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International Flower Essence Repertoire
Why oh Why Wifi?

It always amazes me how many people we have contact with who are constantly exhausted, yet within their house they have cordless telephones and wireless internet.

I explain again and again the following facts: that these technologies use microwave frequncies to operate; that microwave radiation is very likely to degrade the quality of sleep; and that the effects of microwave radiation on tissues are cumulative. I will tell a little story here to illustrate the 2nd point.

My friends and family all know that I am one of those who has embraced all things made by Apple Computer over the years - but with one exception. They have been at the forefront of promoting wireless connectivity. Here at Achamore House we have hundreds of meters of old-fashioned ethernet cabling running under the floorboards to create our local network of Macs for our business. It was a lot of work, but it meant we didn't need to have any wifi in the building.

However when the iPad came out, I could not resist getting one, but with the model I got, the only way to get one's email or web access is via wifi. So I decided, very reluctantly, to get Apple's "Airport" wifi hub. Locating it upstairs next to my wife's iMac, I would turn it on just for 10 minutes last thing at night to check email, rather than having to walk down 42 steps on the ground floor of this big house. More or less fine as far as that goes: it worked well, even though I set the power output of the wifi signal at just 10%, its lowest possible setting. And before going to bed, I would turn it off.

But one night after going to bed, for 3 hours I could not get a wink of sleep. It was as if I had drunk two strong cups of coffee. Finally at 3 am I got up to do some work. So I went to turn on the Airport, only to discover that I had neglected to turn it off! So I clicked the 8 different software buttons that are needed to turn it off (and why Apple make it so difficult to turn on and off is beyond me...) and went back to bed, and went straight to sleep.

That was an important lesson for me. I often struggle with sleep anyway, I do not want to stack the odds against me! So since that night I have not used the wifi / Airport. The iPad is pretty much just used for dames with the children here.

But the wider lesson is this: we are subjecting ourselves in society now to more and more microwave radiation, and with very little understanding of the risks involved for our health and well-being. Mobile phones are not allowed to be used in hospitals, as they might interfere with pacemakers etc. And yet one woman I spoke with this year told me that her elderly mother, fitted with a pacemaker, has 4 cordless phones in her house.

Cordless phones are in many respects worse than cell phones for our health, because the microwave radiation from the base units is constant. The base unit is like a mini-microwave tower. Many people have these next to their beds, and wonder why they don't sleep well.

And the high-tech industry are wanting us to embrace wifi more and more. Google and Apple are in a race at the moment to give Cloud computing to the world. Their vision is that any of us should be able to walk around with a smartphone / tablet / laptop anywhere in the world and have full and fast access to vast computers housed in their warehouses which they have built for this purpose.

That means wifi "hotspots" currently found in airports and cafés will simply be the harbinger of things to come: we will all be living in a world saturated with microwave radiation from the millions of transmitter masts that are and will be erected. This is not fantasy. This is their goal and vision which they are constructing right now. And health concerns be damned, we will simply have to live with it if they have their way. Or in many instances, we will simply have to die with it.

At the very least, we should all be far more aware of how this technology is coming into our lives ever more fully. In the coming decade as Cloud computing takes off, we will all be experiencing a lot more microwave radiation in our lives. At the very least, we should take steps to keep it out of our homes at night.

Purity of Soul

Shortly after Hive of Heaven was made in July, our good friend and colleague Dr. Adrian Brito-Babapulle had a dream in which that small & very yang orchid told him that he had a sister. Adrian reckoned that it would be another bulbophyllum, the wonderful and diverse genus of which Hive of Heaven (Bulbo. saltatorium) is a member. But while we watched and waited, no 'sister' bulbos came along...  Then in early August the stunning white blooms of Dendrobium moniliforme presented themselves.

I sent a photo of the orchid to Adrian, and he was excited, as this looked a likely candidate - but we would know once the essence was made.

It has been a very busy few weeks here, or I would have written this newsletter earlier. But our book has been translated into Japanese during the past 9 months, and the publisher wanted all the material to be with him by the end of this month. So our wonderful Distributor over there has been working hard to meet this deadline, and I have been sending photos, and updated chakra and meridian charts etc etc. I have even helped put the Japanese names into these charts! A fun but demanding process. But in the midst of this, it was lovely to make the time and space for a new essence to be made. But what I didn't know at that point was something astonishing about this orchid's connection with Japan (please see below).

Purity of Soul is like a gentle purifying rain for the soul, an ablution to cleanse us of negative accumulated baggage of the ego.  It also appears able to help clear negative ancestral patterns held subconsciously in the psyche and chakras. This essence is lovely, calming, gently grounding and quietening; it brings a stillness of mind, yet also attentiveness, mindfulness. The chatter of the mind is silenced.
Purity of Soul would be a good essence to take before meditation, or prayer, or before any sacred ceremony; it would be especially appropriate for a bride (and the groom) to take before the wedding ceremony. One can see this notion of “preparation for spiritual wedding” in the signature of the orchid: the nearly pure white blooms, with just a blush of pink, always appear in pairs.
The essence has a gentle dreamlike quality, yet also a firmness of purpose. One feels a call for atonement, and an awakening of a lost understanding of spiritual realms which have been forgotten.

Dendrobium moniliforme & Japan
This August was the first time it had produced any substantial blooms since I had bought it. The blooms were so fine and beautiful, so I felt the need to send photos to our colleague Adrian. A day later he called to say that we needed to make an essence with it, by daylight but without any direct sunlight falling on the plant. I duly complied, and the essence was made the following day. I had a wonderful meditation with the mother tincture, such quiet awareness, a deep calming of the mind yet a clear attentiveness as well. And the word "Ablution" kept sounding repeatedly in my mind - a word I very rarely even consider in my life.
It was only after the mother tincture was bottled that I began my research to learn more about the orchid. It was only at this point, 24 hours after the essence had been made, that I came to realize that this specie is one of the most important orchids in the long-established orchid-growing tradition in Japan. This specie is native to the islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu as well as the Ryuku Islands of Japan. It comes as a great surprise to Western orchid enthusiasts to learn that orchids have been grown and revered in Japan for many centuries. In the West our orchid-appreciation only really began in the Victorian times, in the 19th century.
There are at a conservative estimate well over 300 commonly available varieties of Dendrobium moniliforme in Japan. Only a handful of these are seen in the West. There are different colours found in the blooms, from white to shades of pink, yellow, lavender and even one with green stripes at the edges of the blooms. There are many variations on the leaves, both in colour and form. The specimen we have has yellow edges to the green leaves, but beyond that we do not know the specific variety it would be called in Japan. Nevertheless this plant almost certainly originated in Japan Dendrobium moniliforme is also found in China, Korea and Taiwan, as well as Japan. But it is in Japan that the growing of it has been raised to a revered art form over the centuries. This is largely due to the strong appreciation that the shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga showed for the orchid back in the 15th century. Yoshimasa was the 8th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, and amongst his other activities, he grew bonzai trees. He favoured using the Dendrobium moniliforme as an adornment with his bonzai trees, as the small canes and leaves of the Sekkoku resembled small trees. He shared this idea with other powerful people of his era, and hence from that time the art of growing the plant known in Japan as Sekkoku came to be important in households of the wealthy.
It was helpful (I believe) to be ignorant of the great Japanese tradition surrounding this orchid, when the essence was being made. It is best to not have ideas and preconceptions in one’s mind when filling the bowl under the orchid with water, or when pouring water from the beaker over the blooms some hours later. We only want the qualities of the orchid to be in the essence. Yet it was with delight that I came to understand the significance of this orchid in relation to the orchid-growing tradition in Japan, and also found that we had just enough time to be able to include this essence in this edition of the book. I think the orchids in the greenhouse were wishing to make a gift: this essence is as it were the orchids sending a blessing upon the Japanese edition. It shows to me how much they are participating very attentively to this entire project that we are involved in with them!

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