Plant Spirit Medicine by Jewell
Can you imagine that almost everything that ails you has a cure in your own back yard? There are plant allies all around you available and waiting to heal you. Many of you have been hearing about the healing power of herbs and common “weeds” through the dedication of herbalists and natural food stores. Everywhere you look there are articles in mainstream magazines. There are even bottled herbal remedies in the chain drugstores and TV ads.
Now what if I told you that most of what ails you is a disease of the Spirit? And what if I told you that connecting with the Spirit of a common weed could heal you at a deeper level than you have ever imagined?
Neither of the statements in the previous two paragraphs is anything new.
They are ancient truths that are coming back into our consciousness after a steady disconnection with nature as Spirit. This disconnection threatens to annihilate us and to rob from all future generations the true inheritance of this beautiful being we call Earth.
My own journey into Plant Spirit Medicine began when I was a small child. I am a descendant of Jules Verne the visionary writer. Summers were spent at Le Tertre, the family home at Oudon, France. This was an old falling down rambling stone country house, formerly an Inn. There was no indoor plumbing and the food was prepared in a stone fireplace. In the front of the house was a tall stone courtyard with large yawning wrought iron gates. In the back as far as I could see was Paradise: the garden. The garden provided all the vegetables, flowers and herbs for the house. All along the left side of the garden was a stone wall draped with wine grapes. At the far back was a small stone garden shed. The artichokes lived there, stately beings. I would commune with them for hours. Harvesting them and eating them was an elaborate ritual. My French relatives treated the relationship with the plants and the food they provided with great reverence. The man who tended the garden, Pere Durand, was very old, wise and tiny. He was a live gnome from a fairytale. I was fascinated with the mystery surrounding him and the aura he shared with the plants. He wore wooden shoes and would water the garden with a bucket hand drawn from the well that was situated at the front of the garden, to the right of the central path. Sometimes he would give me a ripe pea to shell and eat. I was transfixed. I would spend as long as an hour opening the emerald green pod and beholding the intricate treasure it held.
I was so often in that garden and a part of the life there that I didn’t question drinking from a cistern, which was used to store rain water for dry spells. What was good for the plants and the birds and insects I saw drinking there was good enough for me. However I was a little girl and I contracted typhoid from it. The doctor came to the house. I was deathly ill. When he left I was fed pureed vegetables from the garden, as the only medicine, and ordered bed rest. This kept me away from my beloved friends the plants, who I could fortunately still see in a feverish haze out my window.
It was all one, the nourishment, the spiritual energy, and the healing when something was not right.
I read an article recently about a scientist who went to Mexico to find healing plants for research for a pharmaceutical company. The local healer, a young woman who knew about the plants was willing to show him the physical plants and how they were used. She kept insisting however that it was the Spirit of the plant that mattered and insisted that he observe the proper rituals to make that connection. He went along with her “superstitious” ritual to get to the “real thing”.
The Real Thing as practiced in Plant Spirit Medicine is exactly that: the spiritual connection to the plant. The most effective way to treat the broken spirit of our people today is through spiritual means.
I have had the good fortune to travel to many places in the world and receive instruction from teachers and healers from different cultures.
My most recent instruction, healing and initiation has been from Eliot Cowan a shaman and healer who has written a wonderful book called Plant Spirit Medicine. In the last few years he has opened up a whole new dimension for me as a healer and as a woman trying to heal herself. I came to Eliot with my right hand swollen and seized up into a claw from a herniated disc in my neck. This was a serious ailment for an artist, hands on healer, gardener and mother of three who heats with firewood. The immediate result that lasted for 5 hours was an experience of sublime wellness. My hand unfurled. I wandered the woods like a small child. I was so innocent and pure that I attracted a wild fawn who accompanied me as I leapt over the streambeds. That wore off abruptly, the pain returned and I began the bewildering journey of real healing. My wounded hand was merely the most surface and recent symptom of much deeper disease that had been festering for 40 + years. With the support of the Plant Spirits I have been able to release ailments that have been plaguing me for years, ranging from arthritis to shedding the light of truth on childhood scars. I am more flexible and a lot stronger.
Eliot’s unique Plant Spirit Medicine combines the compassionate five element healing of Chinese Medicine that I had been introduced to through Qigong and the shamanism of direct contact with the Spirit of the wild plants that are living all around us. I rediscovered that true healing is a commitment to the reality of the laws of nature, the mystery of Spirit and the miracle of Love.
After my initiation ceremony as a Plant Spirit Medicine healer, the water source where I live is glowing with a new energy. The Artemesia plant, which was puny before, has grown to be a bush six feet tall. I have my new tools of flexible observation and my abilities to track subtle changes through taking pulses. I have been able to use Plant Spirit medicine to help heal ailments as diverse as skin rashes, spinal injuries, serious illness, spiritual challenge and psychological trauma. I am able to assist others in their healing, to watch them grow and move through their obstacles to a better life. I am constantly infused with the support and magic of the generous Plant Spirits.
When someone comes to me to begin Plant Spirit Medicine, we go into a comfortable healing room right off the garden and the sacred fire circle. I begin an extensive interview to get an understanding of what is needed. I take the persons pulses to read the Qi levels. Once I have an understanding of what Plant Spirits to contact, I help deliver the medicine. A session might include hands on healing, direct contact with the healing plants, shamanic journeying or a sacred fire ceremony. Each individual has different needs.
Today, I have a healthy hand and neck and I’ve entered a new era of vitality as a human being. The contact with Plant Spirit Medicine has transformed my life and the lives of those who come to me for healing. I am back in the garden: the Paradise of being alive.
Jewell is a Plant Spirit Medicine healer and Qigong instructor. She has a Transformational Healing practice in Shutesbury MA. (See ad in Healing section). Phone number: 413/259-1814.