Book Review | Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants


Published:

Eliot Cowan
Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants
Sounds True, Boulder, CO 2014

Healing with plants is a universal medical tradition. According to renowned teacher acupuncturist J.R. Worsley, "Anything that can be done with needles can also be done with herbs. But," he emphasizes, "if you use herbs, for God's sake, use local ones because they are one thousand times stronger than plants that grow someplace else!" Heeding his teacher's advice, Eliot Cowan pledged to make his life's work the revival of using local plants to heal the spirit. Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants highlights Cowan's intriguing travels into the numinous green world.

Regardless of where we live, the gifts of the plant spirits are available to us. Our most potent plant healers are right outside our door. Dirt, air, sunshine, rain and other elements root plants to their location. This ideal relatedness with nature creates growth, and plant spirits share this restorative process when healing guidance is requested of them. Plant spirit medicine unifies and balances. It doesn't diagnose and it's not an herbal treatment. Rather than distill plants into biological properties and chemical makeup, plant spirit medicine relies on soulful communication with individual plants and plant species. The power and energy of the sacred plants require special attention.

Today, the sacred plants of tobacco, peyote, certain mushrooms and marijuana are popular. Like all sacred plants, these plant teachers become destructive when not treated with respect. Indigenous healers study and commune with them for many years to learn their medicine, and engaging with these strong plant spirits outside their native area and without proper guidance can have devastating consequences for both the individual and the culture. When human users try to "get" something from these plants, addictions, "bad trips," and other psychological and spiritual ailments arise, not from the constituents of the plants, but from a misunderstanding of their sacredness.

You can begin a meaningful apprenticeship in plant spirit communication from your own home. Get in a receptive state and thank the plant spirits aloud and in advance for their assistance. Wander outdoors until you find a plant that is attractive to you and introduce yourself to the plant as you would to a new companion. Tell it you have come to enter into relationship to learn, and thank it for any wisdom it may share. Since you are asking for a gift, make a small tobacco offering to the plant as a gift in return. Spend time studying and getting to know the plant, even becoming the plant in its surroundings. Plant teachings come in many forms, so be alert for messages. This is the shaman's way of healing with plants, aware that plant spirits carry the strongest medicine. Compare this way of knowing with that of major U.S. pharmaceutical companies who rush to the Amazon to select herbs, transport them to factories, isolate their molecules and stuff them into pill bottles! As Cowen stresses, "There is only one active ingredient in plant medicines: friendship."

Gail Lord is a freelance writer living in Massachusetts. Please send book review copies to 51 North Street, Grafton, MA 01519 or email socbookreviewer@gmail.com.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 20, 2020

The first third of today is dominated by the union of the Capricorn Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. These planets have not all been gathered in the Sign of the Goat since 1284, seven hundred and thirty-six years ago! Indeed, we are now granted an…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2020

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

January 19th, February 16th, March 8th by appointment only. Kinetic Chain Release (KCR) to balance body, resolve leg length discrepancies, reduce back, shoulder, knee, hip pain and reduce stress...

Cost: $65 to $145

Where:
Leapin' Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME  04101
View map »


Sponsor: Leapin' Lizards
Telephone: 207-221-2363
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Anna DeWitte Mondays—starts 1/27 Our next new class! Join Anna (one of our recent grads) for her mild heat class! The temperature will hover around 80 degrees which helps to loosen...

Cost: $17

Where:
State of Grace Yoga & Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Sponsor: State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Automatic & Channel Writing — Class 1 of 3 Discussion of channel writing and then spending the rest of the class practicing writing. Getting comfortable writing either with paper and...

Cost: At door $20; online reg. $15

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers — Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of Pediatric Dentistry Month and recognizing children’s oral health as a foundation for life-long health, join us for a free, fun and informational evening about how holistic...

Cost: Free

Where:
The BioMed Center New England
111 Chestnut Street
Ste 1
Providence, RI  02903
View map »


Sponsor: The BioMed Center New England
Telephone: 833-8BIOMED
Contact Name: Admin Desk
Website »

More information

Free Workshop: What happens to the marital home in divorce? Join us for this timely seminar led by Attorney Beth Aarons, Realtor Sky Minckler, and Mortgage Consultant Craig Tashjian as they...

Cost: Free

Where:
Skylark Law & Mediation, PC
9 Main Street
Southborough, MA  01772
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Are you considering, going through or recovering from divorce? Join us at our FREE Daytime Divorce Boot Camp, and we’ll help you get into shape! In response to requests from people who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
180 Wells Avenue
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the...

Cost: $40

Where:
Friends Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Sponsor: Allen Howell, M.Ed. LMHC
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

February 22nd & 23rd Deepen your knowledge and practice of Reiki. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher) This two-day Level II Training enhances...

Cost: $250

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Get a personal teaching for Brother Granite's new Visionary Shamanism Tarot. This class includes the new Visionary Shamanism Tarot deck as well a 90 minute one on one class with Brother Granite...

Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
407 Rte 44
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
Raynham, MA  02767
View map »


Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags