Transformation with Plants
Firstly, let’s define ‘spiritual’. Everyone has their own interpretation of what ‘spiritual’ means to them, however, there are some consistencies that run through these diverse concepts, so let’s start there.
Spirituality can simply mean an understanding of the mind, how it works, how it is divided into higher and lower mind, how it works for us and against us and most importantly how it can be transformed. Spirituality to some is the continuous and deeper blending of compassion or heart consciousness into our daily lives. To others it is an ever deepening absorption into the Goddess and to others still, it is an opening or awakening into life here on the Earth and to the truth of our existence.
For me, working with plant essences has been all of these things. As with anything, the longer we work at or with something, the deeper down the road we travel with one practice or modality, the more profound the experiences and teachings are.
With a grounding in Buddhist philosophy and practice I have experienced the wonderful calming effect on the mind that living with ethics has. I have explored the convolutions of the mind through years of meditation and worked to make my self-sabotaging and self-depreciating thought processes have less hold over me. But it wasn’t until I started working with plants and trees that I really started to understand life, spirituality and transcendence on a more profound level.
Just like us, plants and trees have their own unique vibratory resonance, a signature frequency that makes them Oak or Primrose for example. And just like us, this frequency is composed of many other frequencies that make up the whole. What this means is that plants are multi-faceted in terms of the healing qualities that they carry. Anyone familiar with the basics of herbalism will know that one plant can be used for multiple physical issues. When we approach plants from emotional and spiritual perspectives the same principle applies here also and the longer you spend with one plant or tree the more these diverse transformational qualities are revealed.
A plant or flower essence is vibrational medicine in that it is the imprint of the unique resonance of the plant in water. When we work with plant spirits we consciously invite the spirit of the plant into the water. This is possible because water’s crystalline molecular structure can be ‘programmed’ to hold memories, vibrations and emotions (see Dr Emoto’s work on the effect of human intention on the living consciousness of water).
By ingesting or applying a flower or plant essence to acupressure points, the vibration of the medicine is assimilated into our own vibration, therefore we are aligning ourselves to the frequency of nature, re-patterning ourselves back to our original blueprint and if you want to go even deeper, immersing ourselves in the blessings of the Goddess of the land.
So what does this teach us? Is this a short-cut to spiritual development? Well, not quite!
Whenever we work with plants for healing, whether it is physical or emotional healing there is a tendency to view them in much the same way that we view allopathic medicine - diagnose a symptom, apply a chemical / plant to get rid of it. While this may work in some instances we are not really addressing the underlying issue, the cause or catalyst for the symptom. Plant medicines are not a quick fix, they deal with truth and therefore invite us into a deeper relationship with them and therefore with ourselves. They expand our inner landscape and give us a direct experience or a glimpse of how it is to live in balance and harmony and then it is up to us to manage and maintain that equilibrium.
The mind is habitual and so old habits can persist if we have something deeper to learn from them. There needs to be conscious awareness brought to everything we do and think if we are to allow spirituality to unfold, therefore a meditation practice is not only a fundamental to life but to the spiritual and emotional healing process too.
One of the plants I have been working with for a number of years is Hawthorn, this is the heart medicine of our islands, not only for the physical heart but the emotional, spiritual and what some term as the Holy Heart, the collective heart of the earth and all beings who live in or upon her. Hawthorn drops us into a deep, calm awareness away from habitual concerns and worries, so that we can understand heart consciousness from a direct experience perspective. By continuing to work with Hawthorn over a period of time this magical tree will support us on our journey of uniting the higher and lower minds (the heart and soul with the conceptual mind), however, there is much work that we have to do ourselves to get there, it is a partnership. Every time the mind turns back towards selfish, negative or destructive thoughts we need to apply the lessons that Hawthorn has taught us, apply the antidote to these thought processes without suppressing them but just allowing them to move through us, being replaced by the heart conscious awareness of Hawthorn.
Just like a friendship, working with plants and trees is a partnership, where respect is required for the gift bestowed upon us and just like any relationship, it needs to be reciprocal for it to flourish and deepen. It is therefore disrespectful to not implement the insight and teaching gifted by the plant spirit. It is essential that we integrate the teaching into our lives and have gratitude for the life-enhancing qualities of the green beings. What these benevolent plant spirits will do for us over a period of time is help us realign ourselves back to our original blueprint, where we are not ruled by our emotions and traumas but can maintain a natural equipoise to allow the truth of our existence and therefore our spirituality to arise naturally.
Blessings of the plants
This article was written for Kindred Spirit, March 2019