Buttercup: Feeling Self-Worth Through Active Presence in the World
May 10, 2016
We have been watching the radiant western buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis) bloom here at Terra Flora and in our surrounding wild lands. The Ranunculaceae family of plants derive their root word, “ranu” from the Latin word for “frog.” Indeed, most members of this family have their “feet” in the water element, but also move from the water into light and air. In the case of the Buttercup, the luminous inflorescence of the flower give us the impression of water suffused with light.
The Buttercup carries the theme of water and light in a most exceptional manner. The water element can be regarded as the primordial feminine – sensitive, receptive and selfless. These fluid qualities - if left only to themselves - can result in a soul condition which draws back from active engagement with the world, and especially a lack of self-confidence. By contrast, the air (or light) element lifts the soul into the realm of activity and creativity. Therefore, while the roots and leaves of the Buttercup display pronounced affinity for water, the shining yellow blossoms of the Buttercup rise into the light, with magnetic qualities.
Holding this elemental image deeply within our souls, we will come to understand the essential healing quality of Buttercup: the ability to feel one’s self-worth through active presence in the world, despite the inherent selfless disposition of the soul. The innate humility and selflessness of the soul is actually a source of greatest purity and spirituality. But the challenge is for the soul to feel and act upon that light, rather than sequestering it only within the deepest recesses of the soul. The essential gesture of the Buttercup archetype is summarized by Mother Theresa – “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Buttercup flower essence is used in countless ways, singly, or in tandem with other flower essences, to bolster confidence and self-esteem. For example, we recently received this clinical report from Sandra Krist, a Clinical Holistic Health Educator in Port Townsend, Washington:
“I use either Larch or Buttercup paired with Pine to address boosting self-esteem or confidence affected by experiences of shame in public. Most of my patients have much shame in public from being stared at.
The affirmation written by Patricia Kaminski, captures the healing essence of the Buttercup:
My quiet, small deeds can contribute to World-Good.
I acknowledge the unique Light within me.
In grace and simplicity, I Light the World.
To find out more about Buttercup flower essence see: