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BY LIVA OLINA
Writer herself in the desert at her first Spirit Weavers gathering.
The most powerful time in the nature is around Summer Solstice and it’s already behind our backs, but meadows are still full with healing plants and herbal tea. Actually, every step we take in the wild fields we step on some nature’s medicine. But don’t worry, we have plenty of them here up in the North and they are stronger than you think - one rainy afternoon and they will be back on their stems. However, abundance also gives trouble, because obviously you won’t pick them all up. So how to know what to take back home for long, cold, dark autumn and winter months till next summers’ harvest will bloom? Strangely enough I found my answers in the desert, far away from Northern meadows.
Pay attention to your body. You will feel that there are some plants more visible than
others. Some will attract your attention and speak louder to you.
Half a decade ago I visited my first Spirit Weavers gathering where more than 200 women from all around the word came together to share their knowledge. One week just surrounded with pure feminine energy singing around the fire and dancing under the stars. We learned how to make fire with nature elements, we dyed our clothes with plants and made flower mandalas to pray for Mother Earth. In one of these days I went to herbal class to learn more about tincture making and other plant usage beside the tea. No matter what the teacher was talking about, I just heard one question inside of me: how to know which plants to take? And I asked. She smiled, took a deep breath and told me that I already know the answer myself. Our bodies know what they will need during the winter. They are connected with universe and instinctively know what will happen and what will be needed to heal themselves. Our bodies will guide us to the right plants, if we listen into them, into our intuition. She advised to go to the meadow and just connect with the place. Sit there, feel the energy and ask the plants to answer your call. You will feel that there are some plants more visible than others. Some will attract your attention and speak louder to you.
I agree, it could sound a bit too funny and airy if my story
would stop just right here. But it doesn’t.
After the women gathering I came to Latvia to celebrate Summer Solstice and of course, gather some herbal tea. I went to my annual wild meadow trip with my mom and recalled all I have learned in far lands. There were yarrow plants talking to me, clover pop out between all the others in the colourful picture and lady’s-mantle came as a surprise at the end of the day. Few weeks later I kept seeing meadowsweet everywhere I went. It took me a while to realize that it’s talking to me and I should answer by picking it up. When I finally did, my personal apothecary jars were full and I was set. I took them with me to Caribbean coast of Mexico where I was living in that time, and, honestly, forget about them for a while. Till few months later I had a motorcycle accident and ended up in bed rest. I remembered that I had meadowsweet that calms you down and improves your sleep. At least that’s what I knew in that time. I started to drink it daily to keep myself in bed, which is not so easy if that bed is 200m from turquoise water and white sand. Big was my surprise when one week later I decided to read more about this plant and found out it’s skin tissue regenerating qualities. That was exactly what I needed to grow my skin back without scars and return to the active life waiting me outside the bed!!!
Nothern meadows are still full of healing plants and herbal tea. Actually,
every step we take in the wild fields we step on some nature's medicine.
Long story short – during that winter I had needed all these plants – painful period suddenly surprised me (use lady’s-mantle, it says all in its’ name), I caught some cough in rain season storms (use yarrow tea) and needed to clean my liver from tropical guests (use clover for detox). Rest of the time it was just healthy and happy me surviving with the help of the sun and mangoes!
No matter how many questions you have right now,
I invite you to give this ancient practice a chance to prove itself!