FEP17 Tending The Heart

Emotions such as grief and heartbreak can lodge in our hearts. Join us for a discussion of flower and gem essences to heal your heart.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:42] Welcome back to the Flower Essence Podcast. I’m Kathleen Aspenns and I’m here with Rochana Felde. And today we’re going to be talking about the heart. So many flower essences can be incredibly helpful for all the issues revolving around our hearts, around our emotions, our feelings, things like grief. There are so many topics that are directly related to the heart. We’re going to start off with some issues about the heart chakra, talking specifically about how to work with that. And I know, Ro, that you’ve been really focusing on that in your study of Ayurvedic medicine. 

Rochana Felde [00:01:19] Hey, Kathleen. Yeah, it is something I’ve been learning a lot more about recently, and I’m excited to start bringing more of that perspective into my practice with the heart chakra. You know, there’s seven major chakras of energy centers in the body (for those who aren’t familiar with that). And the heart is one of them. You know, in the middle, it brings together the lower chakras and the upper chakras. And it really is the center of our being, sort of the still point. It’s called the on Anahata – the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra. And, you know, a lot of people think about the heart as a center for love and relationships. And it is. But it’s not the sort of sexual love that we might think about. It’s not dependent on outside stimulation. And it’s more about experiencing a state of being within. So it’s about bringing love and compassion to whatever comes into our field, and cultivating that rather than it being something that is about desire and will. So this energy center can be closed or too wide open and we want to strive for balance with it. When it’s closed we can experience breathing issues, you know, like a constricted energy in our chest center, and we can energetically think about it in terms such as the lungs and breathing issues. Also, grief really lives in the heart. And, you know, if you think about when you feel grief, you hunch over and you close in to protect your heart. Or, if you’ve experienced a loss the same is true. Those are some of the ways the energy center manifests with our whole body, our physical energy. And unchecked, it can result in, or feed some physical issues that might be going on with the body. Also circulatory issues, et cetera. At the end of the show, I’m going to do a little heart breath visualization, so stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, the flower essences are just wonderful to be working with this energy center, and especially the roses. And I know that you have made quite a few rose flower essences for your Flora of Asia line. And I’ve also made quite a few. And I can’t wait to talk about and get into more depth about what the different roses are and how they can help the energy center of the heart chakra and some of the emotional issues that come with that energy center. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:04:28] This is a great topic, talking about the roses and also the Rosacea in general. A lot of them have an affinity to the heart, but certainly the family of roses are really important. And these are the roses, of the genus Rosa, that we’re talking about primarily. The first one that the originator, Dr. Bach, made, the Wild Rose, which is Rosa canina, of hedgerows in England. And it has a very pale pink color and it’s routinely used as an herb. The hips are used for herbal medicine purposes, as a vitamin C supplement in the cold seasons. But the flowers are this beautiful cloud of pink. And Dr. Bach talked about Wild Rose being helpful for heartbreak, and despair, and loss. And so that first initiation of the rose into the flower essence world was speaking to topics of the heart. And since then, many other essences of different roses have been created. And we can really flesh out this whole topic surrounding care of the heart, let’s say, and working with the area, whether you’re thinking about it from the chakra system, or whether you’re thinking about it more philosophically, as matters of the heart, or even if you’re thinking about it from Chinese medicine, where the Heart is an incredibly important organ system, not just physiologically, but also for the health of the whole body. If the heart spirit is disturbed, if the shen is disturbed, nothing else works properly. Your whole health is impacted by disturbed shen. One of the things that I think is really interesting, from the Chinese medicine perspective about the heart is it’s supposed to be an open and spacious and calm environment. And I think that there’s a real difference there in maybe a more Western idea of what the heart should be, which is, you know, maybe warm and open and, you know, loving. And yet, from this sort of classical Chinese medicine perspective, it’s this space that allows emotion to flow through without disturbing its integrity. So you can feel great joys or great sorrows, but they only disturb your shen when they become so much that they throw you off. So there’s an interesting quality there that your heart just can become so spacious that you can experience everything, feel everything, and allow it to continue flowing through without it throwing you off balance. And I see that as being a really interesting aspect of developing your heart’s resilience and developing your heart’s capacity or spaciousness when working with these rose essences and other essences as well. Do you have a take on that? 

Rochana Felde [00:07:39] Yeah. And it’s a well, it’s interesting that you use the word spaciousness a few times because at the heart chakra is ruled by the air element. Do you know if there’s an equivalent element for the heart in TCM? 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:59] It’s a fire element, but it’s not like fire. (KA I’m not explaining it well here – the image is of a hearth, so warming, but not excessively hot) It’s considered to be part of fire in the cycle of elements. It’s five parts. But the funny thing is, for the heart in Chinese medicine, the element that damages it is (excess) heat. So it’s the warmth of fire, but not heat. So there’s kind of an interesting ground in there. 

Rochana Felde [00:08:32] Yeah. I always like comparing those two modalities that Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic philosophy’s, I like that we have both his perspective in our work. You know, there are two ancient philosophies that have really stood the test of time. And there’s so many similarities just with some slightly different terms or, you know, a little different take on pretty much the same ideas. When I compare them I like matching them up and seeing what matches, and what doesn’t and when it doesn’t. There’s usually a reason that makes sense from what I’m seeing so far. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:18] Yeah, you’re right. I see it as a different lens to view the world through. And so you might just be taking a shift 90 degrees to the right and then look through a slightly different lens at a different angle of it. But the phenomenon we’re describing is the same. So it’s intriguing to see how those two things are similar and yet a little different. And sometimes it’s a matter of if you talked about it enough and get into it enough, you’d find that they’re really tightly aligned, even though our short descriptor of what element it is might be different in the two different systems. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:56] But we could start talking about some of the roses. I guess the first topic is why are roses affiliated with the heart? If you look at it from sort of a western mythological approach, you’re certainly looking at why they’ve always been affiliated with with love. They’ve always been affiliated with the center. If you look at it from Chinese medicine, the summer is the season of the Heart organ system. And so there is a definite affinity there with summer blooming plants, of which roses are certainly summer blooming. So there’s an affiliation there. Is there an affiliation in Ayurvedic medicine around roses and the heart? 

Rochana Felde [00:10:44] Well, Ayurvedic medicine is primarily about managing the constitutional types Vata, Pitta and Kapha. And it classifies plants in terms of their herbal energetics. The chakras are primarily managed through meditation and life breath practices called Pranayama. That being said, rose is a well-known flower of love and devotion. And so it’s used in devotional practices. Herbally, it’s classified as sweet and cooling. And it’s used to reduce Pitta, or overheated conditions, which I find is interesting since you mentioned the heat being detrimental to the heart. In TCM and in Ayurveda, I believe there’s an affinity of the heart with the emotions and with the Pitta constitution. There’s so much in all cultures that use rose and you know, it has always been associated with love. You know, the whole time. I mean, that’s not anything new that your corner florist made up for Valentine’s Day. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:12:08] Commercialized versions, that variety. 

Rochana Felde [00:12:14] So it’s been used in love magic and it’s been used to signify love. And the different colors of the roses have different meanings going back a very long time. So it’ll be interesting to explore that. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:12:31] Yeah, let’s dive into that concept of the colors as being affiliated with different topics. The essences that I’ve made from my Flora of Asia roses are in a range of colors. They’re all species roses. So none of them have been bred by humans to have selected characteristics. These are all right out of the wild. So the colors that they have are integral to the species. And I think that’s an interesting element there. Because the cultivated roses, the roses that are hybridized and created by humans, are bred and selected to have a certain type and shape of flower and color. So I’m really interested in your perspective for this as well, because when I’m working with a plant, working with a rose to find out what message it has and what healing qualities it has, the color is not something that I look at first to derive a meaning or intention behind the plant. So it’s kind of interesting to me when I meet with people who maybe focus on that more because it’s just not where I’m coming from. And I find that different colors might fall into different categories. If I look back at them and figure out after they told me what they’re all about, I might go, oh ok that might relate more to this aspect or facet of the heart. But do you have a perspective on that? 

Rochana Felde [00:14:07] Well, yeah. You know, when I first started making Flower Essences, I let the flowers tell me what they were about. And it became a pattern that I recognized over time. That seemed to match up with color theory, color magic theory that you know, where white is more about purity and pure love and purification, and pink being more about self-love and self care and then going through to red. And that being a more divine love. So it sort of matches up with the color theory that I’ve learned about. But with the roses, I’ve noticed that also wild versus cultivated has a difference. And now I haven’t worked with species roses other than the wild roses, the California Wild Rose and the Sweet Briar rose. And of course, the Bach Wild Rose. But I haven’t, you know, made an essence with Rosa canina. So the wild roses, they’re very different to me than pretty much all the other roses. And I feel like part of that’s the color part of that’s the signature with the five petals and the simple, simple five petals, meaning there’s no layers of petals. Right. And the fact that they’re wild. Now you’re working with a lot of wild species. But the wild you know, the ones that I’ve seen basically popping up in the middle of cow pastures in Sonoma County. You know, here you have a pasture with pretty much not much else on it except for really vigorous thistles and things that the cows won’t eat. Those are the only things that will make their way or, you know, have some longevity in that pasture after the cows or other animals have had their way. And the blackberries, you know, the wild rose, it’s a hedge. It has this amazing physicality to it. And to me it has more affinity with the physical aspects of our heart. Meaning the emotional, sort of earthy emotions, the depression and the apathy and the just not having that sense of loving the self. I’ve noticed that with the Sweet Briar Rose. And that is similar to FES’s California Wild Rose and the Bach Wild Rose. They’re all used in that similar fashion. Have you noticed that correlation with those types of roses? 

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[00:56:15] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the Flower Essence podcast. 

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