Plantain, Plantago major

I experience this to be an interesting, intense time on our planet, so much going on. I’ve noticed my longing to be of greater and immediate benefit to others. I just had the beautiful opportunity to be at two amazing conferences, receiving so much wisdom and knowledge that may flow from me to others. How can I be more expansive than I am, immediately? At the same time, I’ve had opportunity of a less pleasant nature for healing and growth. I’ve felt sad. I noticed at first how I had some judgment of myself and that my own experience and sadness felt trivial compared to what’s going on in our world, even as I know how important it is to care for myself so that I may be of benefit to others. I’ve been sharing of the sadness I feel. Perhaps this vulnerability and authenticity may be a way to expansion. There is possibility for such beauty and intimacy in allowing all of myself and others, including all emotions, to be included in the space of relating. Christine Havens in her newsletter recently shared a quote from Carl Jung that is deeply meaningful to me: “Emotion is the chief source of becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light or apathy into movement without emotion.”

Perhaps as a wake up call to move very slowly, reflect and be grateful for all that is and all that I accomplish and do, I was in a car crash last week. I’m grateful to have sustained only minor soreness, slowness, bruising, and opportunity to reflect, heal and grow. As I came home following the car crash, I went to visit Butternut, my tree guide. She had dropped/lost an enormous branch, and she said to me “It’s ok.”, supporting me around what had happened for her and for me that day. I am endlessly astounded by the friendship we share, and by how available and present she is with me. For several days in a row, I laid on the earth under her branches and above her roots for healing.

After the car crash, I experienced additional clarity around what it is that I value and how important it is for me to act from the place of knowing what it is that I value. I felt also a restoration of child-like innocence, coupled with the greater wisdom of adulthood. My child self has been wanting to show up more to inform and guide me.

I dreamt last night, remembering several experiences of my childhood from around the age of 6, when I moved with my family from Colorado to Virginia. As a child, I experienced it as a painful and traumatic time. As I was dreaming last night of these experiences, I smelled a plant. This plant was telling me that I had been deeply connected with her as a child. “Who is that plant?”, I asked. Like magic, she revealed herself to be plantain, Plantago major (aka “the bee sting plant”). She shared with me in my dream that not only is she known to be nourishing and healing for bruised tissue and drawing out foreign substances from the body like bee stings and venom from a snake bite, however she is also nourishing for drawing up and out childhood trauma from the body. This seems to coincide with that Plantain is known in many places as “whiteman’s footprint”, known to grow in soil that has been heavily compacted by foot or other traffic. This plant grows prolifically and powerfully nourishes herself with water and nutrients, drawing them up from the most compacted soil. Perhaps from where she grows, she is supporting much further reaching impacts in addition to physical of “whiteman’s footprint”.

I love how the plants work with me in my waking time and also in my dream time. One way that I encourage my dreams is by burning some mugwort smudge just before going to bed. As I do this, I set an intention for my dreams to deliver messages to me from my unconscious of any wisdom needed by me.

This morning I went in search of Plantain in my garden. I found her. I breathed with her, asking if I could harvest a couple of her leaves for making a spit poultice to apply for healing bruised tissue and in support of healing these childhood memories that have surfaced for me. She gave me a “yes”.


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