Talking with Plants III: Core Nature, Energetics & Other than Human Language

Talking with Plants III: Core Nature, Energetics & Other than Human Language

The most effective systems or types of herbalism tend to use a system of energetics to understand the way a plant works in the human body. In TCM, terms such as yin or yang, hot or cold may be applied. In ayurveda or humoral theory other terms may be used. Most systems of energetics tend be strongly allied to the language and metaphors of the culture they’re born from. This makes for amazingly intimate and intricate understandings if you happen to be from one of these culture, but for a possibly frustrating quest if you’re not. Here in North America there are remnants of several different systems. The most intact may be the European-rooted humoral system still seen in Appalachian and Hispanic folk medicine. Many indigenous tribes have varying amounts of intact...

Terms of the Trade 1: Diffusive & Permanent

In the process of becoming familiar with herbalism, it’s easy to feel confused by jargon that, while clearly obvious to those using it, tends towards being something of an insider’s tongue. This can cause beginners to feel alienated from group discussion that could be educational and intimidated by what should be common sense concepts. Because of that, I’ve decided to start a series of posts called “Terms of the Trade” that will provide a simple definition of the term(s), and a sample context in which it might be used. I don’t plan to make this complex or exhaustive, but for it to serve as a clear introduction to those unfamiliar with, or confused by, herbal terminology as well as a refresher course for more experienced practitioners looking to refine their...

Talking with Plants 2: Engagement and Immersion

Talking with Plants 2: Engagement and Immersion

For those of us who were taught, and came to accept, that the Universe is a machine, the journey back to wild water is a long one. We find our way one step at a time. -Stephen Buhner Down on our bellies on the grass, we take a flower’s view of the world — the huge blue sky, the ancient sheltering trees, the dance of the wind with every being and the rain drizzling down, iridescent drops spilling onto skin and petals and fingers and roots. From this perspective we’re children again, speaking in the primal wordless hum of ancestors and plants, animals and delighted babies. We’re here, in the truest sense of the word, in this moment and place Immersed in the fragrance and feeling, engaged in the timeless exchange of human being and earth. Once we’ve begun the...

Talking with Plants: An Aside

Talking with Plants: An Aside

Using Energy Moving Herbs for Connection, Presence and Groundedness In the last few years I’ve had various students, guests, blog-readers and the like confide in me that they’re unable to really “feel” the plants on an energetic level. That no matter how much they meditate, garden, guzzle tinctures or go to herb conferences, no matter how much they LOVE the plants, they can’t feel the effect of drop-dose tinctures, a bit of leaf or the presence of the plant. There can be all kinds of reasons for this, but a primary one is certainly energy/chi blockage. Where someone is stuck outside of their body, or has so much ~stuff~ built up in them that they can barely taste their food or remember their kids names, let alone hear the quiet voice a weed outside their bedroom...

Talking With Plants 1: Opening

Talking With Plants 1: Opening

In the stillness I looked inside and saw the wound laid down within all of us… The wound that comes from believing we are alone amid dead uncaring nature. And then I took a breath and began to share stories of a time when the world was young, when everyone knew that plants were intelligent and could speak to human beings…  A time when it was different. -Stephen Buhner In vivid dreams and the oldest stories, birds perch on our shoulders to speak to us of the morning’s events, the mushrooms on the forest floor murmur an answer to a question we have yet to ask, and the scarlet mouths of morning glories open to shower us with vision to heal an emotional wound buried under years of addiction. In the real world, the one right here under our feet.  In the...

Talking With Plants: The Prequel

Talking With Plants: The Prequel

Here we begin the Talking With Plants series of posts, but before we dig in I recommend reading Jason Godesky’s excellent blogpost called “Plants Are People, Too”. It’s an in-depth exploration of the ways plants communicate and feel, and their inherent personhood. He quotes Stephen Buhner as well as lots of recent and not so recent research. It’s well worth reading for a good overall look at the subject of plant communication (and a re-thinking of ethical vegetarianism at that!) Just click on the pretty banner below to go to the Anthropik Network to read Jason’s...