Last Year at South East Wise Woman’s Herbal Conference in the Mountains of NC I had the pleasure of taking Pam Montgomery’s Class on Plant Spirits. While I have made it my souls work to create garments that respect and honor Mother Gaia, this was mostly a big picture thought pattern for me grounded in logic and science. One in which I wanted to create clothing that through it’s production was sustainable in how it took and used materials, honored the people and plants involved with a garment creation, and was conscious and mindful of how it put waste back into the environment. I have spent the past 15 years focused mostly on the wellness benefits of our natural dyes and their medicinal properties such as Indigo’s calming effect on the nervous system or sandalwood’s ability to fight acne and scaring.
Pam’s class sparked another deeper thought pattern for me where I began to include questions like what is the spirit of the plants I collaborate with, how does each plant wish to be honored and shared, and how can Gaia Conceptions be a channel for not only their healing properties but their spiritual message. Plants are our oldest and most ancient ancestors after all and each one has a unique story to share. Essentially my spirit began to see and recognize the plant spirits asking me to connect them to others, to you.
Building a Relationship
The overall reach of the class was a series of tools and techniques one can use to develop a deeper relationship with any plant allie and the plant star for this class was Mugwort. So I have spent this past year getting to know Mugwort in as many ways as I could. I started with using a smudge of Mugwort in my ceremonies and rituals each morning and using her in my bath and body oils. I then planted her seeds in the Spring, nurtured and danced with her in the Summer, and then finally harvested and made pretty smudge sticks this Fall. It was fascinating to see what other plants, insects, and mushrooms she liked to keep company with. Her guidance has been fierce but gentle, so much so I didn’t fully realize the breath of it until sitting down to write this post.
I also began to read and learn more about her through the writings and teaching of others. My most recent discovery was Aquarian Dawn’s blog post on Mugwort which I found by taking her fun quiz “Which Magical Herb Are You?”. Guess which plant I was ? Yup, Mugwort. The sentence that jumped out at me the most in her post was…
“those of us attracted to the healing powers of herbs start to sense its existence as we begin more and more to get to know the medicine plants of the earth. And this is why mugwort is so beloved by herbalists – she is a door opener, a wayfinder, a welcoming bridge to the realms of consciousness needed to cultivate a deeper relationship with the natural world. Mugwort is a witch’s herb, a stirrer of visions and an opener of portals. She heightens our extrasensory perception while simultaneously dropping us deep into our center. It’s just where we want to be. “ Amber Magnolia Hill, from Aquarian Dawn
YES, YES, YES!!! and that is exactly what Mugwort has done. Mugwort is the shaman of the plant world, a guide for both plants and animals to understand their own magic, their medicine, their souls. Mugwort is a daily reminder for me that the human being is more than a physical body, but also incorporates a “body” of life energy, a “body” of sensitivity and feelings, and a spiritual essence or Self. This is also true for each plant and mineral found here on earth, Plant Spirits are energetic imprints of the life force of plants which interact with the subtle bodies of the human being, and evoke specific qualities within us. We are familiar with this concept in things like Flower Essence or the downloads of information found in Crystals. Both of which have shown up to teach, assist, and support me throughout many lifetimes.
“Mugwort opens up chambers of ancient memory within the brain, bringing to one’s dream life stirring visions of past and future that overflow with magical imagery. The symbols that dance through your mugwort-touched dreams pull out the cobwebs of our forgetfulness and assist us in remembering old, unwritten ways of healing and living that attend to the needs of spirit and soul.” Judith Berger, from Herbal Rituals
Mugwort has asked me to go beyond the medicinal wellness benefits of our natural dyes and fibers and go deeper to their energetic imprints, their Spirit. The last year has been one filled with visions, intuition, healing, and a humbling request to gracefully bring the Plant Spirit Medicines of Gaia’s fiber and natural dye plant allies to the consciousness of the Gaia Conceptions Tribe, to make the invisible, visible. While their medicinal qualities can be a sign post to their spirit, Mugwort has taught me it’s only through time, intention, and active listening that we can truly become soul sisters.
I’m not totally clear on how this will manifest and feel very much at the beginning of something, a life’s work if you will. I’ve started taking classes such as Intuitive Plant Medicine, by Asia Sulfer and the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicines Immersion Course. I’ve also decided to give each plant we work with the same dedication and relationship building techniques that I used with Mugwort over the next few years, dedicating myself to a different plant each month or longer when needed. I also plan to travel to different areas to meet certain plant spirits in their native homes and to meet the keepers and friends of each plant used in our garments. Mugwort will be a guide and supporter in this quest for a deeper more metaphysical understanding of the plants already tapping at my spirit. I’m open and excited to collaborate with other Plant Spirit practitioners so please get in touch if you feel called to do so.