I have been thinking about medicine and what it really is. What is happening with the plants is very much beyond the most common definition of medicine…”science and art of diagnosing and treating disease.” There is another definition though…medicine can be “a ritual practice and or shamanic practice.” Both these definitions were in the dictionary. Let’s take this one step beyond.
In my studies in shamanic herbalism and wise woman ways, I have learned that medicine is something that transforms us. It is also something we have, an innate sense of wisdom. Medicine is also that wisdom that is beyond us, that moves through all things and guides us forward.
To say a plant is medicinal in the way that is most common to define medicine, is only scratching the surface of what each plant can do for us.
The plants are compassionate wisdom teachers. They offer themselves to guide us. We can receive this “medicine” energetically and we can also take them in to further receive their power. When you know this about the plants, it creates an intimacy with them, a deep respect and reverence.
One of the things that we do here at our farm is communicate with the plants. We create relationships with them. Before we ever harvest dandelion flower for vinegars, infused oils and many other preparations we listen to what the dandelion has for us. So, when we partake of the dandelion flower vinegar, we not only have a physical experience of the plant’s effect on us, we also receive more of that wisdom the dandelion spoke to us that is personal to our relationship with it.
It is a collaboration. It is a weaving together of who we are and who the plant is.
Here is an experiment for you:
• Go outside to a plant you know is edible, a vegetable, a weed, an herb etc.
• Notice your breath and breathe a few breaths naturally.
• Now breathe seven breaths as if you are breathing in the oxygen of this plant you wish to eat. And breathe out and give it your breath.
• Ask the plant, “What have you for me?”
• Say thank you.
• Now ask the plant if you may harvest some to eat. Wait for a “yes”. Say thank you, harvest and eat it.
• See what happens.
The old way is to be connected with all of life, to pay attention and be clear about our intentions.
The old way is to be grateful for everything.
The old way is the new way.
May it be in Beauty.