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Sacred Plant Initiations
Communicating with Plants for Healing and Higher Consciousness
Table of Contents
About The Book
• Explains how to commune with plants and their spirits through the traditional shamanic method of “plant dieting” to receive their teachings and guidance
• Details 8 ceremonial plant initiations centered on common, easily recognized plants and trees such as primrose, dandelion, oak, and dog rose
• Provides instructions to develop your own sacred plant initiations and make ceremonial plant elixirs
• Includes four audio journeys to facilitate plant initiations
In this guide to sacred plant initiations, medical herbalist and shamanic practitioner Carole Guyett explains how to commune with plants and their spirits through the traditional shamanic method of “plant dieting.” A plant diet involves ingesting a particular plant over a period of time so you regularly receive the plant’s vibratory energy as well as its medicinal actions. Adding a ceremonial element to plant dieting offers a sacred initiation by the plant world, allowing you to connect deeply with all aspects of a plant, receive its sacred teachings, and forge a relationship for guidance and healing, benefitting both yourself and others.
Each of the eight ceremonial plant initiations detailed in the book was personally developed by the author through extensive work with her ceremonial groups. They each center on an easily recognized plant or tree such as primrose, dandelion, oak, and dog rose. These common plants have powerful teachings and healing guidance to share with those who communicate with and honor them. The initiations, for both individuals and groups, work with the Wheel of the Year, honoring each plant’s sacred timing and connecting with one of the eight Celtic and Pre-Celtic Fire Festivals--the solstices, equinoxes, and the holy days of Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain, and Imbolc.
Offering practical instructions so you can develop your own sacred plant initiations, the author also include access to 4 audio journeys to facilitate the initiations in the book. She also explains how to make plant elixirs for use in plant diets and for healing. She shows how connecting with plants allows us to deepen our relationship with Nature, access higher levels of consciousness and spiritual realms, and facilitate the full flowering of human potential.
Ceremonial plant dieting is a traditional method of honoring the plant world. The ceremonial process offers a unique way to connect deeply with all aspects of a plant, opening gateways to spiritual realms and facilitating powerful transformation at physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Plant dieting is a traditional term referring to a wide range of methods whereby plants are ingested in order to form a deep relationship with them and to receive their gifts of guidance and healing. This book presents a way of experiencing plants as conscious spiritual beings and aims to demonstrate how common plants in our hedgerows provide a form of “medicine” that can help us take an evolutionary leap to a new vision of reality.
In modern Western culture plant diets are often associated with plants known as Teacher Plants, Master Plants, or Plants of Vision. These are generally psychoactive plants like Datura, Sacred Mushrooms, Peyote, and many others that are described as opening gateways to higher consciousness.
The experiences described in this book are of plant diets taken with nonpsychoactive plants. These include plants and trees such as Primrose, Dandelion, Oak, Elder, and Dog Rose, all common medicinal plants not typically known for their consciousness-raising effects. However, in my experience, while not chemically psychoactive, the plants we are dieting most definitely can behave as entheogens, or “gateways to the divine.” With their help we can safely visit levels of consciousness that may have seemed reserved for so-called Teacher Plant ceremonies. Perhaps, when approached with honor and reverence, all plants can behave in this way.
6 Primrose Bealtaine
Initiation and New Beginnings
Primrose comes as one of the first flowers of spring, offering light and hope after the darkness of winter. Ruled by Venus and considered female in gender, her bright yellow flowers surprise and delight us, lighting up the fields and bringing splashes of illumination to the woods and hedgerows. She is associated with the element of earth and with spring goddesses. Primrose unlocks the spring and offers us a means to move forward. This is the “Key Flower,” a gift from the gods and goddesses to show us the way to the hidden treasure inside ourselves and inside the Earth. It is time to move toward the light, time for initiation and rebirth into the freedom of our creative potential.
Associated with the growing life force of spring, the Primrose has long been considered to have special powers. This is a traditional herb of Bealtaine (pronounced BEE-EL-TANA), bursting with bright, creative energy and initiating new beginnings. Primrose awakens both romantic love and spiritual transformation. It is an ideal plant to diet with at this season of fertile growth.
A Time of New Beginnings
Bealtaine, otherwise known as Beltane or May Eve, is the major fertility festival of the year. This is the time when all of nature is rapidly growing and moving forward with rampant potency. It is a time to celebrate the fertility of the land and our own creative urges; a time of growth, expansion, and playfulness when sexual forces are at their peak. In Ireland, Bealtaine marks the start of summer. Traditionally, in our Celtic Pagan past this was the night to celebrate the union of the Horned God and the fertile Goddess. Young couples would make love outdoors in the forests and green fields, reenacting the sacred marriage between Earth and Sky to ensure the fertility of the land.
In modern times we can kindle a sacred fire and jump the flames in order to purify, to let go, and to bring forth our wildness and creativity. This is the time to take a leap in to the power of our own potential. Bealtaine is a time to gather with like-minded others, celebrating love, creativity, and the power of nature. Hawthorn trees (as well as the primrose) are particularly associated with this festival, and for some people the timing of Bealtaine is reckoned as the day the hawthorn first blooms. We can honor the trees by dressing them with ribbons and flowers, giving thanks and celebrating their burgeoning growth.
Primrose--The Key Flower
Plant family: Primulaceae (Primrose Family)
Other common names: Samhaircin (Irish), Primevère (French), Primavera (Spanish), Primel (German), Key Flower, St. Peter’s Keys.
Description: A hardy, deciduous perennial growing to a height of 3 to 6 inches. It has a rosette of long, crinkly leaves from which grow pale yellow flowers with deep yellow centers. These flowers arise on individual stalks in April or May. Flowers are sweetly scented and have a pleasant flavor.
Habitat: Grassy banks, roadsides, sea cliffs, waste ground, woodlands, and fields.
Distribution: The genus is comprised of about 550 species. Native to Europe, Asia, and northern West Africa, Primrose is a protected plant in certain parts of the world, in which case the roots should not be disturbed unless being cultivated at home. Primrose is not a North American native, although it is locally established and a variety of cultivars exist throughout North America.
Parts used: Flowers (gathered April-May), root and rhizome (gathered March-April), leaves (gathered March-April).
Primrose as a Spirit Medicine
In my experience, Primrose has a very clear, pure, healing energy that washes away extraneous mental activity and brings feelings of deep peace. It clears obsessive thinking, bringing a calm, secure sense of connection with the Earth. At the same time it is light and playful, lifting feelings of heaviness from the heart, releasing stuck patterns and restoring hope. When we feel stuck or confused, Primrose clears the mind and enables us to gain a new perspective. It frees creative energy that can then flow unimpeded and without judgment. In this way Primrose can open a huge surge of creativity, facilitating major change in people’s lives and helping them in their quest for wholeness. When it appears in a healing session it frequently heralds a time of transformation.
- Publisher: Bear & Company (March 16, 2015)
- Length: 328 pages
- ISBN13: 9781591432142
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Raves and Reviews
"We are fortunate that she has chosen to share her wisdom with us all. This beautiful, magical, wonderful book is a re-initiation of teachings from the plants themselves that are essential for the very survival of our species. Carole Guyett is a modern shaman, an inspiration!”
– John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Shapeshifting, and The World Is As You D
“Carole’s deep love and understanding of plants shines through every page of this book. She provides fascinating insights into the power of the plants--if we open our minds to listen. We are fortunate that she has chosen to share her wisdom with us all.”
– Penelope Ody, author of The Complete Medicinal Herbal
“Carole’s clear instructions, along with her loving encouragement for personal creative additions, are designed to guide the readers into how to have their own uniquely valuable, magical, and practical plant experiences. Plants are indeed our elders and teachers, and this book will help any sincere seeker to reawaken to their own true nature, and that is the most healing gift of all.”
– Robin Rose Bennett, herbalist and author of The Gift of Healing Herbs and Healing Magic
“An extraordinary, inspirational, and highly practical guide to exploring the spiritual realms of plants and opening gateways to healing and transformation. Carole gives a whole new meaning to ‘plant diets’ and beautifully describes how journeying into the inner world of plants gives you a sense of oneness with everything in creation. This is the perfect book for anyone wishing to deepen their connection to the plant world.”
– Anne McIntyre, medical herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, and author of The Ayurveda Bible
“Bravo! Sacred Plant Initiations gives readers a unique perspective in working with plants and discovering their generous gifts. The plant dieting ceremonies Carole describes are inspiring, informative, and provide a clear lens into an original and sacred means of communion with nature. The knowledge shared in this book is vast and indispensable to anyone studying plants or seeking healing and transformation.”
– Nicki Scully, author of Power Animal Meditations,Alchemical Healing, and Planetary Healing
“Groundbreaking, inspiring, and destined to become a classic. Carole Guyett’s approach is grounded, original, and practical. She takes the reader deep into an understanding of the spiritual character of plants and their associated spirits. Sacred Plant Initiations is an important step forward in healing our relationship with nature and restoring balance to our beautiful planet. A beautiful book.”
– William Bloom, Ph.D., author of The Power of the New Spirituality and Working with Angels
“I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in cross-communication between humans and other species. The simplicity and the wisdom speak for themselves as does the inherent charm in Carole’s style.”
– Judith Hoad, herbalist, vibrational medicine practitioner, and author of Healing with Herbs
“A beautifully written book, full of deep insights and concrete and practical instructions to become a modern-times plant alchemist. As you read it, you’ll feel the doors of a magical world open, a world of interconnectedness, healing, and joy that we all remember and long for. Carole’s expertise and love guide us to recognize that plants are a part of us, and when we relate to them with reverence we reawaken parts of our soul, realizing that this is, indeed, what they truly are.”
– Esperide Ananas, healer and author of Music of the Plants
“Sometimes a book comes along that is an answer to a personal prayer. Sacred Plant Initiations is such a book. For several years, I’ve wanted to engage in a sacred plant ceremony with a traditional psychoactive plant, a master plant such as ayahuasca, for insights, connection, spiritual growth. Yet, it is illegal to ingest those substances in the United States and traveling to South America, where it is legal, is not possible. Sacred Plant Initiations opens a doorway for myself and others to commune with ordinary, nonpsychoactive plants we have around. Guyett has written an elegant and loving homage to the plant world, and explained thoroughly and simply how humans can come into relationship with it. You can read it and safely plant diet as a complete novice, alone or in a group -- something not possible with plants like ayahuasca or peyote. Sacred Plant Initiations is an invitation to the healing the plant world wants to do, and which it knows we so desperately need.”
– Spiral Nature, Susan Starr, March 2016
“…Sacred Plant Initiations reminds us that we don’t need to travel half way around the world to drink strange and wonderful jungle brews to have a deep and life-changing experience from working with plants. All we need to do is look outside our window and we will see that there are many friends waving to us from the garden, gently encouraging us to come on over and meet them face to face, so that they may share their lives and secrets with us.”
– Indie Shaman, David Farrell, April 2015
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