Prunus spinosa The remedy for the depths of despair - the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Blackthorn is for the ultimate state of despair. Here we feel to be in a deep dark pit with no way out. All seems lost; neither life nor death has any meaning. Sometimes we may feel that we are travelling through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This is the ultimate point of the self-destruct mechanism of the personality. It is the point where all our illusions have been shattered by the force of outside circumstances. Blackthorn mirrors this feeling with its sharp black thorns. Yet from these depths a completely new growth into a much lighter way of living is possible, leaving the old destructive ways behind. There is a dawn beyond the darkest night; it is only our fears that prevent us from seeing the light. The black pit may well have been generated by a strong ego finding itself in conflict with the force of outside circumstances. It is the conflict between strongly held personal opinions and Truth (as it is experienced in our lives) that can finally precipitate this collapse into despair. The ego can be so powerful that, rather than accept that strongly held beliefs were wrong, it will produce despairing or even suicidal thoughts. There is, however, always a way out of this despair if we accept the challenge and acknowledge that a different way of living is possible. Blackthorn can help to ease the trauma of this change, and illuminate the way forward. In its white blossoms there are immense healing properties, helping us to open up to a new and totally transformed way of living.