Monday, June 23, 2008

St. John's Wort - Flower of Light

According the The Complete Floral Healer, by Anne McIntyre, St. John's Wort is "the flower of light." It symbolizes the sun which casts out evil and dispels the forces of darkness. In olden times, when it was believed that people who suffered from mental illness, melancholy and epilepsy, were possessed, they had to sniff the juice from the plant to drive out the evil spirits. (Sounds like an early form of aromatherapy) Sprigs of St. John's Wort were hung at the house and the church doors on Midsummer's Eve, the pagan summer solstice and the longest day, to protect them from negative influences, thunder, lightning, fire and witches.

With the coming of Christianity, the herb was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and Midsummer's Day became St. John's Day. The red pigment that comes out of the flowers is thought to represent the blood of St. John the Baptist. It was also called the Heart of Jesus oil.

On St. John's night, young girls would hang the herb over their doors or sleep with it under their pillows, to foresee their husbands.
In some countries, the dew that had fallen on the flowers before daybreak on St. John's Day was gathered and used to protect the eyes from all harm throughout the coming year. (An early form of flower essence therapy)
In the language of flowers, St. John's Wort means superstition.

As a flower essence (available through the Flower Essence Society), St. John's Wort is the remedy of light. It is suited to sensitive people who are subject to fears of the dark or of psychic attack, who have restless sleep and nightmares. It is also for those who are overly sensitive to heat and sunlight and may be prone to allergies and environmental sensitivities.

This flower essence is also for protection against negative influences, giving a sense of strength and of being full of light. For those who suffer from a deprivation of light, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, it can bring much needed light in.

According the the Flower Essence Repertory, by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, St. John's Wort helps the soul to circulate light through the body and into the Earth. Light is not just and external, physical reality, but is rather a spiritual force which can both illumine and anchor consciousness.

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