On my road trip early last spring, I found a magical spot in the Olympic National Forest, sat with a beautiful tree that called to me, and gathered a few small branches. That was one of the first times I’ve been able to be with a plant from the very beginning, in the wild, and have my hands intertwined with the medicine at every stage.
Like so many things in our culture, our consumerism leads us to go a little overboard with the “things” we “need” to have. When this comes to plant medicine in particular, that means over harvesting and some of our favorite plants are in danger of becoming extinct (Palo Santo, Frankincense, and White Sage to name a few). They've become so popular and trendy, everyone just has to have them all the time.
That's why I'm always an advocate for taking the time to make the things you love on your own from scratch. Because when you have to put in a little more time and work into getting the thing you want, it doesn't just come at the click of a button, you have a greater appreciation for it. There's meaning, magic and love behind it, and you’re less likely to take it for granted or use it without intention.
Now, I know not everyone is capable necessarily of making their own smoke bundles, or any of the things we use, from scratch all the time. And that's ok. It’s about becoming more aware of what it is we are constantly taking from and considering how we can give back. Do the research - support companies that use ethical harvesting practices and donate to causes working towards conserving the plants we love so much. And maybe, think of one thing you use and buy that you really love and consider making it yourself! Whether that's plant bundle, other herbal medicine, or simply your favorite dish for dinner one night this week. It can be anything, but its the work on developing a deeper intentional relationship with whatever that thing may be that’s important.
I'm not perfect. I'm only sharing these things because in some ways I've noticed these bad habits in myself, as this has been on my mind as of late. I am trying to shift my perspective on my consumption and not just buy things from anywhere at anytime. Sure, I could go and order some more Palo Santo (even from an ethical harvester) online since I'm out. But instead of just mindlessly ordering more, I'm going to work with the smoke medicine I have on hand, especially the one I made myself. When the time is right, that plant will come back into my life.
Like I said above, smoke medicine is something I love working with. I’m looking forward to sharing more insights on this practice and introducing you to different plants that you can work with yourself.
Written by: Megan Walsh
Humanity today has lost that special connection to the places we call home. We have forgotten that this Earth we live on, and our own bodies are the housings for our souls. We have lost touch with the very things that support us, from the large communities we live in, to the foods that we eat, and even our attitude towards Mother Earth. We feel that we are separate, and in some cases, even superior to the natural world.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.