©2006, 2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The telephone woke me early one morning recently — a woman was calling from abroad who had no idea what time it was here. She was in what has been called the Dark Night of the Soul. Like so many people lately, she was in the depths of despair. Life had never seemed bleaker or more devoid of hope. Painful issues she’d struggled with throughout life without improvement now seemed too much to bear any longer.
What moves me about these individuals is that they’re not drama queens, and they’re not indulging in self-pity or bitterness. They’re earnest, honest souls who have done all they can to contend with crushing, seemingly irresolvable circumstances and patterns, and now they’re at what feels like a breaking point.
How do I approach them? WITH HUMILITY, for I’m old enough now and have worked with enough different healing tools long enough to know there are no magic bullets to resolve such complex, seemingly-immutable, and deep-seated wounds.
WITHOUT JUDGMENT, and WITHOUT BLAMING THEM for their mistakes, for I’m clear enough now to know that, despite all my own struggles for healing, I have not walked in their shoes and cannot know the karmic and spiritual truths behind the choices they have made.
And, most importantly, WITHOUT EGO, for the answers they seek and the healing they need are well and truly beyond me — beyond any of us who are honest enough with ourselves to no longer be grandiose. Only God and the higher realms hold the Grace that can uplift this world out of the hopelessness that so many are feeling.
What Light Can Astrology Shed on the Situation?
In terms of who is most prone to a Dark Night of the soul, I imagine we all get there at least once in our lives, when all we’ve believed in and worked for turns out not to be true or what we hoped it would be. Astrologically, both Plutonians and Neptunians might be especially prone to these intervals, for both feel intensely, though they handle it differently. However so might anyone under a Pluto or Neptune transit to some key planet or feature of our charts like the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Midheaven.
Most often, I would venture to say, it is in one of those periods of time when a transiting outer planet aspects several natal planets in a row…or more than one outer planet transits the same rather sensitive area of a chart, producing a series of losses. Whether the person reaches the end of their rope also can have to do with the phase of life the losses or hard times occur. Those of us who have been through decades of struggle and of hard Saturn aspects might be less resilient than a young person who is still full of hope and idealism.
Sudden upsurges of despair do seem related to current astrological conditions. As an astrologer who has studied planetary patterns for over 40 years, I’m sensitive to the prevailing cosmic winds, especially those shown by the major connections between various planets in our solar system. Transiting positions, some lasting as much as two years, affect and shape our collective experience, and through the changes in the collective, have a profound impact on individuals whose birth charts are affected as well.
Sweet Chestnut — THE Remedy for the Dark Night of the Soul
Since the woman who called me in such desperate straits lived in Europe , a full long-distance consultation was impractical for her. I advised her to seek help in her own city but to go to a health food store that very day and pick up a bottle of the Bach Flower Remedy Sweet Chestnut. (If you’re not familiar with the essences, download the introductory chapter from my essence book at flower essence information-ch1 and read the instructions for how to use them. )
I began using essences in my astrology and healing practice in 1981. Over the years, I’ve found that this balm in a bottle has helped to uplift so many of the people who call me in the depths of anguish. (For those who aren’t familiar with flower remedies/aka essences, it’s a frequent topic on this blog. See a list of articles and a link to the FAQ about how to use them at end the of this post.)
Dr. Bach described it as the remedy for The Dark Night of the Soul, but cautioned strongly that it was not for suicidal people because those individuals need immediate medical attention. If you’ve ever experienced the Dark Night of the Soul, you know exactly what that term means, and you can empathize with those who are there. If not, take your bleakest hour and raise it to a power of ten to get a glimmering of what it’s like.
Even knowing its description, I’ve been amazed at the immediate difference this remedy makes for those who need it. Within a matter of days, the despondency begins to shift, and they start to see that something can be done with their situation. They still need the support of an experienced counselor/healer to work through the issues and situations that brought them to the brink, but the light of hope has begun to penetrate their hearts and souls. I, myself, have taken it from time to time, and it provides such a sweet solace. (See an additional article on this blog here: Sweet Chestnut-a Remedy for our Darkest Hours–Guest Blogger Connie Barrett.)
Other Flower Essences to Counteract Despair and Inertia
If the situation accompanied by despair is complicated by the tendency to do things that are harmful to oneself, read detailed descriptions of Bach’s Cherry Plum to see if it applies to the urgency of the situation. Understand, no astrologer or other practitioner should EVER claim that flower essences alone will stop someone who is suicidal. Know when you are in over your head and insist that the individual seek medical help. (Bach Flower Essences: Cherry Plum)
You might read also an article on Bach’s Wild Rose, as it’s amazingly helpful in off-setting the despair and apathy that has grown out of long-standing obstacles. This, like Sweet Chestnut, is an essence you might consider taking on a longer-term basis and perhaps as a single essence, rather than in combination. Essences taken singly can prove surprisingly potent.
What Other Essences and Healing Tools Have to Add
While flower essences can help lift someone out of that Dark Night of the Soul, what comes next? That’s the point when essences by more modern companies and lightwork become important. In my experience, lightwork plays an essential part in clearing out the dark and toxic emotional residues most of us have accumulated in our lifetimes. Additional forms of vibrational healing like essences and energy work like EFT, Reiki, MariEL, or The Reconnection help move any residues out of our energy fields and bodies more quickly and gently. Many practitioners combine these modalities with essences in order to boost the healing powers of these tools.
WANT PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF THAT THE ESSENCES WORK? See http://www.floweressencemagazine.com/blog/?p=979 by Deborah Bier, PhD These photos of an experiment conducted by Deborah and her students were lost for several years. They show clearly the positive effect an essence mixture has on germinating and growing plants. These photos have never been published anywhere before!
Note: As regular readers know, I’m co-editor for Vibration, the free educational journal and blog for flower essences/aka remedies. For a wealth of articles and information about flower essences, visit Vibration Magazine’s blog at http://www.floweressencemagazine.com/blog.
This article is an excerpt from Flower Remedies–How Plant’s Energies Can Heal Us, my ebook about the essences. It’s available at moonmavenpublications.com.k. Sampler for flower remedy book: Sampler 2014– Flower Remedies–Cunningham.
More articles on Essences and other healing tools on this blog:
- Sweet Chestnut-a Remedy for our Darkest Hours–Guest Blogger Connie Barrett
- Shields Up! Fight Second-hand Fear and Despair!
- Flower Essences to Help You Overcome Fear and Worry
- Red Clover Essence–A Gentle Antidote to Mass Hysteria, by Sheryl Karas
- Shields Up! Fight Second-hand Fear and Despair!
- Healing Tools For Plutonians: Transforming The Self And Others
Note: The Bach Centre has a free ebook to download at: http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/download/healers.pdf.
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