FEP23 Collective Loss with Ruth Toledo Altschuler

We are delighted to have Ruth join us again to talk about flower essences for this moment, to help us navigate dark times and difficult changes in our lives. We have essences to help us find hope, adapt to new ways of being in the world, and to build trust among ourselves and with the Earth.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Ruth Toledo Altschuler at EssenceMentoring.com

Ruth’s Scotch Broom video

Article by Richard Katz on Borage and Forget-Me-Not

Show Transcript

Rochana Felde:
[00:00:41] Welcome essence friends to another episode of the Flower Essence Podcast. In this global crisis, everyone is experiencing some form of loss. For many people, it is the loss of a job or reduction of income, or the loss of money associated with retirement accounts and investments. And it could be simply just a loss of the lifestyle or identity, or micro losses that are happening inside the home, just like a loss of privacy. These Corona times are difficult and they’re life changing. And even though there’s a sense that nothing will be the same, we are collectively going through it together. There is hope and the majority of people who get sick do recover. And economies always recover eventually. But we want to take some time today to acknowledge that loss is very real and happening on a large scale. So today, Kathleen and I are joined by a guest who’s been on the show before, our friend and mentor, Ruth Toledo Altschuler, she’s a flower essence therapy practitioner with three decades of experience in the field as an entrepreneur, educator and mentor. Welcome, Ruth and Kathleen. And let’s get started on talking about this shared world event and the loss that we’re all feeling. 

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:02:20] Thank you so much for including me. It’s a joy to be in your presence and circle.

Rochana Felde: [00:02:30] So, you know, there’s a lot that’s happening with these feelings that we’re all going through it to some extent. And I’m wondering if we want to start talking about more of that global feeling of loss and how you might work with that with Flower Essences.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:02:55] Yeah, yeah, we’ve been having a preliminary conversation and looking at some of the flowers, even from the time of Dr Bach and making the link of those with some of the more recently researched flowers as well. So definitely from the times of Dr. Bach Gentian is one that when people are affected by situations in which they, you know, they lose faith in the future and in their possibilities and perspectives, and so the Gentian essence is one that was created during those times of the Great Depression when Dr. Bach was on this planet. And so it’s one of the essences that really meets that feeling. And also Gorse that addresses that need to see light at the end of the tunnel. And sometimes when there is this feeling of… I don’t know… Everything is crumbling and maybe there’s not going to be any… I mean, you know, when we think of all the damage that’s been done, for instance, to the economy and the structures. How is this going to come back? You know, Gorse blooms in the spring. And it blooms on very non fertile land, very acidic land. The plants are usually beaten by wind and cold, and it keeps blooming all throughout the year. But in spring after right around Easter, there’s this huge blossoming of yellow brightness. And that is when the essence is prepared. And the big gift, of course, is offered to us.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:22] And I’d love to add in a little piece about what I’ve learned about Gorse as an ecological sign, that it grows where the land has been overharvested, has been overgrazed, has been exhausted. And so there’s a quality inherent to Gorse.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:05:43]  It’s a very resilient plant. There’s an amazing resilience to it.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:50] Yes, because it rebuilds the soil. It actually, over a very long term, it helps to rebuild soil, and helps to rebuild fertility, even though in the short term it seems like it’s taking over. But it actually creates  the long term restoration of what has been damaged or what has been injured. So it’s an interesting piece around our economy and what was, you know, what we used to have wasn’t sustainable. The way that we lived wasn’t sustainable. And to be able to think about it in that longer term cycle of the Gorse being an ally to us in this rebuilding or in this restoration process.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:06:40] Yeah, and it’s part of the family of plants, the Fabaceae family that actually nurtures the soil, right?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:49] Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t know I didn’t recognize that it was a Fabaceae. But yeah. It’s a nitrogen fixer. Right. So it takes nitrogen out of the air and fixes it into the earth by its roots. Cool.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:07:04] And you might want to bring in the Scotch Broom.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:07:09] Well, the Scotch broom has been one that’s been really beneficial for this sense of hopelessness over world events. And you know, in this moment, it’s really hard to see the way forward. It’s really hard to see what’s going to come next. How is this going to work? And the Scotch broom gives us some light in that dark place of recognizing that, you know, this is a really challenging and really a big thing that we’re facing. But there’s a lot of really generous hearts involved and a lot of really beautiful people who are doing everything that they can in order to help us rebuild or, you know, get through basically at this point.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:08:03] Yeah it’s one that really calls us to service in times like this, where we find meaning in being of help in whatever situation arises. Yeah.

Rochana Felde: [00:08:17] And Ruth, didn’t you make a video on that not long ago? I think we linked to it in our pandemic strategy episode and we’ll link to it again. It was a beautiful little video on that Scotch broom. Yeah. And how relevant it is to our times right now. So you also mentioned Gentian in and we were having a little discussion earlier about the different kinds of Gentium, the Explorer’s Gentian and the Green Cross Gentian. I was wondering if you wanted to say a little bit about those and the differences and how they’re applicable.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:09:01] I think I would first love to hear what Kathleen had to say about the Gentians in the perspective of Chinese medicine, because that gives a context that combines them.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:14] Yeah, happily. So this is the linking of Chinese medicine and flower essences, especially the Bach Essences, shows a connection between Gentian and Spleen type issues. And the Spleen is the organ affiliated with the emotion of worry. And also, the Spleen is affiliated with that quality of feeling helpless and not having any energy to engage, it tends to go flat. And so Gentian is a really clear link for personality types who, when there’s adversity, they don’t have that inner strength in order to counter it, to engage with it. And so I really like Gentian a lot for that use. And I think in this moment, you know, it helps all of us sort of stiffen and meet this great challenge that we’re experiencing right now.

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:10:32] Yes. So what you just said about the Bach essence Gentian, there is a different octave of it in the Explorer’s Gentian that FES makes, it’s part of the Range of Light Kit, and that one is in the same botanical family, so it shares some of the same attributes. And yet there’s the fact that it grows in the very high altitudes and very late in the season when everything else has already dried. And the flowers are relatively large and this deep violet blue and this one is when we have had a whole life, and then all of a sudden, we go through a big setback and we have to start it all over. We don’t know where we’re going to have the faith, and the forces, and even a sense of purpose and commitment with life to start it all over. And so the Explorer’s Gentian, especially for those who, they’ve been around for a while, and it’s strongly recommended for people who are in their mature years. But not only I think because it’s the quality of strength of, OK, I can find within myself a sense of purpose to continue and to do it all over again in a sense of meaningfulness.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:12:16] And that for me, that would be really indicated for anybody. It doesn’t need to necessarily be somebody who’s, you know, older on the spectrum of life, but anybody who’s spent a whole career doing something. There’s so many people right now who’ve spent their careers as massage therapists or acupuncturists, and they can not work the way that they’ve done. And how do you pivot out of that? How do you change out of that? What can you bring forth in order to serve in a new way? And I think that that essence, the Explorer’s Gentian makes a lot of sense in that context, whether you’ve spent 10 years in your profession or 40 years in your profession. It all of a sudden has to change. And how do you do that? How do you meet that challenge?

Ruth Toledo Altschuler: [00:13:11] And then we have another octave, that’s the Green Cross Gentian. It also grows in the high altitudes, not so much late in the season as the Explorer’s Gentian, and that’s the Green Cross Gentian. That one has a very unique presence in that it is almost like a column of strength that emerges from the ground up. And it has these four sided flowers, four petalled flowers, looking towards every side. And it’s like this column with all these flowers. There’s more to say about the signature. This one, it’s such a powerful plant. And it’s green. The flowers are green. And so one of the things about this one as an essence is that it’s so helpful when we are having to strengthen our faith in the future of the earth itself and all its beings, because this pandemic that’s happening is coming overlaid on all the climate change issue that we have been living through as an ongoing thing and we’ll continue dealing with. So the Green Cross Gentian is such an important one for us, to have hope in the future of the Earth and of humanity within the Earth, but also to be able to listen to the earth and its beings, as we re imagine our lives after this.

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[00:49:23] 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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