Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 19, 2010

Flower Essences for Difficult Patterns of the Fire and Earth Signs

flower essences and astrology©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 An astrology session provides insights into the difficulties an individual is facing, but insight alone is seldom enough to bring about a major change.  That was why, after 10 years as an astrologer and therapist, I was drawn to seek out healing tools.

My favorite among them were the flower essences, not to be confused with the essential oils used in aromatherapy.

Also known as flower remedies, these gentle, natural healing catalysts can support us in releasing longstanding emotional blocks and finding new ways to perceive and respond to life’s challenges—an excellent adjunct to other types of healing.  You’ll find links at the bottom to downloads with more information about how to use them.

They are an excellent addition to an astrology practice, because once the birth chart and transits have pinpointed the challenges a person is struggling with, essences can provide a catalyst for a breakthrough. In this article and the next, I’ll provide examples of how they can work with difficult patterns associated with the four elements.


The true fire sign type is like the eternal flame, burning with a seemingly inexhaustible energy and a passion for the things that matter most to them.  No shrinking violets, they radiate a confidence and a conviction that they are right that can make others instinctively turn to them as leaders.

There are many factors that can diminish the flame of a fire sign—natal chart features that detract from it and residues of hard transits like Pluto’s long stay in Sagittarius, as well as the wear and tear of the tense and often difficult times we live in. can help fan the flames and re-ignite that innate zest for living. If your Sun, Moon, or Rising sign is in fire, here are some flower essences to rectify the imbalances these signs can build up over time.

FANNING THAT TIRED FLAME: Fire signs tend to burn the candle at both ends and to alternate between pushing themselves flat out and intermittently crashing.  Even when transiting trines are involved, this innate tendency to overdo has left many fire signs uncharacteristically worn down of late. Aloe Vera—the flower remedy, not the plant—is offered by Flower Essence Services – Flower Essences (FES) to help this type learn a healthier balance between effort and rest.

Fire signs might also find Olive, a Bach remedy for a combination of mental and physical fatigue, useful at this time. It may be better to start taking it on Friday evening of a slow weekend when you can also catch up on some much needed rest and quiet relaxation. (Bach Remedies are available at many health food stores, but FES offers Healing Herbs, a variety that is of the highest quality.)

BALANCING SELF-ESTEEM: Ordinarily a confident lot, many fire signs have developed self-doubt due to the strenuous challenges they’ve faced during these harder times. FES’ Self-Heal eases self-doubt and helps restore a sense of wholeness and vitality by strengthening their capacity to heal themselves.

Not too surprisingly, Sunflower, offered by FES and a variety of companies, is a potent remedy for self-esteem and other issues represented by the Sun and by the sign Leo in the chart. What is interesting is that this remedy helps people at either extreme of confidence—those who are overly egotistical and those who suffer from a deep lack of self-worth. It creates a balance, giving the person both a deep appreciation of their own gifts and a deepened respect for the contributions and merits of others as well.


Among the most solidly productive signs of the zodiac, the true earth sign types are hard-working folks who devoutly wish to establish material security for themselves and those they love. Again, difficult natal placements or hard transits may make it hard for earth signs to achieve these aims, but it is in the nature of earth to be reliable, responsible and well grounded. Often conservative on a personal if not a political basis, they are likely to take a wait-and-see attitude toward the newest developments.

How stressful, then, have the iffy economy and rapid-fire changes in our way of life over the past two years been for the earth signs, Capricorn in particular? Many with Virgo placements have had to contend with tough aspects from both Saturn and Uranus over the past two years. Others with Taurus placements have been challenged to stay grounded under the influence of either Neptune or Uranus. If your Sun, Moon, or Rising sign is in earth, here are some flower essences to assuage the stresses of these times.

RELIEVING FEAR AND DISCOURAGEMENT: Keenly attuned to challenges to the earth and its resources and to the material realm, many earth sign natives have been feeling fearful and discouraged about the economy and where they fit into it.

While we all are concerned about where the world of work and career might be headed, financial security is a major issue for the true earth sign.

FES’ Penstamon lends extra courage and fortitude in facing times of hardship, reviving the inner strength that this type has in such abundance.  Gorse, by Bach, is a balm for those who are discouraged because their efforts have met with obstacle after obstacle.  One of the most helpful flower essences of all, Bach’s Oak provides a tremendous respite from the weariness that comes from a long, hard struggle.

LIGHTENING UP ON OVERWORK: The true earth sign is hard-working and may not know when to stop, so many drive themselves too hard. Capricorn and Virgo, in particular, can be perfectionistic, afraid to delegate tasks to others who may not perform up to the same exacting demands. Rock Water, a Bach remedy, helps individuals who are too hard on themselves to lighten up and flow with the needs of the current moment rather than trying always to live up to some rigid standard.

Bach’s Elm helps those who have taken on too many responsibilities and have become overwhelmed, so that they develop more of a sense of what is reasonable to accomplish.  The Integrating Being and Doing Formula by Desert Alchemy Flower Essences is tailor-made for workaholics who must be continually occupied with tasks. It helps them develop wisdom in taking care of themselves and balancing work with play and other important needs.

Learning More about the Essences

WANT PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF THAT THE ESSENCES WORK?  See   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!

For more information about using essences, download the introductory chapter of my ebook, Flower Remedies: How Plants Can Heal Us here flower essence information-ch1  and order the book at Bach Centre also has a free ebook to download at:

For a large collection of articles on the subject, visit Vibration Magazine, the free online educational blog I co-edit with Dr. Deborah Bier. You can use the search engine to locate articles for any healing need or about a specific essence.  The blog is at:   Vibration participated in the 2010 Blogathon by publishing A Collection of Articles about Combining Essences and Astrology.

Articles about Essences on Skywriter:  

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  1. Thanks Donna! 🙂

  2. Hello Donna..
    (looks like again the first one to post)
    Gr8 to see you post Flower essence related thoughts and wisdom of yours. ( i was expecting this after my ‘first’ comment in Mutable score post.
    I have just read first 2 paragraphs..but the start..says it all.
    “An astrology session provides insights into the difficulties an individual is facing, but insight alone is seldom enough to bring about a major change”

    Surely, when someone has BELIEF in astro, the most people around around, advise just KNOWING it and all psychological control, habit control, stressing our brain out on that bad thing of ours, thinking and all that in thoughts. Though i can do it to quite an extent to my usefulness, i surely also think, that its not that easy to go through. I doubt everybody has good (even average) self discipline and motivation and “THE SECRET” thinking to take control of whatever bad/difficult/irritating characteristics or qualities one has.
    Often, i have been asking and searching for REAL tools, that really work! Flower Ess. was one of the few advised by many good people around. I have been still new to Flower essences but shipment is on its way, me being not in a country where i could get them (locally IMO).

    I hope this really helps in overcome whatever issues i think i have with myself and brings me closer to my milieu of happiness and helps me achieve what i want to do for myself and others.

    Would be waiting for all the “Flower Ess. ” Posts of yours (esp. for airy ones (air-signs) )
    Thanks Donna once again. Back to reading 😀

    P.S. I lack earth element in my charts (only neptune in Capricorn in 2nd house), would the above Earth related stuff help me incorporate the earthy qualities in myself? (By the saying that if one lacks an element , one should try to bring that in his/her life)

    • oops…missed the first post :p
      Karen..dont do this next time 😉 Actually i was thinking of some “First Comment GBWR”

    • For lack of earth combined with strong air, I’d also suggest the Bach remedy Clematis for those who are often spaced out. If you decide to study essences, Vibration Magazine is free, on line, and has 13 years worth of articles in the archives (close to 500) and a killer search engine to help you find all articles that mention a particular essence in just seconds. Donna

  3. great post– since insight is useful but more effective when combined with remedies and all kinds of energetic support.

  4. Thank you for posting this Donna! I have long been a believer that insight and an intellectual knowing is not always enough to heal. We have to heal at the cellular and energetic levels. Flower essences are a great way to support that process.

    Is it appropriate to use the flower essences you list by element, even when that element is not present\primary in the chart? Or stated otherwise, if the issue is pushing too hard\burnout would the essence you list still be appropriate regardless of primary elemental quality of a person\chart.

    As an example, in my own chart, I have no fire, but your entire first paragraph about fire really resonates with me.

    Also, any thoughts on when a person is deficient in an element, but the descriptors of that element really resonate?

    • Hi, Sandy. The odd thing about essences is that they often serve to balance both ends of the spectrum–too much or too little.

      For instance, I have seen Sunflower work wonders for people with overly strong Suns (and thus too insistant on being the center, too egotistical, etc) and also people with challenged Suns such as a Saturn or Neptune conjunction who lack confidence and self-esteem. In either case, it seems to help people love themselves but also to recognize the strengths and contributions of others.

      Here’s a link to an article in Vibration about essences for loving yourself: Donna

      • Donna, loving these posts and the article in Vibrations!
        Sunflower seems perfect for my husband, Sun in 12th with a wide Neptune conj from the 11th…Thank you!

        It also sounds like it would be a good tool to help with transits to the Sun, specially for children that still can’t vocalize their thoughts and emotions yet.

        Is there an essence that you’d recommend for parents to help ‘read’ or understand and nurture their children’s nature?

      • There is one truly brilliant flower essence book by Barbara Mazzarella that does just that, Bach Flower Remedies for Children: A Parents’ Guide , published 1997 by Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT. Go to and put essences for children into the search engine. There are many, many articles on the topic, even some special issues, but among them you’ll find excerpts from the book. It even has little stories to read to the children about each essence. Children respond beautifully to the essences and love them. They don’t have the hardened, encrusted defense mechanisms that adults do. Donna

        PS. Here’s a place to start: And here’s one of the excerpts:

      • The articles are great -making a little list already- and I’m ordering the book (the search-inside-this-book at amazon gives a good glimpse) I do believe this is a kind and yet effective tool for both parents and children. Maybe is a good idea that both take the essences at the same time, kind of a tuning exercise…and I had to mention, my son is absolutely obsessed with flowers! (+trains and trucks+airplanes…) he calms down and smiles when we watch at videos with flowers for few minutes, so I know he will benefit from the essences! Thanks again!

  5. While waiting my turn to see an psychic (desperate fix) she had some books for sale at her place and one of them was by you Donna, so I sat on a chair and read your book while I waited. I’ve been struggling with Neptune and in the book you recommended Lark with Neptune issues. So after, I went to the health food store and bought the Lark and I’ve managed to free myself of at least one of the problems that has been holding me back, the problem was brought up to the front and just had to be eliminated for good. And I could see two other issues in a little better light. Psychic to my surprise, turned out to be uplifting specially for $40 . Late last night while reading one of your amazingly helpful articles I decided I really need Blackberry and Madia. I tried to order but I was not able to do it online, I’ll have to wait till Monday to order by phone. Thanks again Donna.

  6. Absolutely wonderful article and I am SO HUGE into Bach Flower Remedies that I’ve considered studying to become a practitioner. Gonna check out the link you listed for the free magazine right away.

    One interesting effect of Flower Remedies is–the effect they have on the people around you!

    Flower Remedies can balance and adjust the “vibes” we give out that we are completely unaware of. We might not “feel” any different but we may notice a significant change for the better in the people around us.

    I have been diligently and systematically working with the BFR for a year next month. I’ve got all 38 of them in the nice leather case. Of all the books I’ve read, I like The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer. I’m serious about BFRs and it’s a great book with Kirlian photographs of each one and a very good system for addressing issues systematically. It has the best individual discussions of each remedy too, hands down the best I’ve found.

    I will believe until the day I die that both astrology and BFR have helped me become more supportive of my mother, such that recently she was able to verbalize the words, “I think I may be depressed.”

    That was a breakthrough like nobody’s business. Her natal chart has a Cardinal Grand Cross and 2 yods. She’s a piece of work. No secrets – everything I say I’ve said to her first and we’ve worked out, resolved, and laughed about.

    Before, I’d have probably hollered back, “You BET you’re depressed! Have you any idea how many people’s lives you’ve messed up??” And then I’d have given her a list of the names by date and incident. Scorpio Moon never forgets.

    But, I was able to tell her that I loved her and would help her do whatever it took to get her well again. Incredible breakthrough for us both and I credit both astrology and BFRs.

    You’re in the right business, Donna. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re in the right business. 🙂

    • I’m glad you’re thinking about studying the remedies, Parin–they are a wonderful path of healing. And, yes, I do believe that sensitive people around you are affected by them, even if mainly because you release stuck old energies and start relating to them differently. Donna

  7. Donna,

    Have I told you lately that I love you!!!!
    You are my hero!

    I love it! I’m on an odd sleep schedual and I just woke up and there was this awesom email in my box! I get a spiritual high when you mix astrology and FE’s together!

    Well Donna since listening to you and Joyce Mason I have ordered Dr. Julian’s healing Bach FE from FES and I absolutely love them! I had the Bach’s in the brown leather case and they got left in my storage area when I moved and still are 7 yrs later….Sag.Rising what can I say?? An excuse to have these for sure!

    One thing I would like to comment on about the missing elements…I have no earth and I must have been compensating for it my whole life b/c I am involved in my Native American heritage, have apprenticed to several shamans over the years, medicine/ FE making, healing, Gardening, foraging, wildcrafting, animals, I dress like Earth Mother type, so I have come to the conclusion that a missing element can mean you have so dang much of it that anymore and you wouldnt be able to move and you would become a tree!

    So it is either missing for good reason
    as in too much Earth in your soul already or you really are missing the element in your soul psychology so you spend your whole life totally attracted and immersed in all things Earth till you b/c more Earth than anything in your chart. One of those is true for me for sure!

    Since your the only person I know who knew someone intimately, your Dad, missing 2 elements what is your truth in relation to what I just said is my truth?

    Blessings to you and I hope your lovin’ your new place! Jules

    • I’m afraid my Dad didn’t compensate for his missing earth and fire at all well…you can see that in the story I wrote about him building the boat in our living room. For me, with only Neptune in earth, I have worked very hard at compensating for it, but it requires conscious effort all the way and I’m still not terribly accomplished at it. Even at 68 years old, I make do! Donna

  8. Almost 15 years ago, my beautiful house (just paid the mortgage off)
    burned to the ground in the middle of the night. I escaped in my pyjamas with a minor burn (no shoes)and watched as all my books, photos,
    art works, antiques, grand piano, clothes, were destroyed. My friend, a flower essence practitioner, gave me a bottle of Rescue Remedy which I used for almost two weeks and which saved my sanity. This is powerful medicine!

    What do you recommend for someone with
    no air in the chart?


      What horror you went through. I’m shaking my head in astonishment.

      I believe every household need Rescue Remedy. Even pets benefit from it.

      It comes with glycerin preservative now for people avoiding alcohol.

    • What a terrible loss! One of my friends had her apartment and all her belongings burned while she was away getting the est training. I helped her pick through it, and it was so devastating to see–I’ve never forgotten, can almost smell the smoke and ashes. At that time I didn’t know about Rescue Remedy.

      We’ll be looking at air and fire related remedies next. I don’t know of remedies for no air offhand, but it would help to know which air functions you feel are lacking or need support. But, please, if you would be so kind, ask the question again in the comment section for that post as others may be wanting to know as well. Donna

  9. Hi Donna,

    I first learned about flower essences from your book on Pluto (which I lent to a friend recently and which is also helping her tremendously). I didn’t try them though until some time later when, by chance, a friend told me about a healer who makes personalized flower essences. I was at a difficult point in my life and could not seem to change certain destructive habits despite an excellent therapist. So I called the woman and she sent me three vials. The results were amazing! I still have one vial. Thanks for helping people heal.

  10. I read about flower essences in your articles soon after I graduated from college, when I had the “what do I do now?” blues (circa 1999). I found Wild Oat to be extremely helpful in establishing direction, and used other remedies for emotional healing. Thank you for your knowledge 11 years after the fact!!

    For the recent Cardinal Square, I’ve been using Rescue Remedy and crystals to ground me, and must say it’s been a valuable supplement to talking to confidantes…

  11. thanks for this article, donna.

    i am currently taking gorse as part of a motley of essences my naturopath put in a bottle for me. she uses a lot of alaskan, some bach and another one (i can’t think of the name). i’ve got that virgo sun & ascendant as my only earth (well…south node’s in taurus, so perhaps i should consider that) and the gorse is to help me as i am working on losing weight and it’s been a frustrating process.

    along with gorse, my treatment includes:

    – spaghnum moss (for my judging, overly-critical VERY virgo self)
    – diopside (self-esteem issues)
    – devil’s club (for getting more grounded in my earthly body – makes sense to me because i am so air-y & often feel ‘detached’ from my body despite the virgo/earth)
    – greenland ice cap (to support a far deeper change within myself than simply physical weight/poundage)

    it is magical when i take my elixir of FE’s and i feel very comforted and supported by the FE’s.

    if i could manage my ADD-scatterbraininess a little better, i will be checking out your FEzine more frequently!

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