Mahonia

In the Wise Woman tradition that I practice, each year I choose a plant ally to work with. In my experience, my plant ally not only supports me directly, however may also call to other plants to reach out to me, or may tell me of plants to seek out to support my nourishment, growth and healing.


There is a spot where I go to breathe with my plant ally, where Oregon Grape (the common name for several species of the genus Mahonia), is surrounding. This morning, I felt called to breathe with her and my plant ally. As I breathed with her and asked permission, Oregon Grape gave me a gift. She offered me a berry of those remaining on her stems. In eating this berry, I was infused with sheer calm and ease and a feeling of deep connection with my intuition, body, and all of my senses. I am called by this experience that I had this morning to tell a story. I have many stories like the following that I feel illustrate the plants loving us and supporting us, and this one is my favorite to share. 

Early this year one day, I was led by my plant guide to breathe with Oregon Grape. I was seeking guidance regarding the appearance of some fear, anxiety, stress, and a lack of self-worth I had been feeling. I breathed seven breaths with Oregon Grape, asked her how I could experience relief, and felt and saw her in my mind’s eye twining around my arms and legs, wrapping me up, enveloping me. She told me she was there to support, heal, and love me. I would know more of how she would support me. 

The next week, I began to feel an intense sensation of pain just above my navel which I had never experienced before. I woke in the middle of the night to pain, asking my guides and my dreams how I could support myself and relieve the pain. I dreamt of broccoli and heard I should eat broccoli, and I again felt the presence of Oregon Grape. She led me to take Oregon Grape root tincture. I felt puzzled by this guidance, and I followed it. Within half a day, my pain had eased, and within a few days, the sensation was all but gone. 

In feeling relief, I also felt so much gratitude and curiosity. I did some research to find that the appearance of pain I was experiencing is often related to an ulcer. An underlying emotional cause of ulcers can be fear, anxiety, stress, and a sense of not feeling good enough. Physically, ulcers can be caused by bacteria. Broccoli contains a chemical that kills the type of bacteria that often cause ulcers. Oregon Grape is claimed to have antibacterial properties. Energetically, in my experience, I would say that Oregon Grape brings a calm uplifting to the spirit.

Rather than making a specific recommendation here of a particular remedy for a particular experience, I feel called to share with others that the plants support us by connecting us to an intuition we have within our own bodies that knows how we can increase our wholeness and health. This is so beautiful as each of us is unique and our experiences are as well and this type of wisdom is so personalized and individualized. The plants can help us to discern of all of the options available to us for healing, what may most support us, and give us confidence in what we choose.

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