Plants and Flower Essences for Ancestral Healing

Plants and Flower Essences for Ancestral Healing

My time spent working with the people, plants, and their relationship has led me far beyond the first few steps I took with my plant ID books into the fields and forests. This is because plants are like that. And nature is like that.

They invite us into a system, a network, a community, or more accurately, they make us aware that we’re already in one.

I often imagine it like a scene from Alice in Wonderland; I bend down to sniff a flower or to observe a leaf and match-up the vein pattern with the picture in my book and the next thing you know, as I go to simply harvest a couple of buds, an entire nation of roots, plants, seeds, and trees, jump into my gathering basket all talking at once and demanding I make them into tea. Or, paradoxically, I’m pulled into the world and wonders of the soils. Making relationships with plants can lead us into unexpected places.

One of those places, for me, has actually been less of a place and more of a practice.  My ongoing contact and exchange with the healing plants has pulled me profoundly into the blood threaded web of my own ancestors and the traditional practices of ancestor veneration that was present in some way within all cultures on Earth. I believe this to be even more than a practice but also a human instinctive drive or impulse that we have been disconnected from. Especially those of us who belong to one or more of the cultural diasporas that have lost place, family, and community based traditions due to colonialism, forced emigration, genocide, and the promise of something better on the horizon (that’s pretty much everyone at this point). 

6 Herbs for lung Support

6 Herbs for lung Support

When we breathe

Our inhale receives life

And our exhale shares it back to the world


This sounds so easy but for much of my life inhaling and exhaling came to me with great difficulty. I had severe asthma as a child that followed me up through adulthood. I relied on inhalers and antihistamines to keep breathing and suffered several lung infections every year.

Of course “receiving” and sharing back life is connected to more than just our physiological lung function.

Our lungs are the seat of our grief. Grief is one of our most precious living emotions. Grief is the one of the gifts of being alive and it is in our lungs that we gather it to be breathed into and inspirited by the elemental matrix we call air.

Plant Study Guide

Plant Study Guide

To deepen my own study of plants and as a method of teaching students I have begun using a Planthenge. This is just a simple model that was inspired by the geometric layout of Stonehenge and the many other sacred stone circles of Celtic Europe, Carl Jung’s model of mandala consciousness, and Paul Bergner’s 4 directions model of studying plants.

“Trust that which gives you meaning and use it as your guide.

— Carl Jung

It's Goldenrod Time

It's Goldenrod Time

The wheel of the year is turning once again and the season of Fall is beginning her gentle emersion with first few leaves descending toward the turning Earth. There is a new chill wafting on the morning air and the Canada Geese have us in their flight path as they embark on this year’s journey South.  These signs and more tell us that the times they are a-changing. Many of us, including myself, experience seasonal allergies in the late summer and early Fall that will continue until the first hard, killing frost. Growing up in the Northeast I was always told that my allergies could be attributed to the Goldenrod as these bright yellow flowers are in blossom everywhere we look right now. If I look out to my back field it appears as if there is a sea of yellow flowing flowers that stretches into eternity.