Exploring the magic and mystery of plants, food as medicine and what it means to live wild.
Wild Stinging Nettles
Understanding the plant world was a profound experience that changed the trajectory of my life. I remember vividly how desperate I was to find the right solution for a health scare that I had been moving through for years. I kept myself busy and pushing through life avoiding the confrontation of the issues boiling up around me. At the time I was running two businesses, studying massage therapy and in a relationship that felt unsupportive. When I decided to apply to herbalism school I was at my wits end, and had reached the point of desperation to get my health in check.
It's interesting that we can walk by the wild plants every day and not notice them, yet their energy is reaching out to meet ours. We are often so busy running from one place or the other and deeply focused on the material world that we miss the beautiful parts of life that surround us moment by moment. Meeting the plants at the time when I did was a foundational building block in my life and I wish that I had met them sooner!
They taught me to slow down. Listen deeply. Their medicine is multi dimensional, their messages have surpassed my expectation on many occasions.
I didn't understand until very recently that we were all born
with a gift that allows us to be in direct communication with
all plants! All humans have the potential to receive messages
from the surrounding earth and all beings through our
feelings and our nervous system. The plants carry a physical
medicine and an energetic medicine that we are able to tap
into and gain more insight on what they can offer as well as
what we are needing in that moment. In my two year plant
spirit herbalism course, I became quiet enough in my body to
really understand the root of my health condition. The plants
helped me to keep seeing and guiding me through my fears. I
had to make a lot of changes and the changes felt scary!
Believe me when I say that the changes took time, but
eventually as I continued to get quiet and listen - I became a
force that was unstoppable.
I sat in meditation with my plant allies, at the time I was
working with hibiscus, nettle and motherwort. I prepared teas
and while I sipped them, I became calm in my body and
waited for the messages to come. Some days were better
than others and I feel that it all depended on how relaxed I
was. What transpired was pure magic. In the process of
sitting, I was also nourishing my body and nervous system
with the physical medicine of the plant - all while also
experiencing their energy within me. The messages often
come in visuals, colours, memories sometimes its a
As we relax, bits of information slowly start to seep in, but the
key is to remain calm, steadying the breath and most
importantly trust what you are seeing and feeling!
Plant Spirit Communication Practice
The first step is to choose a plant that you want to work with. This can take some time and trial and error. Some plants will appear more vividly with their energy when you are meditating with them and others maybe not as much. As a general rule I like to work with a nervine plant that helps to calm my nervous system and prepare my body for receiving. A nice sweet introductory plant is oat straw - it's delicious and neutral enough for any palette.
Add 1-2 tsp of your plant of choice to 1 quart of boiling water and allow it to sit for 20 mins covering the jar with a lid
Creating Sacred Space
This one is really personal to you. I like to bring in candles and flowers, blessing herbs to change the energy of the space and allow me to settle in (more on blessing herbs later). Perhaps you have a goddess that you love or a symbol that brings you peace. The most important here is to create a space that feels very calm to you. Perhaps some blankets , pillows and a comfortable seat. Maybe some soft music too!
You will want to settle into your body and breath. This may mean a gentle stretch to release the jaw, neck and shoulders. I like to run my hands down my arms and legs and body and begin connecting to myself and my presence. I then settle into my seat and focus on my breathing, I like to draw my awareness inward and then move that awareness to my body and scan my muscles to make sure I am as relaxed as possible.
When I feel relaxed enough and while sipping my tea, I invite the plant in and the information to be exchanged. This can take a long time and sometimes it doesn't happen on the first try. Remembering that this is a practice and that it takes time - working with plants is like building a relationship. But the sooner we begin to cultivate it, the sooner we can experience the weaving of this very precious relationship!
OOH LAST PIECE is important! Journaling you experience can be such a good practice to get into, sometimes when we meet the plants we forget and so going back to the journal is pretty amazing and often we have some aha! moments when we go back to old journals and see how the plant has guided us on our journey! Enjoy this practice, bring it into your routines, I like to look at this like an essential wellness practice of sitting still and journeying with my friends - the plants!