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.