Latin Name: Larix decidua
Group: Second nineteen
Emotional Group: Despondency or despair
Emotional response: Loss of confidence
For those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]
We chose the earthly occupation, and the external circumstances that will give us the best opportunities of testing us to the full: we come with the full realization of our particular work: we come with the unthinkable privilege of knowing that all our battles are won before they are fought, that victory is certain before ever the test arrives, because we know that we are children of the Creator, and as such are Divine, unconquerable and invincible. [Bach: Collected Writings]
For those who lack confidence in themselves, they expect failure and feel they will never succeed and so do not try hard enough, they are hesitant and procrastinate, succumb easily and feel inferior. Their sense of failure makes them despondent though in fact they are perfectly capable if they could persevere. Symptoms may include general depression and this is often associated with impotence.
[Barnard: Guide to the Bach Flower Remedies]
Larch is in Exam combination.
Larch was brought to England in the early seventeenth century from the mountain regions of central Europe. There it was adapted to a brief summer growing period and harsh winters. It is a native of the tundra where winter temperatures freeze the ground so no water can be taken up into the trees; they must shed their leaves to survive.
Larch is not a native of Britain but has been widely planted, especially as a plantation tree for commercial purposes. It is a native of the mountains of Europe, introduced to Britain about 1620.
The Larch condition is not something that we are born with. It is not integral to the soul. Rather it grows up as a response to trauma of some kind, a response to a particular setback. We have an accident and subsequently lose confidence in ourselves and what we want to do. Larch is there for those who have engaged with life, taken a knock and subsequently feel defeated. Larch calls for us to make the attempt, even if we feel that we are likely to fail. Bach describes this situation by saying that these are people who ‘do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed’….
Larch is a pioneer species, it grows on the frontier where conditions are hostile: cold, wet, poor soils. Only a tree with great determination can make it. The tree has developed a strategy that allows it to wait for favourable conditions. But it is not just self-propagation that is planned for. Because Larch is deciduous, dropping its leaves each year, it slowly builds a nourishing loam on the ground. It is a tree that helps to build soil; this is said to be because it puts in calcium. Most conifers poison the earth with acidity. Larch has leaves that rot more quickly and is ‘by far the best improver of heath or moor pasturage known in this country’. This is success for the tree and then success for the land use thereafter. When we overcome a tendency to expect failure and act with determination and success we contribute strongly to the evolving consciousness of life on earth.