Cassiope: Appreciating the Sacred Gift of Life
Aug 31, 2017
by Patricia Kaminski
We’ve been so blessed to visit the High Sierras in recent weeks. Due to abundant winter and spring snowfall, the higher regions are only just now melting. This means an “extended” spring like condition, wherein in many precious alpine wildflowers can continue their glorious bloom cycles. One of our favorites is Cassiope (Cassiope mertensiana). A member of the Ericaceae (or Heath) family, this plant beams forth gorgeous white bells with red accents, that gleam and glisten in the sun-infused snowmelt. If one sits with reverent receptivity, one can hear a ringing from these beautiful bells, a tone resounding through the etheric field of the Cassiope that is part of what the ancients termed, “the music of the spheres.”
Cassiope was highly esteemed by John Muir who wrote: “No evangel among the mountain plants speaks Nature's love more plainly than Cassiope. Where she dwells the redemption of the coldest solitude is complete. The very rocks and glaciers seem to feel her presence and become imbued with her own fountain of sweetness...I strode on exhilarated, as if never more to feel fatigue, limbs moving of themselves, every sense unfolding like the thawing flowers, to take part in the new day harmony. “ (Wilderness Essays, John Muir).
Cassiope flower essence works on a higher octave of the embodiment themes found in other flower essences from Ericaceae family plants such as Manzanita, Madrone and Heather. In another reflection about Cassiope, Muir wrote that this flower was “ringing with the sweetest church music he ever heard.” Indeed, Cassiope imparts a higher soul-spiritual awareness regarding one’s physical incarnation. This flower stimulates the ability to appreciate - despite hardship or challenges - the sacred gift of life; one’s unique and precious opportunity for incarnation on earth. A student who attended one of our summer courses described her experience of Cassiope in this way:
“I had long struggled with a mysterious illness...eventually a kind of depression set in, a feeling that I was cursed to carry around the baggage of a broken body....Cassiope moved me out of my morose self-pre-occupation. I started blessing every day, for the life I DID have, for all that had been given to me. I started recognizing the light trying to get in through the cracks...this was the beginning of my turn-around to reclaim and recover my Self. Looking back, I realize I had been trapped in a pit of self-pity...in this state of mind no healing would or could ever take hold.”
The following affirmation from Patricia Kaminski captures the beneficial essence of Cassiope:
I am clothed in a body bestowed from the Creator.
I have chosen this chance for Life on Earth.
I feel this welling force of Life in every fiber of my being.
With joy, I will my Well-Being into the wondrous world.