Image by Enrique Meseguer

To truly live in alignment with noble ethics is challenging. If it was an easy endeavor, we would live in a very different world than we do today.

People have persistently compromised their ethics and principles to further their ambitions or to survive, so much so that they have lost sight of the true nature of ethics and therefore have lost the inner strength and conviction of a life based in true right action.

Let’s not be too hard on ourselves, though, because the indoctrination into the belief in a soulless world starts in school. Our education system is so narrow in its worldview that life essentials such as understanding and managing our emotions or the power of the natural world for healing are deemed unnecessary. Children are pitted against one another in a culture of competition, nurturing self-criticism, feelings of inferiority, and shame, all of which disempower and make them more obedient to industrial life.

Since the nineteenth century, psychology has studied how competition can motivate people to achieve. But these studies are based on the assumption that winning is the ultimate objective and don’t take into account that instilling a belief that we must strive to be better than our neighbor creates separation and is detrimental to human goodness and the cultivation of a soulful life. Creating a hierarchy and encouraging people to aspire to something outside themselves and to be seen by others as the best or the most special is counter­intuitive to natural law.

Competition pulls us away from the nature of our evolved consciousness, encouraging us in the false belief that if others see us as better then we must be better. Yet a higher perspective is available to us, of valuing individuality within the collective whole. We master skills and develop our intellect not with the objective of dominating others but with the desire to be of service, to help others align with their inner goodness. There is no higher calling in life than to serve others—not through fear but through unconditional love fueled by inner freedom.

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Awakening the Warrior Within

A Kichwa elder I know calls this a prison planet, and from one perspective he is right. The only act of free will that we have left is whether we choose to walk a path in alignment with our base instincts or one attuned to the higher forces of human goodness, whether we choose the path of shadow or light. The latter is the concern of our work here.

To achieve any level of liberation we must turn toward the light until we can hold both our light and our shadow in balance. We are not chasing the false light of spiritual bypass, denying our shadow, but looking toward the inner light of truth, wherever that takes us. This is the nondual middle way where everything is accepted as it is; nothing is judged or pushed away; all is in balance and harmony.

Because it is not easy to stand in complete sovereignty in all its depth of meaning, the warrior within must be awakened. We are conditioned to hide from our fears, to establish behavioral and thought patterns that prevent our fears from getting close to us, yet the grace and power of the warrior is already seeded within us, as all archetypal forces are.

The plants and trees teach us how to awaken this power within us, to hold our center when our external world conspires to pull us into polarity and separation, to stand with strength as we turn toward our shadows. To navigate between resistance and acceptance, fighting and peace, subjective and objective takes inner strength and a clear mind. Nature doesn’t lie, so as our work with the plants and trees progresses, our attachment to beliefs diminishes and the barriers we have built up around our heart and mind start to crumble.

Not everyone wants or even cares to take this journey. That is their free will, and we must accept that this is their choice; we cannot coerce people into coming with us. It is an arduous road, and after placing just one foot on it, there is little chance of turning back. We cannot unsee what we have seen. So it is advisable to cultivate fearlessness—not recklessness but a strong sense of your inner bravery.

How could anyone be a healer without traversing the darkest depths of their own psyche and integrating their own shadows? To be a true healer, we have to know all aspects of the human psyche and hold both the dark and the light in balance and nonpolarity within. This is the middle path.

Our task as shamanic healers is to know the spirit world so intimately that we bring the healing impulses and frequencies through from that realm into this one, from the plant spirit realm into this physical realm to invite change and healing to occur without judgment or attachment. We are the bridge between worlds. We can discover our own inner healer and shaman in order to bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing to ourselves and therefore the world around us.

Warriorship is an Internal State

The noble warrior of old embodies the qualities we need on this path if we are to truly know thyself: strength, courage, nobility, and honor, which really are the basics of ethics. Being able to make decisions from the heart and take decisive action with the humility to admit mistakes and be able to learn from them makes us better human beings.

Warriorship is an internal state directed toward our own inner demons; it is not about pushing your “truth” or authority onto others, thinking you know best. The fearful seek to master the world, while the fearless seek to master themselves.

The inner warrior has the determination to overcome destructive behaviors, the fortitude to establish emotional balance, and the wrathfulness to vanquish the demonic forces that plague the depths of the psyche. We can tap into this pool of power to make the changes we feel are required within. The motivation to continue on the path of awakening can be challenging to maintain when we are the midst of a healing process; therefore, inner strength and determination for the highest good of all are essential.

Repressed toxic emotions cause and attract physical toxins in the body, which result in disease, sickness, and mental issues. Remembering the hermetic principle of “as above, so below” or “as within, so without,” we can also see that what is happening in our external world is a result of our inner world. This is then reflected into the macro.

The evil and darkness in the world comes through people, through us. The only reason there are evil forces on the planet is because we allow them. We have to take responsibility for this, and most people do not want to, preferring to leave it to others to deal with the conflicts and problems. Most do not even acknowledge that the darkness in the world is also in them. How could it?

You may be thinking. I’m a good person! Perhaps this is true, but perhaps you are also suppressing early traumas through drugs, such as antidepressants and alcohol, or other diversions. Why not take a look at them?

Radical Honesty and Dedication

Healing can be as simple as bringing to conscious awareness the initial instance that caused trauma or emotional imbalance in the first place. When we push the painful causative experience to the dark recesses of the mind and avoid its deeper meaning, we deny ourselves freedom from the resulting unhelpful emotional and behavioral patterns that emerge. We develop these thought patterns to protect us, but they also obscure the truth and a higher perspective.

Many people believe that by denying negative feelings they are making themselves better, and they can stay positive. What they don’t understand is that they are building more and more barriers between themselves and inner freedom. They are creating blind spots in their consciousness and pushing emotions into the realm of the subconscious, where they will fester and emerge later in life as illness and disease.

By allowing the negative feelings to flow and sitting with them for just a short while allows the body to change; it can be that simple. A few moments of feeling the doubt, grief, or hurt without holding on to it, just permitting it space, offers us the chance to evolve, and even though the trauma or sickness does not leave immediately, it can be the catalyst for transforming us, for carrying us to the next evolutionary part of our journey.

Keeping things static and being fearful of change locks us into destructive patterns. To progress on the path of liberation, we have to evoke the warrior spirit within to face and feel into that which up until now we have not dared to look at. Every time we employ inquiry and exploration as opposed to suppression and running away, we are changing the very essence of how we impute meaning to things, and therefore the true nature of how things exist will become evident to us.

The more we get in touch with our body consciousness, the more we learn about the causes of our ailments. Pain is in reality neither good nor bad within itself; it is simply nature’s way of informing us that something needs to change, whether physical or emotional. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we are making the unconscious conscious. Because you are reading this now suggests that you are ready to be released from the binds you have created around your mind. The truth quite literally can set you free.

When you know who you truly are, when you know the trajectory that your soul has taken to bring you to this present moment, and when you know why you are here on Earth at this point in time, all worries about direction in life and any feelings of disempowerment and fear dissolve. To get to this point is not easy, though, and requires a huge amount of courage.

To conquer the heart, tame the mind, and achieve emotional balance requires radical honesty and dedication. It also requires a belief in the first place that this is even possible. If we do not step up and take responsibility for the sovereignty of our body and mind, and therefore the body and consciousness of Earth, who will?

This World is A Magical Place

We are the ones that we have been waiting for. There is no second coming of the messiah, no benevolent intergalactic race coming to save us. We can only save ourselves.

To truly know ourselves and reveal inner aspects hidden and forgotten by trauma, to go into the pain, to face our unhelpful thoughts, to heal and release, we need to awaken the warrior spirit within. To confront our inner demons and accept all past transgressions, we need to find a certain inner strength. We all carry this spirit; the seed of every archetype is contained within the mind.

Warriorship means ­commitment—commitment to your cause, commitment to the path of authenticity and integrity, and commitment to help humanity, including withstanding change, hardship, and discomfort, and to be able to endure all of that and still be able to give to others from the heart. As Chogyam Trungpa states, the way of the warrior means being open and living in the present:

The challenge of warriorship is to live fully in the world as it is and to find within this world, with all its paradoxes, the essence of nowness. If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place. It is not ­magical because it tricks us or changes unexpectedly into something else, but it is magical because it can be so vividly, so brilliantly.

However, the discovery of that magic can happen only when we transcend our embarrassment about being alive, when we have the bravery to proclaim the goodness and dignity of human life, without either hesitation or arrogance. Then magic, or drala, can descend into our existence.

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.