Plant Spirit Medicine

What are plants?

Dumb bundles of cellulose that exist merely to do our bidding?

Sophisticated bio-chemical factories that are the source of countless medicines – and medicines to come?

How about this?

“Plants know us and love us as grandchildren.”

What is a grandparent?

Someone older than you…someone related to you…someone who cares about your well-being…someone in a position to help you in profound ways.

Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998) in his … Read more

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Practices

One of my favorite places: The New York Botanical Garden.

One of my favorite projects there: Their thirty year project to discover and study the medicinal plants of Belize in respectful conjunction with local healers.

Here’s the whole story straight from the people who lived it.

PlantWisdom.org did an in depth interview with Rosita about her life and work and you can listen to that here.

The book they’re … Read more

Insights from the healing forest

Ethnobotanist and herbalist Rocio Alarcon grew up in the Andean highlands of Ecuador in a family that respected and used plants, depending on them for their daily survival.

As a young adult she received an academic training and then went to the Amazon to conduct her real studies.

In this talk from the excellent YouTube channel Herb TV, she discusses the social dimensions of ayawaska use and other shamanic practices … Read more

All the leaves of the forest

If you knew the story of all the leaves of the forest, you would know all there is to be known about the gods of Dahomey.

– Dahomean proverb

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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Wade Davis: The variety of human experience

Fascinating talk by Wade Davis on the varieties of human experience, the value of the existence of these diverse worlds views and the serious and ongoing threat to indigenous people around the world.

At the 11:23 point Davis explains how it is that forest dwellers make profound botanical discoveries that elude the most advanced western science.

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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Photographer Robert Llewellyn

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Photographer Robert Llewellyn is the author of three books: “Seeing Trees”, “Seeing Flowers”, and “Seeing Seeds.”

“When I first looked at trees — really looked at them — it was like meeting another civilization,”

“Picking up a camera changes how I see things. The plant world, previously hiding in plain sight, now reveals itself as another civilization living among us. They have a plan. I’ll never see them the same … Read more

Wade Davis on Richard Evans Schultes

In the previous post, we introduced Richard Evans Schultes though a short video and excerpts of an interview conducted with him later in his life.

In this video, his student and protege Wade Davis goes much deeper into Schultes’ story.

Absolutely fascinating and excellent preparation for seeing the new movie “Abrazo de la Serpiente” (Embrace of the Serpent) – which I’ve now seen three times.

If this account of Schultes’s … Read more

Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001)

Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001) was probably the greatest explorer of the Amazon, and regarded among anthropologists and seekers alike as the “father of ethnobotany.”

Taking what was meant to be a short leave from Harvard in 1941, he surveyed the Amazon basin almost continuously for twelve years, during which time he lived among two dozen different Indian tribes, mapped rivers, secretly sought sources of rubber for the US government during … Read more

The spirit of plants and healing with Baba Rahsan

 Baba Rahsan Abdul Hakim

Baba Rahsan Abdul Hakim

Baba Rahsan Abdul Hakim grew up in Jamaica where his training in plants began when he was small child at the hands of his grandmother, aunt and mother.

His grandfather, Charles Williams, was an important horiiculturalist and agriculturist who introduced a number of useful plants to Jamaica. He was the uncredited developer of the Hope Garden, the largest botanical garden in the Caribbean.

As an adult … Read more

Intelligence in Nature

If you don’t know Jeremy Narby, you should.

He’s a “diplomat between two systems of knowledge.”

Narby as born in Montreal in 1959 and grew up in Canada and Switzerland.

He studied history at the University of Canterbury and received a doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University.

Narby spent several years living with the Ashaninca in the Peruvian Amazon cataloging their understanding and use of the plants in their forest … Read more