by Richard Katz
We are always full of joy when we meet the wild Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This member of the buttercup plant family (Ranunculaceae) loves the moist mountain meadows, glistening with fresh snow-melt. As with other flower essences made from this plant family (Buttercup, Larkspur, Monkshood, Clematis and Black Cohosh), Columbine flower essence has to do with how we use our creative and psychic forces.
The flower has an amazing shape, with five petals elongated backwards to form spurs. These resemble Larkspur, only more pronounced and with five spurs (one for each petal) compared to only one for Larkspur. Five outward-pointing, petal-like sepals are interspersed among the petals. The flower points downward, with the spurs pointing back up, similar to the Shooting Star. The Columbine petals are red-orange in their spurs, with some yellow on the forward blades. They have prominent stamens, with their yellow anthers, extending downward past the ends of the petal-tubes. The Columbine is named for the dove (Columba) and the eagle (Aquilegia). This flower appears to take wing with its reflexed spurs and sepals. It was so named because it typically blooms around Pentecost (May-early June) at lower elevations, and it is an image of the “tongues of fire” which characterize the descent of the Holy Spirit. It is pollinated by hummingbirds.
This flower essence is used to help the individuality develop its unique creativity and inner spark. It is helpful for those who hold back their true identity. In the words of a famous quote, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” This saying epitomizes not only the key quality of the Columbine essence, but also one of the key teachings of Dr. Bach, that we should be true to the unique gifts and destiny that our soul has chosen for this life. As Bach wrote in Heal Thyself, “Our sole duty is to obey the dictates of our own conscience, and this will never for one moment brook the domination of another personality. Let everyone remember that his Soul has laid down for him a particular work, and that unless he does this work,… he will inevitably raise a conflict between his Soul and personality.”
I am reminded of the report of a doctor in Maryland who reported, “I give it [Columbine essence] to women who have terrible self-esteem. After a month with Columbine, the women always come back looking different than before, with a calm glow to their faces. A look of regal serenity about them. … Columbine brings out that glowy quality in physical and emotional terms I have found.”
Read a previous blog post on Columbine here.
Columbine essence is available here.
Watch a video of Columbine