The wild weeds growing in your garden, the tiny plants bursting through the cracks in the sidewalk and the tall trees in the forest are eager to help you. Yes, these wild plants, some of them considered weeds have medicine for you.
We aren’t the only ‘living aware beings’ on earth, the rest of the world is alive too. The plants, animals, mountains, sun, rain and clouds are also ‘living aware beings’. The indigenous people of the world have always known and respected this and consider Nature to be a great teacher and healer. All of life is sacred and interconnected.
Humans have received healing from the spirits of plants since the beginning.
Plant Spirit Medicine is an ancient shamanic way of working with plants for healing. There are many different ways, approaches and traditions of receiving healing from plant spirits. I practice a type of Plant Spirit Medicine taught by Eliot Cowan.
In this gentle yet deep healing modality, instead of using the physical plant to treat physical symptoms, we work with the spirits of plants to heal the spirits of people. The plant spirits help us to rediscover a deeper, more meaningful relationship with ourselves, our loved ones and the living world of Nature.
This type of Plant Spirit Medicine is a hands on approach to healing.
What that means is instead of giving you tinctures or teas, I gently touch you and call on the spirit of my plant friends to come through my hands to help you.
My teacher, Eliot Cowan, who’s the author of the book Plant Spirit Medicine, describes it like this, “Plant spirit medicine is the shaman’s way with plants. It recognizes that plants have spirit and that spirit is the strongest medicine. Spirit can heal the deepest reaches of the heart and soul.”
Imbalances of the spirit are at the root of our heartaches, fears, frustrations and our challenges. The more disconnected we become from Nature and from meaningful human relationships, the more we need medicine for our spirit. The plant spirits have the capacity to bring us back into the flow of Nature.
To our modern minds this may seem a little out there but the idea of having relationships with plant spirits was once way more than an ‘idea’ but a way of life. Have you ever had a conversation with your garden plants? Plant Spirit Medicine is all about relationships. Relationship between the plants and the healer, the healer and the client and this restores a deep relationship between the client back into the dream of Nature.
My own healing journey with Plant Spirit Medicine began when I read the Plant Spirit Medicine book in 1999.
Things had been rough for me since college. I was living on my own for the first time, far away from my family and friends. My health was declining, and no one knew what was wrong. I was painfully shy and insecure, struggling to find my way in life. But it wasn’t until many years later that I first experience Plant Spirit Medicine treatments.
Little by little I came back to life. At first the changes were so subtle I hardly noticed, but something sparked inside me that kept me going back to get treatments. As time went on, I could see that the changes in me were profound. It’s like when you look back in time at the transformation of a tiny sprout into a blooming flower.
I started to feel alive and whole again in the face of tremendous physical health challenges. I felt a new sense of confidence and inspiration for life. My relationships improved and communicating with others wasn’t such a struggle anymore. I joined the flow of life again and things started to happen.
Like in gardening, during Plant Spirit Medicine treatments, weeds are pulled, the soil is prepared and seeds are planted. The seeds are then nourished by the sun and rain and tended to by the care of the gardener. It takes time for a plant to grow but before you know it you can’t believe the miracle of transformation in front of you. This is what it’s like with Plant Spirit Medicine.