The first workshop at Botanica 2018
I have probably come across the work of Carole Guyett through Rhiannon Lewis, organiser of Botanica, thanks to one of her valuable posts somewhere on facebook. I suppose, as sometimes you tend to forget the messenger, who it was and when that happened. Nevertheless, I have my ordering records, and from there I know that Carole’s amazing book about plant communications happily landed in my hands in September 2015.
Sacred Plant Initiations
The book titled ‘Sacred Plant Initiations’ has proved to be a profound guide to me in understanding more, and get inspired and further encouraged in my work with the plant world in Crete. Therefore, when I signed up for the Botanica 2018 Conference in Brighton, Carole’s workshop “Connecting with plant consciousness and meeting a plant ally in nature” was my clear first-choice pre-conference programme to add, even though I would have also loved to attend others which looked just as exciting.
Carole Guyett is a highly-respected herbalist & medicine woman. A visionary whose teachings and dreams are very close to my perception of life transformation practices. If I had to chose once sentence from her generously shared abundant wisdom, it would be this one which I found so profound as a beautiful motto: “Plants are leading the way, offering keys to our awakening, while helping us to expand our awareness and initiating us into what it truly means to live as sacred human beings on this planet.” I believe these lines carry very deep meaning for those in service of healing, nature and personal development.
Well, Carole’s workshop at Botanica that took place at the University of Sussex campus environment, could not have been more practical and illustrative as how to break through the walls, find yourself where you need to be, and receive just the right information that you need. Whether through eyes, smell, touch, vision or sound. Indeed sound played its role in many ways, including Carole doing drumming and taking us on a shamanic journey. Wooooohoooo, if that still sounds too much of a woodoo in today’s opening world, I advise you to read a bit about the meaning of shamanism, before you make your judgement and sign all us in to a mental hospital.
Until you’re done with your homework, let me just shortly say that shamanism is one of the most ancient spiritual practices known to humankind, and has a rich background in various cultures all over the world. Carole Guyett, beyond being a healer and a teacher, growing herbs and making plant medicines, also holds Sacred Ceremonies opening doorways for others with Shamanic Journeys. In our case within this circle of about 25 people, including many aromatherapists, herbalist, pharmacists, vets and smart people from around the world. Just fitting perfectly in a small conference room, where as part of the workshop we would all lie down the floor, side by side, randomly, close to each other yet beautifully respecting the others’ own space. We were focusing on our breath while following a meditation Carole guided, and she was also playing various rhythms on her drum leading, accompanying, catalysing the process we were in. Although there are many ways of doing a Shamanic Journey, but that can be as ‘simple’ as that. It’s one of those things that we humans have long forgotten in our busy artificial life, where for most of the people the only single way of connection is though mobile phones, etc.
What’s the use of such a ceremony?
As in a meditation, you go deeper with yourself and find peace, tranquility, answers, visions, messages, guidance, inspiration. With the work of Carole Guyett, you learn how to come into harmony through opening your heart and connecting with plant consciousness. A practice to trust your feelings, to let yourself being guided. To regain that state of a childlike, pure, wondrous human being.
Needless to say, that Carole’s work is way more complex than that. Part of it which she refers to as Plant Diets, and that is again not the same as talking about nutrition and green eating. It is a traditional way of working with plants, a program developed by Carole in Ireland and acknowledged and taught internationally (you can visit her website Derrynagittah). Whatever approach we take towards plants, the first step is always that one you cannot skip: spend time in nature! And before you start listing your excuses, let me just tell you that even within the conference settings, between walls of busy hours in the auditorium, we managed to go out and spend some fabulous and valuable time wandering around the campus park between trees and wild flowers. That was another beautiful chapter of the plant work and finding our plant allies. In our own way, rhythm, noticing the green, blue, yellow and many colours of sentient energy beings we call plants. No special abilities or devices needed. Go out and be present! That’s all. Anyone can do that…