I start with the petals from the one blossom that does not thrive as readily as the others, now resplendent as they open, exposing through unfurled lips an infinite intelligence; a knowledge with which I thirst to convene.
This particular stem hangs its head, offering itself to me in deference to the others – its perfection still intact but somewhat forlorn.
I remove the petals, as I typically do, in a swift, single movement of extraction. I hold the delicate collection grasped in my left fingertips as I toss the remaining anatomy in the wicker wastebasket beneath the sink.
Removed from the clutches of the greenery, the petals reveal an unseen dollop of buttery yellow at their base. I delight in the compliment this offers the mysterious color of the petals – somewhere between an Indian spice and a citrus fruit.
I deposit the petals one by one into the steaming, salted water around me. The bubbles begin to dissipate and the baking soda has already ceased its effervescence against my lower back. I sink down, hoping to dissolve the tension in my neck, the aches in my body that mark a week of culmination and completion.
The petals float around me, each taking a distinct form yet all of them sharing similar characteristics.
I hold one up to the light coming from the north-facing window. I notice the velvety texture, the veins that travel from the base bleeding out toward the edges.
As my gaze softens, I see a tree and the patterns of my veins within the confines of the petal. I think of lightning etching down through a darkened sky.
I roll around, enveloped in the embrace of the warm water and stir up some of the rose-scented salts. I watch the petals swirl, dance, and ride the waves of my movements – I think of their receptivity, their divine natures, the deva at work and at play in the growth of a rose.
And then I move my thoughts to what I have discarded, the vehicle of these marvels.
I reach for the wicker wastebasket and extract the stem. I bring it close to my eyes to further my examination of this dissected poetry.
The collection of exposed stamens reminds me of a cocktail party – the kind we used to regularly attend where people talked loudly and too close together over ice cubes clinking in glasses, their voices elevating in volume as their consumption increased.
I peel away this collection of pollen wands as a group and sprinkle them into the water.
Removing these yellow-tipped sprouts, the color of sunny daffodils and shaped, on a smaller scale, like the stamens of a lily, exposes an upward-reaching dance of white fiber in the shape of a flame.
I dig further down with my fingernails, cutting into the flesh and removing the thick, green outer leaves from the base of the original cauldron of the blossom.
I add these components to the soup I have brewed around me, a broth to nourish and support the divine instrument of my body.
The whole flame of the innermost blossom leads to more white, then a chartreuse green on the inner stem. The bud, now dissected, leaves only the trunk of the stem to survey.
I bend the stem into a circle. It has no thorns, no evidence that they existed on this flower – an aspect of its evolutionary armor perhaps bred away by science.
The shape I create with the stem, even in the absence of the thorns, brings to mind a crown and I wonder where the thorns came from that Jesus wore.
I want to explore the stem further and so I peel away the outer layer, its depth of color a mix of green and blood red it looks almost black in contrast to the absinthian vibrancy of the inner layers.
I inhale the scent, a stark comparison to the delicate wafts of the blossom. The inner stem smells like zest – a lightness that smells like the season of renewal, aching to begin, beneath the layer of snow that clings to the earth outside the bathroom window.
I break the stem into smaller pieces and notice the fragility of these inner layers with the outside casing removed.
I cup the frayed pieces in both my hands and inhale deeply feeling the awakening energy of the outer, natural world corresponding to what calls for expression within me.
The verdant greens, the salmony-orangey-peach color, the flashes of yellow all swirl around me in response to my continued movement.
And then I sink deeper, christening my head, tapping on meridians to further release what my body thinks it needs to hold. I plug my ears and listen to the movement of my blood as I remain submerged.
Feeling a sense of inner completion, I skim the surface of the water in order to keep the components of my bath from blocking the drain.
In doing so I remark on the only part of the rose that did not float – the outer skin of the stem, divided in three, rests on the white porcelain. I strip it into still thinner ribbons but the density remains and each one descends as the others.
I reflect on my own outer layer – the armor I cast to protect myself, to keep myself hidden and perfectly positioned to please others.
I let the descending water pull the outer casings down the drain.
When we go through transformational work, our bodies begin to respond more readily to our brains.
Alchemy baths help release pent up trauma responses and stored grief from our physical systems.
Below find the readily accessible and very economical ingredients for your own alchemy bath as well as some instructions:
Wipe down your tub in advance of drawing your bath and soak for at least 30 minutes. Drink water before, during, and after. Finish with a cool water rinse and snuggle into bed for a blissful night’s sleep… or a nap.
Components of an Alchemy Bath:
– 1 pound Epsom Salt
– 1 pound baking soda
– rose petals (and everything else, as outlined above)
– magnesium flakes
– Dead Sea salts
** You can also benefit immensely from the amplifying effects of the water by doing an EFT practice while you soak.