Our beautiful native Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) is blooming now at Terra Flora. Ever enchanting, we behold her soft fern-like luscious leaves, adorned with arching pink hearts gently bowing earthward. The elemental signature of this flower is so impressive. Bleeding Heart prefers moist cool conditions (an abundant blessing here in Northern California this spring!), and filtered sunlight or moderately shady conditions.
Thus we can understand the curative, “cooling” power of Bleeding Heart flower essence for so many inflamed conditions of the emotional heart. This gentle flower teaches us how to contain heart forces that grasp outward for connections that are no longer viable or functional. The essential healing gesture is not one of closing down the heart forces, but rather consolidating them so that the true identity of the Core Self is honored. In this movement of the heart, we can also note a gentle surrender, a bowing and a release, like the flowers that bend earthward.
The great playwright, Shakespeare, has Mark Antony speak to Cupid: “Come, then; for with a wound I must be cured.” These wise words characterize the Bleeding Heart condition. For it is typical on the soul journey that the wounding to the heart – the death of a loved one or pet, the longing for affection and recognition seemingly denied; or outright abandonment or rejection from another – is the very pathway by which the heart learns the balancing point between embrace and containment. Just as the healthy physical heart lives in the pulsation of systole and diastole; so also the emotional heart must learn expansion and contraction in its relationship with others.
Dr. Laura Cutullo, a veterinarian practicing in Milan, Italy reports that Bleeding Heart is a major remedy in her practice. “Heartbreak for our pet companions is very great, and yet we often feel ashamed – that such feelings shouldn’t be so significant. Bleeding Heart flower essence helps us to acknowledge our grief in a healthy way. and by so doing, help the heart to mend. It can be used for the client who has lost a pet and as well for the pet who has lost its human companion.”
Bleeding Heart is also a key component of Sacred Heart, a blend of several flower essences that bolster social connection and heart consciousness.. Dr. Julia Tsuei, who worked in conjunction with the Red Cross to support both victims and relief workers following the massive Sichuan earthquake in China, characterized Sacred Heart formula in the following way: “So often the heart forces have closed down completely during such times of great loss and upheaval. A numbness sets in which makes life feel mechanical and without meaning. The heart has to take a risk again to feel love, yet knowing that loss is there too.”