The Nature of Healing: Journey from Misalignment to Balance

dandelion leaves, flowers, and root on top of an open book about the herbal properties of the plant
Image by Shirley Hirst

When we talk about healing, we are not just talking about relieving the physical aspects of illnesses. The symptoms of any disease in the body are the final stages of a deeper process that has taken place in the unseen realms of our existence over a long period of time.

For anything to manifest or incarnate or be brought into the physical, there is a process of involution that starts out as nonphysical—an energy, group of frequencies, thought, or level of consciousness. As cell biologist Bruce Lipton notes, our consciousness directly affects our biology:

“The chemistry that determines our biology, genetics, behavior, and life characteristics is chemistry derived from the brain which, in turn, is derived from the brain interpreting an image in our mind. As we change our mind, we change our biology.”

In the context of healing, these forces over time move toward form as they sink deeper and deeper through our energy bodies into an ever-denser manifestation until they arrive in our physical body as sickness. The origin of these forces can be karmic; it can be generated by our subconscious programs, by our conditionings from this life, or from traumas from childhood or past lives. The symptoms of any disease are not the disease itself; they are the result of our experiences in life.

Treating only symptoms is bypassing the true origin of our issues and misunderstanding the holistic and emotional human. Underneath the physical symptom is an unhelpful emotion, underneath this emotion is a trauma or conditioning, and underneath that is often either a soul or ancestral trauma. By working with the soul forces of a plant we can work and heal at a soul level within ourselves.

From Misalignment to Alignment and Balance

Disease itself is a form of active energy misaligned with the rest of the harmonic energies and forces that keep us functioning healthily. The energies of disease are working against the plan of the whole, but we don’t need to demonize them or view them as just something to get rid of: disease can teach us so much.

There are many teachings and insights into our true nature to be learned from the pains and wounds that we experience along the trajectory of our lives. Through this process of inner awakening, we are not only moving toward full health but toward spiritual illumination and connection with our own divine nature.

Understanding the forces behind our illnesses allows us to heal on both an emotional and spiritual level as well as the physical. When we address the root cause of an illness, an unhelpful thought pattern or even a small frustration, we start to cure ourselves properly. We can start to clear away the karmic baggage we incarnated with, our energy bodies become lighter, and we start to become more open minded, emotionally balanced, and overall healthier.

Deep Healing: A Journey Out of the Darkness

Most people, however, don’t understand how deep they need to go with their healing, how much their blockages are holding them back, or how detrimental their negative emotions are for themselves and others. This preventive and holistic approach is the normal healing practice outside the Western world and has been the preserve of spiritual traditions and cultures all over the globe, but it is here in the West where it is needed most. Yet quite often we have to hit rock bottom and life has to become unbearable for us to be moved into action and to start looking for a path out of the darkness.

Be careful, though, because the word path in the context of a healing path or a spiritual path can be misleading as there is nowhere to go outside of ourselves; it simply indicates an inner change or a process of inner changes. The word path keeps us locked in a linear way of thinking and believing that something outside ourselves can fix us or is the key to our spiritual development. The healing process is in no way linear; there is no beginning, no middle, and no end. We only have to look at the cycles of nature to see that everything in our world is circular, spiral, and cyclical.

I often see websites listing the stages of healing as if it were a linear process, and once you reach the last stage, you’re enlightened! While these types of lists can be helpful to see where you are in one particular issue, they are not holistic and lock us into the dualistic illusion.

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If we really want to take responsibility for our physical health, our mental health, our soul, our own self-mastery, or our purpose for being alive, then accepting that the process is a lifetime’s work helps bring some humility back to what has become an industry of quick fixes. There is no final destination, only the journey, but it does not mean that our health, mental well-being, and life in general will not improve and realign dramatically if we follow the plant path.

Understanding the Spiral Nature of Healing and Energy

To understand healing, we need to understand energy—how it works, how it moves, how it is transmuted—and the main thing to understand is that healing is spiral in nature. We move through layers and layers of our issues, and as the conditions are in place for the deeper layer to be dealt with, then what we thought we had dealt with raises its head again to be addressed.

It can be disheartening to realize that the months or years of processing we went through to reach a place of acceptance and transcendence with a particular issue has not been fully healing. But to reach the deeper layer means that we have progressed; we have attained a level of consciousness able to understand this deeper layer of the issue, and so we are experiencing more and more profound levels of self-awareness, emotional freedom, and unconditional joy.

In my personal experience healing happens in a spiral fashion because nothing exists in isolation. No trauma or unhelpful emotion exists separate from the rest of our traumas and emotions. Many moons ago, by chance (or fate) I attended a talk in Ireland about birth trauma. The therapist giving the talk had had the same birth trauma as I had, and the effect of having been born jaundiced and kept blindfolded under an ultraviolet light in an incubator for the first two months of her life had affected her in many ways.

The proverbial lightbulb went on, and I started my own investigative journey into my own similar birth trauma. To cut a very long story short, the effect of this trauma was so widespread throughout my whole personality, psyche, and behavior that I didn’t know how I was going to heal the effects of it. Abandonment was compounded by fear of the unknown, which was compounded by my third eye being shut down, compounded by a sense of feeling lost in the world, resulting in projections of anger toward others, anxiety, depression—you get the picture.

Plant Kingdom as Healers

There are many contributing factors to one trauma, but over a period of years I went deeper and deeper into the healing process, peeling away the layers, until finally I was ready for a teacher plant to take me back to the incubator to relive the experience and change the outcome.

We are never alone in our healing process; there is a whole kingdom of plants and trees willing to assist and guide us on our journey. All plants are teacher plants in that they show us how to live in harmony with ourselves and with the world. They support our transitions to greater levels of awareness, they bring the light during our darkest moments, and they seem to know much more about us than we do! But ultimately, we can only truly heal ourselves, and we have to realize we need to step onto the spiral if we want to live a more healthy and joyous life.

If we have not dealt with our own inner conflicts, then we will not be in a stable position to effectively manage any societal or familial changes that arise in our lives. As within, so without—the more inner work we do, the more in alignment our external world becomes.

Healing the Origin of Our Illness

By directing our healing toward the origin of illness, toward the subtler levels of our existence, the healing frequencies then filter down into the physical body. Removing the original trauma or intrusion causing disharmony and illness removes the issue at the root, leaving the physical illness rootless. Only then can the physical illness work its way out of the body; it is no longer trapped and held in place by strong emotions or wounds in the energetic bodies.

The symptoms caused by our traumas and imbalances restore themselves as we are supported by the plants. This type of depth healing needs to be understood within the spiritual context in which it resides: that we will only heal once the karmic lessons of the disease have been learned and the origin of the trauma integrated; that we can only become whole by accepting our shadow as well as our light; that our eternal spirit can only become conscious when we have cleared our obscurations of the body and mind.

When we start to go inward and dive into the deep mystery of our own being, it can be rather unnerving. It can feel as if we are descending into a void, an unknowing within which we will lose ourselves. In one sense, this is correct in that when we explore our psyche and discover or unearth an aspect of ourselves long forgotten or previously unknown, it can mean the death of an aspect of our known self. Perhaps a part of us knows that this change has the potential to be painful.

Sometimes we grieve for those aspects of ourselves that we are letting go. They have been with us a long time, and they need acknowledging for all they have done for us thus far and so this is a natural process.

Perhaps not knowing what is on the other side of the process can also be scary. It is therefore wise to be gentle and kind to yourself at these times. There is no benefit to forcing the process of inner change.

We are conditioned to strive for the end result, but this will not serve us well in this circumstance. Once the ball has started rolling, it will gather its own pace, so we need to hold a sacred space for ourselves with tenderness and care, with the understanding that everything changes, with the conviction that one day we will wake up in the morning with the sunlight ­streaming through the bedroom window heralding a renewed sense of aliveness and natural joy.

Know Thyself: Inner Knowing and Inner Mystery

The mantra of plant spirit healing is to know thyself—in all aspects and dimensions, in every moment of every day—to live a full and deeply meaningful life. Knowing yourself means having the awareness of both your ancestral lineage, where your genes come from, and your spiritual lineage, the trajectory that your eternal self has taken to arrive to this present moment. When we refer to healing, we are referring to the making whole of both our ancestral or genealogical lineage and our spiritual lineage.

We must never forget that everything heals and restores due to balance. In this regard, we must also respect and accept mystery, the opposite of knowing. We have to accept that perhaps we cannot know ourselves fully in this lifetime. Yet would we want to live a life without mystery?

It is the mystery within things that make them beautiful. It is the liminal space between the trees that gives the forest its magic. Mystery is what lies at the depth of the human soul.

Without mystery we would not be driven to uncover the truths that lie beneath the layers of dust in the attic of our mind. But we have to be prepared to leave the cover over the mirror if it is not meant to be removed yet and to accept that revealing and cleaning everything within an inch of its life is tilting the scales in the other direction and creating more imbalance.

When observing a plant or tree, we can feel the mystery of its inner life, and rather than having to know everything, sometimes it is just as soul nourishing to sit in the void of mystery with your plant ally and just be. There is a coherence that occurs as your heart entrains with the vibratory resonance of your plant ally, and simply resting in natural awareness is a pleasure and a joy.

We need balance between knowledge and mystery, between being and becoming. Incessant doing distracts us from our inner mystery. Glorifying busyness and always reaching for external stimuli and entertainment is an avoidance of looking into the mystery of the self. The soul is constantly calling us home. Are we too preoccupied to listen?

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission.

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BOOK: Journeys with Plant Spirit

Journeys with Plant Spirits: Plant Consciousness Healing and Natural Magic Practices
by Emma Farrell

book cover of Journeys with Plant Spirits by Emma FarrellA guide to communicating and working with plant and tree spirits for personal development, spiritual connection, inner peace, and healing 

In this book, Emma Farrell explains how to take your connection and relationship with nature to a deeper level and access plant spirit healing through meditation with plants. She details how to achieve a calm mind, cleanse your energy field, and connect with your heart in preparation for meditating with plants and trees, showing how the plants can support us not only in the cleansing process but also in teaching us how to sense what is in our energy field.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as an Audiobook and as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of Emma FarrellEmma Farrell is a plant spirit healer, geomancer, shamanic teacher, and the cofounder with her husband, Davyd, of the groundbreaking London event Plant Consciousness. She is a lineage holder of the White Serpent teachings and has been initiated into ancient magical practices of the British Isles. She currently runs a school of warrior healers and an apothecary of plant spirit medicine.

Visit the author's website at

More Articles By This Author

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