FEP25 Our Favorite Books

Tune in for a lighthearted discussion of Kathleen and Rochana’s favorite flower essence books. We talk about books that have been influential in our development as flower essence practitioners and makers, and share our recommendations for those who wish to learn more about flower essences.


Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns:
[00:00:43] Hi, everyone. It’s good to be back. Ro and I are going to be talking about our favorite books today. We really both enjoy reading about Flower Essences and have developed our own libraries with different books that we really enjoy. We thought we’d sit together and talk about them a little bit. There’s lots of ways to learn about flower essences, and certainly we would never be without the actual personal experience of meeting the plants. But you can learn a lot from books, and you can learn a lot about how to practice flower essence therapy, and a lot about the history of flower essences, from the books that are out there. So we thought we’d dive on in.

Rochana Felde: [00:01:23] Yeah, sounds great. I know that we can talk about our favorite books for hours, so that’s why it’ll be pretty easy, I think, to do a whole episode on this and still run out of time.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:01:35] No doubt there’s gonna be plenty to talk about. We don’t want to do an exhaustive treatment, because at some point we’re going to talk about how we learned about flower essences and talk about our training and and our experiences with flower essences. But I think today we’re just going to tackle the book side of that topic and dive on in.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:01:54] I think I would like to start with one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite authors about flower essences, Julian Barnard. He is the creator of the Healing Herbs brand of Flower Essences, which are really dutiful to Dr. Bach’s work. And he has a direct lineage to the teaching of Dr. Bach. And I think that that’s pretty important. And he has certainly proven himself to be a faithful steward of Dr. Bach’s legacy and has amazing insights on the original Bach Essences. My favorite book, that I first started with, was Bach Flower Remedies Form and Function, although he has a number of books out there. But the form and function book is really amazing in the depths of the research that he’s done on each and every essence and the aspects about where the plants grow and what they look like. And the history, you know, what he’s come up with about Dr. Bach’s creation of them. I think this is a book that’s on your list too, isn’t it?

Rochana Felde: [00:03:03] Yeah, well, actually, I do like that book, but the one that I used more in the beginning, before I got that book, was The Healing Herbs of Edward Bach. And the thing that I like about it is the color pictures. So that really helped me get to know the Bach flowers a little bit better. You know, when I first learned about Bach flowers, like, as many people, walking the health food stores.. And it was in the 1990’s, and they used to have those little fold out pamphlets where it had this, you know, questionnaire to find out which flower remedy you needed. And I still have one from, from those old days. It’s somewhere. Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:03:54] I think we all have those tucked away somewhere.

Rochana Felde: [00:03:56] You know, that that was like magic finding that, you know, it was just this little, secret, hidden, health food store thing. And it really got me excited about flower essences. Way, way back in the day. But because, you know, some of those flowers are local. You know, that you could find here in the States, but others aren’t so common. And so when I finally found a Bach flowers book that had pictures and talked a bit about more of the plant, I was just really excited to see those pictures. And so that’s one of the reasons that this book helped me understand the Bach flowers a little bit better.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:41] Yeah, I completely agree that Julian Bernard has done a lot of work towards taking the Bach flowers out of the “little brown bottle” section and actually teaching people how they’re made, and how they could make their own, and and connecting them to the plants and not just “buy the product” let’s say.

Rochana Felde: [00:05:04] And we should mention the Web site because he has all of that training online. He has a lot of the form and function information on his Bach flower education website. I can’t remember the url, but we’ll put it in the show notes. And there’s recordings from different people that were involved in it. So it’s just an excellent, excellent resource.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:31] How cool. I know I saw some stuff with Nikki Murray, who is his teacher. And I saw, I think there’s a DVD even. Searching for Cerato or Seeking Cerato? Something like that, that I think that he has some input from Nikki Murray in that content. But it was really cool because of that heritage. Dr Bach taught Nora Weeks, and then Nora Weeks taught Nikki Murray. And then Nikki Murray taught Julian Barnard. So there’s that direct transmission of this heritage, which is really cool.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:09] I’m glad we both came at it from the same angle. We didn’t have this conversation before we turned on the recording. So it’s kind of interesting to hear what your origin story was with the Bach essences.

Rochana Felde: [00:06:23] I mean, I literally remember the health food store in Novato, California. And going there on my lunch hour. And I think I when I found that, I just sat on the floor and read and I was, you know, just enthralled by it.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:42] Yeah, that was really exciting. Just, the doors start to open for you. You’re like, there’s all this! There’s this whole thing, this whole type of healing that, you know, none of my friends knew about it. Nobody I knew knew anything about it. It was just sort of this discovery. And you just get, you know, sucked right in, all these different essences, like, “what is that one about?” And I remember thinking for years, like, “oh, I’ll never be able to learn all of these”. And now it’s like.. It’s just the start. All right. So little by little, don’t worry. You’ll learn them all yourself, eventually. And the FES, was that the next your next step on things that you were learning? So you had the FES Repertory.

Rochana Felde: [00:07:28] Yeah. And I still have my old one. The bindings coming off. It’s not even the spiral one. It’s like before that. And yeah, that’s been the Bible pretty much. For most people. So that carried me through for a long time until I really, you know, branched out from that from those teachings. How about you?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:07:55] Yeah. For sure, I really love what FES brings. The Flower Essence Society, FES for short. So, the Flower Essence Society is a company that’s based in Nevada City, California. And as an organization, they’ve done incredible research over decades, of all of these plants that are native to mostly to the western part of the northern hemisphere. A lot in California, obviously, but they are all around, and the Essences are beautifully researched. And you know that the quality that they bring to the work, it’s not a fly by night situation at all. And so their information is always really solid. And I trained initially with the Alaskan Essences company, but also attended the Flower Essence Society’s practitioner course and was very impressed by the quality of education that they offer. So the repertory is also a really great place to start learning about the different essences, to learn about different uses of the essences. And I think the repertory that’s in the market right now doesn’t have as much information as you will find if you become a member. And I think they have a lot available online as well, about the actual nuts and bolts of working with essences.

Rochana Felde: [00:09:34] Yeah. The beginning chapters of the repertory book are just packed with great information. I really appreciate the history and the view that they bring to it. But the repertory, the cross referencing of the social issues, and then the monographs for each of the essences is really invaluable. And it’s one that I’ve always used. When I worked at an herb shop, you know, I pointed them to this book multiple times a day. So it’s a great one to have for people wanting to look at the social issues and not really needing to know anything much else about flower essences. Once they start looking through that book and seeing their issue, and the different explanations of why you would choose one essence, for example, nervousness versus another? It really makes a lot of sense to people without having any training. But then once you do have the training, it’s still just as valuable. I mean, I do use it all the time.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:59] Well, the work that they did to create that differentiation in those listings – what the issue is, that each essence is described in relationship to that particular type of the issue. So it’s very specific where you can kind of go down the list and go, OK. This type of nervousness that I might have. I’ve got it in this type. You know, this is when it happens or these are the circumstances under which I feel nervous. And so you can be much more precise in your application of essences by using something like a repertory in this case particularly. It’s a great repertory. Yeah. I’m a big fan. That one has gotten a lot of use for sure.

Rochana Felde: [00:11:45] Yeah, I love all the books that have cross references and that kind of thing. So there’s a few others on both of our lists that do that and we’ll mention it. It’s really, really helpful to have that.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:12:05] Yes, I agree. And I’d love to talk next, because we’re talking about “the classics” and the standards, the Bach and the FES essences. But I really love this book Bach Flower Remedies for Animals. And I’ll put the link in in the show notes as well. The authors are Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis. Hopefully I’ve said that correctly. This is a really solid book on helping animals with flower essences. I’ve had this book for a very long time. It was one of the original ones that I thought really handled the topic very, very well and actually was coming from a place of knowing quite a bit about animals and being able to to transfer those qualities of what the essences are all about into what the animals are going to display, the signs that you might be able to notice, that you could then apply the right essence. So I’m a big fan of these authors. I think they also have another one on dogs, but this one is a broader “all animals” book. And working with animals with essences is so great. But boy, if you’re looking at the general FES repertory and you’re like, I’m not sure where to start because we’re talking about social issues, it’s like I’m not sure how to translate that into applications with animals. This is a good place to go.

Rochana Felde: [00:13:27] Yeah, I don’t have that. And I’ll have to look into that one you mentioned for dogs. Good. I have a different one for working with pets. It’s the Flower Essence Remedies by Jessica Bear. I did the same thing when I first started using Flower Essences with my dog. You know, it was hard to do that translation, that human animal translation and this really helped me do that. And also, not only that, it gave me insights for ways of using those essences with people, just those sort of basic emotional and instinctive things that all sorts of animals have. You know, it translates better going up the chain. I guess you could say, then down the chain.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:14:18] Oh, I’m so glad you mentioned that. I couldn’t agree more. It’s so right, isn’t it? I mean, when you start looking at kind of the basic prosocial mammal, you’re dealing with a lot of the same issues. We’re not that unique people. All kinds of animals have these same issues. And, like you say, when you can look at an animal and determine, oh, what are they going through? You actually recognize even more clearly how that will show up in a human. We can put a lot of language and verbiage on the top of it. But actually what’s inside is happening. It’s the same thing.

Rochana Felde: [00:14:54] Pretty basic in some cases.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:14:55] Almost all the time. We’re not that complicated. We think we are. But, you know. So, yeah, that’s really cool. I have discovered the same thing. So it’s fun to hear that you did too. What’s your next pick?

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FEP24 Topical Alchemy

June 24, 2020