Plant Wisdom

Communicating with Plants

Who else is the enemy of Nature but he who mistakes himself for more intelligent than Nature, though it is the highest school for all of us? Paracelsus

My childhood memories are dominated by images of myself alone in nature; sitting in the humid autumn grass picking up the windfalls from the ancient apple trees in my parents garden, making perfume from the roses and daintily smelling flowers in the old holiday cottage we visited every year in Norfolk. Wistfully loosing myself in the long grass in the fields behind, playing under the weeping willow tree in what my father called the ‘dell’, at home with fairies and elementals, comfortable with the plants and trees…more so than with people, school and family…this was ‘home’.

As I got a bit older, I ventured alone into wilder places, the marshlands not far from our home along the coast of Northwest England, where I got to know the birds, the plants that thrived in the vast expanse of human-less land, the water holes and the insects and water creatures that there aboded…as I explored the outer world, an inner wildness was starting to develop that would carve the way of my life, a calling that I cannot describe but that came from deep inside my belly.

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Without knowing it I learnt to tune in to each member of the plant world that lived nearby and recognise their ‘feel’ the way they related to me and me to them. I manoeuvred myself on earth, not by remembering place names, street maps or road systems but by knowing what grew where and how they made me feel.

It seemed natural to become a herbalist…one of the questions that seemed to bother me more than other fellow herbalists when I was training and since, however…was ‘what is it to know a plant?’ I couldn’t believe that the scientific view reducing a plant uniquely to its chemical constituents would be enough to be an effective herbalist, I read many books on plant communication, plant spirit wisdom both from what we could call a ‘shamanic’ perspective and also scientific studies on subjects such as the sixth sense, the way the heart picks up electrical information etc. These books were interesting but they remained either someone else’s story where no practical keys were shared or intellectual propositions that after a while leave you feeling like the magic has been taken away. I wanted to go further into the world that I knew existed and one which already supported my soul, helping it become an adult that could love and feel love, I wanted to go deeper, further, all the way into their world, to intertwine my soul with the plant’s but alone, this was difficult, I needed a teacher.

When the student is ready the teacher will appear’

One day in the herbal school’s new catalogue, I saw the title for a new course ‘Plant communication’, my prayers had been answered. It did however take me three years before it was the moment to go and tell Claude that I wanted to learn from him.

My personal path of relationships had left me fragile and the idea of a ‘master’ made me nervous, I had pledged to myself that I would never give my personal power away to someone who put him or herself in a position of greater power. Looking back now and knowing my own and Claude’s path since then, I feel that we both had work to accomplish before he was ready to be my teacher and I was ready to be his pupil. The moment came and I am transformed, the key has been turned in the lock and I will never be the same again.

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Claude teaches a method, yes a precise method that enables one to go beyond a ‘tinkering’ with plant relationship or plant spirit and be able to differentiate between what is sensing the plant’s resonance, communicating with and journeying with the soul of the plant. It’s the knowledge of ancient and indigenous peoples, a knowledge that we have lost or traded for profit, material wealth, power… re-learning to communicate with the natural world is an important part of our healing and helps to reknit our original lineage, the sense of disconnection diminishes and deep health slowly returns.

Once the instruction has been passed on, the pupil has learnt from the teacher and an autonomy is attained, no need for drugs, or a shaman or a master just a healthy relationship with the plants and a desire to go deeper.

From the teachings of Claude, I carried on developping my own unique relationship with the natural world. Although the teacher can share some precious tools, it is up to each of us to learn to use them and to enter into and deepen our own ‘seeing’, ‘listening’, ‘feeling’ and ‘knowing’ in relationship to the world around us. As each of us have unique relationships with each other so we do with plants and animals, allowing this world in and having confidence in the interaction opens the dorrs of perception to the whole universe….the physcial support is nothing compared to the depth of possibility that our relationship with this living world can reveal. This revelation is in my opionion, the most important key for the future of mankind on earth, we must learn to re-connect in order to survive.

The heart’s doorway is acknowledged, this perception portal gradually takes its place in the centre of our being and the idea of ‘real’ knowledge can shift from navigating with the intellect to navigating with the soul. There is a veritable, long-term modification of consciousness through the fact that this way of entering into relationship helps us to restore the natural biological memory of the plant within us.

As a herbalist this work is invaluable for wild-crafting and making plant preparations as the plant’s soul and spirit can be preserved during the harvesting and thus make a highly energetic and quality medicine.

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Beech

I approach the forest with a cathedral-like reverence,

Take off my shoes before slowly meandering up the windy beech-lined track

The ground feels warm and still after summer, spongy and springy underfoot

A smooth, well-trodden cushion welcoming me in and back to earth!

 

I let go of the mind chattering, breath and expand myself into the whole…

Stillness, whilst the forest becomes aware of someone new

My body remembers this familiar silence

For from it, I was born.

 

I recognise the first unmarked gateway

That leads the way deeper into nature’s womb

the squirrel’s table – a moss covered stump

asks silently for an offering

 

For squirrel is guardian

here – in the sylva

As I scatter my gift, I am transported into aliveness

My cells dance with the greenness of it all.

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Further on, the second portal stirs

A master beech tree defies death

And regenerates itself into standing wisdom

And love…

 

In the moment, all is possible

Empty of knowledge

Knowing is feeling…sensing…

Daring to let go and let the forest approach me!

 

The forest opens and master beech calls to me

majestically spanning centuries

Reuniting earth and skies

Below the mountain ridge

I humbly bow…

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Heart explodes, as above so below

I spin, thrown from roots to branches

I sense a chuckle at my child-like surprise

Of this timeless wisdom –lost and found

 

Knocked backwards with its fierce lovingness

Running down my head and spine

It grabs me by the throat

Fills me, merges, with me !

 

I diminish into nothingness

Its breath fills the forest

And shoots light through my heart

Squeezing everything out of me until…

Tears come and I am but love myself

 

Spinning like a world rotating

Roots to sky and branches dig the earth

Old conceived ideas forced out

Relinquishing resistance, my view turns inwards

 

We have met

to know myself is to know the other

For we are one.

 

I thank-you beech for your wisdom

 I will be teaching a one day introductory class in New Mexico on July 11th 2015 http://thebirkmayerinstitut.ipage.com/2015/03/cathy-skipper-plant-communication-71115/

Here is the day’s programme:

The class will take place inside, which is ideal for learning the basic tools for this work. Plant consciousness is everywhere; we will work with plants in a pot, wood from trees, essential oils, photos…

1) Meditation to clear and set the intention for the day

2) Sensing the vibratory field of the plant by re-awakening our subtle senses

3) Identifying the 5 attitudes that can block the connection with the plant

4) Connecting with the plant through the subtle senses and the heart portal.

5) Structuring the connection through the physical aspects a) first overall impression identifying any blockages in physical body b) Specific information going through the chakras c) identifying the plants genuine function for the physical body (if any).

6) Working in pairs and connecting with the plant as a medium.

7) (if time) Integration of the plant – letting go and letting the plant be the pilot.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Alison said,

    October 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Beautiful and moving. Thanks Cathy.


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