Rituals add meaning to life. Over the past several years I have been participating in plant initiation rituals. They connect me more deeply and more coherently with nature than I have ever been.
As I write this, the wheel of the year approaches the summer solstice. This day is truly filled with light. I am preparing for a shamanic plant initiation that will unfold next weekend, a gathering of plant people led by my teacher and St. John’s Wort.
Plant spirit healing is a shamanic plant medicine practice that works energetically with and through plants for health and healing. In that tradition, a plant initiation is a coming together in a ritual to honor, connect deeply with, hear and receive the healing gift of a plant. It tends to involve experiencing the plant in a variety of ways; through breath, dieting (ingesting) wonderful things prepared by the facilitator. It is done in a ceremony; with singing, fires, shamanic guided imagery journeys and the like.
I have undergone several plant initiations so far and treasure this ritual experience in my life. Perhaps it’s my Catholic upbringing, filled with ritual. I was initiated by Tulsi (the green goddess!) and left with a spirit soul sister, someone to go mystery-shopping with in the cosmos. From Tulsi I learned ageless beauty and that all of the Shakti goddesses are within me – I can learn to draw upon them when needed. I was initiated by Dandelion (the indestructible grandfather guide!) at Damanhur, the eco-spirit community in Italy, and learned steadfast resiliency and impenetrability of spirit. Now it is St. John’s, and I already have a close relationship with the bestower-of-light. I hope to burn off a bit of dross and am open to an enlightening experience!
Bless you and may you have your own nature encounter today. Tell us about it!
What a wonderful article about plant spirit initiations–and so timely that I just happened to find this on line. On January 12-13th a local herbalist (Leah Wolfe) and I will be co-facilitating a St. John’s Wort Immersion (Plant Spirit Initiation). How are you? So often I think of you and others in our apprenticeship class and wonder how everyone is. Are you still teaching at Krippala?
Much love & Blessings to you and Happy Year Year! Sandy Engle
Sandy! My old roommate! I love your spelling of Kripalu!
I am, happily, still teaching there, but am also teaching elsewhere (I am off to Pure Vida in Costa Rica next week to teach a retreat). I am answering too late to pass on the word about the initiation you are offering, but please do keep me posted – I am rededicating myself (again!) to social media so I can socialize your things.
Be very well my cosmic friend! Love and blessing to you.
I have been trying to find a course or a workshop with plant spirit.
I am from Australia and there is not so much here from what i know so far.
Are you able to give any suggestions as to any workshops or short courses to learn ? in Australia, Europe or America?
Hi Andrea! Look at Pam Montgomery’s site, http://www.partnereartheducationcenter.com. That will have a good list of the trainings and practitioners – I know there is someone in Australia, and there are trainings here in the US.
Keep an eye on my site too, as I plan to have an online offering later this year.
Be well and blessings.
It’s helpful to know that plant medicine ceremonies can also involve ingesting them. A friend and I are thinking about going on such a trip someday because we are quite curious about it when we saw it in an online video. I think going to such a trip will also be spiritually enriching in some way.
Alice, using plants in ceremony is a beautiful thing. Do make sure that the person leading you has a deep understanding of what they are doing, as well as the plants they are using. As my plant teacher says, there are certain plants that can “heal you dead”. You don’t want to ingest those! I don’t work with wild mushrooms, and am clear about only working with edible flowers and plants. There is so much we can learn from our plant allies!