In 2008 I had the pleasure of living on the boundary of the Gila Widerness in New Mexico. One day I was out walking and the beautiful plant in the photograph called to me strongly, so I went and sat with her. I spent time allowing myself to drop into the dream of this plant, at first drawing her delicate dessicated form whilst I gradually slowed and entered plant time. I could feel my consciousness begin to shift. I could feel her entering every cell of my body, I tingled as she did so. I felt my vibration being lifted, as if I was becoming lighter, clearer. Like a lingering wisp of smoke she passed through my body eventually exiting slowly through my crown chakra.
I had my ipod with a drumming track on me, so I lay back on the hot, stony earth and put in my headphones. I shut my eyes and breathed deeply hoping to meet with the plants spirit, sure that she had a message for me, having called to me so clearly. Almost straight away she was there, older than I thought she would be, skinny and wrinkly. She took me by the hand to a little cottage in the woods. We looked into the waters of a huge cauldron where I could see flames, like the fires of hell. As my fear rose a giant crystal appeared in the waters, but my fear remained.
She took me by the hand and we sprouted wings. Hand in hand we flew over burning , desolate, war torn lands, our destination a huge quartz crystal poking skywards out of the ground. From a distance it looked as if there was a castle carved into the top but on arrival it was in fact a helter skelter leading right into its core.
We spiralled down through light rainbows, it looked like ice, but was not ice and was not cold. We arrived in a cave which was full of light, being in the centre of a rainbow filled quartz. Her message was that people need to be led to the light, away from the devastation we are causing, to raise our vibration. Once lighter it is easier to hear the voice of the world, to vibrate at the same pace.
Her message was very powerful and very clear. I carry a sprig of her flesh in my medicine pouch to this day, so that she and her teachings are never far from me. I later identified her as Western Pearly Everlasting, I may be wrong with that, but the human classification of this plant is unimportant.
She returned to me last night in that time between being awake and sleep, she offered her story to share. I rarely share the stories of my journeys with plants because I feel the messages you gain from meeting with their spirits are deeply personal, however once you unfold the layers of your individual interactions the pearls of truth, of understanding gained are most often very similar for everyone. Equally, as you can tell from this interaction, a journey itself is often almost superfluous as much of the message had already been given just by taking the time to sit with her and let her in. Having said that, I do however find that undertaking a shamanic journey does somehow enrich the experience and helps one remember the message more easily…