The Core Nature of Plants

The Core Nature of Plants

The *Core Nature of Plants by Kiva Rose Our relationship to the plants is an ancient one, and we humans are well designed to engage the magic and medicine of the living earth we are a part of. All we need is right here – the vast and verdant world of the plants that speak to us, the extraordinary capacities of our senses with which we listen and the complex cognitive processes that let us learn on a whole body level. As herbalists, a good portion of our work is in becoming intimate with the living plants that are the vital medicine of our craft. Rather than seeing a plant’s properties as disparate lists of constituent-based properties, we’re usually best off looking for the essential, core nature of each plant. This is not ever only one thing, and just as we...

Of the Earth – Original Speech and the Senses

Of the Earth – Original Speech and the Senses

The foundation for experiencing and understanding herbal energetics and human constitutions is to learn to speak with the natural world (including plants and the human body) through our senses (which is what they’re there for, after all). Thus, one of the most important practices of the aspiring or practicing herbalist is to thoroughly awaken, engage and refine the senses. Of the Earth: Original Speech and the Senses by Kiva Rose Hardin http://animacenter.org “Our senses are meant to perceive the world. They developed with and from the world, not in isolation. Using them is the act that opens the door that is in Nature.” -Stephen Buhner “All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our...

Plant Revelations & Miscommunications (and other news)

I just posted the second part part of my new Talking With Plants essay over on the Animá blog, I suspect all my regular readers here will enjoy it and strongly suggest that my students read it closely as it is very relevant to the courses. Here’s an excerpt to tempt you: The truth is that if we’re only listening for words – for language in human terms – then we’re barely listening at all! The world speaks to us in the ancient tongue of touch and color, texture and fragrance, through taste and breath and every part of our senses. Listening through our whole body teaches to be open to the world and each other in a whole new way and with a depth and subtlety that even the best words cannot begin to approach. All of nature communicates on this level, eternally...

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...

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...