I’m so pleased to be launching a fabulous online course with my dear friend and colleague Lucy Wells. Touched by Nature ‘A Year with the Plants’ is a seasonal nature connection course which guides an experience of really noticing what is around us in nature at each of the five seasons of the temperate year.
Five seasons?! But what about the well known four? Is this a typo? No, it isn’t a mistake, there really are five seasons, and if you start to pay attention you will notice the truth of this. The mysterious fifth season is the one between the summer and the autumn – summer being the time of maximum flowering, and autumn starting with the colder weather and the leaves turning and starting to fall. Between these two beauties is the season we like to call ‘harvest’. It is the time of late summer – the time of fruitfulness. Although many seem to tag it on to summer ‘late summer’ or autumn ‘early autumn’, when you give your attention to it you will feel the truth of its distinct flavour.
The course has evolved from an impromptu emails-and-zooms course that we began in March 2019 as the world went into lockdowns. We were very concerned about how people would cope with this extreme isolation, especially given the already increasingly fragmented and isolated style of modern life. We offered this course and evolved it for two years – some people came along for the whole time, some for one or more seasons, or for one complete year.
As Plant Spirit Medicine healers and teachers, we find the remedy for what ails us in the teachings of the divine natural world of which we are inextricably a part. So we wanted to find ways to help people make friends with plants – once you’ve done that, you don’t feel so alone because there are friends everywhere you go.
A Year with the Plants guides you through tried and trusted ways of plant communication.- The cure for our ills, for the disconnect and sickness of our times, is especially to be found in the almost infinite offerings of the plant kingdom. Herbs, trees, weeds, mosses, grass, fungi, shrubs, these embody in their myriad of individual ways the energies which are so eloquently and particularly expressed in each of the seasons of the year. just as their bodies are used to encourage healing and repair in our own bodies, so can their spirits bring to our spirit just what it is that we are lacking.
Plant Spirit Medicine healers use this understanding as the foundational basis for our medicine. But the same approach can also be enormously rewarding and rich as a way of personal growth and spiritual development, a reliable support in turbulent times.
In each season nature offers us opportunities to very directly experience one of the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – and use its strengths to move with our own healing and developmental processes more harmoniously. Working with the energies of nature is indeed the basis of all indigenous healing practices as well as many religions. Paying attention to the natural rhythms and cycles of the year brings you into the present and improves your physical and mental health by creating a feeling of connection.
Planting seeds in the spring, sharing laughter and fun in the summer, gathering in your harvest in the earth season, composting what is finished and gone in the autumn and resting in the dark of winter. The year brings us a shape with which to work on our own projects and cycles effectively. Growing, expressing, nurturing, pruning and preserving the richness of our inner life year by year brings us a deep sense of inner peace and continuity in the changing and unsettling times we are living through.
Touched by Nature’s A Year with the Plants is an ideal companion for the journey, guiding you through each season with videos, a wealth of written material and suggested activities, audio files and support from the teachers at monthly zooms. You can start any time, the year is a never ending cycle after all. Find out more here.