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This is a very attractive bush that is covered with either yellow or tan flowers for most of the summer. Its name comes from the fact that its seed pods look like small inflated bladders. Children love to pop the immature pods. The collapsed seed pods look very much like senna pods. It is the tan-coloured flowers that are used to make the essence. This essence helps us to become free of guilt about our past. Everyone has episodes in their life that they feel ashamed about, things that they wish they had never done. The difficulty is that we look back with the wisdom of the present, something we did not have at the time that is now disturbing us. Guilt is a very destructive emotion which takes us away from the present and produces endless worries. We need to find a way of letting go of the feeling that we ought to have handled things differently, of escaping from the tyranny of severe self-judgement, and of seeing that as human beings we inevitably get things wrong from time to time, that none of us is infallible. Indeed, that is the true meaning of the word that is translated as “sin” in the Bible - to make an error, to miss the mark - as in archery. Bladder Senna helps us to get rid of the old emotional responses, to ease out of the old learned patterns of excessively harsh self-judgement. It is the flower of self-compassion and self-understanding.
Life seems to offer bizarre twists. Those who would do well to look carefully at their past behaviour rarely seem to do so. Those who do look at their past behaviour can become trapped by guilt feelings about what they did! Bladder Senna is concerned with catharsis - getting rid of things that are hindering our progress. In that, it is like our own bladder which helps us to get rid of what we no longer need. Senna pods can likewise help us get rid of waste that has been around too long for our own good! If we feel guilty, we need to get rid of the false unworthy feelings generated by an overly judgemental ego. It is here that the Bladder Senna excels, gently helping us to expel old attitudes and beliefs that have long outlived any usefulness that they may once have had for us. The Bladder Senna is a wonderful cleanser of the mind.