Plant Medicine

Cascara Sagrada: Sacred Bark of Letting Go

Cascara Sagrada: Sacred Bark of Letting Go

I am sitting in a room with a male forest being. He is brown with strips of bark hanging from his clothes. He looks at me with a glimmer in his eye, "You know Cascara is good for stubborn blockages."

"Yes, I know"

"No, I mean stubborn blockages." As he emphasizes "blockages" I understand that he means mental, spiritual, and emotional blockages.

"Receive Your Blessing, Daughter of Heaven"

"Receive Your Blessing, Daughter of Heaven"

A familiar cough that comes when my heart unable to receive arising as I put first drops in my mouth; the taste, a wave of bitterness with white-capped apple skin sweetness. The medicine washes down through my chest smoothly pushing cough aside, dissipating and erasing its energy. Memories of a family, friends of my family, with two boys younger than me who tortured animals and a father who had to leave because he was abusive.

Devil’s Club’s Adaptogenic Effects for Trauma

Devil’s Club’s Adaptogenic Effects for Trauma

I walk through the woods searching for a good place to harvest Devil’s Club, Oplopanax horridum. I investigate the root connections looking for a spot where the stems have grown tall and fallen over making new root junctions. If you can find a mature root in between two well-rooted nodes, you can take the central piece while doing minimal harm to the above-ground portions of the plant. I make prayers and offerings and ask for permission to harvest. As I am cleaning and clipping the roots I’ve removed from the stand, I have a sense that something is not right.

The Dignity of Cottonwood

The Dignity of Cottonwood

During the plant meditation last night I experienced the presence of Cottonwood as an unshakeable, deeply grounded, completely firm, and noble being. I was immersed in a holy silence far removed from any thought or concern. I was aware of my body in that I felt my entire being becoming more and more solid--a heaviness that tuned me into the feeling of being a very large tree.