After the recent rains my garden is bursting with color. I am delighted to see some of the plants I started from seed reaching maturity. My kale and mustard greens are juicy and ready to eat. The echinacea has emerged from its winter hibernation and my chamomile is just about to bloom.
Where I live in Northern California, our hills, meadows and forests are covered with green. If you were to walk in the woods here in Oakland, you’d find nettles, chickweed, cleavers, dandelion. All of these plants assist our body in cleansing away the toxins we may have accumulated during winter.
The waking dream: what plants are growing near you?
As described in Katrina’s most recent DT post, healing dreams can come in both waking and sleeping states. It is important to pay attention to the messages from the plant world that come in both waking and sleeping dimensions. From a perspective of indigenous herbalism, the plants we need the most for our healing are the ones growing closest to us, often in abundance. In this way, Mother Earth and the Plant Beings are helping to bring about balance by providing us with the medicine we need.
For example, I recently hosted two Mexican curanderas in my home. I had a consultation with one of them, Dona Doris. In this consultation she told me that one of my major health issues was hormonal imbalance. “Do you experience mood swings? Highs and lows of energy?” she asked me. I nodded and answered emphatically, “Si!”
The next day I gave Dona Doris a tour of my herb garden. There were several plants growing in my garden for which I did not know their medicinal use, and I was eager to ask Doris about them. Dona Doris is an expert herbalist and comes from a culture that has an extensive and comprehensive tradition of herbal medicine.
“How do you use this plant?” I asked, pointing at my rue plant. “Hormonal balance,” Dona Doris replied. “And this one?” I inquired about the purple Mexican sage. Doris replied again, “Hormonal balance.” “And the heimia salicifolia (which I used as a dream herb, but didn’t know any more about it medicinal properties)?” “Hormonal balance,” Doris replied again, this time with a sly and knowing smile.
“Look at all the plants you have in your garden to help with your hormones!” she laughed. It was obvious what medicine my garden was offering me. I was surrounded by plants to balance my hormones! Even as a herbalist, I was surprised to recognize this.
Waking dream plant healing exercise.
Walk mindfully in your yard and notice what plants are growing there. Pay close attention to what is growing in abundance or to which plants you are particularly attracted. If you don’t have a yard, observe the plants growing in your neighborhood or in a nearby park.
Identify the plant that is calling to you most. Research the plant and find out as much as you can about it. How is it used medicinally? How is it used as a flower essence or homeopathic remedy?
Once you’ve identified your plant, try meditating with it or sleeping with it under your pillow. If you are working with a plant that you know is safe to take internally, try making a tea out of it.
If the plant you are working with is toxic, or your are unsure about its safe medicinal use, do not take the plant internally. If your plant ally is toxic, you may want to explore the homeopathic and/or flower essence remedy of this plant. Many plants that are toxic are safe to use these ways.
As you build your relationship to your plant ally, observe how it supports your healing process.
Dream medicine prescriptions for spring cleansing
As I have written about in past DT blogs, plants can also visit and offer healing in our dreams. During this spring season, it is a good time to observe what plants come into our dreams to help us with our own spring cleansing.
For example, earlier this year I had been dealing with a stubborn rash. One morning I woke up with the plant names “yellow dock and burdock” in my head. I knew these plants were both good for the skin and clearing the toxins in our blood. The next day I began to take a tea of yellow dock and burdock. Within a few days, the rash I had for months cleared up. My dream doctor had accurately prescribed the perfect cure for my ailment!
Dream incubation for Spring cleansing.
Before going to sleep, take some time to meditate and focus on your intention for your dreams. A simple intention may be “I want to cleanse my body of unwanted toxins.” Your intention could also be about emotional cleansing and healing. An intention for this might be: “I want to release and let go of all energies that no longer serve my highest good.”
Next, ask the plant world to come to your dreams and assist your healing. You may ask: “Please show me what plants can assist in my physical/emotional/spiritual healing right now.”
Throughout the night, keep repeating your intention in your mind like a mantra. Keep a dream journal close to your bed and write down your dreams in the morning. Your healing plant allies may come in the form of an herb, a flower, or a food. Pay attention to which plants show up, and find ways to incorporate them into your waking life.
When a healing plant ally does assist you in either waking or dream state, it is important to give thanks. Say a prayer, sing a song, or make an offering to the plant itself. Giving thanks to the plants is a way to build a good relationship with them.
In which ways have plants and/or dreams assisted your Spring cleansing?