A meditation for all seasons…Viola and Pansy call you to awaken the dreams and passions that have been laying dormant within you.
The earth is beginning to awaken with the first hints of green in the lawns. The forsythia buds are bursting with brilliant yellow flowers in the neighborhoods in the lower elevations only two towns away.
Spring is arriving. And it’s just in time to cure the cabin fever that set in amongst the false starts of a promised spring throughout March and early April.
The first edible flowers of the season can be seen at every garden center. They are being planted along the entrances of shopping centers, in window boxes, and around mailbox posts. The colors pop in contrast to the browns and grays of the barely awake trees and the dead leaves still hiding in garden beds and stuck at the base of bare bushes.
Violas (wild pansies) and Pansies (cultivated from the wild version) belong to the Violet Family and are best known for their brilliant colors that bring a burst of joy after a long winter of recluse and introspection. They wave you outdoors to join Spring, the season of rebirth, renewal, and growth.
The word Pansy comes from the French word penser “to think”. They are a symbol of remembrance, particularly of lost loves. The wild pansy was named “Heartease” due to their heart-shaped petals and their properties of healing heart issues, including emotional issues of the heart.
The flowers have 5 separate overlapping petals like little fans. They have 4 petals that point upward and one that points down. The downward petal is often in the shape of an upside-down heart. The centers have contrasting colors that are almost face-like.
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:
Violas are used for respiratory diseases including bronchitis, chest colds, and whooping cough, as well as skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis and acne. They have diuretic actions which help with rheumatism and cystitis. They have laxative properties, cleanse toxins, and reduce fevers. They relieve pain and reduce inflammation. They also have potential anticancer properties.
Growing Pansies and Violas:
Pansies and Violas can be grown from seed but I love to visit our local farm in early spring to see the varieties that are ready to plant. When looking for pansies and violas to be used for tea, be sure to ask if they are food grade. I learned from my local farmer that it’s unusual for pansies to need pesticides, but still be sure to ask, especially if you are buying them from garden centers that typically sell landscape plants.
Some ornamental plants are sprayed with toxic systemic pesticides. Systemic means that the pesticide will be absorbed by the plant and will be carried throughout the tissues of the plant. Washing the leaves and flowers won’t remove the pesticides.
Pansies and Violas enjoy full sun to partial shade. They thrive in cooler weather. In fact flowering slows down and comes to a halt in the heat of summer. Pansies and Violas also do well when planted in the Autumn when the weather is beginning to cool again. They will be some of the last brilliant colors in your Chakra Tea Meditation Garden as Winter approaches and you prepare yourself for the quietness of introspection.
Plant pansies and violas along borders, in pots, or window boxes. If you plant them in pots, you’ll need to water and fertilize them more frequently. The pots dry out quick in full sun and nutrients are washed away with each watering.
Parts used for tea:
Flowers, leaves, stems
Harvest the flowers after the sun has evaporated the morning dew. Gently hold the flower, follow the stem to the base of the plant, and clip at an angle with pruning shears. Brush away any dirt and bugs from the flowers. Rinse gently and avoid bruising the flowers.
Use immediately for tea or place the flowers in a container lined with a moist paper towel and place them in the refrigerator.
Approximately 5-7 days after harvesting, you’ll see new flowers blooming throughout your plants. Picking dead flowers, known as deadheading, will promote new flower growth.
After rinsing the flowers, allow them to dry completely by laying them flat on a cloth. You can dry them on the cloth or tie the stems together with string and hang them upside down in a cool dry area.
Flavor: Choose plants based on the colors and scents that attract you. The scent of the flowers will give an indication of the taste of your tea. Fragrant flowers are typically more floral in taste. If the scent is subtle, the flavor will typically be more grassy, evergreen, or reminiscent of baby spinach greens . Explore the many varieties and enjoy!
Place 3-5 fresh flowers or 2 teaspoons of dried flowers into an infuser. After placing the infuser in a teacup, pour 8 ounces of hot water over the flowers (Wait 30 seconds after boiling until the bubbles settle). Steep for approximately 5 minutes. Either remove the flowers or enjoy them with your tea.
Cold Infusion with Fresh Flowers: I love cold infusions when I am using fresh flowers. The flavor is infused into the water and the flowers remains fresh and fully intact for your tea meditation. The flowers will wilt and lose color in hot infusions. This is not a problem. It’s just a different experience. I suggest enjoying both methods.
Place 3-5 flowers per 8 ounces of cold water in a canning jar. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. Pour the infusion into your teacup with the flowers floating at the top.
If you aren’t able to find food-grade pansies and violas at this time, you can still enjoy an aromatherapy meditation with pansies and violas from your local garden center. Simply sit in front of your live plants or make a hot or cold infusion and take in the aroma of the flowers as you meditate on the messages from Pansy and Viola.
Chakra Tea Meditation:
Prepare your cup of Pansy and Viola tea.
As your herbal tea is infusing, consider the following…
Symbolism and Messages from Viola and Pansy with Journaling prompts:
Pansies and Violas are the first edible flowers that are readily available in early Spring. They beckon you to fully awaken from your winter slumber and to join the world outside and experience the joys of Spring and Rebirth. They are mark the beginning of a season of growth and potential.
Metaphors and Symbolism from Pansy and Viola:
1. Pansies and Violas are the first edible flowers that are readily available in early Spring. They beckon you to fully awaken from your winter slumber and to join the world outside. To experience the joys of Spring and Rebirth. Are you being called to awaken from your slumber and do something you’ve always wanted to do? What hidden joys are laying dormant within you, awaiting to be awakened and shared with the world?
2. Pansy comes from the French word “to think”. Consider the overlapping design of the petals. Do you have any thoughts that are overlapping and contradicting each other? Are there thoughts that are going around in circles in your head that need clarification or a resolution? As you enjoy your cup of tea, ask for guidance as you look deeper.
3. Pansies and Violas have petals that are heart shaped with contrasting colors that are facelike. When you look into the face of the flowers can you imagine someone in your past who you hold close to your heart? Perhaps it’s someone who impacted your life but you didn’t recognize it at the time. A teacher, a coach, even someone who came into your life briefly and you never saw again. Meditate and send gratitude to someone who has helped you become the person you are now.
Your Chakra Tea Meditation with Pansy and Viola:
Prepare your cup of Pansy or Viola tea.
Contemplate one of the metaphors above.
Breathe through your chakras as you take in the aroma of the herbs. As you inhale bring your focus to your crown chakra at the top of your head and as you exhale scan each chakra until you reach to base of your spine, the area of your Root Chakra. Continue to inhale and exhale as the energy moves up and down your chakras.
If you have any areas of discomfort or tension, allow the healing properties of Pansy and Viola to enter and bring balance to the area.