Your Core (Flower) Essence

 

The first time I ever opened a book about flower essences I cried. Tears just sprang out of my eyes— not out of sadness per say, but out of a deep well of recognition. I remember I was sitting in the near darkness in my room in Brooklyn, a long boxcar of a space called a “railroad” without windows or proper doors, and suddenly it was like I was in the mist of an out-of-the-blue baptism.

I call tears like this “truth cries.” When something just hits you as so irrevocably true, so deeply in tune with your being, that part of you just weeps. Often these tears take me by surprise, like finding a precious heirloom that has been lost for a long time. In that moment, the dam that was blocking you from remembering a piece of who you are, simply dissolves. And suddenly, you feel more yourself than you were just a moment ago.

Often you can’t even put into words why you feel so deeply— but you know, in a place before words, you’ve made a connection that you will never lose again.

In moments like these, we find our essence once more.

And the amazing thing is, the more we make these connections to medicines that can help us to re-member ourselves, the more truth literally cries out to us.


Once the world of flower essences opened for me these experiences of profound self-revelation began to happen all the time. The flowers tugged lovingly at the hem of my pants, and now I knew why they were whispering to me — they wanted to help me come back home to my own being. And with the art of flower essence, I knew how to open to their medicine.

Every spring I make a flower essence that is my “core essence” for that new season. I work with the essence for the duration of the spring and every year that flower helps me to open up, bloom, discover more of my core essence. My journey becomes increasingly graceful, I learn more about who I truly am. And yes, truth cries happen often, in the best and most medicinal ways.

Each spring a flower will call out to you, too. When it blooms you might feel an untethered joy, a stirring, maybe even a few tears. Or maybe it’ll come in as a simple sense of curiosity, intrigue, or the awe or suddenly seeing a flower as if it were the first time.

The blooms that are waving to you now, the ones that have shown up in your yard with a delight of color, piquing your imagination, are wanting to work with you this spring. Trust me. This is how it all begins.

Right now, there is a flower that wants to help you touch into the core essence of your own being.

And you opened this missive today because you are ready to receive its medicine.



When I first started making flower essences there were very few resources online (I remember I literally bookmarked a geosites website from the early 2000s to reference). Of course, today there are many more guides, but I wanted to create one directly from my own experience to share with all of you here.

Keep reading for my video guide to making a flower essence, and create your own “core essence” to help you bloom into a whole new era of self-knowledge this spring.

And if you are ready to dive even deeper into plant communication— cultivating the ability to access your own medicine, and working with the healing of the natural world— come join me for Intuitive Plant Medicine!

In this eight-week online course we explore how to embody the blooms of who we are, and become like an essence (full of so much medicine) for this world. We also go into even more richer flower essence practice with information about attunement, dosaging, formulation, essence acupuncture and so much more.

The gateway for registration closes this Saturday April 28th!

I hope to bloom with you there.

 


You are Seen

 


Learning how to see the world is a precious experience indeed. To be able to pick out the plants by name, to notice the dandelions and the chickweed, to delight in the specific history of things. For so long in the western world our human narrative has been distanced from that of the landscape’s. Like a play with an elaborate backdrop, everything beyond our own storylines was just background. Healing this blind spot has been a vital correction— one that is helping us to regain the kind of “second sight” that only comes when we can recognize the aliveness of the earth.


But sometimes we spend so much time trying to see clearly again that we forget the most basic and unbelievably heartwarming truth of all— that we are also being seen


For as much of a revelation as it is for us to take off the blindfold and once again recognize the natural world as our kin, the living denizens of the earth never stopped seeing us as part of everything.


In their eyes, we have always been a character in the wider narrative arc of things.


A few mornings ago, this all came knocking at my window.


I had just woken up and was taking my sweet time, like a cat savoring the milklight of morning. In no hurry to get up, I was ruminating about what I wanted to write for this post (yes, I spend long mornings thinking about these missives! Writing them is a true joy in my life). Sometimes the muse stacks up and there is a veritable catalogue of things I’m feeling drawn to talk about. This particular morning however, I couldn’t get over this one thought—what would be different if we all walked about the world knowing that we were truly seen?


I was turning over the wonder of this idea when I heard a tap at the window. I ignored it as a play from the wind, until I heard the tap again. I sat up in bed. There, perched on the window sill and peering directly in at me was a saffron-colored Goldfinch. Warm as copper in the morning light, she looked at me, directly into me, and then tapped the glass one more. Softly, like a fingertip knocking on the door of a loved one who is expecting you. I gazed right back and said with wide eyes “Thank you.” And then she turned and flew off.


The need to be seen isn’t an act of ego or self-centered solipsism, it’s a natural part of becoming in this world. Without being seen, how will the flower attract the bee? Without being recognized by those that surround you, how can you give your gifts to the wider community?


To be seen means to belong once more to everything.



I remember the first birding class I ever took. The instructors told us that one of the most common misconceptions of the beginning birder is to assume that the forests are always alive with loud calls, when what they are actually hearing is the birds passing on the message that there is a human in the midst. Those same calls are then picked up and spread from one end of the forest to another, traveling from bird to fox to deer.


So often we go about the world thinking that we are invisible, irredeemable or simply alone— meanwhile the whole forest is responding to us being there. We assume that what we are hearing is the ongoing hub of a world that doesn’t see us, meanwhile, what we are tuning into is the world continually responding to our presence.


It’s a hard thing, a vulnerable thing to let yourself be really seen. To realize that you are an intricate part of things. To peel back our layers of professionalism or status and just be as we are— a human being, goofy, loving, learning, fallible. But this is also where all true connection and healing begins.


At some point in time I started moving past the sometimes manic need to see (name, categorize, ID), and just let myself be seen— in all my tender foibles and my earnestness. And when I did my whole understanding, of myself and the earth, got so much richer.


What would happen if you walked through the world and could know that you were being seen by the trees, the creeks, the hawk high up and circling in the sky? That you are not alone? That the part of you that aches to rejoin the wider ecology of the world is being recognized as the unique and important being that you are?


When we are seen, everything changes.


We become free to truly just be ourselves, in their entirety.


There is, right now, a whole community in the green and growing world that is not only ready to see you, but to show yourself to you again.


Are you ready to meet them?


Then, come join me for Intuitive Plant Medicine, an eight-week online program that will guide you in developing deep relationships with the natural world. Registration closes April 28th and won’t open again until next year.


Come, learn, join us and welcome in the magic that is waiting to embrace you again. I would love to see you there.

 

Tending the Heartgate

 


The heart is not just a mindless muscle. Nor is it the simple stuff of greeting cards or blockbuster movies or even cardiology exams. In truth, the heart is a gate. And what lies beyond, and within, is the ability to access real magic.

Many different medicine systems around the world have long recognized what western science is now only beginning to discover— that our hearts are not just an anatomical function of our body, they are the enchanted center from which we were meant to think, interact and live.

Thinking with the heart means becoming indigenous to your own body once again. It means returning home to yourself and your belonging. When you come into coherence with your heart, you can recognize the truth, your truth, in any situation.

Living from the heartspace allows you to experience the full-textured rainbow of existence— including that which normally lies below your brain’s field of perception.

When we tune into our heart’s frequency, we invite the possibility of a divine and daily harmony.

This time of the year we’re handed a pretty watered-down version of what it means to live from the heartspace. Boxed chocolate and declarations written in the snow. Pre-packaged self-love or prescriptive romance. Sometimes it’s enough to want to toss the whole holiday in the bin. But, this moment in mid-winter can also carry a truly potent call to step back into the diverse power of our hearts. To reconnect to a life that is wondrous, and worthwhile.

All great magic, myth, meditation and realization first spins out from here— our ability to drop into our heart. It is the secret that the ancient mystery schools taught their initiates and the force that drives us to seek love again and again. A heart-based life is one that involves truly falling, not just in love, but into resonance with the world around you and your own destiny. In today’s world, we tend to spend most of our time in brain-based thinking (and all the stress and dissonance that can bring). But life, real life, begins when we learn how to think with heartspace.

The heart is fed most fully by two things: truth and possibility. When we learn how to reconnect to our heartspace, our world becomes filled with the healing of these two medicines and all the irrefutable self-knowledge and miraculous opportunity they can bring.

So come step into your heart. Entrain with your truth. And experience the magic of a life lived in deep union with your own being.

If you are ready to work with the powerful portal that is your own heart— to heal from heartbreak, anchor into deep states of self-love, call in a soul companion or simply to experience more of the magic available to you in this world— come join me for a new online class: Herbs for the Heartgate.

In the class we explore current science, as well as Chinese medicine traditions, to begin to understand the truly numinous gateways that are our hearts. We meet the plants who are deep experts in helping us to tend these gates and learn how to connect into their medicine with recipes, exercises and guided meditations.

Keep scrolling to learn more, and get a small taste of the course with my new video guide to Herbs + Stones for the Heartgate.

 

>> Herbs for the Heartgate <<

A new online audio class that explores the true nature of our hearts as organs of perception, awareness, and magic.

Explore the herbal allies who can help us tend our hearts, learning how to nurture, protect, open and understand these most potent portals. Inlaid with recipes, exercises and meditations, this course is a gateway unto itself. When we learn how to tend our hearts, we can swing open the door to whole new eras of serenity, self-love, and healing.

Enter the gateway and learn…

* How shifting from brain into heart can literally save your life (and massively reduce your stress levels)

* Tools and allies for empaths, sensitives, and those navigating this grief-laden epoch

* Methods for connecting into your truth and perceiving clarity in relationships

* Ways to open a deep and direct connection to the plants

* Grounded information based on current scientific research as well as the ancient system of Chinese medicine

* How to experience more magic, possibility and connection in the world through healing our hearts

* Herbal recipes for opening psychedelic heart space and nourishing joy

 

The class includes a 70 minute audio lesson, a PDF with five in-depth materia medica and accompanying plant medicine recipes, a vocal exercise for plant connection, and two guided meditations. Sign up now and listen at your leisure for only $29.

<< Access the class >>

 

Want a taste of the class material? Check out this new guide to my favorite plants and stones for oiling the hinges on the Heartgate


 

Embracing Northlight



 

As a culture we prize all things brightly illuminated. We cherish the summer and grow bitter in the cold. We electrify our homes to be white as daylight and build with the biggest windows pointing south. But here in the mountains, where old homesteads are short and dark as shiitakes and often set into the north end of things (leaving the scant scraps of southern exposure for fields of tobacco or grain) there is an old standing appreciation of northlight and the particular brand of diffuse illumination it can bring.

Every shade of light has its own gifts and abilities to help us see. If southlight is fluorescent— direct, overhead and uncompromising— then northlight is phosphorescence itself. A gentling force that can coax up the surface the light that lives within the bones of things. Northlight is the muted green of lichen on a quiet tree. It is unglazed porcelain. Northlight is the diffuse incandescence coming through your blankets in the morning— and it is a cocoon for creativity.

 

A Gathering of Bloodroots by luminous local artist Stephanie Thomas Berry

 

In our mountains, it is the north-facing coves that birth the most diverse profusion of spring ephemerals and medicinals. They need the gentle indirectness of the north in order to thrive. Artists, like our rare flowers, are also devotees of northlight. Studios with northfacing windows are often the most esteemed spaces for creating as northlight is so ideal for capturing the nuances of color, texture and tone. Southern light may be bright, but it is a volatile pour— ever shifting, casting shadows and contrast with every turn. Northlight, in comparison, is as consistent and gently illuminating as the ambiance of a forest floor.

In the milkglow of northlight we can experience a wider, quieter gradient of life. We can touch the texture of things, tend to the subtle. Northlight helps us to appreciate what often goes unnoticed, to attune ourselves to feeling tones. In the north we are given time and space to come into our realizations. Like a chai steamed with milk and sipped over a long morning, revelations can come in slow.

In winter we are invited to bath in the gentle dilution of all northlight. To step away from the harsh spotlight of major life overhauls, the big harvests of beginnings or reapings. And to experience a bit of consistency, simplicity. Northlight nurtures an appreciation of the littlest things. Warm china and soft hands. Well-worn flannel and the tiny echo of the stars.

 

 

We all move through times of winter and its northlight. Winters of the land, winters within our relationships or emotional lives, the wintering of our bodies into elderhood. In our culture we are conditioned to resist this wintering with every resource available. But what happens when we can embrace the light that lives there? When we can see such times of round-about illumination, of quieting and survival, not as condemnations of dimness or lack, but as spacious stretches where we can explore the texture of our own beings. To appreciate the full gradients of our feelings, without judgement and without despair. To hold our lives like a palm of moonstone, gentle, opalescent and full of their own meaning.

Try this season to immerse yourself in northlight and all the gentle creativity it can bring. Sit in a room with north facing windows or go for a walk on the north end of your street. See what feelings arise when you allow this diffusion to enter the pores of your being.

Interested in invoking and embodying your own pole star of creativity this winter? Check out my new youtube video: Stones for Creative Flow


Becoming Sovereign

 

A quiet has settled over these hills in the past few weeks. A hush that rises from the fading amber of the landscape and its open-limbed winds. The ebb of everything speaking to a deep need to withdraw and rest; an ache to refind one’s inner space.

For the Celts, the time following Samhain marked the waning of work, and the waxing of winter’s magics. Traditionally, harvesting ceased after Samhain. The squashes in the field left as food for the unseen. As life drains back to the roots, many of us are feeling this call to cease the ceaseless doing and reclaim the quietude of our inner terrain. And at the center of our ache to create this space is the desire for something that looks so very much like sovereignty.

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with this word recently. Samhain, in the Celtic calendar, marks the beginning of the new year. With each new turn of the wheel, I like to choose a word as my personal emblem and yearly theme. For this new year my word is: Sovereignty.

Wikipedia defines sovereignty as “the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies.” To be sovereign means that you imbue yourself with the full right to take care of yourself, your energy, your needs. It means crowning yourself as the maker and maintainer of your own destiny. Claiming your power as well as your responsibility, and acknowledging that the two are one in the same.

Sovereignty creates boundaries where there were none, marking the outlines of where everything else ends and you begin. Sovereignty is about tending the borders of your own fields. Curating what you welcome into your space (including news and social media) and deciding, once and for all, that you are willing to take care of your own inner landscape. Sovereignty gives you back to yourself in a time when you feel scattered to the winds.

Lately, I’ve been pouring over Sharon Blackie’s book If Women Rose Rooted and was struck by one of the old Arthurian tales she recounts. As the story goes, one day King Arthur is walking in the woods when he is captured by a powerful knight. The knight agrees to release King Arthur under one condition, he must answer this most-puzzling riddle— “what do women truly desire?” Arthur has one year to find the answer, otherwise the fearsome knight will take his life. After almost twelve months of seeking King Arthur is no closer to the truth, until he encounters the knight’s own sister who tells King Arthur the answer he’s been seeking (in exchange for a wedding to Sir Gawain, of course, which had its own unexpectedly empowering ending). The answer is: Sovereignty. What women desire above all else is sovereignty. And with that, the King wins back his life.

 

 

It reminds me of a historical truth I heard long ago about Celtic peoples and their governance. Traditional Celtic male rulers were very literally wedded to the land in a ceremony called banais ríghi. In their crowning, they agreed to uphold a sacred covenant between human culture and the more-than human world. And it was from the land, the bride who contained all the powers of the fertile and feminine unseen, that they were given their sovereignty. Their right to protect, guard, rule, govern and decide all came from their ability to commit themselves to the power, potency and desires of the unseen.

Our personal sovereignty lies within our ability to connect to our own inner landscapes, the fertility of what lies in the terrain of our personal unseen. When we take a step away from the outer world, we can access the regenerative soil of our connection to Otherworlds and sow the seeds of our own sovereignty.

 

So how does it feel to put on the crown of your own being? To know that you have the ability to claim the throne at the center of your own existence? That you can chose yes or no? That you can decide how to feel, or where you want to give your energy? That you are the ruler of your own destiny? This is self-sovereignty. And it is how we protect the chalice of our days.

In a time where the subtle come in quick as dusk the land itself is asking us to reclaim our own sovereignty by connecting to the unseen. To learn how to listen to the terrain inside of our own being and recommit ourselves in a sacred marriage to our inner fields.

So, take this time before we enter into the holidays to ground, center, and become sovereign. Decide where your boundaries lie. Mark the corners of your fields, with time spent in quiet solace and warm solitude. Take time to listen to your deeper needs. Time in the bath or with your hands in well-kneaded dough. Time to brush out your hair or massage your feet with sesame oil. Time to realize what you truly crave, so that you can stand strong in your own crowning, and be at peace.

Opening Earth Intuition

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At some point growing up I adopted the belief that to be spiritual was to be un-intellectual. That intuition, even though it sounded lovely, wasn’t grounded or practical. And even though I was always a sensitive and dreamy kid, at a young age I was set to prove that I too could be smart, rational, based in physical reality, and above all, “realistic.”

And so it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I started to believe in faeries. It wasn’t until I become an adult that I started talking to trees in earnest. It wasn’t until I experienced chronic illness and understood, for the first time, that I existed on many levels (and that healing, true healing, happened on every single one of those levels) that I accessed a layer of magic within the world that is real, tangible. It wasn’t until this point in my life that I realized— the world, this world that I live in, is animated by sentience and consciousness. And so anything is possible.
Continue reading “Opening Earth Intuition”

Past Life Herbal Work

Belief in reincarnation was common throughout the ancient world. It is found in the oral tradition of many tribal societies, including the cultures of Siberia, Greece, the Celtic Druids as well as many peoples in Western Africa, North America and Australia. Reincarnation is a central tenant to many world religions including Hinduism, Jainisim, Buddhism, Taoism, ancient Kabbalistic Judaism, and certain sects of early Christianity. Take joy in exploring your multi-hued self!

Interested in going deeper? Check out light-hearted video guide to exploring the lake of time.  Connect with the herbal realm to access other lifetimes + imaginative aspects of your inner self.