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About the Orchid

In the world of orchid-growing, there are 3 orchids which stand out for their sheer 'celebrity' status. One is Phrag. besseae (Vital Core) which is the bright red slipper orchid discovered in 1981 in Peru. This stunningly vibrant colour had never been found amongst the slipper orchids before.

Similarly a huge & beautiful pink-purple  Phrag. kovachii which was only discovered in 2002 in northeast Peru is famous amongst orchid growers. The blooms can span more than 20 cm / 8" and is by far the largest bloom ever found amongst the slipper orchids. Combined with its stunning colour, and it is easy to see why its discovery has caused enormous excitement. At some point I hope to make an essence with it, but it has not called out for that yet.

Lost & Found
 Paphiopedilum sanderianum however was discovered in 1886 in Borneo, but as was the tradition amongst orchid-hunters of that era, its location was kept secret. So secret in fact that after a few decades nobody knew where or even IF it existed. One botanist in the 1970's seriously suggested that the dried herbarium specimens (one at Kew, one on the Continent) were simply "monstrosities", freaks of nature and not actually representing a genuine specie.

However in 1982 it was re-discovered in the Gunong Mulu National Park deep in Borneo, by Sheila Colinette, where it was found growing on rugged and remote limestone hills. This was tremendous news in the orchid world, and in the 20 years that followed its rediscovery, specimens of the plants traded for thousands of dollars each, and were very hard to obtain. But in the past decade, enough seedlings have been raised by various commercial orchid growers that they are now available for fairly reasonable prices. Our specimen came from a very good commercial orchid company in France by the name of La Cour des Orchidees, and cost €150 - a figure unthinkable just a decade ago.

Typically the petals of Paph. sanderianum are able to reach 27" in length (69 cm), and sometimes will approach one meter in length. Our plant is a young specimen which developed its bloom spike during our long dark Scottish winter, and the petals only reached 21" / 53cm. But it was otherwise a lovely, vibrant pair of blooms. (Again, on mature specimens grown with better light conditions one might expect to see 3 to 5 blooms.)

This is not an orchid for beginners to try growing: my success in growing it in the past year has been largely thanks to the experience I have acquired after all these years. 

As we were making the essence with it this year, I couldn't shoot a timelapse sequence of it opening, which would be wonderful to do - I hope to do one next year - but I was able to create a 360 degree view video of it on the turntable after the essence-making was finished. These videos can be found on our website here, or on our Facebook pages here.

Celebration - a New Orchid Essence

This is now our 14th year of making orchid essences, with Unveiling Affection having been made in September 1998. The years of exploring the healing qualities of orchids have been astonishing and amazing. From deep past-life traumas, to grieving hearts; from muscular relaxation to pelvic invigoration; from self-love to unconditional compassion. In the 106 essences in the kit, a tremendous toolkit of energy-healing-helpers has been developed. 

I delineated the 6 main areas of action by the essences on pages 14 & 15 of my book, with an illustration to help one to see their relationship. Our colleague Adrian Brito-Babapulle has gone further, by devising a pyramidal form of arrangement to describe the "hierarchy of healing" that he finds within the range. More on that subject at a later date.

Last year after Adrian had devised this essence-pyramid, he commented that there would be another essence at some point which would 'shatter' the pyramid, would go beyond it. Some 8 months later, Paphiopedilum sanderianum developed its flower spike. I sent photos of it to Adrian, and he immediately knew this was the one.

After we have healed the primary traumas which the psyche is inclined to hold, once we have addressed the dead-pelvis syndrome, and the ancient and recent heartaches; once the powerful traumas of the past have been healed, what then? 

In effect all essences that address remedial conditions ('negative' states) are concerned with our Becoming healthier, more whole. But once those conditions are healed, then we move beyond the need for an essence of Becoming, and into the qualities of Being. Most of the orchids have both aspects, which I have described as Remedy or Enhancer qualities. (Example: if one is feeling emotionally fine, then Being in Grace will simply feel lovely, beautiful and noble. But if there are toxic old emotions which have been swept under the carpet of the psyche, then the first time one takes Being in Grace, the carpet will be lifted, and those old uncomfortable feelings will immediately surface. A second dose then brings immediate cleansing / healing, after that initial moment of awareness.)

Celebration appears to have almost no concern with remedial conditions, but instead invites you to experience deep and powerful Being. As one of our network of provers wrote about her meditation on the mother tincture:

I feel very calm, peaceful and surrendered.  I feel pressure across my neck, the back of my head and shoulders then across my head through both ears.  I feel an expansion and tingling in the Ba-hui area but not my crown.  Hands are very tingly and warm and stay this way throughout the entire meditation.  I feel like my whole upper body and torso are puffed up somewhat like a balloon.  A shaft of white light is coming from my crown chakra.  Then the light becomes a cone shaped spiral.  Large at my crown and getting smaller as it spirals upward forming a pointed cone shape.  The spiral is moving at an even pace and seems to extend very far above my head.

Then after a while a leopard appears off to my left.  I go to it and hug him, my arms around his neck and laid my face against his body.  I climb onto his back and hold on to him as we lope away.  I can smell him and feel the powerful muscles under me.  I feel a very close connection to him.  He is my dear friend or companion.  He takes us into the white spiral which now looks like a pyramid and we disappear.

Next, I see to the left of my vision white, then yellow then purple colors repeating over and over coming in waves.

Meditation ends.

This orchid meditation leaves me feeling suspended, like in suspended animation and I have no desire to move, talk or get up from my chair.  I want only to sit and stare into space. I am not tired, I just want to BE.  I have very heightened hearing.  I get up from my chair and start to the table to pick up things so I can drive home, but I end up just standing and staring into space.  I am feeling immense gratitude and am almost tearful from the overwhelming sense of gratitude I have in this slowed, altered space.        

There are similarities in my own meditation on this essence:

My entire torso feels strong throughout, strong and upright, with its strength anchored in the 2nd chakra area. I notice that the effect is in the forward half of the torso. My chest expands, almost in a military fashion, large and strong. Straight spine and neck. Courage is felt, quiet but considerable.

It feels as though the essence is wanting to stretch my forehead chakra to be about 2 to 3 feet tall...!

There is a powerful alignment up, to reach one's attention up up up and yet at the same time facing forward. And in that alignment there is both activity and stillness, like with fire. The fire reaches up high to a commanding place of spirit; if one could stay within that space that the orchid invites us into, the ego would dissolve and disappear. And one would be whole.

As one may see from the above, Celebration will be of 'benefit' primarily with people who have engaged in the healing of their various traumas already, in one way or another. For the orchids it represents a culmination of 14 years of essence-making (as well as 14 years of orchid-growing!). It is a powerful and beautiful essence, inviting us to experience the depths of our spirit.

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