I'm so happy that Jason at Essence of Wild has written this beautiful guest blog post for me to share here, illustrated with his sumptuous photography:
'Overhung by bluebells, brambles and ferns I lay on the musty woodland floor feeling the cold damp seep through the waterproof picnic rug beneath me. The boggy ground provided a perfectly soft resting place as I lay there keeping company with the bowl of flower essence that Jackie and I had been given by the geum flowers. We knew it was necessary to be fully present with the essence until it told us that it was time to be taken away from the parent plants, so I happily rested with nature.
The rain began to pour. I wrapped the rug around me, leaving only my eyes and my feet uncovered. Gazing up to the topmost canopy of sycamore leaves I watched the path taken by the raindrops. They spiralled down to me. They actually spiralled! The journey took a count of 3 seconds. I stayed with the woodland for 4 hours and got to know so much about that tiny corner. Even now, months later, I can revisit every nook and cranny and recall the birds that came to see me. Particularly the tawny owl.
Being still for so long isn't new to me, I've spent many a day in cloth 'hides' waiting to photograph birds and have sat for hours willing the right cloud formations to dress the landscape in front of my camera. However this was different. I wasn't just waiting for nature to give me something, I was a part of nature's process. Without me the essence wouldn't have the spirit of the plant. My presence was serving a purpose, allowing some alchemical magic to take place between the diva of the geum, the spirits of the place, the guides, ancestors and higher beings we had called on and my own heartfelt intent to honour and respect this sacred work.
As we sat with the flowers earlier in the day and absorbed the messages of their healing little did I realise that what we were doing has been done since the days of prehistory. It felt like a new discovery to me, a new connection and I wanted to tell the world. I still want to shout about it and to share the knowledge that plants know a thing or two, but have come to understand that it really is nothing new. Nature has communicated her gifts to those who care to listen for as long as humans have foraged in her midst. After all, other animals self-medicate don't they?! Most of the modern world have simply lost the way, that's all.
Being able to slow down to nature's pace, learning how to be absolutely present with her and most of all, exuding a heartfelt love and warmth for nature that cannot be feigned are the keys to developing this relationship. Once we've begun the journey the mysteries that begin to unfold are many. Shamans and Hedge Witches have long known the deeper connections that result from nurturing this relationship with nature and our land, and perhaps not surprisingly modern scientific research is beginning to support what we have always felt through the bones of our ancestors.
Scientific textbooks such as 'The Secret Life of Plants' and 'The Secret Teachings of Plants' demonstrate how plants can detect our emotional states. More than that, they can actually alter their chemical make up in reaction to our emotions, crafting the perfect soul medicine we need! This came as a real revelation to me and helped answer many questions about herbal medicines. Previously I had this vision of the herbal healers of old working hard to find a remedy for a particular ailment and toiling their way through all the thousands of plants available before finding the correct one. Now I know how they did it. They simply asked. They went out into the land and asked which plant would like to help cure this illness. Being open hearted towards nature they would know the answer when it was given. Similarly they would enjoy a communion with the spirit of place, with the moon... with every single element of our universe and between them they'd come up with a solution.
The very real beauty of this is that nothing has changed.We can do this too! Nature is still there, she is still happy to work with us if we but ask. Healers, mystics, lightworkers
Connect with your earth, go barefoot, feel the difference, soak up the energy from the heart of our planet. Reconnect sole to Soul. Remember, as far as nature is concerned we are a part of her. How much better can it possibly get! '