energy of a stone if you are, say, reticent to contribute to the extractive crystal economy by buying one of your own and are borrowing one from a friend, or before you return a stone to the wild (stone rematriation is another area in which Dori Midnight has been a teacher). They can allow you to take within you the feeling of a special place, a moment in your life, or the cosmic map under which the Essence is made (for example, solar and lunar essences have their own unique energy, as would transits or retrogrades, etc). Flower Essences are uniquely prized for drawing on the most exalted expression of beauty and generative energy of a plant—its flower! Flowers make us happy. They steward new life. And they are teachers, each with their own lessons to share. Our hope is that these Flower Essences, from the gardens of the people and places that have brought us into being, can bloom some of that joyous, transformational, and hope-filled energy into your life.