Listening to the Wildflowers by Camilla Bishop
My spiritual journey took a big leap after the birth of my son. I turned to the plants I loved to assist or “save” me.
By going deep inside my heart, I learned the Language of Nature. For me, it began with my passion for being with the plants and flowers.
Since journeying West in 1988, the powerful beauty of The Columbia Gorge has inspired me. I have been exploring the forests, hiking and collecting herbs, skiing and climbing the volcanic mountains, and windsurfing the high winds of the Columbia since I arrived. I felt challenged but very safe here—like I had found safe passage for my journey—as the Native American Indians, Lewis & Clark, and settlers on the Oregon Trail before me.
My spiritual journey took a big leap after the birth of my son. I turned to the plants I loved to assist or “save” me. My naturopath gave me flower essences, herbs, homeopathy. Along the way I discovered the bliss of smelling essential oils so I became a certified aromatherapist. I noticed that the flowers and plants nourished me, gave me love and strength, and helped me become more present and alive!
I began sharing their gifts with family, friends, and clients. I became a Reiki practitioner and started seeing clients and selling aromatherapy products at the Hood River Saturday Market. Customers and clients would return with their stories of healing and joy.
But I knew there was more. To my knowledge, no one had made flower essences from local, native wildflowers of The Columbia River Gorge! My herb teacher, Joy Olsen, and one of my favorite books Plant Spirit Medicine stress the local plants. Eliot Cowan believes local plants are not100, but 1000 times more powerful for healing than exotic foreign flowers. I felt called to make these flower essences.
On the Spring Equinox of 2000, two friends, Sandy Hawke and Daysha Eaton, and I took the first steps of the adventure. We were led to a place near Catherine Creek, just west of Lyle, Washington. The Pungent Desert Parsley and the Grass Widow welcomed us. We sensed their gladness of our intent to make essences with them. We created a sacred, pure space so no other energies would interfere with the pure resonance that each flower offered. Crystal bowls were placed on the Earth and the three of us created a star configuration and set the intention. One Pungent Desert Parsley flower and one Grass Widow flower were each placed in a bowl of pure water. We did not want to take more flowers than was necessary. (Since then, I would recommend a process without picking the wildflowers at all.)
As the flowers soaked in the bowl, we opened our hearts and asked for their guidance. Then we listened. I will never forget the feeling that ran through my body. Waves of Love rippled through me like waves of soothing energy. My heart opened wide with joy and ecstasy. These sacred healers, the wildflowers that grow in the powerful vortexes of the Columbia River Gorge, just needed to be asked...someone just needed to listen to them.
We tuned into our inner guidance for feelings, visions, sounds, colors and words, for this is how they spoke to us. The Pungent Desert Parsley “showed” me a mask and a leaping stag against the Sun. “Awaken! Feel the power of the Sun, drop your masks and explore your feelings and the real you.” The Grass Widow “felt” like the energy of new beginnings. Her message: “we have the strength and beauty to stand alone”.
We acted as interpreters as we translated the messages of the wildflowers into affirmations—words that we could understand and use to align with the power of thought. By speaking new truths about ourselves (saying the affirmations), we manifest these truths in our lives. We, in fact, release old limiting beliefs and ideas about who we are and what we are capable of. Pungent Desert Parsley became “I awaken to my true self”; Grass Widow, “I am all I need”.
My dreams and visions became filled with flowers. They urged me to keep expanding, learning, and listening. The flowers could help people awaken, open their hearts, become healthier. I began noticing how the essences would help others. My clients needed the ones we had just created, and so did I. Taking the essences, I felt stronger, more present, and aligned. Essences like Balsamroot (“I grow into my full potential”), Poet’s Shooting Star (“I am fully present”), Silky Lupine (“I manifest & receive”). Sometimes my clients and friends found immediate shifts; other times, they would look back after a few weeks and notice that certain issues had fallen away naturally, with little effort. We were learning our “lessons” quicker, more easily, and with more grace.
As we continued making flower essences, we could feel the wisdom of the native spirits around us. Camas showed me rainbows and joy—but only when we stay unattached to any of it. (Camas “I am open to everything, attached to nothing”) When I met Bitter Root, I couldn’t contain my tears, I felt great sadness. But I saw exquisite beauty in this tiny, delicate white and pinkish blossom that grew out of the black, burnt rocks. It told me that life is sweet and bitter—the bitter is what makes us stronger and helps us grow. The gift of life is about being here through it all, fully embodied. (Bitter Root, “I embrace the gift of life”)
We found twelve exquisite flowers in the lily family, four wild orchids, the cosmic Yellow Water Lily and Red Columbine, Grandmother wisdom of the Silky Lupine, Grandfather wisdom from the Balsamroot, and flowers that grow nowhere else in the World—the passionate Columbia Desert Parsley, nourishing Hood River Milk-vetch, and healing The Dalles Mt. Buttercup. Each flower essence was preserved with brandy so we could create stock bottles, a small dropper bottle of flower essence, for people to use. (Drops can be taken on the tongue, in water, a bath, or in a spray mister bottle.)
Each flower has a story. I heard their stories simply because I listened. I felt the gift of each one strongly in my heart—the feelings, songs, colors, and dances. The flowers continue to teach me how to trust myself, live in the present, have compassion for myself. I feel honored to have been given the gift of co-creating essences with them. My greatest joy, and I believe I can speak for the flowers, is for all of us to remember the Language of Nature because the Language of Nature is the language of the heart.
Camilla Bishop is co-creator of The Columbia River Gorge Flower Essences, Certified Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Flower of Life Holographic healer, The Melchizedeck Method Practitioner, Teacher. She is owner of 3 Flowers Healing, offering the Columbia River Gorge Flower Essences and Aromatherapy products. Contact her at [email protected] or website: www.3flowershealing.com