Filaree is the flower essence for those with obsessive and/or compulsive tendencies. For example, a Canadian flower essence practitioner used Filaree essence to help a young woman who was frequently washing her hands, at home and work, and who was very concerned about the hygiene of people who visited her home, insisting that they also wash their hands.
The Filaree flower is quite tiny, and you might miss the it growing throughout a grassy meadow in the spring. Lie down in the grass and take a closer look. Starting from a prostrate rosette of divided fern-like leaves, Filaree sends up a short red stem, and produces small pink-purple flowers with five fully-separated petals. In the center is a prominent red-purplish pistil, surrounded by five stamens.
The Filaree plant is anchored by a strong taproot, and can survive in a wide variety of habitats, from sea level to mountains, from moist tropical areas to dry and cold locales. Filaree is thus quite adaptable, becoming a low-growing annual where frost cuts short its life after a few months, or a lush and taller biennial in milder regions. The seeding process of the Filaree is most notable. It produces a pointed spear-like seed pod, which separates into corkscrew-shapes. These straighten out when wet, and form spirals when dry or cold, and are thus able to move to a favorable location and then twist themselves into the ground.
Filaree is an expression of the Mars archetype, with the red-coloration of its stem, its sharp-pointed beak-like seed-pod, its ability to survive in hot, dry habitats, and its power to penetrate into the soil with the corkscrew action of its seed pod, as well as the penetrating power of its taproot. Its medicinal qualities relate to the control of bleeding, also a red Mars gesture.
The obsessive concerns and behavior for which the Filaree essence is used, can be understood as a misdirection of the Mars forces, focusing the fire of the will into what is petty or inessential, often with an obsessive and/or compulsive quality. The force of will exhibited by such persons is great, and need not be suppressed. Rather, the goal is to re-direct the will into more productive and significant activity, which may have been blocked. The great adaptive capacity of the Filaree is an expression of this lesson, for it is able to live in many different environments, changing its growth pattern to fit what is appropriate for its situation. Even its unusual seed movement of spiraling and straightening is a response to environmental factors, such as moisture and temperature. The positive Filaree type is able to develop great discipline and perseverance to accomplish significant goals that are appropriate to the challenges faced.
Besides re-directing the will in more productive ways, Filaree also helps with gaining perspective. One can focus on the individual little flower, but then stepping back, one sees a whole field of flowers, inspiring a sense not unlike what one feels when gazing out into the star-filled night sky. This expansive perspective is captured beautifully in the affirmations written by Patricia Kaminski for the Filaree:
I release petty worries.
I strive to grasp the larger working of my destiny.
I give myself to what is truly significant.
I am this Soul-Shining Star.
For further insight into Filaree and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, read this essay by Brazilian psychologist Rosângela Teixeira.
Filaree essence is available here.