Many of you are familiar with using plant tinctures for medicinal purposes, even psychological rebalancing via Dr. Bach’s 36 Bach Flower remedies. Or using the burning of dried plants, such as sage, in ceremony as a way to clear and set the vibrational tone of a space. Eliot Cohen, shaman and author of Plant Spirit Medicine, introduced me to yet another level of relating to the plant kingdom—not as food, not as medicine, but literally as companions. Of course this understanding has been around for thousands of years and is the basic orientation of the aboriginal peoples, but for me, ten years ago, this challenged me to expand my awareness.
As I had plants in my session room, I began opening myself to come into deeper relationship with them. And, as Cohen points out, while all plants have a spirit that is generally willing to help us, the plants we care for are truly our friends, happy to assist where and when they can, we simply need to ask.
So for years now I have received help from my plant friends both for myself and my clients. In more recent years I have been called to develop my conscious connection to the Divine as everywhere expressing through the living Earth, (or Gaia, the name given by the Greeks to the primal Mother Goddess, creator and giver of birth to the Earth), even further.
With the opening of Raydiant Day last October, this call has drawn me into a profound inquiry and journey into the nature of nature, from questing into the inner space of H20, joining in the electron dance of oxygen and hydrogen in my morning katas, to delving into the seven intelligences of the heart and its way of knowing beyond the conventional constructs of space and time.
This has been a fantastic journey, at times experienced in a realm outside of language in an “interplay of light,” as Tarthang Tulku* puts it, where as part of the play of light you infuse and are infused. Over the years friends and clients have urged me to share my experiences and reflections in writing, but it has never felt like the right time. Now with the coming of Spring, whose essential instruction is to be one with the light and make like a flower to invite “interplay” with life, I am prompted to begin.
It was on a Wonderwalk earlier in the week that I got the obvious guidance that I should ask my plant friends for input for sharing about Raydiant Day and our mission. (A “Wonderwalk” is a term I came up with for a walk out in nature where I take in the “wonders” of nature and also ask Divine Life Intelligence for support for things I’m wondering about.) So, over a period of 2 or 3 days, I began interviewing which of my buddies wanted to join in. Bear in mind that while I have requested and received help from my plants many times, this is the first time I asked for a communication that could be translated into English for general publication.
I went to each of the plants at Raydiant Day and asked for messages they might have to share. Not everyone had something to say. The Norfolk Pine told me to get back to him in a few weeks. My cactus began to speak up, but my orchid claimed the floor.
I choose to go with my orchid for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it literally blooms constantly, putting out a cantilever of seven flowers multiple times a year. Clearly it knows something I don’t. I have it in my session room and right now it has two blooms of velvet magenta petals with yellow markings like the spots on a jaguar’s forehead, the other five buds are still in their sheaths on the stem.
One more thing. “Its” name is Shirley. I didn’t know that until today. As I sat to write her message down, I heard an objection to writing “it” in reference to the orchid. When I asked for a name, “Shirley” was the answer. Just “Shirley” or do you have a last name too? “Beautiful,” she said. “Shirley Beautiful.” It took a few seconds for me to get it, but I literally laughed out loud when I got the pun.
Here’s what Shirley Beautiful had to say to me, to you all:
What are you waiting for? Turn your insides out. Express your unique textures, your colors, your shape, your special design. Deal in with that. Of course this includes your talents and passions and principles. Develop and share these gifts that you are. But there’s another part of you, an ability you have, that I want to bring your attention to. That is, the essences that are made in and sent from your heart, your special blend of tiny globes of lovelight that, like a fragrance or nectar, delight and transform what they touch. Spend some time becoming aware of this capacity of yours, this deep intellgence and activity of love.
This felt true and wonderful. Was there a simple way to do this I asked? I’ll tell you but only if you’ll do it right now, Shirley said. I agreed. And now, I’ll tell you, but only read on if you promise to do it too.
Close your eyes and go inside your heart. Then imagine a deep blue sky. Now, in the midst of that blue sky, see an orange tree full of oranges, sunlight winking through the leaves. See it there before you. Reach up and pick the orange you’re most drawn to. Then pick another, one that calls to you. Take a few moments to sense and feel them, one in each hand. When you’re ready, open your eyes and go find someone to share them with.
I thanked my orchid for her special message. I commented that I didn’t expect oranges from an orchid. Shirley told me to watch out for my prejudices.
I’ll leave off with a message from me to take a few moments each day to be with your plants. Introduce yourself if you haven’t already. If you don’t have any, I strongly advice bringing some home—they say that once you get ten plants in your house, a certain vitality enlivens the space. I don’t know if you need exactly that many (we have 11) but definitely the more the merrier!
P.S. My cactus is a little upset that I didn’t go with him first—I’m not just saying this—he’s been with me for many years, through thick and thin he reminded me. I promised he would be next.
*See Dynamics of Time and Space, Transcending Limits on Knowledge
For those interested in activating your shaman heart intelligence for deeper communion with nature and its guidance, join me for the Spring into Yes! Workshop and WonderWalk, May 16th, 1:30-5:00 at the Raydiant Day Center for Raydiant Life Fitness. Go to raydiantday.com to register.