Mother Earth’s Magic
by Robin Rose Bennett
A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living
The earth gives us more than enough clues as to what her messages mean. We keep probing into the same questions, funding study after study, and challenging the test results when the answers we’ve already received are perfectly obvious. The problem is that they require those controlling and profiting from the earth’s resources to change how they do things and share the wealth.
So we hear that the evidence is inconclusive, the changes required are too expensive, or that the obvious answers are “impossible,” and therefore the concerned citizens of the earth should look for another answer, more pleasing to corporate interests. What’s good for corporations these days is rarely ever good for the earth.
I’ve spent over 15 years teaching people about edible and medicinal plants that live everywhere we do, in our backyards, open lots, and city parks. Herbal medicine is effective—it works, and that’s one significant reason I teach it.
Underneath that, though, is another reason. Reacquainting people w ith the plants themselves, and the birds and animals, is equally important. It enlarges our sense of who we are, which is spirit-enhancing and magic inducing.
I’ve noticed that the most skeptical people are often the ones to feel the spirit of a plant, or even to actually hear a message, which always startles them profoundly. And beyond that, when you experience directly all the different things that the plants can and will do for you, like relieve your pain or calm your nerves, you come to care about them and want to protect these valuable foods and medicines and the ground in which they grow. You might even feel that they care about you, and you wouldn’t be imagining it.
I remember a woman on a medicinal plant walk telling me she felt a sense of love and kinship, like reuniting with an old friend, for a plant I had just introduced her to in Riverside Park in New York City. It puzzled her. I told her the name of the plant was comfrey and she lit with a great big smile.
It turned out that years earlier she had drunk comfrey leaf tea—which has been used for millennia to strengthen ligaments, cartilage, and bone, earning it the nickname “knitbone,” and it had helped speed up her recovery from a broken bone. (Internal use of comfrey [symphytum officinale] is now regulated by the FDA.) “It is my old friend. This plant helped me so much. No wonder I felt like I already knew it.”
It stands to reason that the more personally you experience the value of something, the more you will prize it and want to take good care of it. Without question, the earth is a prize worth cherishing.
Have you ever seen the sunrise in a lavender sky at dawn?
Eaten a ripe, juicy strawberry fresh from the plant?
Gone swimming in the ocean or walked barefoot on a bed of cool, star moss on a hot, dry day?
Heard the whistling cry of a golden eagle flying over you?
Smelled the alluring perfume of a night-blooming white moonflower?
Magic, Magic, is in the air,
Mother Earth’s Magic is everywhere.
(Chorus from song, Magic in the Air)
SIMPLE PRACTICES FOR RECONNECTING WITH EARTH
Being on Earth
~ Go outside and simply be. Sit, stand, or lie with no goal or plan. The simplest practice of all can be the most challenging for our busy, goal-oriented selves. Try it. Be still and know the earth.
~ Consciously breathe fresh air in a natural setting. Smell the scents that are being carried in your direction.
~ Touch various natural things with your fingertips, such as stones, feathers, grass, flowers, or tree bark. Touch them with your eyes closed and notice the difference.
~ Walk barefoot on different types of ground: on grass in a meadow, sand on the beach, fresh pine needles in the woods, or on smooth pebbles in a shallow stream or river. Feel the sensations of different textures under your feet.
~ Listen carefully to the sounds you hear. Notice that the longer you remain quiet, the better your hearing becomes.
~ Sit or stand in one place and look around you, observing as much detail as you can. Stay there for a minimum of five minutes and notice that the longer you stay there, the more you see.
These practices help you learn to slow down and reawaken your natural senses. You can continue with more smells, sights, textures and include tastes, too. Be creative about how you open yourself to perceive the multitude of details that are available.
Tickle your cheek with pussy willows, brush your hair gently with a fallen pine bough, let an insect walk on your arm, smell a maple tree flower, taste an apple off a tree.
by Robin Rose Bennett
Excerpt from Healing Magic:
A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living
A Green Witch Guidebook
to Conscious Living
Follow the path to physical and spiritual health with this how-to
manual filled with ancient lore and wisdom. Using stories, songs,
rituals, recipes, meditations, and trance journeys, it suggests
more than 100 ways to practice the art of magical healing. Find
out how to reconnect with the earth and draw on its energy, interact
with the power of the seven chakras, make use of moon magic and
women's wisdom, prepare herbal infusions and baths, work with the
medicine wheel, and cast spells for love and wealth. No matter what
your beliefs, this guidebook will open your heart and mind to the
joys of everyday life.
$14.95 plus shipping
Other articles by Robin Rose Bennett
An Herbalists Notebook part 1
An Herbalists Notebook part 2
Order HEALING MAGIC in our Bookshop
“Robin has been practicing Earth Spirit healing, herbalism and Wise Woman ways for twenty years and is an incredibly gifted spiritual teacher, healer and ceremonialist. Robin's powerful teachings come to the reader through a personal writing style that is immediately engaging, sharing practical wisdom through anecdote and example.”
Jen Prosser, Sunstone Herbs
Hidden Queen CD
by Maia Oden
This music is dedicated to the Creative Source from which it came, that which continually creates us and creates with us.
Find out more about the Hidden Queen CD.
Order the HIDDEN QUEEN CD in our Bookshop
Hands On Herbal Medicine 2 DVD set
Hands On Herbal Medicine
First Susun Weed leads her students on a walk around her land at the Wise Woman Center. She teaches about plant and animal cells, nourishing herbal infusions, digestive fire and grounding. Herbs discussed include mitchella, hemlock, sheep sorrel, white pine, nettles, and mushroom turkey tail. In the second part, Susun teaches about preparing herbs for use. The five menstruums she uses are honey, water, vodka, oil, and vinegar. Each one is explained and demonstrated. Herbs discussed include catnip, ginko, shiso, nettle, and wormwood.
Time: Part 1 - 1 hr 22 min Part 2 - 1 hr 28 min.
Produced in 2009 by HerbTV Studio
Order Hands On Herbal Medicine DVD in our Bookshop