On Plant Spirit Medicine and Garden Fairies

POPE FRANCIS IS A PASSIONATE ECOLOGIST WHO TACKLES THE SUBJECT OF GMOS IN HIS ENCYCLICAL ON ECOLOGY

Everyday Rituals & Celebrations

It is so wonderful to experience the fecundity of the flower and vegetable gardens. My only regret is having to weed out the sweet green plants that are passionately expressing themselves between the lettuce and arugula, and among the flowering perennials. Here are these plants, full of hope and expectation, and then I come along and tear them out. In truth, my heart sings when I see open black soil between the rows, but am I not imposing an habitual structure on a happily thriving wild world?

A few weeks ago, just before solstice, I sent a lovely young woman, who is helping the tea company, to weed a herb bed and to take out a large gangly plant that has overtaken the center of the bed. She did a beautiful job, but I noticed the ‘unnamed plant’ was still in the centre of the bed. She smiled and said she couldn’t do it. I realized I had felt the same way (unconsciously) and had left it for her to do. The plant has a strong presence and it is still in the herb bed. My rational mind knows it will grow into a large bush or tree that will block hundreds of anise hyssop plants from the sun if it stays there, but I can’t take it out until I find a way to address what this plant is teaching.

Ever since my attention went to this plant, I have been learning a great deal about my relationship with plants and the environment, and all from unexpected experiences.

Not long after solstice, I was told by a trusted ‘someone’ who perceives energy that fairies are real. She also said that, if you are open to them, your perception will shift in order to sense and then see them, at first as flashes in the corner of your eyes, and then over time, with more detail. Apparently, fairies are very energetically associated with plants. To make contact, think of a plant that you feel strongly about and make a connection; I knew right away it was the Mock Orange shrub (Philadelphus) that is growing up and around a maple outside. I took it some basil and rue wrapped in red cloth, and tied it to a branch to initiate saying “hello”. Well, let me tell you – all manner of delightful things have been happening near that Mock Orange ever since! Even guests will excuse themselves mid-sentence to go over and appreciate it. I am looking forward to seeing how our relationship progresses this summer. The fun part is, when you open yourself to possibilities, your whole world changes.

Speaking of opening up, I have not been open to the Catholic Church since the Inquisition, but this week I was forwarded a copy of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Ecology, Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), which was released on the 18th of June. To view a copy of Pope Francis’ paper, go to: https://www.osv.com/TodaysIssues/EncyclicalontheEnvironment.aspx. In it, he takes on the subject of GMOs, and asks how we can let industry destroy our ecosystems if one of the commandments is: “Thou shall not kill.” There is much more, and I was compelled to read the whole thing. The Pope is a passionate ecologist, and he is standing up for plants in a big way!

Then, this week I found myself on the wrong side of the law when we sent the packaging design for our new loose tea blends to Health Canada for approval. Word came back that we need a license to say how herbs have been “traditionally used”. Herb teas have been a ‘food’, but the category has changed, so they are now considered ‘medicine’.

In recent years, our clever Vitality writer, Helke Ferrie, has been keeping us all abreast of the attempted corporate take-over of the gene pool, with the Codex Alimentarius, and other sinister attempts to ‘in-corporate’ nature.

I am in favour of regulations that make sure manufacturers are giving people what is actually listed on the packaging label, but I don’t appreciate the huge expense of licensing each product, as it pushes the small producers out of the market. Plus, it invalidates the innate wisdom of traditional knowledge, and makes the plants just names on a page. We need to know more about what plants offer us, not less. Even our Alqonguin Tea website (https://algonquintea.com), is not allowed to say how we have been using the herbs for millennia. So we are changing our packaging.

Now, amidst the transformative energies of solstice, I am surrendering to a larger view of the world, where consumers educate themselves about herbs, and the plants in the teas will still call out to the people who would benefit from them the most. Every time we choose love over stress, we grow.

I have heard the call from the ‘unnamed plant’ in the herb garden. I am going to transplant it, name it, ‘little kim’, and ask any fairies nearby to kindly ensure it will thrive, undisturbed by my idea of a perfect world.

Email Kim at: spirit@algonquintea.com

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