How To Learn Herbalism Directly From Plants
By Sage L. Maurer
The plant spirits are waiting to speak with those of us who are open to listening. They echo through our minds and hearts, touching our bodies with their healing hands, and guide us into the medicine we are most needing. We can ask the plants for wisdom and guidance, and we can allow their voices and teachings to enter us, opening our hearts to the voices of the earth. We can invite our whole being to directly receive within this intimate relationship all the green world is offering us — through our body, heart, and consciousness.
Through direct relationship and exploration, we receive a first-hand experience of a medicine plant, and we are able to gather depths of information about a plant’s energy, its effects on the body, and how it touches our nervous system, mind, and soul — much of which is not easily found in books. Plants will touch us at depths only found within an intimate relationship, often bypassing walls we put up within our own human relationships. These green spirits help to melt our hearts, quiet our mind into deep listening, and guide us into listening to the voices of our own body and heart again.
We can easily relearn to communicate directly with the plants as so many have done through history. In this intimate connecting, we receive the medicine each plant has for us personally and collectively. Since every plant touches each person differently and affects our body, heart, and mind in a way that is very personal and unique, the true way to understand the medicine of a plant is always through direct experience and exploration. You do not need another person or a book to tell you what the medicine of a plant is. In the 15 years I have been teaching classes, I have seen hundreds of students through direct experience feel and know the medicine of a plant without being taught anything about it from an outside source. In 10 minutes, through sensory, embodied connection and meditation with a plant, we can know the organs the plant nourishes and helps to heal, the energetics of how it moves through and affects our body, and much about the plant’s personality. We can directly feel how it touches our nerves, heart, mind, and spirit. It never ceases to amaze me how within minutes of exploration with it in my body, a plant completely new to me can show me most of how it has been used around the world, and how it can affect my own heart, mind, and body presently. We can also receive the memories, relationships, histories, landscapes, cultures, wind, soil, sun, and water a plant holds within itself and experience those through our body and consciousness.
Often, deep understanding comes through in these exchanges that bring us wisdom about our own mysteries. We discover places in our heart that have been hidden and waiting, and we are able to explore our body, organs, and tissues in ways we often haven’t been able to feel and sense before. The depths we are able to travel within ourselves as we journey with the plants is similar to the self-explorations that come with a trained healer, in deep states of meditation, through movement, or during illness. The plants can assist us on the inward journey, teaching us about ourselves as well as the medicine they have for us, and supporting us in listening deeply. Exploring how a plant touches my whole being, and receiving guidance as it communicates with my mind, heart, and body, is better than any form of therapy I have ever received.