THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS
LIVING GOLD OF PUMPKIN: GRATITUDE IS THE MOST POTENT FORM OF PRAYER
Every day I wake up, and make a cup of tea, and then go out to the garden, still in my white silky nightie, to say good morning to the plants, gather some things for breakfast, and make my morning prayers and offerings.
This last week or so has been challenging me with some expensive problems, which I haven’t been able to see my way through quite yet, and ongoing frustration with my apparently single childless mid thirties situation.
But as I went down to the garden and wandered in and among the pumpkin vines and the waist high corn, and made my offerings to the plants there, I was brought down on my knees, overcome with the immense love and gratitude for these wise plants, these nourishing plants, I stooped to pick the pollen laden male squash blossoms and filled my basket with living gold. LIVING GOLD. True riches. The medicine and message of pumpkin has always been one of fertility and abundance, the pure abundance of the Earth. That we are deeply loved, cared and provided for, by her endless abundance, and we are also always giving back, by our very breath that feeds the green beings. But for me, the plants are always teaching me about right relationship, and how to be concious of how we give back, how we show gratitude to them, and to that endless abundance of Earth’s fertile magic. Giving back. Giving gratitude. In my prayers that day, I was given very specific guidance about creating a ceremony and offering of gratitude for everything I have been given. That even though I am feeling particularly challenged by a few things, if i stay in the gratitude, and acknowledge with reverence all the gifts, lessons and abundances I already have, that will be the path to finding what I want and need.
In light of the pumpkins endless production of leaves, flowers, fruits, & seeds, which are all edible and deeply nourishing to our physical abundance, and our ability to tap into our own fertility- be it for growing a life, or for gestating a creative project or dream, and my feeling of complete and utter gratitude for just its abundant presence in my garden, the message was clear. This week all I hear in my meditation is “Give your gratitude- Gratitude is the most potent form of prayer.” Make offerings of gratitude. Don’t just make a list of your gratitudes. Go out and leave gifts, make beauty, say thank you with not just your words but your actions.
Gather biodegradable items that you can leave as offerings on the Earth. Please choose something that is meaningful to you, don’t use tobacco because you hear its a good offering, but use what speaks to your heart of abundance and gratitude and love. For some it may be roses, or the lavender you grow in your garden, or a pinch of corn meal from the local farmer, or beans, or simply fresh flowers or leaves from the farmers market or your garden (making sure to say thank you and leave an offering for anything you pick!) Choose a selection of items that you can make a beautiful offering with. I like to use a mix of wildcrafted or organic tobacco, local blue cornmeal, red corn kernals, roses, and sage, because I have a particular relationship with those plants as offerings. But I often do use fresh flowers or leaves when possible.
Go to a place on your land, in the garden, or in the woods/ocean/mountains that feels like a place to which you can offer your sincere and heartfelt gratitude. It can be a particular plant or tree that you feel connected with, or just a spot on the land that speaks to you.
Arrange your offerings in a pleasing, artful way, blowing your prayers of gratitude and thankfulness for all the things you have with your breath, Speak them aloud if you can.
AND Sprinkle your offering blend or flowers around on the plants you come in contact with daily, your herbs, your garden, trees near your home. Begin a daily practice of making simple offerings of gratitude whenever and however you can. This is the energy of reciprocity. Give and receive, over and over. Your gratitude is the most potent form of prayer.
If you are feeling called to work with the abundant, fertile, living gold of pumpkin energy, besides growing it yourself and basking in its energy, and consuming the fresh blossoms and fruits, I like to work with the plant spirit essence of pumpkin flower. But a word of warning, it has been known to create lots of fertility, and I even had one student who got pregnant after working with pumpkin spirit medicine. Pumpkin essence is a strong presence, and is full, vigourous and downright sexy at times, be prepared to get in touch with your juiciest, creative forces and abundance from within.