by Richard Katz
Fairy Lantern (Calochortus albus), also known as White Globe Lily, is a native wildflower endemic (limited) to California. It is found primarily in the central coastal hills and Sierra Nevada foothills up to 5000 ft / 1500 m. It favors shaded hillsides and rocky slopes, such as road cuts and river canyons, blooming from early to late spring, depending on the habitat and elevation.
Fairy Lantern shares the distinguishing characteristics of the Lily Plant Family (Liliaceae): simple linear leaves, perennial bulbs, flowers with three petals and three sepals. It is a member of the Calochortus (Greek for “beautiful grass”) genus, which also includes the Mariposa Lilies and Star Tulips, sharing with these plants the distinctive hairy petals that express the qualities of sensitivity and receptivity. However, the Fairy Lantern is unique within this genus in that its flowers remain in a bud-like state, hanging downward, never fully opening its petals. It seemingly protects its inner sensitive space by closing it off to the outer world. Read more about the Calochortus genus plants here.
Thus, we see in the growth habit of the plant itself an expression of the soul qualities addressed by the flower essence. The delicate sensitivity of the blossom is kept in a semi-closed protected space. The blossom never fully opens, never fully raises itself up to the light, never fully matures. It appears to hold itself back, hiding from the sun in the woodland shade. Spying a population of Fairy Lanterns lighting up the rocky slopes with their cool moon-like glow, we are struck with their fragile beauty. Yet, these appearances may be deceptive: the plant is more robust than it appears, clinging to rocky slopes, persisting for many years in its chosen habitats.
Positive qualities: Healthy maturation; acceptance of adult responsibilities
The early developmental process of childhood is critical for the human soul. When this is disturbed, many problems will manifest which inhibit full adult maturation. The soul who needs Fairy Lantern still clings to a childlike personality. In some instances, the true identity of the child was suppressed during its development and not allowed its rightful expression. More frequently, the parents or other family members excessively reinforce or restrict the personality in its identity as an immature child. Such a person learns that she or he will receive love only by remaining in an arrested, over-dependent childlike state. These souls become delicate and needy, lacking in inner strength to face the world or shoulder responsibility. They play the role of the puer eterna (eternal child) who needs to unconsciously repeat childhood throughout adult life, hoping to somehow transform this arrested stage of development. Fairy Lantern can also be used during childhood and adolescence for retarded phases of physical or emotional development. Fairy Lantern helps souls to move through these emotional blocks in the maturation process by maintaining a healthy relationship to the inner child, but as a fully functioning, mature adult.
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