Plant Spirit Shamanism – Nature’s Signatures

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Alchemy, natural meals, aromatherapy, homeopathy, plant spirit shamanism, nature, therapeutic, shamanism, herbs, herbalism, Thomas bartram, james lovelock, gaia, flower cures, flower essences

There’s one idea that underlies all work in plant spirit shamanism, which is that nature itself will inform you what they’re used for and its well-stocked medicine cupboard is true in entrance of us day by day.

Shamans recognise the non secular powers and qualities of crops in some ways: the colors of their flowers, their perfumes, the form and type of their leaves, the place they’re rising and in what methods, the moods they evoke, and the broader geographical, cultural, or mythological landscapes they occupy.

Though such issues don’t play a job in trendy medicine (which doesn’t imagine in these non secular powers in any respect), it was not way back that we, too, had an understanding that nature is alive and is speaking to us in these methods.

The sixteenth century alchemist and thinker, Aureolus Phillippus Theophrastus Bombast – higher referred to as Paracelsus – launched this notion in his Doctrine of Signatures treatise, which proposed that the Creator has positioned his seal on crops to point their medicinal makes use of. This was not simply idle hypothesis on the a part of Paracelsus; nature itself taught him the reality of it.

“In search of for fact”, he wrote, “I thought-about inside myself that if there have been no lecturers of medicine on this world, how would I set to study the artwork? Not in any other case than within the nice book of nature, written with the finger of God…. The sunshine of nature, and no apothecary’s lamp directed me on my method”.

In his ‘book of nature’, Paracelsus observed how the qualities of crops so typically mirror their look – that the seeds of skullcap, for instance, resemble small skulls and, it transpires, are efficient at curing headache. Equally, the hole stalk of garlic resembles the windpipe and is used for throat and bronchial issues. By the identical token, willow grows in damp locations and can heal rheumatic circumstances, attributable to a build-up of fluid on the joints.

In reality, as Thomas Bartram remarks in his Encyclopedia of Natural medicine, “Examples are quite a few. It’s a curiosity that many liver cures have yellow flowers, these for the nerves (blue), for the spleen (orange), for the bones (white). Serpentaria (Rauwolfia) resembles a snake and is an outdated conventional treatment for snake-bite. Herbalism confirms the Doctrine of Signatures”.

Underlying Paracelsus’ treatise was the premise that nature was itself a dwelling organism which should be thought-about an expression of “the One Life”, and that man and the universe are the identical of their important nature; an concept that was echoed (some would say proved) by Dr James Lovelock, 500 years after Paracelsus, in his Gaia speculation on the unity of life. Gaia exhibits, for instance, that the Earth maintains comparatively fixed circumstances in temperature and environment, and many others, which defy rational observations and predictive measurements of what ‘ought’ to occur. It’s, fairly, as if the Earth is a dwelling organism, which consciously takes care of itself.

Due to this “One Life”, Paracelsus held that the internal nature of crops could also be found by their outer varieties or ‘signatures’. He utilized this precept to meals in addition to medicine, remarking that “it isn’t within the amount of meals however in its high quality that resides the Spirit of Life” – a perception acquainted to those that select to eat natural meals and share a standard concern over Genetically Modified (GM) substitutes that lack ‘life pressure’, or spirit.

In keeping with Paracelsus, then, the looks of a plant is the gateway to its spirit or consciousness.

The doctrine of signatures, per se, is just not one thing identified to many indigenous shamans, however they perceive the rules behind it nicely sufficient – that nature is alive, conscious, and communicates with us. These rules usually are not considered fanciful in any respect, however sensible and vital sufficient that they will save lives.

I found how the doctrine of signatures operates within the Amazon, for instance, throughout an expertise with the jergon sacha plant reported by one jungle traveller, who got here throughout this plant by accident, when strolling by means of the rainforest with the shaman Javier Arevalo, finding out the properties of the crops.

“Javier queried why I all the time walked round with a machete. I jokingly replied ‘it is towards anacondas!’

“He paused for a second then beckoned me to observe him. A couple of minutes later we got here throughout this tall-stemmed plant. This was jergon sacha, he mentioned. Javier lower a stem from it and proceeded to whip me across the physique, paying most consideration to my legs and the soles of my ft. He then mentioned ‘no extra issues, you might be protected towards snakes’. I requested him why this plant was used on this method, and he indicated the sample on the stem which appears to be like equivalent to the snakes within the forest.

“Later, on a hunch, we began to research this plant and found some superb correspondences. Jergon sacha is broadly used as an antidote to snake venom within the Amazon. Referring again to the idea of ‘signatures’, this plant is a transparent demonstration of the outer kind indicating the internal qualities. Its use is instantly associated to its bodily look, the tall stem carefully resembling the venomous pit viper referred to as the Jararaca or Bushmaster, which is indigenous to the Amazon. The Bushmaster, in contrast to most different snakes, is aggressive and can defend its territory. It will possibly strike within the blink of a watch from 15 ft and is rightly feared and revered.

“Remarkably, jergon sacha does transform a extremely efficient antidote for the chew when its massive root tuber is chopped up and immersed in chilly water after which drunk, or positioned in a banana leaf and used as a poultice wrapped across the wound.

“In fact, the pragmatic assertion right here is that it isn’t attainable to retailer anti-venom vaccines within the rainforest, the place there is no such thing as a refrigeration, so this plant has distinctive life-saving significance. This significance is recognised as a result of the plant itself tells the shaman of its use by means of the markings on its stems”.

One other illustration of the connection between the shape and performance of a plant is offered by Artiduro Aro Cardenas, a shaman who works with plant perfumes.

“If the scent of a flower has the ability to draw bugs or birds, it will possibly additionally entice luck to folks”, he says.

Artiduro makes fragrances which are a magnet for prospects into a store, for instance (“You simply rub the fragrance in your face and it brings within the folks to your enterprise”), in addition to perfumes for love, and others for “flourishing” – progress and success. “I watch what the plant does and whether it is engaging [i.e. has the power to attract], I exploit it to draw. Crops are the forces of nature”, he says. “All I do is give these forces course”.

At this time’s system of homeopathy can be primarily based on the precept of a sentient universe identified by means of its signatures. Hippocrates spoke of a common law of similia similibus curentur (‘like cures like’), and the fashionable pioneer of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), confirmed, by means of his experiments, that crops comprise a therapeutic ‘essence’ or non secular high quality that has an affinity with human beings and acts on them in response to the character of the sickness they’re affected by.

No-one actually is aware of how homeopathy works, however the truth that it does appears clear. In 1836, for instance, when cholera destroyed many Austrian cities and orthodox medicine was unable to cease its unfold, the federal government turned in desperation to homeopathy and constructed a fast and crude hospital through which sufferers could possibly be handled.

The outcomes spoke for themselves: whereas orthodox hospitals reported deaths in additional than 70% of instances, the homeopathic hospital recorded a demise charge of simply 30%.

Shamans have a easy rationalization for this: the homeopathic medical doctors appealed to and engaged the spirit of the crops to intervene on behalf of their sufferers and the spirits answered their name.

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