I wondered while gazing upon the Gaian Teacher about what questions the plants pictured might ask us if we could understand their language. I looked at Joanna’s companion book and my own herb books to see their properties as well as drew to mind my experience with these plants. I felt that each plant offered questions to aid us in healing as well as developing self-knowledge and mindfulness.
Dandelion: We modern humans with lawns are always trying to uproot this plant that has wonderful nourishing qualities and bright sunny flowers. Despite knowing this, I uprooted a few the other day because they had wandered into my Hosta area! So what wisdom does the dandelion have for us and what questions might it ask:
- Self-Knowledge: What part of me is tenacious and steadfast no matter what confronts me? What am I trying to remove from my life that might actually be helpful to me?
- Mindfulness: Where is there simple happiness in my life that I need to pay more attention to?
- Healing: How can I nourish myself after challenging times? How can I keep hope alive within my soul?
Garlic: I love the tangy strength of garlic and feel a surge of good health after a meal cooked with its pungent cloves. Joanna points out that the many layers of the garlic can be seen as a metaphor for the unfolding cosmos.
- Self-Knowledge: What can help me to put my current life challenges into larger perspective? What stinks in my life right now, but might be making me stronger for the long haul? What is at the hidden center of myself that can give me strength to face the challenges of life?
- Mindfulness: What area of my life needs strong and focused attention right now?
- Healing: how can I build up the strength to take on the next challenge of my emotional (or spiritual, or physical, ect) healing?
Nettles: Their outside stingers on leaves and stems guard highly nutritious food and its fibers make strong rope, clothing, and fish nets. Always handle the nettles wearing gloves!
- Self-Knowledge: If I look beyond my current crankiness, what gifts are being developed below the surface? If I’ve been prickly with people lately, how can I look into the source of this prickliness and bring forth something for the greater good? What can I tie more tightly into the fabric of my life to realize my desires?
- Mindfulness: What do I need to handle with care right now?
- Healing: What aspect of my current situation needs to be neutralized so I get through to the gifts?
Comfrey: This plant is also know as All Heal and offers great benefits to bones and muscles. Joanna reports that it is reputed to bring safety while traveling.
- Self-Knoweldge: Right now what is providing the strongest structure in my life?
- Mindfulness: What do I need to pay attention to ensure my safety as I travel through my day?
- Healing: What’s broken in my life right now and demands my attention for healing? What can I do that will provide me with the most important healing in my life right now?
Yarrow: I have yarrow in my yard and love the strong, flat flowers. It is potent against infection, reduces fevers, and staunches the flow of blood from deep cuts. Joanna reminds us that the sticks of the I-Ching are made from yarrow and it is thus connected with divination as well as love and courage.
- Self-Knowledge: Where is my life is my energy bleeding away? How can I staunch the flow?
- Mindfulness: What should I pay attention to at this time to gain greater connection to the Divine?
- Healing: How can I “cool down” from feeling “burnt out” or working at a “fevered pitch?” What can I do to prevent a small annoyance in my life from growing and “infecting” my whole life?
Wow, these little plants offer us many deep questions for living in times of change.
You can combine these questions into a spread that has a theme. I, for example, put together a Five Green Allies for Self-Knowledge Spread. I, of course, used the Gaian Tarot cards with this spread.
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