Strengthen Boundaries: go to Hawthorn

hawthorn berries

It is my direct experience that Plant allies have two functions: the physical and the energetic function.

The physical aspect communicates with our bodies, supporting it with nutrients, regulating hormones and stimulating or relaxing the nervous system, helping us to cope with our imbalances.

The energetic aspect communicates with our Soul, our energy field and our connections with Spirit.

I’m not scholarly nor a very good writer, so I do not offer you a list of reference or lengthy explanations. I’m reading my herbal books and online sources, communicating with the plants myself, and forming my own Herbarium of experiences. It is these experiences that I wish to share with you.

Hawthorn is a dear ally to me, as it helps me to lift my blood pressure and soothe heart palpitations when ever they occur.
It is a heart medicine, regulating blood pressure (lifting if low, lowering if too high) and strengthening the Heart. You can find plenty of descriptions about Hawthorn’s herbal medicine qualities in books and online – read a good selection of sources to get a well-informed understanding about her qualities!

But today I would like to look deeper into the energetic aspects of Hawthorn.

She typically stands at the edge of the woods, or in a hedgerow between fields. She is a ‘gatekeeper’, the watcher over boundaries. She is thorny, giving shelter to birds and small mammals from their predators. She is the protector.

She stands in full blossom in May, and has plenty of berries in the autumn, marking the transition seasons, Spring and Autumn.

Hawthorn has the reputation to be, together with Elder, the favourite tree or bush of fairies, elves and other etheral creatures.

For me Hawthorn is the ideal Plant ally for protecting my personal boundaries and for transiting between our seemingly solid visible world and the etheral Spirit world. I go to her and use the berries in herbal tea for the energetic aspects, and as a tincture (blossom, leaves and berries) for the physical aspects. Why? Mostly because I feel that the alcohol in the tincture doesn’t rhyme very well with the aspects of Soul, and yet it does get the medicinal components out of the plant material and into the liquid so that they are more readily available for our physical body.

So to conclude: whenever you feel you could use some stronger personal boundaries, seek Hawthorn and hang out with her, in any way that appeals to you. Visit her, drink her, think her.

 

 

 

Our food – part 2

walnuts

(read part 1 here)

introduction:
In these challenging times I find myself telling my son: choose with your Heart, your Heart knows what is right.
The Mind is a great tool, but the Heart comes first.
There are three things I do when feeling overwhelmed: Meditate. Be in Nature. Rest.
Just silent sitting is a very effective method to tackle tough stuff. Answers will arise. The next step will become obvious.
I bake my bread, ferment foods and drinks, sow seeds and tend to Life as well as I can.

Connecting with Nature through food

In herbalism there’s an interesting theory: plants that you need the most, will grow nearby you.

Another herbalist-theory is that local herbs are much more potent for healing a person than herbs imported from another habitat.

Nature organizes itself through an inherent intelligence.
We  humans are also a part of Nature, although we’re often dis-connected, because we’re so busy in our minds.

Since food is our best medicine, and working with soil (dig your bare hands into the soil!) evokes feel-good hormones, it’s logical to grow some of our own food – as much as you can!
If you don’t have a garden or an allotment, you can still grow some herbs in pots by your window.

More theory: talking or singing to plants makes them grow better.
This is true, because we live in a respiratory symbiosis with plants. We  humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2). Plants also have a circulation of gasses, and they ‘breathe’ in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.
Have a little breathing session with your plants!

By incorporating the grow-your-own-food mentality into your life, you’re automatically connecting to the web of Life, even if it’s only one plant you’re tending to.
The more you pay attention, the more you’ll notice. About the soil and its inhabitants. About compost. About the elements – earth, air, fire (sunlight), water and about the natural rhythms of everything alive.
It is very calming, nourishing and enlightening. It puts things in Life into a healthier priority and perspective.

There is another aspect of growing your own food and eating locally produced food that I hadn’t expected.
I’ll weave it into a story:

At the community herbal garden where I’m volunteering, the garden design is based on a beautiful keyhole mandala.
At the center of the mandala grows a medlar tree. It is the first medlar I’ve consciously met in my life. Perhaps because it was a stranger to me, I found it a little bit difficult to relate to it. I didn’t get further than a general “it’s a tree with (somewhat) edible fruit, so it’s all-right”.

The volunteer whose brain-child the herbal garden is, had made medlar compote from the fruit, and had a jar of it for us all. At home, I tasted it, savoured the composition of fruit and spices, the texture, the warming feeling it gave. The energetic warmth and velvety smoothness, topped up with exotic spices made me decide that even if it was just for one jar of medlar compote per year, this was a tree I’d love to have in my garden – what an interesting personality to meet!

Gardening is on winter pause now, but one day early in January I went for a walk in the direction of the herbal garden, and decided to go and take a look at how the garden is doing at this moment. Letting my eyes glide over the bare, brown stems of herbs and the graphic contours of the plants, I was paying attention to the subtle colour palette of the garden when – my gaze met the medlar and there was an instant connection. Suddenly I could feel the inside of its trunk inside my ‘trunk’, my body!
Smiling, I thanked it for its delicious fruit, and a happy answer came, thanking me for paying attention.

The herbs that I collect and dry for herbal teas are also a personal allies.
Herbs will have their unique effects, no matter where they come from, but herbs/plants you personally know… will bring magic!
As I mix herbal teas in the autumn when the season of colds and flu’s is around the corner, I meet the plants again, they go through my hands and I thank them for their healing power.
The next season I see the familiar flowerheads nodding in the sun again, and I’m so sincerely and thoroughly happy to see them, and as I express my joy they seem to swell up a little bit with happiness as well.

If you quietly pay attention, plants that you mindfully connect with will gladly connect with you, and in addition to their healing qualities they are willing to share their wisdom – if we just listen.

medlar

 

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Core Value(s)

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In my last post I took you to the place of beginnings – a bright, white empty space, after all the gathering, evaluating and integrating.

And I asked you to find one thing – your core value – that would be your leading star for the near future.

My own core value boiled down to service – let me elaborate.

It is my deepest, strongest and most heart-felt wish that we could create Paradise on Earth again. I’m not religious, but I sincerely long for our planet to become healthy again, with – instead of a money-economy – natural ecology being the leading force. My vision is optimist-proof with abundant forests and fields full of blossoms, fruit and shady patches, fresh, clean water flowing and pooling, providing life everywhere, humans, animals and nature spirits living harmoniously together.

I do enjoy the creative forces of money, the life-helping qualities of infrastructure and technical inventions, but the balance needs to be re-found in order for Life to flourish.

And I could sit here and wait forever for things to change, but unless you and I, the neighbor near and the other one far – all of us, together – take the decision to change our lives, things will evolve, but not necessarily in a direction we like.

So what do I mean by “service”? That I find and use the courage to step up and exclaim: I am here. I can do this. I do this.

And now I’m here, to Serve.
I tune in to nature and co-create: that’s how I garden. I tune in and work in energy realms: that’s how I heal. I tune in and listen to spirits of plants and other nature-beings: that’s how I get my knowledge. And I tune in to Gaia and sense she’s re-birthing herself: that’s how I re-direct my priorities.

I’m naturally curious to know if this “urge to step out” is itching in others as well. I’d like to hear what your core value is. And what it means, how you express it in the various fields of life? And what is your envisioned Hopeful Future Scenario? Let us know, in the comments below or at your preferred social media channel (links at the bottom-right corner of this site).

 

a healing session in July

 

I start with meditation and move into the Healing Space, protecting myself and my client.

First I want to scan for shadow-beings and remove those. I find a small one in her head, it is tiny, but it’s “capping” the pineal gland, muting the clarity of the pineal gland that it should have. Removing the little shadow being and sending it to the Universal center (to be recycled to more useful stuff) opens the energy channels of my client to flow freely and her energy body gets much brighter and larger.

Moving further I find scaly, dry, dark stuff at the base of her neck and around the shoulders. It looks like dark dirty dry scales of fish skin and as I’m rubbing it off I get the information that what I see is old debris from responsibilities that she ‘had to carry’ while it wasn’t hers to carry…A load put on her shoulders left these marks. I scrub it away and when clean, I let light pink light shine on the area. The light also streams up her neck and into the point of the pineal gland where the tiny shadow being had been. These areas get bathed in pink light.

Moving further I see a tightness at the throat. The colour is greenish, while it could be more blue to make a beautiful turquoise. This to me indicates that more freedom and space could be used in her voice.

Her hand palms are a little bit ‘dirty’ from touching the bodies of others to ease pain and tension. I wash them with light and make a mental note to remind her to protect herself before giving sessions to others.

Then my focus goes further and comes at the womb. I don’t even have to search: a shadow-being, the size of a big baby dwells there and I take it out from the side of her belly. A quick question if it would like to transform to a light-being gets a bitter snarling answer from it and so I send it to the center of the Universe in a packet of Light. It has left three small eggs that resemble ant eggs in form but are black and larger. I remove those and send them away, scan if all is clean now and the answer is yes. The over-all condition of the womb is now very healthy, cozy and welcoming. It has a warm pink colour and a Love-vibration, very inviting! A baby would feel at home here :)

Going further I notice something small and ‘gritty’ at her left knee, around the left-lower corner of the kneecap. I remove the grits and it’s now clean.

The legs and feet give a healthy, grounded feeling.

I pose the question if there’s anything else I should do and her Soul emerges (visually amazing: her energy body is lying down, and from the middle axis in longitude comes the Soul like a nymph from the trunk of a tree, from a natural split that emerges in the body) and addresses the wish to move to south-Europe. I check if Soul, Mind and Heart are in synch on this, and see that the Soul and Mind are fine with it, but the Heart is afraid.

I wonder what to do about it and the answer “Plant Spirit Medicine” comes up. I’m feeling around for a plant candidate and Hawthorn comes up front. It’s such an obvious ally for the Heart that I’m hesitating a little bit and ask for a second opinion from my helpers. They bring to my attention to a special healing spot I know,  it is the home of Walnut and Hawthorn, and I get the message they want to give the Hearth strong roots – strength and grounding.

I watch as the Heart is lifted from her chest and laid on a stone altar in the healing spot, and Walnut and Hawthorn start to work their healing on it.

I realize this is a very vulnerable situation and hold (protect) the spaces, a strong protection around our energy bodies and an eye on what is going on with the Heart.

It takes a while but then I get the message it’s ready. I look at the Heart and it’s much bigger now and deep red. I laugh a bit “you’ve got yourself a Wild Heart!” I think as we place it back to where it belongs and heal the “wound” with Light.

I thank the Walnut, the Hawthorn, my spirit helpers, bathe my client in intense golden light and close the meditation.

Thank you.

 

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The Human link

field

Finding my way in the Natural world has raised the question: what is our role as human in the ecosystem and spiritual community of Nature?

In comparison: animals have their instinctively driven tasks of animal/plant control through feeding on other living things, they fertilize the ground with droppings  and increase the dynamics of any given space by their movements. In doing so, they are a vital caretaker of their habitat.

Plants absorb nutrients from the soil into their own bodies and produce oxygen and cooling shadow as well (talk about amazing!). They also enrich the soil with their waste material – fallen leaves and other dead plant parts, from roots to top.

Nature spirits and elementals have a harmonizing and enlivening effect. Wherever they’re present, there is beauty and magic, vitality and joy. I’m not quite sure how they do it, but they seem to bring enhanced Life energy to wherever they dwell.

And us humans? I’m not going to go into all the things we’re doing wrong at the moment, but instead I want to jump straight into what we could do right.

We, humans, have the wonderful capability of making things. We can form our surroundings – clear space, build a shelter, dig a waterway, plant trees, introduce animals into a habitat and so on.

My own approach to working with Nature – in my case in the ‘ordinary’ sense: I’m gardening – has been coloured by the permaculture movement: watch Nature, copy Nature and learn from Nature. This was always ‘head-work’ to me, my mind in action.
Now I’ve woken up to realize that there is a deeper level to working with Nature – interspecies communication.

In order to work with Nature effectively, I’ve got to open my senses to the other players in the field – the plants, animals and nature spirits.
Together we can form a Natural space that provides food and shelter for all of us, works as a dynamic ecosystem and is charged with high energy and beauty. A source of health and happiness!

With the human mind, creativity and technical ability, we can create forms and solutions that Nature alone can’t make.
When we listen to the other players in the Nature-game and co-create we can heal the Planet.

I find it challenging to be the loving gardener of two gardens – when I’m present in one, I’m absent from the other. So I forged ‘a deal’ with the nature spirits of both places: when I’m away, they run the place.

A short time ago I took a look with my spiritual eye at the spiritual life in our place ‘out there’, since the vibration is clearly rising in the garden ‘in here’. To my shock I saw that the nature spirits were sleeping in the earth, in the trees and stones. They weren’t dancing around and being merry as I had seen in a vision about the future. Upon asking how this could be, the answer was a somewhat blunt and matter-of-fact statement: “If you are not active, we are not active. It takes two to tango.”

I’ve been planting trees, bushes and other plants in order to create a foodforest and healing gardens. We’ve been mowing paths and cutting back brambles, moving stones around and building stairs and terraces. But all this shaping and preparing, while it’s positive and useful, is not the same thing as hanging out with your place. Just sitting around, listening to what it is saying, singing, wishing and needing. For a small degree we’ve been listening, as in listening to intuition for where certain plants should go, or how a path might curve. But building up a friendship with your place…is something deeper, more meaningful and in spiritual/energetic terms more powerful.

I’m curious to see what the coming season will bring. I will bring my gifts. And I’m looking forward to lots of sitting and listening to the land, conversations with the local nature spirits and human neighbors :) , taking into account the wishes of the flora and fauna whose home it already is. To be continued.

(I offer interspecies communication as a service, but I also have to remind you that anyone can learn it and use it in their own situation. It’s a bit like the choice between learning a language and hiring a translator. Anyone can learn the language, and it’s useful, but if you don’t think it’s worth the effort for you in your personal situation, you hire someone. As simple as that.)

 

Plant Spirit Healing – working together with plant consciousness & why

Next to providing us with oxygen, food and herbal remedies, plants can do more – much more.

If you’ve ever had a walk in the woods and had a secret, silent discussion with a tree, you know what I’m talking about. The same goes for gardening and feeling your attention is being tugged at by a thirsty plant. Plants are sentient beings, just like animals and we humans are.

When I was a little girl, I preferred solitude to crowds (I still do), and often found myself sitting at the root of a great oak tree.
I can’t remember how our relationship began, but I do remember reading fairy tales, as pictograms, from his bark. It was like reading a book with symbolic images. I was eagerly deciphering the story that the oaks’ bark was telling me.

As an adult gardener, my garden plants started to communicate with me…and even though my very good friend told me not to tell anyone, I’m sharing it with you. Because I think it is important to shed light on what is possible.

So what is Plant Spirit Healing?

To summarize, Plant Spirit Healing is working together with the spirit of a plant in order to solve a problem.
That can be a health issue, but it can also be about a difficult decision, a situation you can’t understand…or anything else that really matters to you.

You (or I) connect with a plant spirit and receive information.
Here’s how people go about it:
I usually observe which plant comes to me – it springs to mind or I see it very prominently in the garden or during a nature walk. Intuition will tell me quite clearly when I’m face to face with a plant (spirit) that wants to help me. I might hang out with the plant in terms of observing it with an open mind, perhaps tasting it if invited to do so, and give it a gift in return: a song, something handmade, arranging its surroundings a little bit as to make it more comfortable. I’m making friends, getting to know each other, building a relationship.

In traditional shamanism one then journeys to the spirit world with a clear, predetermined intention, using the beat of the shaman drum to get into the trance (or: the right state of mind for journeying). But you can find your own favored way. I find the path of meditation more straight forward – from meditation I slip into visualization.
In the spirit world I then meet with the spirit of the plant. Or, sometimes I’m communicating with the spirit of a plant in my daily consciousness, telepathically. No drumming/meditation and journeying involved, just silently chatting in the here and now. What ever is genuine and authentic, and works.

The advice from the plant spirits is very powerful. Sometimes they speak in symbols or metaphors, but I or the recipient of the session can decipher the message, since it is Personal Advice. With health issues there usually is an underlying thing (issue) that causes disharmony, imbalance and/or blockages. Getting clear about the root of the problem gives you grip on the situation, and understanding the cause almost automatically sheds light on the solution.

After such a session it is quite fitting to thank the Plant Spirit with a song, a gift and by opening up for the possibility of a lasting  friendship.

And why do I think it works?

Well, because it is my experience that the advice I get is accurate, often surprising, and very effective. And because I believe that plants are directly connected with the Source or Spirit (or Force ;) ) and haven’t got the hindrance of a thinking mind that has been programmed to think x-y-z, like we have. And because my experience is that collaboration with plant spirits and animal helpers is very satisfying – it’s fun, adventurous and…real. No tricks or false appearances involved (so far), the very pitfalls of our – until recently – modern day society. You’re not ingesting some synthetic chemical cocktail as you would with common medicine*, but you are working with spirit, hence no side effects, except joy and clarity. It is available for every one, if you’re interested in tuning in.

*Please note that I do believe that common medicine certainly has its place in assisting our body when and where necessary.

If you’d rather not invest the time and effort in vision quests in nature, the good news is that a Plant Spirit Healer (or a shaman-herbalist-holistic-healer) can do the job for you! The world is changing, we’re returning to our beautiful, natural state, and it’s fully OK, natural and interesting to investigate the fields of  holistic healing. Your body, mind and soul will thank you!

Plant Spirit Healing

 

 

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