The Plant Teachers

Embodied Presence: Listening to the Voices of the Earth

Embodied Presence: Listening to the Voices of the Earth

Recently a friend and I were talking about the global situation. He told me that it is really challenging for him to stay present with the pain and intensity of it all. I didn't reply but just sat in that feeling with him until he said, “I guess that's what got us into this mess, isn't it?” I smiled. “Yep, the turning away is what got us here. The thinking that it is possible to turn away, that we are somehow able to remove ourselves from the equation.”

In efforts to distance ourselves from the pain and suffering of the world, we create ever-more elaborate methods of distraction, content to direct our awareness towards anything except that which is most demanding our attention. As the modern industrial machine continues to insatiably devour the world’s forests and devastate the ecological integrity of our planetary life systems, so many of us remain deaf to the cries of our human and nonhuman kin. What can we do to reestablish open, receptive, and mutually enlivening channels of communication?

Yarrow and the Path of the Magician

Yarrow and the Path of the Magician

Yarrow, the thousand-leaved herb of Achilles, you are an arrow of love that flies straight to my heart, a knife that cuts to the bone, and a sword of light that dispels illusion from my consciousness. Yarrow, pare away all excess and unnecessary cruft, bring me to a place of centering where the lies of my lower self will have no hold or sway. Help me rise above darkness to center and align with the clear light of universal consciousness.

A Doctrine of Psycho-spiritual Signatures: Patterns in Plants and Nature that Inspire Human Awakening

A Doctrine of Psycho-spiritual Signatures: Patterns in Plants and Nature that Inspire Human Awakening

If one believes that there is an underlying force or energy that gives shape and form to the universe, it is easy to see that there would be correlations between things that have been shaped by similar permutations of this universal force. This force creates patterns that are found throughout nature in forms that include the Golden Ratio, the Golden Rectangle, Fibonacci Sequence patterns, Overbeck Jets, and Toroids.

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.