Cassiope: Celebrate the Gift of Bodily Existence
Aug 19, 2015
by Patricia Kaminski
When we hike in the High Sierras during summer, one of our favorite plants to encounter is Cassiope, or White Mountain Heather (Cassiope mertensiana). This lovely earth-embracing low growing plant was beloved by John Muir (explorer and protector of the Sierras) 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 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).
These insights from Muir truly echo the qualities of the Cassiope flower essence. Influenced with the ancestry of his native Scotland, Muir would be naturally disposed to have a special relationship to the Cassiope, a member of the Heath/Heather or Ericacea family of plants. Like the low-growing heather of the British Isles, which endures harsh winds and tree-less conditions, the Cassiope prospers in marginal, rock-strewn high alpine conditions. Yet, its fierce connection to the ground surface upon which it grows is stunning, with verdant fern-like leaves and enchanting white downward-pointed bell flowers, that further accentuate its earthward grasp.
The Cassiope flower essence marvelously embodies these qualities of earth-embrace, helping the human soul to truly celebrate the gift of bodily existence. Many of us may accept that we have physical bodies, but rarely do we celebrate the mystery of vesture, of being able as spirit beings to come into the Life fabric of the earth, through physical incarnation. Seldom do we feel the thrill, the gift and the joy of such an opportunity. While our Spirit Selves may ride the “dutiful donkey” that is the physical body, a far more profound quality of soul healing wells up when we feel gratitude for Life on Earth, and for the gift of physical incarnation.
The Cassiope flower essence is indicated for those who suffer from pronounced alienation from the physical body – during illnesses, or when experiencing bodily dissonance, such as allergies, digestive challenges or injuries. This flower essence is very beneficial when combined with other members of the Ericacea family such as Manzanita and Madrone, for anorexia, bulimia, addiction and other illnesses which impel the soul to forsake or exploit the physical temple of the body.
The healing qualities that are nourished by Cassiope flower essence are captured in this affirmation written by Patricia Kaminski:
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.