*Note: As a student of herbalism studies, I’ve been learning lots of fascinating things about forging a magical relationship with plants. So I am excited about today’s guest post. In this post, the fierce and beautiful priestess-mermaid soul, Beth, shares some profound insights about plant allies and her connection with the Western Red Cedar. ❤ Jodi
CONNECTING WITH PLANT ALLIES by BETH KATHERINE WATSON
Most of us are unfamiliar with the idea of a ‘Plant Ally’ – but the term has been well known and well loved in many parts of the world for thousands of years.
A Plant Ally is a plant that an individual is uniquely drawn to – at times, it may even feel like this plant is calling them. When the individual takes notice of such a plant, and consciously chooses to explore their relationship with it, magic ensues. Forming a true relationship with a plant ally, as Susan Weed says, takes years and years. From sleeping under the stars with said plant, to watching it unfold season by season, as it grows and changes, to internally taking it’s medicine, to simply meditating with it to hear it’s wisdom and have conversations, there are numerous ways of getting to know your plant ally.
It’s a lifetime journey in many cases – getting to know a plant ally is a commitment, it’s a love story – yet the process is worth it, for in my experience, connecting with a Plant Ally elicits many of the same feelings as a human to human love story. We’re all souls after all.
An individual can have many plant allies over the course of their life, and we are not limited to getting to know just the plants that speak to us. Sometimes, it is a worthy endeavour to spend time with a plant that seems a little more foreign to us. More often that not, though, it’s the ones who we’ve been interested in for quite some time, that have the most to give.
Although I’ve had a few different plants come to me, through dreams, books, or meditations – namely Yarrow and Juniper – there is one that stands above the rest, simply because it has interwoven it’s way so completely into my life.
This plant is the Western Red Cedar.
I took notice, specifically, of the beautiful Cedar tree, on a trip to the West Coast of Canada, back in 2011. Although I was not into plant medicine at the time, something struck me about the tree, and I decided to take a few of it’s branches home to Southern Alberta with me, so I would not forget the magic of the coast.
I ended up hanging the branches next to my bed, where they stayed for over a year. I did not know then, that I was undertaking an significant act of initiation with a plant ally – keeping it next to you while you sleep.
Over the next few years, I took many more trips out to the coast, continuing to notice the Cedar tree, and watching my love for her grow.
Upon finally moving to the Pacific Northwest last year, I became more fully, and more consciously aware of my desire to be around Cedar. At that time, I had begun my studies in Plant Medicine, which is a continuing journey, to say the least.
I knew that the best way to investigate a relationship with a plant was to meditate together, as had been taught to me by the plants themselves, as well as the herbalist teachers I was starting to surround myself with.
So last year, I started to spend more time with the Cedar, and still, the journey continues. I’ve made dreamcatchers from her, kept her under my bed, beside my bed, over my bed. I’ve smudged with her, drank tea from her leaves. I’ve made essences from her bark, and her spiritual medicine. I’ve read with my back against her trunk, and taken photos of her striking beauty. But through all of this, the most important act I’ve done with the Cedar, is to meditate with her.
“Cedar, like all plants, holds incredible wisdom. Each plant has a different frequency, and therefore, each plant has a different gift to give.” ~ Beth Katherine
The incredible thing about Cedar, is that she has a rainbow of gifts. The Natives of the Pacific Northwest thought of her as somewhat of a Grandmother – a kind, wise, and elderly all purpose healer. They made clothes with her bark, drank her tea, built with her wood, and in many ways honored her as the pillar of their culture.
My own experiences with Cedar have shown me, time and time again, of her kindness, her intrinsic wisdom, her ability to repair the auric field, and cleanse and revitalize anyone who comes willingly enough near her medicine.
There have been many things she has taught me, and some of them have completely changed the course of my day, my week, or my outlook on a certain situation. One blog post is not enough for these stories, but hopefully, the truth of these words inspires you to investigate your own relationship with plants.
Have any been calling to you? Has the Dandelion reached out to you, with it’s sunny disposition, and deeply rooted way of persevering? Has the Wild Rose sung to you? Offering it’s connection with the Great Mother, and gently caressing your cheek with it’s pink tones of love?
There are so many plants around us, and yet, we often take little to no notice of them. Over the next few weeks, especially as we emerge into spring, I challenge you to become more aware of the plants around you. Are any of them drawing you in? It’s a subtle process – the plant world is deeply embedded in the otherworld. But once you begin the journey, you may find that it’s possible to develop a lasting love affair with a plant.
And that is one relationship you might be deeply willing to invest in.
Beth is a fierce, deeply spiritual and creative priestess-mermaid soul. She is a intuitive mentor based in Tofino, BC, Canada. Beth helps young women develop their gifts, trust their intuitive guidance and launch their life purpose into the world. She is passionate about doing her bit for Mama Gaia and the oceans when it comes to environmental issues. Beth is also a Women for Whales ambassador. You can connect with Beth via her website: http://www.bethkatherine.com, like her Waves of Fire facebook page or follow her on Instagram