As an herbalist, I learned about the medicinal use of several plants and have found them to be useful; but I always had a feeling there has to be more to plants than just their ability to ease a headache, soothe the throat or fight against a cold.
I had a notion that each plant possesses a unique vibration that we can connect to and in this way receive healing and wisdom, such as the Bach flower essences I have used and homeopathy I have tried.
But I was looking for something more personal, a more intimate experience, desiring to bond with the plant that I was using.
I began this journey in connecting to plant energies by using my drum to achieve states of unconventional reality. Shamanic drumming is a very natural and useful way to find our own voice, to heal and transform, but it is also a way to become more attuned to another person, animal, plant or object.
I humbly requested that I may get to know the spirit and teachings of such-and-such plant. I then embarked on the shamanic journey, delving into the secret world of the chosen herb.
Allow me to disclose information regarding one of my personal favorites.
Teachings of Nettle
I arrived in a dense forest. Everything around me was lush and green. Even the floor of the forest was completely covered with vegetation and I had the feeling that I was trapped and lost. Trees tilted toward each other and created the illusion of cavernous tunnels in every direction.
All I could see wherever I looked was the dark depth of the forest all around. I couldn’t even see the sky. I was scared, stumbling through the foliage aimlessly. Suddenly, I felt a nettle reach out and scrape my leg, causing it to pulsate and burn immediately: it got my attention.
In a deep, rotund voice, Nettle told me not to be afraid; that the reason I was frightened was because of my lack of understanding, my unfamiliarity with the surroundings and not knowing how to survive. I sensed Nettle’s encouragement and was uplifted, overcoming this feeling of entrapment and viewing things in a different way.
Nettle is an extremely powerful and potent protective plant. He raises a strong shield that prevents negative energies from reaching us. However, his shield does not protect against those tough lessons in life that are bound to occur and ultimately make us better people if we allow it.
He encourages us not to be afraid, making us brave. He foregoes telling us to forget our fears or push them aside, but instead advises that we get to know them intimately and in this way, transform them.
Nettle wants us to resolve all conflicts that reside within ourselves so we can step out of the realms of fear rather than be paralyzed by it. In this process, he is a guide and protector. He allows us to see the source of our fears from a different perspective, one that is not dominated by the fear itself. Once we are able to step outside of this shadow, we can reevaluate our various relationships with our personal inhibitions, slowly transforming them.
When we are completely floored, tired and unmotivated to go on, he picks us up and fills us with the energy and the perseverance to continue on, nurturing our metamorphosis.
Nettle is a diuretic plant, flushing toxins from the body. It keeps joints flexible and can also help prevent arthritic pain. It flushes out the bladder and kidneys, ridding the body of inflammation. It is excellent to use as part of a seasonal cleanse.
From a holistic viewpoint, Nettle flushes from the body those toxins that make us stiff. It is usually those imprints, traumas that we are carrying around, that are the sources of our fears. Once we decide to move forward and dive into those tough spots, we are actively cleansing them from both our body and spirit. Nettle fully supports this process on both a physical and an emotional level.
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