Having relationships with plants and especially herbs has always resonated with me. This started in my childhood in our yard and wildflower fields and forests around it, and the chamomile tea my mom made for me to help me sleep. It grew over time to pots of plants, overflowing tea cabinets and a whole cabinet in my kitchen full of dried herbs and jars of homemade tinctures and oils.
I am fortunate that I have been able to learn from some excellent teachers, but the most relevant lessons come directly from the plants themselves. In shamanic and other anamistic work, we engage directly with the spirit of all beings, be they plant, animal, stone, elements, places, and objects both natural and human-made.
We also use our second attention to track what is going on around us, always noticing and taking in information with our felt sense (felt sense is everything we notice inside as well as outside of our bodies).
And in the noticing come the lessons. All of my spiritual herbalist teachers have said that what is growing right around us is the medicine we need at the time. This applies to us personally but also to the collective as a whole.
This summer lemon balm started growing in almost all of my potted plants. Living in an apartment, I feel fortunate to have 2 large balconies, one upstairs and one downstairs. I had one lemon balm plant on the downstairs balcony. Yet, most of my plant pots on the upstairs balcony have sprouted lemon balm. I pluck it out, I harvest it and dry it for tea and it comes right back. It’s in the oak tree seedling in the bucket, the mini-rose I’m trying to keep alive, coming up from the thicket of thyme. It finally occurred to me the other day that there is a message it is trying to give me.
So I sat down with my drum and tuned in.
Almost immediately a feeling of cool green comfort wrapped around me. Calming the outer layer of my energy field, buffering any disturbance or chaos that may be going on around me. I heard them speak to me.
We help one to lose interest in the collective drama. We do this by bringing be-ing not do-ing. But when you must do, you can also be.
I was shown that bringing myself back to feeling the cool green window in my center that lemon balm creates for me helps me be present in what I am doing. It instills a sense of calm presence in the action.
And I got the feeling that lemon balm is also about fresh starts and new beginnings, the vibration of spring no matter what the season.
The message of lemon balm was simple and something that I felt so much in my body. I thanked them for the message and the medicine and decided I would just let it grow wherever it wants for now. After all they are sharing their energy and vibration with all the other beings in the neighborhood as well.
Lemon balm Melissa officinalis is in the mint family and has wonderful medicinal properties as well as the energetic properties they described. For a lovely dive into that, check out evolutionary herbalist Sajah Popham’s plant profile here.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
FAIRY CONGRESS - Offers a summer weekend gathering in person with workshops, circles and of course faeries and nature beings! They also offer a winter virtual weekend with amazing guest speakers like Orion Foxwood, David Spangler and R.J. Stewart. I highly recommend joining the online network to participate in monthly workshops, circles, and book clubs.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Owner Valeria Pearson lovingly created SOLE TO SOUL YOGA studio with a community focus. There are classes for all levels and events that lift the spirit. I am delighted to partner with her to offer a kirtan chanting circle once a month.
My friend and herbalist mentor, LAWRENCE BIRCH is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
ROGER WHEELOCK and GAYLE RUTH are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association. Roger has a practice in Asheville, NC https://www.communityshaman.com/
NEW WORLD KIRTAN = Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -