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June 2016

Flower of the Day ~ Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans)

I find any Catchfly Flower fascinating to study and Silene nutans), the Nottingham Catchfly, is one of the most precious.

Webcards nottingham catchfly

Attracting pollinators with it's rich scent during the evening it was first discovered along the wall of England's Nottingham Castle, where it unfortunately is no longer growing. It can, thankfully still be found in other parts of the UK.
During the night they spread their petals to the winds and sky calling out to pollinators and then curl in retreat in the daylight hours to preserve their energy and await the night turning of the earth.
If you find yourself stuck in a situation in which you no longer wish to be, the Nottingham Catchfly is a supporter of energy to help move you along but also assists in becoming ready for the next phase that may come.
To be drawn to this magickal blossom is to share with you the message of resolutions to come and of release. The challenge and warning is for you not to become constricted by the actions of others or to become apathetic.

May you be Blessed with the Messages and Love of Flowers today,
Cheralyn xx

Flower of the Day ~ Wild Tulip (Tulip sprengeri)

What you desire and are passionate about is indicated by this flower which holds the energy of all of its kind. It offers courage for new projects and paths, helps you find your passion and may speak of unions and reunions.

Webcards wild tulip 2

Be very careful of getting carried away with your desires, hold a tad back for yourself. Don’t be tempted to go completely all in. Although dedicated passion is something to aim for, Tulip warns of getting out of your depth and not being able to stay afloat. Be careful of envy, co-dependancy and addictions which may trap you.
if yo are looking to heal a heal which has been chilled by rejection or cruelty, Wild Tulip is a fantastic supporter. It warms a cold heart and brings a spark of hope for new paths ahead. I have found Tulip is also wonderful for those suffering creative blocks and issues in the creative fields.

I've created the artwork for my Flower Reading Cards showing Wild Tulip at the Gateway Aphrodisias in Turkey as this place connects not only with the energy of this flower but with it's ancient origins.

Gardening Notes: Tulips in general, grow from an autumn/winter planted bulb and fill the world with the song of Spring and promise of the warm Summer ahead. Such a popular garden flower with so many but they do prefer a slightly cooler climate and do far better from the Southern Highland South in Australia. Worldwide, they like cooler climates in general but they can be successfully grown indoors year`round with care. They like a well drained soil with plenty of feeding but be careful not to get too wet.

Bunches of Blessings,
Cheralyn xx

Flower of the Day ~ Magnolia (Magnolia campbellii)


Magnolia webcards

If you are looking for longevity with a project or situation, Magnolia is a flower which will align perfectly with you to assist you in achieving your desires. Brilliant to connect with if you are finding completion of something difficult or finding the enemy to sustain your momentum. As the oldest flower still surviving in our world today, Magnolia naturally holds the energy of ancient wisdoms, legacy and heritage and so assists us in times of change through different phases of our lives, especially towards the later half.

As a message, Magnolia speaks of acceptance and a need former compassion and care, she warns us of being ignorant and of longing for something from our past to the detriment of the present.
This particular species that I created for my Flower Reading Cards is found in the Himalayan valleys and speaks very strongly of wisdom within. The flowers are large at 15 ~ 25cm in diameter and are white through to dark pink. Blossoms appear on bare branches before leaves and remind us that even though we may not see the hope, the flower, the physical, the life and the energy is always there.

Gardening Notes:
They don't really like very hot climates unfortunately but I have seen them on my travels in these places. They like to be very well watered and hate the wind. I've had success in two homes but planting them along a protected fence line. I've planted one here in my new home in a very protected area and she is doing pretty well. They seem to take a bit of nurturing for a while to get established but well worth the effort.

Bunches of love and Nature Blessings,
Cheralyn xx

Flower of the Day ~ Orange Banksia

Feeling flat? Need a bit of energy boosting and assistance to renew the drive you once had for something? Orange Banksia might help.

Orange banksia webcards

This plant of strength, verve and uplifting wisdom, flowers late winter through to spring.
They speak of the need to keep going even though things seem impossible or too heavy to carry forward. The bright orange flame of energy when the cold air is pulling us back in retreat, warms us and spurs us with remembrance of the passion we had before and can again. Cycles, dips and peeks, Orange Banksia watches over us and leads us forward.
The message is for you to keep going. It affirms that things are indeed difficult right now but that they are really impossible. The warning is to not be distracted by your own negative thoughts and especially the cynical thinking or comments of others.
Gardening Notes:
A very lovely tree native to Western Australia, it grows more to the size of a shrub elsewhere. The flowers of this particular Banksia are very large (up to 15cm long and 8cm in diameter). Sandy soil is its preference and go lightly with the water as it doesn't do well in humidity or overly wet areas.
Have a day of enthusiasm my friends!
Bunches of love,
Cheralyn xx

Flower of the Day ~ Jade Vine

Such a powerful lesson from Jade Vine. Native to the rainforests of the Philippines, this plant has evolved to look like the folded wings of a butterfly at rest which enables it to be pollinated by bats.

Jade Vine webcards 2

If you feel drawn to this flower today it could mean you need to look at new ways in which you can communicate. It also speaks of a change in the way your current daily life looks so travel, a change of environment or position may be forthcoming.
Jade Vine assists those struggling with being heard, who are looking for resolution in situations and may wish to either join or create new groups and communities. An excellent flower in the aid of healing work in general as it opens up pathways that may be unfamiliar.
The challenge that Jade Vine presents is in the clarity of information being heard. Misinterpretations are a common theme as are loss of files, misplacement of paperwork and disruption of communication devices.
Gardening Notes
A tropical plant which loves full sun on it's leaves but a shaded root area. Really only suitable for Northern friends here in Australia and tropical areas elsewhere. Like most tropical plants it will require a lot of feeding and to be kept moist. You will need a lot of care with position and will need to grow against a support of some kind.
Have a wonderful day!!
Bunches of Love
Cheralyn xx

'Jade Vine, Taal Volcano, Philippines'
lino print painted in gouache
Cheralyn Darcey 2015
from The Flower Reading Cards Deck
Rockpool Publishing

'Triggering Happiness & Healthiness through Fragrance'

For a long time, I believed that certain smells would have an effect on me because they were like some kind of airborne drug. After all, we do call it ‘aromatherapy’, and I associate the word ‘therapy’ with a literal effect on the mind or body by an external influence. Through my Happiness therapies research and spiritual practices, I became quite interested in the idea of mental triggers and how we can train ourselves to respond to different situations with chosen reactions; like a form of self-hypnosis. It was during this time that I started experimenting with smells as triggers.


Here’s an example: I have never been a huge fan of cardio exercise, I’ll admit it. I’ll pump weights till the cows come home, but show me a treadmill and my brain will find some kind of excuse to scurry far, far away. So for a couple of months I would drag myself to cardio through a number of other brain-convincing techniques and as part of my post-exercise hygiene routine I would put on a particular perfume. I would take a moment to breathe in the scent and think about how good I felt after exercising with the endorphins flowing around my body and a great sense of accomplishment. I built an association between that smell and that feeling, and soon I had a powerful elixir on my hands. But I had to be careful- use it too much and I would retrain my brain to associate that smell with other things. My aim was simple- I wanted to remind myself why I did cardio exercise. So the next time I was dragging my heels to the gym I put the perfume on before exercising and my brain remembered that wonderful feeling I got after exercising, reminding myself why I was doing it in the first place. More than that, it remembered that post-exercise euphoria and I instantly felt more relaxed.

Realising the success of this experiment, I began reflecting back on my previous belief that certain smells created specific reactions because of a chemical process on me: Lavender for relaxation, Citrus to perk me up, Mint for cleanliness. I wondered if instead this was the power of my belief about the smell’s effect and that perhaps it only started having that effect on me after I believed in it? There was no way for me to remember my first experience with every scent so I started doing research around this topic and discovered that in most cases, it is not the medicinal effect of the plant based extract that is making us have this reaction, especially if a synthetic smell is being used. It is the mental association we have created with the smell. The Scientific American had an article around this topic and also concluded that “odors influence mood, work performance, and many other forms of behaviour via their learned associations and particularly their learned emotional associations.”

But some smells are a lot more pleasurable then others, right? Surely the beautiful Turkish delight smell of rose will create more positive triggers then the smell of a Stinking Corpse Lily? I wanted to believe so I but I had a hunch that is was based off whether the memory or experience was positive or negative when the smell’s association was created, more than the smell itself. Psychology Today had a thought-provoking article called ‘The Hidden Force of Fragrance’ which gave a hilarious example of exactly this when Rachel Herz, world-renowned expert on the psychology of smell, told us how “an emotional link was forced between the happy experience of [a] car ride and the distinctive aroma of skunk.”

Wait, Pip, are you telling me that flower essences have no actual effect on me and that everything I experience is just an aromatic placebo? Luckily, no I’m not, because I’m sure there will be an outrage at such a statement. No, I am saying that our brain is powerful enough to override anything that would be happening on a chemical level. The previous mentioned Psychology Today article has some great examples of scents that have a very measurable psychical effect on us-
Peppermint increasing brain activity, Jasmine increasing the brain waves associated with sleep, and Lavender decreasing heart rate. The good news or bad news is that a positive or negative experience we associate with a particular smell has a chance of replacing a chemical reaction for a learned response or behaviour. But don’t focus on the negative, let’s focus on the positive! We can increase and aid the effects of fragrances to improve our health, mood and lifestyle by developing purposeful triggers! We can literally bring together the magic of flowers and our mind to create something even more powerful- just think of the possibilities for those who suffer from pain, depression or illness. You know the saying “stop and smell the roses”? I think the saying should be: “stop and smell the roses while embracing happiness” because the next time that smell wafts past, you will experience more than a chemical aphrodisiac.


SerPip “Odyssia” Stoneham is the creator of The Serenity Oracle project.
The Serenity Oracle YouTube channel is a place where you can find serenity through videos inspiring happiness, healthiness, and a more holistic lifestyle.
Or you can follow The Serenity Oracle Facebook Group to get updates on the unique oracle deck which has been designed to inspire relaxing meditations, activities and divinations.
The Serenity Oracle was born out of Pip Stoneham’s creative advertising & production background, and years of studying various belief systems & happiness psychology.
                        She became a serenity seeker to overcome daily anxieties.

Flower of the Day ~ Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea

I love opening up my flower research journals and finding our flower of the day. Especially old sketches! Today I did so and a very appropriate one appeared for us.

Coneflower webcards new 

We are all aware, I'm sure, of the immunity and healing properties of echncea and its messages are very aligned of course.
Be very aware of situations which are toxic or moving that way on all levels today and be sure to act with grace and dignity. This precious flower reminds up to stay true to ourselves and to look after our personal wellbeing through living in wholeness.
You can grow Purple Coneflower very easily. An autumn flowering beauty that adds a gorgeous display as well as being a natural organic accessible source of the healing gifts it has to share. Be aware that it a largish flower bed plant and needs a little more room than you would imagine. Most people seeing mine in the garden seem to express their delight in their size. Butterflies adore them so they are not only helping you but nature too!
Bunches of love,
Cheralyn xx