Note that this sale has expired; we’re leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see what’s currently on sale, click here.
Looking out the window, searching the view for Nature to inspire us for a sale theme, all we see is water. Water falling from the sky, water blowing horizontally in from the sea, water collecting in puddles in the driveway, water filling our little pond full of singing frogs.
So, water it is!
For this sale, we are taking 20% off on Spagyrics of some of our favourite water-growing plants, and we hope that some of them will become favourites of yours, as well. Click here to go to our sale page, or read on to learn about these Spagyrics.
We will start with the quintessential plant of water, the Sacred Lotus. Revered for millennia for its beauty, energy, symbolism, and healing properties, this plant expresses water in many ways.
Lotus grows in muddy, brackish ponds and wetlands, rising above the murk and holding her beauty up in the sunshine. This growth habit might be what ancient philosophers saw when they connected Lotus with the work of the spiritual path- being in the world, but reaching for something pure from a higher plane.
Modern science has found a special property of the leaves’ structures which has been dubbed the “lotus effect”. Lotus leaves, because of their microscopic structures, repel water to such a degree that not only does it form droplets and roll off, it picks up any dirt on the leaves and takes it along. So, lotus leaves are self-cleaning, not just rising above the muck, but remaining untouched by it.
In our Spagyric work with Lotus, the image we consistently received when meditating on the processing was of Quan Yin, the goddess of compassion. Standing on a dragon, riding a turbulent wave, she is steadfast and perfect, not a hair out of place. She is moved by the chaos of the world, but holds her purity within and is not unsettled by life’s events.
This is the gift of our Sacred Lotus Alchymical Initiatic, also. Chinese medicine considers Lotus tonic to Shen, the peaceful state of strength in the heart, and Lotus maintains that peace by maintaining perspective. Quan Yin is also the goddess of discernment, knowing who needs her compassionate side and who will benefit from a more “tough love” approach, and Lotus gives us that balance, as well.
Lotus is calming and serene, giving a vision of the most compassionate response to any situation. It is especially healing to those who are too hard on themselves, and need that compassion to flow inward.
In both the Old World and the New, our next three plants have spoken to spiritual seekers with remarkably similar messages, which we will explore a bit now.
If you have spent much time with us, you may have heard us make a distinction between Lotuses and Waterlilies. Often, the two families of plants are confused with each other, and the name “lotus” is mistakenly used for several of the Waterlilies, especially the blue varieties such as Nymphaea caerulea and N. nouchali.
These flowers have an ethereal, geometric beauty similar to that of Lotus, and grow in many of the same conditions, and even together in some areas of the world, but they are very different plants botanically, and their morphological differences point to their subtle energetic differences.
In this picture, you can see a clump of Lotus on the left, with a group of Waterlilies in front of them. Unlike the Lotus, the Waterlilies spread their leaves across the surface of the water they grow in, forming the classic lily pad. Their flowers rise above the water’s surface, but many of them recede into the water each day or night as the flowers close, on different cycles depending on the specific species.
All of the Waterlilies we work with, for example, are daytime bloomers, but there are tropical types that bloom at night, also.
With their leaves forming a wall between the realm of air and the underwater world, and their flowers traversing that divide on a daily cycle, we can see that these are plants of transition and boundaries. In our experience, Waterlilies are more entheogenic and psychoactive than Lotus, and bring experiences relating to reflectiveness and surface appearances vs. depth and insight, playing with the veil of illusion between worlds.
The Blue Waterlily, Nymphaea caerulea, is the famous Egyptian flower of ritual and ceremony, and represented rebirth, the sun in the clear blue sky, and the creation of the world out of the waters of nothingness. While Quan Yin rides the chaotic waters of the world, but is untouched by them, the god of the Blue Waterlily, Nefertem, arises from the blossom as it opens, and returns with it to the underworld each evening.
This shows the kind of experience that our Blue Waterlily Alchymical Initiatic offers: one in which the reflection on the surface is seen through, and the depths are glimpsed as the reality behind the shimmering world of appearances. Working with this Spagyric brings a connection between the dreaming and waking worlds, in which the open possibilities and malleability of the dream world are available while awake, and the lucidity and direction of the waking world can be applied to dreaming.
Nefertem, whose home is the Blue Waterlily, is also the god of healing and perfume, especially spreading the intoxicating scent of his flower to the world. In Egyptian myth, the pains of the aging god Ra are soothed by Nefertem’s offering of this flower to smell, and many Egyptian images show people with the blossoms held up to their noses.
This imagery is remarkably like that seen in ancient Maya art, in which there is a frequent theme of celebrants smelling the native Waterlily. For the New World peoples, it was Mayan Waterlily, Nymphaea ampla, described in their texts as “flowers that intoxicate”.
Images of the Mayan Waterlily are especially prevalent around the temples where the calendar was figured, and it is this association with time and travel through time that we have most felt from our Mayan Waterlily Alchymical Initiatic. While the Egyptian seems to contract the space dividing this world and the archetypal one, the Mayan seems to contract the linear timeline that divides the past, present, and future.
For this reason, this Spagyric is popular among diviners and astrologers working predictively, as with casting transits or writing guides for future years. It seems to allow travel to and a connection with other times, and the ability to come back to one’s own time with useful information, in much the same way as the Blue Waterlily allows retrieval from dreams.
We find it equally useful in the opposite direction, and feel that this could be a good support for work with one’s ancestors, elders, or to access wisdom from an earlier time. The insights that come through are usually of a more dreamy and less-sharp nature than the Blue gives, but that quality is useful in the right context.
Even more dreamy and narcotic in effect is the European Waterlily, Nymphaea alba. This is the Waterlily of the Druids and Celts, and can be so strong that it was used as a painkiller in World War II, when opium was in short supply.
Not much is known about historical use of the European Waterlily, but in our experience, it is the most sedating of the Waterlilies, and our Alchymical Initiatic of it moves beyond traversing the boundaries between worlds and into total dissolution of them.
This sense of boundarylessness can be felt between you and the world around you, between two different people, or even between yourself and your own thoughts and inner process. It is almost a “melting” feeling, giving a new dimension to the Gaelic name for this plant, duileag bhaite bhàn, or “drowned white leaf”. That name probably referred to the Waterlily’s growth habit, but as our excursion into botany has shown, the external and material qualities of a plant often reveal inner spiritual truths about its intelligence.
All our water-blooming friends so far have been under the Moon’s rulership, carrying relaxation, even sedation, and a cool and relaxed presence. Our next two aquatic Spagyrics are ruled by Mercury, which also rules the smooth flow of energy, but in a more dynamic way.
Waterfall Calamus, Acorus graminei, is so named because in the wild, it prefers to grow near waterfalls, and this is its medicine. Water is a common metaphor for emotion, and a waterfall is nature’s way of suddenly equalizing unevenness in the river’s course.
Standing on the edge of the waterfall, at the edge of your emotional containment, looking over the precipice and feeling like the dam is going to burst and you might lose it completely, it is hard to see that drop as a good thing. Waterfalls move tremendous amounts of force and power, but the churning they create enshrouds them in mist, water’s gentlest and most etheric state, and brings a deep breath of air to the river below.
Our Waterfall Calamus Alchymical Initiatic is a supreme Shen tonic, refilling that reservoir so that the rocks and irregularities on the bottom are smoothed over, far below us as we ride untroubled deep flowing water. We may occasionally have to ride over the cliff, but we will flow like a waterfall, smooth on the surface even over rough rocks, and collecting ourselves again at the bottom.
A more global cousin of the Waterfall is Acorus calamus, also just called Calamus. This bog-loving cattail-like plant seems to be native to everywhere, so widespread is its use and connection to people.
In Ayurveda, Calamus is called Vacha, which means speech and the power of communication through sound. Vacha also means truth, in the mundane sense of a statement which is not a lie, and in the larger sense of speaking in alignment with the cosmic Truth. The Calamus used in Ayurvedic medicine is very stimulating and cleansing, and is used externally in massage for Pacha Karma, purification therapy.
The American type, which we work with, is still quite Yang and much more energetic than the Waterfall type, but it also carries a clarity of perception and insight that is very centering. Calamus is all about communication, whether in speech from one person to another, or internally, in the messages that our nerves carry through our minds.
Our Calamus Alchymical Initiatic is energetically cleansing, clearing out blockages of the Nadis, or subtle channels, so that energy can move more freely. This quality makes it popular with energy healers such as Reiki practitioners, who need to move healing force from the universe through them and into patients.
Our Spagyric of Calamus also very strongly connects to the Vacha energy, and is supportive whenever truth needs to be expressed through sound. Public speaking, singing or chanting (try it combined with our Alchymical Initiatic of Heimia), and poetry can all be enhanced by using this Spagyric to connect one’s personal expression to the larger well of Truth. This is perhaps why the poet Walt Whitman was so enamoured of this plant, which he called “leaves of joy”.
We hope that you have enjoyed this tour of some of our dearest water-energized plant allies, and that you will try some of them and let us know what energies they bring to your life.