It’s a new solar year in the northern hemisphere and wildflowers are beginning to appear. It’s a wonderful time of year to explore healing with flowers of any kind, but an even better time to meet and work with wildflower spirits. Wild plants (including wildflowers), according to healer Elliott Cowan, are one thousand times more powerful than domesticated ones. Many flower essences are made from wild species.
Soul travel is a traditional way to meet a wildflower spirit. This is a type of intuitive ability is associated with astral traveling and shamanic journeying. Soul travel can involve staying in my body and expanding my energy field so that it joins with the flower. It can mean going into an altered state of consciousness and feeling my spirit leave my body and speak with the plant spirit. It can also occur during dreams.
If I want to get to know a flower spirit, I visit it in the wild. I observe and even draw or photograph the plant. This allows me to study its physical appearance. I notice where it likes to grow, the soil type and other plants it likes to be around. This “getting acquainted” period may take awhile or move very quickly.
Now I am ready to attune to the flower spirit. Before soul travel, it is important for me to center and ground myself with ceremony. This helps to create sacred space and invites my spiritual helpers to work with me.
Sometimes I will stand or sit near the flower and expand my aura. Cyndi Dale describes this approach in her book, Advanced Chakra Healing. I exhale until I feel my aura merge with the energy field of the flower. I am still in my body, but my spirit will stretch far beyond it. My expanded spirit will activate my inner listening abilities. It is very common to feel like I’ve entered a dream state. This is very real and it doesn’t matter whether I see spirits or do not. The flower spirit may have an immediate message for me or I may ask questions.
The second approach involves going on a shamanic journey. It is important to have a powerful spiritual helper that will accompany me. It is helpful to use a rattle or even whistle a monotonous, rhythmic way for a few minutes to enter a trance state. Some practitioners believe the soul traveller must enter the lower world to meet a flower spirit. This involves finding a hole in the ground that leads to a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, I should meet my spirit helper and begin my journey through the lower world. (This approach has been described in detail by Michael Harner. ) Once I am in the lower world, my intent and spiritual helper will lead me to the wildflower spirit.
Other shamanic practitioners believe that soul travellers can instantly call upon spirit helpers and journey directly to the wildflower before them. This is called a middle world journey. In this journey, I may see the flower as it is or I may see a mythic representation of the flower spirit. It doesn’t matter how the flower or plant appears, I will be able to communicate with it. Although I will be in a trance state, and see things that remind me of a dream, I will not be asleep.
The third approach involves a going on a dream journey. The first time I tried this, I was taking an afternoon nap; I wanted to enter a trance state and can be a heavy sleeper at night. It helps if I can take a little piece of the flower home with me. I try not to injure the rest of the plant and I leave an offering to say thank you. If the plant is protected, I place a clean quartz crystal near its petals and ask for an infusion. I place the wildflower (or infused crystal) underneath my pillow. Before sleeping, I pray or set my intention to have a dream about the flower spirit. Sometimes it is easier to receive information and dreams if I consciously visualize during the hypnogogic state. I trust that whatever I receive in my dream is a message from the spirit.
There are many rewards for working with wildflower spirits. As I have attuned to the spirits or devas of the flowers, they taught me. I have learned a flower’s healing properties without using books. (Of course, I would not ingest anything without receiving instruction from an expert forager and herbalist.) Many wildflowers I “met” turned out to be local healing herbs once used by native healers. It has become easier to locate these flowers in the wild, thanks to the rapport that develops over time. The flowers can be used for spiritual healing just by connecting to their devas.
I will explore some of these rewards in later posts.