Now that the earth is thawing, Spring is starting to poke through the ground, and the snowbanks have disappeared, many of us are eager to get outside, into our gardens, or just open the windows again. With new plant life beginning to take form, you may find yourself thinking more about plants, herbs, and flowers.
There’s lots of reasons why a certain herb or flower might be drawing more attention from you than usual. Maybe you just learned about a new herb and you’re now seeing it everywhere or maybe it is a specific color, texture, or smell you’re being drawn to. Scent, for example, is our sense most closely associated with memory and can often provide us feelings of joy, comfort, nostalgia, and other touchy-feely feelings.
The energy of a herb might be connecting with you even if it is not clear why. One of the easiest ways to connect with a herb is to simply hold it and listen. Use all your senses (taste only when appropriate) and experience that herb from an honest place of learning and yearning to connect. You may feel subtle shifts or hear a voice in your mind as your receive the herb’s energy.
Here are a few additional methods to connect with herbs and receive their messages for you:
- Meditation – Try meditating with the herb calling to you. Whether you have an image in your mind (or on your phone), dried herbs, or a fresh cutting, sit with that herb and allow your mind and energy to be open. Try holding the image of the herb in your mind and focusing your breath into that image. Notice if the herb moves, grows, or changes shape as you focus on it. You may even find sensations of smell and taste as your meditation deepens. Welcome the energy of the herb into your meditation and listen for what it may offer.
- Sleep – For some of us, our dreams are when we are most receptive to energy and messages. Before you drift off for the night, focus on asking a specific question of the herb you’ve been leaning towards. If possible, keep an image or cutting of the herb on your bedside table to deepen your connection and further welcome it into your energy. Keep paper and a pen on your bedside table as well, to note any dreams, images, thoughts, or other messages that you may receive.
- Journaling – Exploring our own thoughts and feelings can be a great way to learn more about ourselves and deepen our personal practices. Devote a journaling session to an herb and see where your mind goes. Start by describing the herb with your 5 senses and explore how it makes you feel. Move to memories the herb stirs in you and let your mind take off. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense in the moment, so that you have a record of your session. Over the next few days go back to your journal and read what you initially wrote. These pieces may spur another journaling session or provide you with insight.
- Energy work – Engaging in energy work, such as Reiki, can help shift our awareness to new areas. This can be especially useful when we are feeling stuck or things just aren’t making any sense. Engaging in the energy work practice you are attuned to and incorporating an herb can clarify your connection to that herb. Be ope to colors, sounds, and sensation that will provide insight and deepen your practice as you find yourself immersed in plant spirit energy.
- Tarot – Clearing space to connect with tarot can be a great way to add layers to the messages herbs send us. If you are comfortable with tarot, ask your deck what message the herb has for you. Using a method that resonates with you, draw a card from the deck and explore the symbolism it depicts. Consider the tarot card as an extension of the herb’s voice and a way for the herb to clarify it’s message. Resist drawing too many cards, as it could muddy the waters rather than clear them. This tarot card can then be incorporated into your meditation, journaling, or other practice.
- Exploration – Research can be a very powerful tool, especially when we are not in a place to explore ourselves. Taking a more linear approach can help us gain knowledge without emotional bias. Utilize the internet, books, magazines, zines, and people to learn more about herbs and what energy they carry. Discovering the herb’s spirit energy may lead you to a connection in your own life that can assist in your own emotional and spiritual health.
- Mindfulness – Taking quiet moments to connect with your inner self can be powerful. When you feel pulled to a herb, try to be still and do a brief body scan. Move your awareness through your body and try to feel what part of you is activated by that herb. Identify the area and allow yourself to experience what is happening in your body. Whether you feel clam, tense, excitement, fear, optimism, anxiety, or anything else, recognize that this herb is drawing you to this feeling and space to connect with or heal something in your life.
As you begin to explore your connections to herbs, flowers, and plants, these practices will become more intuitive and organically flow. You may find a blend of approaches most resonates with you and leads to the clearest connections. Follow your intuition, always being sure to respect our herbal allies, and your practice will quickly become a part of your everyday so much that you just might find yourself talking with the cut flowers at the grocery store.
Know that building all relationships, including those with herbs, takes time. These are called practices but we must always be learning and evolving in our approaches and methods; these are not finite steps to the same outcome. Give yourself time to develop these skills and create a safe space so that you are most receptive to plant spirit energy.
Love & light, Kristen