Latin Name: Scleranthus annuus
Group: The first Twelve Essences
Emotional Group: Uncertainty
Failing: Full of indecision
Those who suffer much from being unable to decide between two things, first one seeming right then the other. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]
Instability can be eradicated by the development of self-determination, by making up the mind and doing things with a definiteness instead of wavering and hovering. Even if at first we may sometimes make errors, it were better to act than to let opportunities pass for want of a decision. Determination will soon grow; fear of plunging into life will disappear, and the experiences gained will guide our mind to better judgement. [Bach]
Those who are unable to make up their minds as to what they want, first one thing seems right and then another. Their wishes, like their bodily symptoms, seem to come and go. If they have temperatures these swing up and down. They are undetermined and unable to decide quickly or definitely, and their decisions quickly change. Uncertainty of bodily actions, giddiness, shaking, jerky uncontrolled movements, unsteady walking. Their moods change quickly, first cheery then depressed. Their conversation may rapidly jump from one subject to another. [Bach]
Scleranthus grows on sandy soil (not calcareous), in dry, or well drained conditions. Bach and the authors of some early Floras list it as common, notably in cornfields. But with modern agricultural practices it has become quite scarce and being small it is difficult to find in any case. It will be found growing on uncultivated land where natural grazing has broken the surface of the ground. This may be done by rabbits, who also like sandy soil for their burrows!
Scleranthus is rare in Britain, found mostly in England on loam and sand soils.
One of the smallest of the Bach flowers, Scleranthus hugs the ground, a tangle of green stems, leaves and flowers that is of so little significance and stature that we might easily overlook it. To those of us who know what we want, what we want for breakfast or what we want to do with our lives, this soul condition of indecision may seem of little significance as well. But there are those who suffer, silently according to Bach’s observation, ‘unable to decide between two things, first one seeming right then the other’. This alternating energy leaves them powerless to act, trapped in an oscillation between left and right, up and down, good and bad, between any polarity of choice. This state of mind paralyses the will and prevents the individual from moving, from acting in life.
Looking back at some of the earlier remedies we might draw a contrast with Impatiens, or Vervain. Here the gesture, of both the plant and the person, speaks of an active will driven by a soul who knows what it wants to do in life. It is portrayed in the upright stature of the plant, its main stem vertical and strong, growing in a clear direction, like a tall tree. This is in contrast to the languid, clambering gesture of the Clematis and the loose, shrubby form of Cerato. These two lack the definition of the ‘I’ form, the upright stance of the fully incarnated self. The same is true of Scleranthus which grows higgledy-piggledy, tumbling over itself, without main stem, direction or apparent purpose. Mimulus, too, lacks this upright form, draping itself across the rocks, falling out over the water.