An Herbal Ally for Emotional Times
One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling emotional, chaotic, or just a bit ungrounded, is to sit with the plants. I find a tree to put my back up against, or wander around the neighborhood to see the beautiful earth beings growing around me, cheerfully and peacefully.
Or I ingest some tincture or tea of a dear plant friend who I know will help hold and calm my heart.
One of my best friends for emotional times is Hawthorn (who is flowering right now!) This very sweet being is truly magical at helping us humans feel like we’re in the presence of a deeply protective hug. Especially if we’re having a hard time taking a deep breath. Or feel turmoil in the heart space. Or have some grief coming up to experience.
This tree also acts as a gateway, connecting us to the Otherworld, and the world of Fairy. As I talked about in my last newsletter, this Beltane season holds a similar quality to the season of Samhain, at the opposing end of the year.
Both hold a liminal quality that invite us into another dimension of experience. One where we can feel and perceive magic a little more astutely. One where our sensory experience is enhanced and we can really feel the pulsing buzz of the unseen world.
So maybe this portal of time can serve as an extra potent gateway for you into some realms of your psyche, soul, or the earth body that may be hard to reach at other times.
Or perhaps this portal can usher you into exploring the sentient nature of the earth and plants around you.
Either way, Hawthorn can enhance the healing potency and guide you through it.
The reason I reach for Hawthorn when my heart feels emotional, I'm needing support as I traverse the portal of grief, or I want to connect with the nature spirits, is not necessarily because I read it in a book, or learned it from a teacher.
It is because of my experience being in the presence of this tree, sitting with their medicine for many years, and developing that relational trust.
It is because when I'm experiencing these things, it is the energy and essence of the hawthorn that my heart craves, like a specific friend who knows how to meet me in that exact place.
And while, yes, I learned this information from a teacher too, and yes I am teaching this information to you now, and yes, even if you don't know this plant personally hawthorn will help you with these things, the deeper layer of the spiritual medicine comes from experiencing the medicine in your body, time after time.
It comes from meeting the spirit of the plant without expectation to learn what the plant has to share with YOU, personally.
It comes from developing your shared relationship that's specific to the two of you.
When you open yourself up to the relational quality of nature, you enter into dialogue and true communion with your own most wild, fathomless nature.
When you learn to experience the language of the plants and the living world, you have the opportunity to broaden your community to the non-human. The world opens up.
So if want to learn this way of approaching plant medicine...
If you want to learn the language of the plants or deepen your way of working with them...
If you’re wanting to open your sensory capacity to be in relationship with the natural world...
Then please join me for my immersive, day-long Plant Spirit Workshop + Ceremony this summer.
You will open your sensory perception and intuitive knowing, and you will practice receiving and learning from the plants.
HOW TO WORK WITH HAWTHORN
First of all, if possible find an actual tree growing - if you live in Portland there are tons all over the city, and several big clusters at Mt. Tabor.
Nibble a flower, or just sit with your back against the bark of the tree. Let the presence of Hawthorn come into your body and support you in whatever way you're needing. Let yourself be surrounded and held by this loving energy. You may want to pray to the Hawthorn, opening your heart to guidance.
You can also buy Hawthorn tea or tincture at a local herb store, or even a place like Whole Foods most likely has some. Take a few drops of tincture throughout the day, or sip on the tea as needed.
And if you have experience in this realm, you can always call on the spirit of Hawthorn, right into your home, even if you don't know the plant yet. Sit in meditation and invite the spirit of Hawthorn to come be with you. Notice what happens in your body, notice the qualities that come in, or if you receive any hits on the spiritual nature of this medicine.
When you're working with the plant in this way, always give an offering in return - gratitude, a crystal left outside, some dried plants, a prayer of wellbeing, etc.