Plant Medicine: Plants as Spiritual Teachers & Allies

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:09 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

        Plant Medicine: Plants as Spiritual

Teachers & Allies
        by Jane Sherry


Plants have been our allies, our protectors, our food and medicine as long as there has been life on earth. The physical and spiritual presence of plants is deeply interconnected with our earthly existence throughout our lives.

Photosynthesis helps create a breathable atmosphere. Plant life nourishes all animal existence. Plant mysteries and histories are interwoventhe Art of Phyllis Tarlow into our psyches and our mythology, present in our relations with one another, with all spiritual beings, and with our dear home, Planet Earth.

Flowers and seeds, stems and leaves, roots and fruits feed us and clothe us, house and protect us, soothe our fevers and our fears and form the basis of our rituals and celebrations. Plant medicine has helped women and men to conceive life, to nurture life, and to die with grace and dignity.

Plants, like the myriad varieties of people on earth, have special qualities & abilities. Each of us resonates most harmoniously with specific plants and plant medicines. These plants are our allies, our spiritual guides and helpers. Our plant alliances nurture our physical and emotional bodies and assist us in our earthly and cosmic journeys.

The cycles of plant life provide a rhythm that shapes the seasons of our lives and informs our very language, so that plants serve us there as well, by helping us to connect to place, to the soil of our culture and to our spirit.

We say we are feeling grounded when we are centered and feeling connected to our environment and our spirit. We say we are feeling ungrounded when we feel disconnected from ourselves or from others.

We say we have put down roots when we have established ourselves and feel at home in our surroundings. When we move to a new land or a new job, we say we have found new soil in which to grow; we are transplants. We say that we are planting seeds for the future when we are germinating new ideas, cultivating new friends and relationships. We say we are branching out when we try something new. When we make big changes in our lives, when we have breakthroughs, we say that we are breaking new ground. As we incorporate these new ways into our lives our habits change and we say we are growing new roots.

The adage, "the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree", is about the continuum from one generation to the next. We use the word seed to connote sperm, descendants, continuity and new beginnings, or to connote the origins of events, families, emotions or other states of being.

We even name our children after plants and flowers. Babies and young children are sometimes called sprouts. We say that pubescent, blushing youth is budding when we describe their newfound sexuality, that they blush like the bloom of pink on a white rose; their budding new sexuality then flowers as they become young women and young men. To bloom is to flourish, to shine with life force in full early earthly expression of a maturing life.

Our alliance with the plant world is so deeply rooted in our psyches that spiritual and religious traditions from the Neolithic era to the present reflect the imagery of growth, flowering, fruiting, sacrificial death, decay and rebirth that characterizes the cycle of plant life around the world.

Plants have always been our magical companions in our evolution here on earth, and will continue to evolve in their abilities to assist us to become more conscious, more kind, more loving in our relations.

Horticulture, is the cultivation of a garden, from the Latin 'hortus' for garden, and the Indo European word for culture. Gardening is the cultivation of the soul, not just the soil. When planting a seed, through our faith and love, we concentrate and focus the forces of the universe to prepare a suitable environment for the conception of new life. Through our faith and love and conscious partnership with the cosmic and earthly forces of nature, we nurture and fertilize the sprouting seed over time, until the growing plant reaches its full expression in flower or fruit.

Because soul gardening involves bringing into full consciousness an intuitive connection with plant allies, gardeners have a unique opportunity to work spiritually with each living being in the garden, and to establish a unique relationship with the plants we nurture. Each one of us has the ability to ask for and receive help from our plant allies.

It is easy and rewarding to find out what plants are your personal allies either through dreams or meditation. Before you go to sleep at night, or before a meditation, formulate the intent to meet your plant ally. Most likely they are already growing right around you in your backyard, or in a nearby park. It may take several attempts to make contact. You may see a plant or flower or fruit, or you may hear a voice telling you the name of your ally. You may see a color or smell a fragrance, and then during the session or later, perhaps while walking in the garden or a park, you may see a plant that reminds you of what you saw or smelled in your dream or during your meditation.

Once you have contacted your plant ally, you can sit quietly, and speak with the spirit of the plant. You can get to know your plant ally by brewing up a cup of herb tea or taking flower essences, but the most direct way is to live in partnership & communion with a growing plant or garden of plants, flowers, herbs & shrubs.

Plant seeds on a windowsill or in your garden. Grow herbs and flowers, make your own herb teas, and flower essences. Grow and eat more flowers and plants, like violets and dandelions, in your salads and other dishes, and thank them for their tireless service. Remember to leave wild places in your yard or farm for the plant spirits to play.

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