You can vibrate with the energy of a plant without eating it, drinking it, or taking little pills made from it.
Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you.
Read on to learn how to use the Flower Power Oracle!
In my newsletter last week, I wrote about the many ways to work with herbs and how you don’t always have to ingest an herb to get its Medicine.
This came up again this week when a friend was mourning not being able to take her beloved Hawthorn since it’s contraindicated for pregnancy.
She laughed when I reminded her she could work with Hawthorn without ingesting it! She’d read the newsletter, but the concept hadn’t quite stuck. We are so used to taking our Medicine through our mouth!
So I was noodling on how to demonstrate to all of you that you can vibrate with the energy of a plant without eating it, drinking it, or taking little pills made from it.
And then I remembered these super fun “oracle” posts that my friend Nicole Cody creates. I thought “hmmmm… that will be a fun shift from the usual!”
So, in homage to Nicole, here’s a Flower Oracle! Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?
(a blog post with instructions! Ha!)
Choose one of these questions to hold in your heart as you check out the images of the flowers below:
♦ What is my Original Medicine (remember Original Medicine? The gifts you were born with? More on that here.)?
♦ What Medicine do I need in my life right now?
After you choose your question, repeat it to yourself 3 times. Imagine pulling the question from your head and down into your heart.
When you are ready, look at all the pictures below. After perusing all of them, come back to the one to which you are most drawn. Don’t over-think this!
When you have chosen your flower, scroll further down for your message.
Remember, you can work with all these flowers (and many more!) without ingesting them! Pin a photo of the plant over your desk, put a sprig under your pillow, or meditate on the plant either by picturing it in your mind or holding a bit, dried or fresh, in your left (your receiving) hand.
Yarrow’s gift is boundaries and bravery. In Celtic cultures, Yarrow was a warrior’s plant. Not only does she help heal the wounds of war, both physically and psychologically, but she’s a protector. Yarrow transcends the physical realm, helping you unite the will of your soul and spirit with your body and mind. Call on Yarrow when you need to strengthen your boundaries or your resolve!
Rose’s gift is an open heart. She calls forth caring with her scent and her beauty. But Rose does not do mushy love! Rose is upright and structured; she holds space for your heart to be open, not for it to be trampled upon! Rose lets you become a vessel for love, to experience its allure both platonically and romantically, while offering the protection of her thorns. Rose reminds you that love does not mean co-dependency, that love is best when, as the poet Rilke said, you can see the distance between you and your beloved so you can “see each other whole against the sky.”
3. Lady’s Mantle
Lady’s Mantle offers motherly protection. She drapes a cloak of caring around your shoulders and whispers that you can make it through this lifetime, that your soul is whole, that no matter what the physical world has thrown at you, no matter what pains or abuse, you have integrity of spirit. She is particularly wise when there has been trauma. Lady’s Mantle doesn’t demand, she waits for you to find the bravery and fortitude within. She knows it is there, and with her help, you will too.
Selfheal is a wee thing! She is the first ripple that allows healing to begin. She reminds you that one small change ripples outward, creating concentric circles of shift. Selfheal knows how to find that center. Ripple out from here, she whispers. Healing begins here. She is a support to those who are ill, to those who work with illness, and to those who have come into this life with physical challenges. She helps you to know your true self, and therefore, your true healing.
Dandelion is bold and bright and sunny. She pushes through cracks in cement and worms her way through a stone wall’s mortar. Cheerfully. Dandelion’s Medicine is perseverance. But not the perseverance of a martyr. Dandelion is the eternal optimist: like the Fool in the Tarot deck, she is always happy to set off on a new journey, in the hopes of learning more and digging deeper. She is not the airy optimist with no grounding in reality–her roots run deep–and she is the shaman and the buddha, knowing that happiness is an inner landscape and has little to do with where you are planted.
The line rang through the little theatre, stilling the shuffle of popcorn bags and the crinkling of candy wrappers.
Or perhaps it was just me who felt the stillness, who suddenly sat up a little straighter, and heard the roll of distant thunder and the whirl of timpanis that accompany moments when my cosmic truth is revealed (often in the oddest of ways).
This is how I touch people.
It doesn’t look like much, sitting alone on the page, so I’ll give you some context.
Andrew and I had headed downtown for tacos and a movie. Date night! A rare and cherished occasion in our hectic business-owner lives.
We parked and walked to the small arts cinema where we’re likely to run into three friends and someone’s visiting in-laws as we cruise seats. It’s the only theatre in town I actually enjoy.
Our plan? Grab tickets then dinner. We arrive to find people milling indecisively in front of the box office window discussing a sign that reads Air conditioning broken in the upstairs theatre. We check our movie: upstairs theatre. We check with the tattooed teenager at the ticket booth: the temperature up there is apparently in the high eighties.
Pause. We look at each other.
“Let’s get dinner and see if it cools down,” I suggest. So we walk over to White Duck Taco, anticipating quirky taco-y goodness… only to find that they’re closed on Monday nights.
I had left the house hungry, so none of this was going down well with me. Andrew pulled out his cell phone and found another theatre, one that had dinner as well, where Chef was also playing.
I was dubious. Random food on a tight timeframe when you’re gluten, tomato, and potato intolerant is seldom successful.
We arrive at the theatre and look at the menu. Sigh. This evening is so not going as planned. And eating my bread-less sandwich off a tray on my lap while watching a movie wasn’t adding to my happy.
I tried giving myself a pep talk (my clients tell me I’m good at those): this is an adventure, quit being a stick-in-the-mud.
But truthfully I was just trying to keep mustard off the unstained linen shirt I’d dug out for date night.
All this to say: I wasn’t in the best of moods. I wasn’t at a yoga retreat or meditating or eating a super-healthy, organically-grown meal lovingly prepared just for me, when the truth bomb detonated.
Okay, so I am in the movie theater eating a hotdog wrapped in mustard and a lettuce leaf off a tray in my lap when Chef (finally!) begins.
Basic storyline (don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you) is that a boy spends the summer bonding with his dad, who is opening a food truck. Dad is on a hero’s-journey à la Joseph Campbell.
The boy is acting as a line cook when he burns a cabana (that’s a Cuban sandwich. Yup—there was bread everywhere!). The boy goes to hand the singed sandwich to a customer and the Dad stops him.
He pulls the boy outside and says to him (paraphrasing here):
I may not have been the best husband or the best father. But I do this thing right because this is how I touch people.
I sat, stunned.
I wanted to replay that scene a few times and let what the father was saying sink in:
We may not be perfect in the entirety of our lives, but we each have our unique way of touching others’ souls. It is there, in our place of connection, where we must shine—because the way in which we each touch those around us is our unique soul’s gift.
How do you touch people? Where is the place where you reach across the boundaries of self to share a bit of your soul?
Graduation is a few days away and classes are over for the year.
(Yup, this is a flashback. If Oprah ever asks if every word is true, I won’t be able to say for certain. Memories soften, get a little fuzzy, and are often sweeter in the re-telling.)
I’m lying prone, grass is poking through the cotton blanket, tickling my stomach.
(This was before Lyme Disease became part of my consciousness, back when I laid on the ground with abandon worrying only about the occasional ant.)
The scent of barbecue, beer, and Johnson’s Baby Oil (yup, pre-SPF, too) overpowers the whispers of wild honeysuckle and pine from the woods below.
Conversation drifts round our circle. We speculate on post-college life and who each of us will be when we “grow up.”
Before long we have identified two teachers, an accountant, a social worker, an advertising exec, and a P.T.A. mom.
The tone is light with the deep, sweet notes of women who know each other well, who see each others souls and can fish gems of truth from the depths. Each truth sparkles as a bit of soul-light shines on us all.
I wait expectantly… There is something magical about being seen.
I wonder what my friends, my housemates this past year, will see in me. I wonder if they know my life’s purpose (’cause I sure don’t!).
Our soft gaze is on Kristin, and only I am left. The conversation moves on and I hold my breath.
And then we are talking about boyfriends and dinner plans.
I wait a few moments, looking from one friend to another, before asking in small voice, “What about me?”
The pause stretches out as each person waits for someone else to speak.
Finally my roommate Susan nudges my shoulder. “We have no idea what you’re going to be,” she says with a quick grin, “but we can’t wait to find out.”
Fast forward to now.
There is something in our human nature that desperately wants to be known. In many tribal cultures it’s thought that each person, each soul born on this planet, has a very special spark they bring to this world. This spark is similar to the spark that someone else carries in the way one leaf is similar to the next, and yet each is unique and necessary. This is our Original Medicine.
In modern “civilized” cultures, very few of us know our Original Medicine; but in our secret hearts, we know it’s there. We know that we have a special gift to give to the world and ourselves.
We know that living in alignment with this Original Medicine is tied to our health and happiness so we are constantly searching and seeking, looking for who we are.
And because of the constructs of our culture we think this information is going to come in the form of a job title.
But often our Original Medicine is a light that emanates from us touching those we know in a daily, yet profound, way.
Flash back to moving out day, Ann Arbor, Michigan:
Susan and I have a morning routine: after the alarm goes off and we yawn and stretch and grump, we put The Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine” in the CD player.
We jump around on our unmade beds singing at the top of our lungs. We equally off key and equally exuberant.
This morning, this last morning, Susan hops off her bed and turns down the stereo after the Indigo Girls sing the last chorus of there’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line. And the less I seek my source for some definitive closer I am to fine.
“I think of you every time I hear this song,” Susan tells me. She continues, quoting the song, “The best thing you’ve ever done for me, is to help me take my life less seriously. It’s only life after all… Thank you.”
* * *
It took me another two decades to understand that on that beautiful day in the Ann Arbor Arboretum, my housemates did see me clearly. They did know what I was going to do with my life.
It just wasn’t, and isn’t, something that had or has a clear job title.
Is your life’s purpose, your Original Medicine, bigger then a job title (I bet it is!). Tell me about it in the comments below!
There’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line….