Soulshine: Sunflower & Tiger's Eye

One day this month, a young girl approached me and shared, “I need a stone for strength.” How appropriate, I thought, for we are in the eighth month of the year, and when we turn to the Tarot, the eighth card of the major arcana is none other but Strength. This card corresponds to the astrological sign of Leo-- the brave and heart-strong. In a moment, I reached into a box of stones and pulled out for her the chatoyant Tiger’s Eye.

“This,” I explained as I placed it in her hand, “is a stone for courage. Can I ask you something?” She nodded coyly in response. “Where does your courage come from?”

“I’m not sure,” she replied quizzically with shoulders shrugged, “where?”

“Well, the word for heart in French is coeur, which is how we get the word cour-age. So courage comes from here,” I expressed, placing my hand on my heart. “I see it that this stone gives strength that comes from the heart, which I think is the best kind.”

The twinkle in her eye let me know that it was precisely that type of strength she was after, rather than the type of strength that might let her become the next Hercules. After all, I believe it is the gift of late-summer to bestow us with such courage, infusing us with the power of the Sun as it begins its slow descent and leaves us to face darker days. Indeed, two earth allies in particular-- one stone, one plant-- help tremendously in letting our inner suns shine year-round: Tiger’s Eye and Sunflower. In this post, I’ll share the healing properties of these earth allies and suggest ways you can work with them in your day to day.

First off, Tiger’s Eye hails mostly from South Africa and Western Australia where it forms in abundance, so it can easily be found as a healing stone to work with. Many people seem first attracted to this stone before any others. It’s beauty lures one in-- with an iridescent shine also known as ‘chatoyancy’-- which forms as fine, dense fibers morph over time into quartz crystal. Not only is it attractive to the eye, but the energy of this stone tends to be strong and physically palpable. It conducts a lot of heat when held-- hinting at its solar vibration, and the silver stripes of hematite often found within cause the stone to feel very grounding and empowering. Working with Tiger’s Eye, indeed, can help us ground our dreams-- which may be lofty castles in the air-- into reality, and it imbues us with confidence and courage to be successful in our pursuits. If ever we feel shut down due to our own worries or our circumstances, Tiger’s Eye helps us tap into our unique, creative energy and radiate it out into the world-- just as the stone itself beautifully shines.

For these reasons, Tiger’s Eye is a great choice for a ‘worry stone’ to be kept in the pocket and held onto in times of stress, high-anxiety, and uncertainty. You can also wear it as jewelry if that’s easier for you to keep track of. The stone’s radiant energy can diffuse negativity, so I also find it quite protective. If the Tiger’s Eye is exposed to a lot of heavy energy from you or your environment, however, be sure to clean it. This can be done by laying it on a bed of salt overnight. I also particularly like to work with Tiger’s Eye as the center stone for a crystal grid created to generate success in one’s pursuits, for it seems especially aligned with the self-confidence that’s essential for manifestation. For this purpose, I would seek a Tiger’s Eye pyramid or generator, though other shapes will do if those are unavailable to you.

Oftentimes, I find children especially fond of Tiger’s Eye, and the same goes for Sunflowers. This is the young intuition at its best, for both these allies imbue a sense of confidence that these young people need to get through the maze of learning and growing in the world at large. After all, as we now turn our focus to the golden sunflower, how do you feel when catching a glimpse of them? It’s almost difficult to not feel brighter and uplifted, for these flowers infuse us with a sunny disposition so that our souls may shine. Sunflowers are actually native to North America, being used extensively by Native Americans for food, medicine, dye, and fiber for building and textiles. The commercialization of the flowers didn’t begin, however, until the plant made its way to Russia, where they continue to be grown abundantly for their golden oil. Interestingly, Russians also cultivated Sunflowers in areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster as a means to extract radiation from the soil. Not only is growing the plant detoxifying for the earth, but in Ayurvedic medicine, the oil of Sunflower is used to extract toxins from the gums when used as a mouthwash.

How I see it is that it’s as if the radiance of this flower can shine through and break up heavy, dense energy on a physical level and also on spiritual and emotional levels. If ever we’re getting in our own way, unconfident in our abilities or even in a social situation where we feel isolated or unsure, we can call in Sunflower for support. For this, I especially like to use the Sunflower essence. Flower Essences are remedies that harness the vibration of flowers, which work to heal us emotionally and energetically, and with them, we can experience the healing strength of flowers year-round. Sunflower Essence is particularly indicated for helping us find a balanced way to feel confident and shine. It’s helpful to recognize that there is a spectrum when it comes to such self-confidence, where on one end there can be self-aggrandizing arrogance and on the other end, self-effacing timidness. Both of these extremes indicate disconnection from one’s core sense of self. Sunflower comes in to help us find a middle ground where we can express our sun-like radiance in a way that can uplift and imbue warmth to all those who receive our light. The essence helps us to find our power and speak our needs clearly, allowing us to be compassionate and kind to ourselves and others.

So now, as fields and gardens are still full of Sunflowers, take time to bring some into your environment or spend time amidst them. As they begin to wilt, you can save the petals and dry them for future use. I like to keep them around until wintertime and then make an herbal infusion by putting a handful of petals into a quart mason jar, pouring boiling water onto them, and letting them steep for about ten minutes. You can then add this bright, golden infusion into a bath, along with a few drops of flower essence, a splash of Sunflower oil, and a Tiger’s Eye stone. This is a perfect way to soak in the sun and healing warmth when you need it most. Apart from a bath, you can also use the petals as part of a crystal grid for manifestation, along with Tiger’s Eye as mentioned earlier. You may even use the Sunflower petals to charge up your Tiger’s Eye or other stones after cleansing them, or you might make a medicine pouch with Sunflower and Tiger’s Eye to carry around or give to a friend for courage and confidence. Follow your intuition and be guided to what works for you. It’s empowering to know that the Earth presents us with allies that allow our souls to shine throughout all the seasons; and in the meantime, may you now be free to bask in the summertime Sun.

Please share widely!