Over the years as a practicing geomancer, I have been developing ways to learn from Nature - both animals and plants. I lived with a woman who was an herbalist in the nineties, and aside from becoming insecure because I knew so little about medicinal herbs and she knew so much, I did know the names of most of the trees that grew in the NorthEast Kingdom of Vermont, and the little I knew about the medicinal uses of flowers and herbs was a good way to figure out what kind of healing might be emphasised in a sacred space. For example, if there was a lot of foxglove (digitalis), the site might well help with heart ailments - both physical and or emotional.
I took a further step when I began to work with what I was calling "Day Signs" (see Tip o' the Week # 25, Daysigns). While clicking on this previous link will tell you more about them, in a nut shell, If you are working on an issue, like you have a choice between two different business propositions to go with, and you are not sure which way to go, let's say that as you walk through Nature, and are thinking about one of the two propositions when your eye is caught by an enormous maple tree with an owl in it. For a Vermonter, maple trees mean lots of different things (great fire wood in the winter, fabulous colors in the Fall), but most important is maple syrup. This is a sweet deal, and an owl (at least to my European roots) equates with wisdom.
So I have been developing ways to have plants (and animals) speak to me. In my rant entitled "Good Friday," Tip # 51, I suggested that the tentative first sentence of a possible new book begins with:
“In the past two thousand years there's been a conspiracy for us "common folk" to only pray to their Maker, but under no circumstances to have a two way conversation with the One.”
This skill of hearing what entities on the other side have to say to us is one that I would dearly like to develop.
This week, I had the good fortune to have someone whom I last laid eyes on perhaps twenty years ago named Pam Montgomery drop in for a visit. Pam is a long-time herbalist who I first met back when I lived in Vermont. She is now an author (Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness), and is here in the UK, teaching students how to communicate with plants, and to hear what the plants are saying in return.
This falls right in with the kind of two way communication with non humans that I am interested in! She told me that there are three things that she does to open two way communication with the Plant Kingdom. When she finds a plant to work with, she first builds an attitude of gratitude in her heart. ("Attitude of Gratitude" are Grandmother Twylah Nitsch's words - I wrote a bit about her in Tip # 34, Tidying Sacred Space. In this case, gratitude is not something that one thinks about, but actually feels in your heart.
Grandmother Twylah Nitsch
Second is thankfulness. What are you truly thankful for in your life? Build up what that feels like.
And finally, Pam opens herself to the wonder of the plant in question.
The way she describes it, it is almost like there is what I would call an "aka thread" (to use a term from the Hawaiian Huna tradition) between you and the plant, and that acts as the channel for communication.
In his book "How Long Is Now?" (UK & US: Hay House. ISBN 978-1-8485-0091-4) Glastonbury author and philosopher Tim Freke writes about how to be spiritually awake in the real world. Another term for this special kind of awakeness is "lucid living." It's like lucid dreaming when you are aware that you are dreaming, only in reverse. It is a state of consciousness that is aware that life is a dream, and at another level, you are observing this "dream."
I think that Pam Montgomery is talking about this level of consciousness when she is able to communicate with the Plant Kingdom. As a geomancer, I fully intend to learn more about this kind of an approach when working in sacred space.
Sig Lonegren, Geomancer
9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE
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