Thou Nature Art My Goddess

   For Ethan “Thou nature, art my goddess; to thy law my services are bound.” William Shakespeare Shakespeare’s declaration perfectly describes the devotion of my own life. I was three years old when I planted my first garden; that was 65 years ago. If a three year old could be enthralled, I certainly was. In … Continue Reading

Pangaea’s Many Moods: The Eras

Somehow, I never stopped to consider that, to date, the Precambrian Era consumed 88% of geologic time. It began with Earth’s origin, 4.5 billion years ago (4,500,000,000); that’s a huge number. The first organisms were single-cell terrestrial algae. To quote, “Terrestrial algae are inconspicuous and far more common in moist, tropical regions than dry … Continue Reading

Ancient Ones: Plants That Have Seen It All

This is the list of ceremonial species indigenous to both the British Isles and the North Temperate Zone. Because my interest in plants with ritual applications designed the parameters of my study, plants with different uses have not been included. There are, without question, many others that, sadly, have been forgotten down through the ages. … Continue Reading

Introduction to Ritual Plant Medicine

I won’t kid you; learning ritual plant medicine is daunting and requires at least one lifetime to learn. I doubt it could ever be mastered. I studied thousands of plants indigenous to the British Isles and of those thousands I found about 420 that had ritual implications. It then required a decade or two to … Continue Reading

1. Sanctificational

I have chosen the word Sanctificational for a variety of reasons. I believe we are all inherently holy. No one should ever be made to feel as though they are undesirable, contaminated, polluted, unwelcomed, or whatever. I must insist that everyone is priceless, invaluable and irreplaceable simply because they draw breath. Contemporary connotations of the … Continue Reading

2. Invitatory

Invitatory refers to species that invite beneficent spirits of the natural world into rituals. Name: QUERCUS spp. Toxicity: not known Q. robur (Pedunculate Oak) Q. petraea (Sessile Oak) Continent: Eurasia Habitat: I Applicable Plant Components: herb, bark, root, gall, acorn, cambium, pitch, wood Sanctificational: herb, bark Invitatory: acorn Convocational: bark Fortificational: bark Psychical: root, bark, … Continue Reading

3. Convocational

I have used the term convocational to apply specifically to convening or consulting with Ancestors in contrast to Invitatory, inviting beneficent natural spirits. A few plants do one or the other while many do both. Intention becomes highly significant regarding that which one invites or those with whom one wishes to convene. Name: Ilex aquifolium … Continue Reading

4. Fortificational

Fortificational refers to those species believed to strengthen individuals. Name: SALIX spp. Toxicity: not known Common Name: Willow Continent: North Temperate Zone Habitat: many diverse species Applicable Plant Components: root, herb, bark, cambium, wood Sanctificational: root, herb, bark Invitatory: bark Convocational: twig strewn at winter solstice Fortificational: root Intensificational: wood Psychical: cambium, root, herb Desistant: … Continue Reading

5. Intensificational

Intensificational is a term I have selected to refer to species that intensify the energy of the practitioner or the intent of the ritual. Name: Fraxinus excelsior Toxicity: not known Common Name: Ash Continent: Eurasia Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: bark, cambium, root, seed, flower, herb, twig, sap, wood Sanctificational: bark Invitatory: bark Convocational: bark … Continue Reading

6. Psychical

Psychical is a term I have used for species that enhance a practitioner’s skills, her awareness, or her psychic ability. Name: POPULUS spp. Toxicity: not known P. canescens (gray Poplar) P. nigra (Black Poplar) P. tremula (European Aspen) Continent: Eurasia Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: cambium, pitch, herb, bark, root, catkin, seed Sanctificational: cambium, pitch, … Continue Reading

7. Desistant

The term Desistant has been used in this work to refer to species believed to stop dangerous dissipation of energy. For example, one could be played out by illness or exertion. Transcendental journeys can trigger an oozing out of one’s life force or cause an inordinate expense of it. In any case, regardless of the … Continue Reading

8. Harmonical

There is no question that if we manage to attain harmony we sure want to sustain it. The term harmonical in this work has been employed to refer to species believed to sustain harmony. But it can be fleeting and we usually find a far greater need to restore it. I have included two terms … Continue Reading

9. Pacificatory

Pacificatory suggest the need to turn enemies into friends or at least associates. This can include allaying indignation or soothing wounded feelings. Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Toxicity: considered toxic Common Name: Bearberry Continent: North Temperate Zone     Habitat: I Applicable Plant Components: bark, herb, stem, root Sanctificational: herb, stem Invitatory: bark Convocational: bark Intensificational: herb, bark Psychical: … Continue Reading

10. Reconciliatory

Reconciliatory has been used as a reference to species believed to create peacefulness or bring a situation into harmony. Most species can be entreated for either purpose (Pacificatory or Reconciliatory) but a few do distinguish between these two properties. Name: TILIA spp. Toxicity: not known T. cordata (Linden, Lime)           Continent: Europe   Habitat:IV T. platyphyllos (Linden, … Continue Reading

11. Reversional

Reversional simply means to return or revert to a former state. Name: ULMUS spp. Toxicity: not known U. carpinifolia (Elm)         Continent: Eurasia  Habitat: IV U. glabra (Wych Elm)       Continent: Eurasia  Habitat: IV U. procera (English Elm) Continent: Europe  Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: herb, bark, root, cambium, stem Sanctificational: cambium Invitatory: herb Convocational: bark Fortificational: … Continue Reading

12. Theurgical

Theurgical is a term used in reference to those species believed to have the ability to expel negative spirits with or without the help of beneficent ones. Name: Alnus glutinosa Toxicity: not known Common Name: Alder Continent: Eurasia Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: herb, bark, cambium, twig, root, shoot, root bark, branch Sanctificational: bark, cambium, … Continue Reading

13. Transmutational

Transmutational means simply to change one thing into another. This can apply to an entire range of possibilities from one’s present circumstances to shape shifting. Name: BETULA spp. Toxicity: not known B. nana (Dwarf Birch)         Continent: North Temperate Zone    Habitat: I B. pendula (Silver B.)          Continent: Eurasia        Habitat: I B. pubescens (Downy B.)   Continent: … Continue Reading

14. Prolongational

Prolongational denotes species thought to enhance longevity. Name: Corylus avellana Toxicity: not known Common Name: Hazelnut Continent: Europe Habitat: IV Applicable Components: wood, bark, cambium, nut, bud, root, herb Sanctificational: bark, cambium Convocational: nut Fortificational: nut Intensificational: nut Psychical: bud Desistant: bark, nut Harmonical: cambium Pacificatory: root, herb Reconciliatory: root, herb Theurgical: bark Prolongational: herb … Continue Reading

15. Amoristic

Amoristic is a term I have selected for love. To some, amoristic suggests sexual or romantic love. I have applied it to include love for children, family, home, community and the incredible wide range of human emotion that love embraces. Name: Artemisia vulgaris Toxicity: considered toxic Common Name: Mugwort Continent: Eurasia Habitat: VI Applicable Plant … Continue Reading

16. Protectant

Protectant denotes plants believed to afford protection. This can include protection against something or shielding from loss or harm. Name: Artemisia absinthium Toxicity: considered toxic especially in alcohol Common Name: Wormwood Continent: Europe Habitat: VI Applicable Plant Components: herb Sanctificational Invitatory Convocational Fortificational Psychical Desistant Harmonical Pacificatory Reconciliatory Reversional Theurgical Prolongational Amoristic Protectant Vulnerary Sanguinary … Continue Reading

17. Tutelary

Some species are believed invested with guardianship, having spirits that watch over us in order to keep us safe. I have distinguished these with the word tutelary. Name: Angelica sylvestris Toxicity: uterine stimulant Common Names: Wild Parsnip, Masterwort, Wild Angelica Continent: Europe Habitat: V Applicable Plant Components: root, herb, seed, stem Sanctificational: root, stem Invitatory: … Continue Reading

18. Preserval

Some species are believed to specialize in preserving life by keeping it from harm. For these species I have used the word preserval. This is subtly different from tutelary species. Name: ACHILLEA spp. Toxicity: not known A. millefolium ( Yarrow)    Continent: Eurasia  Habitat: VI A. ptarmica (Sneezewort)  Continent: Eurasia  Habitat: III Applicable Plant Components: … Continue Reading

19. Vulnerary

Vulnerary is a word that means to promote healing. Name: Aquilegia vulgaris Toxicity: not known Common Name: Columbine, Crowfoot Continent: Europe Habitat: V Applicable Plant Components: herb, root, seed, flower Sanctificational: herb, root Invitatory: herb, root Convocational: herb, root Fortificational: root Psychical: herb Desistant: herb Pacificatory: seed Reconciliatory: root, seed Theurgical: root, herb Prolongational: herb … Continue Reading

20. Sanguinary

Sanguinary is a term I have used to refer to plants believed to promote confidence, hope and well-being or address the lack of those things. Name: ARCTIUM spp. Toxicity: not known A. lappa (Greater Burdock)             Habitat: IV A. minus (Lesser Burdock)              Habitat: VI Continent: Eurasia Applicable Plant Components: root, seed, herb Sanctificational: root, seed Invitatory: … Continue Reading

21. Providential

Plants referred to as providential are believed to promote prosperity thus providing for future needs. These are further characterized by foresight, perhaps a result of divination or predilection decreed by the spirit world. Name: Cornus sanguinea Toxicity: considered toxic Common Names: Dogwood, Dogberry, Hound’s Tree Continent: Europe Habitat: I Applicable Plant Components: bark, cambium, herb, … Continue Reading

22. Plenitudinal

Plenitudinal refers to fulfillment, completeness and abundance, which includes fertility of the Earth not necessarily just conception. Hunter-gatherers regard the extremes of greed and avarice as aberrant. Name: ALLIUM spp. Toxicity: not known A. ampeloprasum (Wild Leek) Continent: Eurasia   Habitat: VII A. oleraceum (Field Garlic) Continent: Europe    Habitat: VI A. ursinum (Ramsons)        Continent: Eurasia   Habitat: … Continue Reading

23. Plenarial

Plenarial is a term used in reference to plants believed to promote potency, invincibility or empowerment. However, hunter-gatherer people regard power that lacks the balance of compassion, humility and forgiveness as an affliction requiring exorcism. Name: Taxus baccata Toxicity: considered toxic Common Name: Yew Continent: Eurasia Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: bark, herb, twig, wood … Continue Reading

24. Ensurant

An ensurant is a plant believed to insure success, a guarantor, so to speak, highly appropriate to anyone hunting enlightenment or solutions. Name: Pinus sylvestris Toxicity: not known Common Names: Pine, Scot’s Pine Continent: Eurasia Habitat: I Applicable Plant Components: pitch, herb, seed, wood, cambium, bud, bark, branch Sanctificational: pitch, wood, herb Invitatory: herb, wood … Continue Reading

25. Soporific

Soporific denotes species believed to promote dreaming. Name: Sambucus nigra Toxicity: not known Common Name: Elder Continent: Eurasia Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: bark, root, root bark, herb, flower, seed, pitch, fruit,  branch Sanctificational: bark, root bark, flower Convocational: herb, seed, root Fortificational: bark Psychical: flower Desistant: herb Harmonical: fruit Pacificatory: herb, root, flower Reconciliatory: … Continue Reading

26. Ecstatic

I have used the word ecstatic to denote plants believed to promote trance-like states, bliss, or rapture. Soporific and ecstatic plants can be psychotropic but I can assure you a vast majority of them are not. Sadly, psychotropic plants are now referred to as “sacred plants”, implying that all those that are not are somehow … Continue Reading

27. Divinatory

Divinatory again suggests psychotropic species. Wrong! Mankind has divined from stones, bones, sticks, and seeds since forever. There are those who can divine from clouds, wind, rustling leaves or the path by which water travels. In fact divination and healing can be accomplished with anything by anyone. Divinatory therefore refers to plants that are believed … Continue Reading

28. Affixal

Affixal refers to species believed to affix, bind or seal the objectives and accomplishments of rituals. Name: CRATAEGUS spp. Toxicity: considered toxic C. laerigata (Quickset, Whitethorn, Midland Hawthorn) C. monogyna (Hawthorn) Continent: Eurasia Habitat: I Applicable Plant Components: flower, fruit, bark, root, spine Sanctificational: flower, fruit Invitatory: fruit Psychical: flower, fruit Desistant: bark, root Harmonical: … Continue Reading

29. Affirmational

There are occasions when affirmation is being sought and therefore the species believed to afford that are referred to as affirmational. Name: SORBUS spp. Toxicity: not known S. aucuparia (Rowan, Quickbeam)    Continent: Eurasia    Habitat: I S. torminalis (Serviceberry)                Continent: Eurasia    Habitat: IV S. aria (Whitebeam,Mountain Ash)   Continent: Europe    Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: bark, herb, … Continue Reading

30. Resurgent

Resurgent is a term I have chosen to denote rebirth. In ancient times every event was perceived as an aspect of birth, death and rebirth. This is particularly true of ritual problem solving. Name: Fagus sylvatica Toxicity: not known Common Name: Beech Continent: Europe Habitat: IV Applicable Plant Components: herb, bark, nut Convocational: herb Pacificatory: … Continue Reading

31. I Beseech Your Soul To Arise

I have extracted these from the Compendium for Spirit Handling found on my website. In this compendium I have categorized ritual plants into 30 applications, two of which are Invitatory and Convocational. In my work invitatory is a term I use to refer to species that invite beneficent spirits of the natural world into rituals. … Continue Reading

32. Sacred Trees

After decades of research I settled on my own list of what I believe are the Twenty-One Sacred Trees of the British Isles. I based my choices not only on their spiritual, magical, and ritual properties but perhaps more significantly on their extraordinary scope of practical uses in the same way shamanic tribal cultures do. … Continue Reading

33. Women’s Tree Clans

The women’s tree clans are based on the lunar cycle. Each tree contains all of the 30 properties with the exception of those listed with each entry. They are needed to balance the specific tree’s medicine.  OAK CLAN (Quercus) Intensificational: Lobelia Transmutational: Teucrium Tutelary: Lonicera Providential: Stachys Soporific: Viola Affirmational: Maianthemum HOLLY CLAN (Ilex) Fortificational: … Continue Reading