This essence was made by a holy well in the grounds of an ancient church. Here the water, once bubbling to the surface, has long been sealed off with concrete to allow urban development. Those of us who need it have similarly cut off emotionally and created a barrier around our hearts. The reaction may have many sources including trauma, neglect, abuse or oversensitivity. It can also be indicative of an unwillingness to face the truth of a situation so that problems are not dealt even though we are aware that they our neglect is worsening them. At the extreme, nothing is let in or out. We deny all expression of emotion in both ourselves and others. ‘Stop crying. What use will that do!’: 'Pull yourself together!’, etc. Instead we hide and compartmentalise our feelings, bury them; pretend indifference, tell jokes to cover our inner grief; create cool or grumpy barriers to keep people away. But, like the spring water, the emotions continue to flow beneath the surface producing a constant fear that the dam will burst and we will lose control.
Moss for the essence was gathered from both the spring cover and the roots of a fine holm oak growing, unrestricted, nearby. Holm oak is a tree that delights in being different from other members of its family. It survives the storms of winter and remains evergreen with leaves that are shiny above, but bear protective, grey, downy hairs below. Their edges are toothed and holly-like when young but, when mature, develop a smooth, slightly curled edge. In a similar way, Holm Oak moss essence helps us weather the storms of life without having to emotionally shut down. It smooths our prickly edges so we become more approachable and, in letting people in to our lives, benefit from the love and support they can offer.
The tree dramatically sheds its leaves every other May to produces a whole new crop for growth and development. The essence similarly provides the courage to drop our barriers so we can be more honest with ourselves and clearly see and face up to the problems we have been avoiding.
Separate male and female flowers are borne on the same tree. The male catkins form on the previous year’s twigs. They develop in May but ripen in June when they turn yellow, rich in pollen. Female flowers grow in the axil of new twigs. Each appears as a fat bud with five fleshy, lobed stigmas bulging like a tiny flower from its tip. They symbolises how the essence can bring changes that match our needs – slowly for those with strong fears of losing control; more quickly for those willing to emotionally flower and bloom. The resulting fruit, like holm oak’s small pointed acorns, will be a sweeter being, held in a supportive and protective cup so that, rather than being consumed by a fear of life we can become actively involved and able to contribute to it.