S I S T E R   S P I N S T E R
Hi Friends, 
Today I want to tell you a story about a star maiden, Astraea, purple wound flowers and the questions that the flowers point us towards:
A long time ago, as mortals passed from the Golden to the Silver Age, from the Bronze to the Iron Age, they became more and more unwell. During the Iron Age, they created cruel weapons and vicious wars broke out. Battles raged for many, many years. The gods and goddesses became so disgusted with the barbaric cruelty of humans that they left the earth to make new homes in the heavens.
Astraea was the last goddess to leave. Going away saddened her. She did not want to leave her home. She did not want to leave these humans that she loved, despite it all. Despite their harm. Despite their pain. When she arrived to the great cosmos, she asked Jupiter to change her into a star so that she could forever gaze upon her most-beloved Earth. Jupiter continued to watch as men tortured and killed one another, their bloodlust and slaughter insatiable. Unable to bear his anguish any longer, he sent a ravaging force upon the land, flooding all the earth. Only two mortals remained.
When the flood waters receded, the earth was a terrible place to behold. Mud and slime water everywhere. The two surviving humans held hands as they wandered, seeking solace. Astraea, watching as her star shape above, wept at the utter destruction of her once beautiful home. She saw the lonely human pair wandering the land and wanted to comfort them. She began to cry, feeling their own isolation and loss. Her tears fell as stardust, blanketing the earth. Where they landed, star-like flowers sprang forth, covering the mud and slime and making the land beautiful again. Their purple color of these flowers held both the bright starlight and the deep grief of Astraea, thus they were named for her: Aster.
purple asters in downeast Maine
I keep thinking of purple aster. I keep thinking of the months of late summer & early fall when the purple aster blooms in multifarious constellations along the northern roads. I keep thinking of this story that the flower tells us just with its color alone. When I hold the purple aster up to the evening sky it is a perfect match; the twilight hue expresses the firmament that this flower is woven into by name, by divinity, by shape, by energy.
I believe that working with flower essences allows the practitioner to resource not only a particular flower or the land from which this essence is made, but also with the holy powers that oversee the process in which a flower is created. We can call upon the stories and myths of the flowers to invoke certain divine beings and to point us to the essence of their medicine.
Purple aster is the color of a bruise. The flowers darken into a deep purple as the summer fades and fall increases, turning the color of a wound. As the story says, they are the last to leave. They hold the pain of the final harvest, they bespeak the death of the growing season, they illuminate the approaching dark autumn, even outlasting the glorious goldenrod. The star maiden flower is a flower of endurance.
I keep thinking of purple aster. I keep thinking how they shows us to bear witness. I am taking this essence this week with a prayer to the star maiden, Astraea, the one who loves the Earth, the one who was the last to leave, to keep me in my body. To invoke the steadfastness of Aster. To keep vigil. What does it mean to be the last to leave? To stay with the trouble? To see the bruise, to hold the pain, to grieve? Certainly a medicine for the ages. 
These are questions that we have to ask as flower essence practitioners. To behold the purple bruise and to ask closely: What does the pain feel like? When did it begin? How deep does this go? How can the flowers support you? Let us be steadfast witnesses to the stories that emerge from the wound.
And let the responding medicine be a story. We offer flower formulas that hold stories of continuance, of relief, of loss, of endurance, of beauty, of transfiguration, of initiation, of decay, of blossoming. As poet Linda Gregg says, “We throw flowers on whatever that thing is/ that roars, our hearts in our bodies.” 
On Monday the application period closes for my year-long flower essence practitioner training, Flowering Round. We follow the lead of the flowers, learning how to work with clients, how to stay steadfast, how to ask questions that bring forth stories. We work on proving our own essences using the melodies of place, weather patterns, plant history, colors, astrological & cosmological context, folklore, land spirits, flower shape, feelings, dreams, synchronicities, sensory observation & ritual practice to build relationship with the flowers. We go into the art of crafting remedies for clients; working with flower, stone, animal and place. The fragment poems of Sappho are used as formulation guide. This is a course that encourages you to work deeply in the realm of plant poetry and story, and I do hope you will join us. Come follow the flower myths. You can learn more and apply here.
Thank you friends, for your time and attention. 
With heavy snowfall, flower dreams, and the purple-hue of aster,
x Liz 
p.s. a poem offering
The Flower
Robert Creeley
I think I grow tensions
like flowers
in a wood where
nobody goes.
Each wound is perfect,
encloses itself in a tiny
imperceptible blossom,
making pain.
Pain is a flower like that one,
like this one,
like that one,
like this one.