THIS WEEK’S READ:

The Lost Language: an Unpublished Excerpt from The Illustrated Herbiary!

A Cherokee story was told to me by a medicine man.

Native tales hold power and need to be shared in a specific way. Since this story is not mine to tell, I’ll paraphrase it for you and maybe, if you’re lucky, someday a person of Cherokee decent will tell you the tale whole, the way it’s meant to be shared. The short version is this:

A long time ago, on the land right under your feet, people understood more than we understand today. They translated the murmurings of the four-leggeds and the calls of the winged ones. The buzz of a bee had meaning, as did the glub, glub of the salmon swimming upstream to spawn.

Most important for us here and now, those long-ago people understood the whispers of the green world. The gentle twisting of flowers toward the sun had meaning as did the way the wind whistled through the slow-growth forests hugging steep mountainsides.

For reasons only the Cherokee can share, we lost our ability to communicate . . .

. . . And we have searched for this lost language ever since.

Understanding the languages of nature is a universal human obsession.

The ancient Greeks developed the Doctrine of Signatures, a complex code designed to reveal a plant’s medicine through observation. Everything from the color of a flower, to a plant’s growth habit, to its favorite location and soil type, was used as a method for deciphering its gifts to humanity. So a plant which could survive in the desert, for instance, was seen to have the Medicine of moisture.

The Victorians crafted a language of flowers assigning each bud a meaning — blue violets for faithfulness and vervain for enchantment. Each posey that was gifted contained a secret message encoded in its petals.

I wrote The Illustrated Herbiary as a codex which gives you a window into the unique gifts of the flowers and trees, a key to understanding their whisperings… though there is a very simple beginning to this relationship between human and plants:

Plants do something that neither animals nor minerals (nor fairies or unicorns, for that matter!) can do– they enable our breath. Plants exhale oxygen, which we inhale; we exhale carbon dioxide, which they inhale.

Their exhale, our inhale. Our exhale, their inhale.

An invisible dance, a necessary exchange.

The first thing we do upon arriving in this world is inhale and through that in-breath we come into our first contact with the plants and the green world.

Another word for inhalation is inspiration.

Ultimately that’s the magic of plant medicine: it inspires you to look at your life through a different lens, so you can tap into the collective unconscious as well as your own intuition and self-knowing.

What was your first conscious experience of the green world? Share with us over on Facebook.

Hugs—

Recent Posts

Life Changing Books According to YOU!

This week has been all about books! I've wanted to be an author since I was a kid, not because I loved to write but because I loved to read. Last year I shared a few of my favorites with you. This year, I asked to hear YOUR life-changing books and favorite authors......

read more

EXPLORE CATEGORIES

Popular Posts

Lost Lineage and the Democratization of Wisdom

My herbal teacher started every class with a recitation of lineage: My name is Gina McGarry. My teacher was Rosemary Gladstar, whose teacher was Juliette de Baïracli Levy, whose teachers were the Romani gypsies. I carried this opening recitation into my own teaching,...

read more

Stories as Soul Maps to Heal What is Broken

What if stories are soul maps to heal what is broken? Remember the movie Erin Brockovich? In case you never saw it, here’s the 20-second recap: Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts) is a down-on-her-luck single mom desperately searching for a job. Unfortunately...

read more

Want More? Join me for Sunday Tea! (delivered right to your inbox)

to get the latest happenings as well as a smidge of whatever I’ve concocted each week especially for you.

"Maia is the real deal...her writing is exquisite, and her work profound."
Linda Siversten, TEDWomen speaker

“Maia took what was already sneaking in the door and helped me to put them at the center.”
Debora Geary, Author

“Maia is earthy, soulful and ‘real’. Her work is a true expression of her divine calling.”
Brigit Esselmont, biddytarot.com

“I read your blog 'religiously' each week!”
Suzanne Boothby, Wellness Write & Author