Nature’s innate tendency is for renewal & regeneration.
Our great Mother knows how to heal – it’s a process that can’t be helped, for even if we try to stop it, somehow, Nature ALWAYS returns.
Just like if we cut ourselves, the cut heals. There is nothing we have to ‘do’ and we have not the control to start or to stop this process – it just happens.
Can we fully understand & intellectualise the intricacies of this process? No.
Can we trust that it just happens? Absolutely.
We can trust in Nature & we can trust in our Body.
As individuals & as a society, so many of us have forgotten that WE ARE NATURE. Our modern paradigm teaches that we are separate, & that we have to ‘fight’ nature to survive or to get what we want/need. Recent world events demonstrate this even more strongly, that we feel we need to ‘defeat’ nature (at the moment in a viral form). But what would happen if we shifted our perspective & asked if perhaps these things were here FOR us?
For our growth, our evolution and our healing.
When we remember this inherent connection & nourish it, the healing offered to us becomes even deeper & more powerful – just look at what Nature does for us when we pay her little or no attention? Imagine if we worked with her & took the time to notice her vast intelligence.
One of the easiest & most powerful ways we can REMEMBER & RE-CONNECT to Nature, is to simply spend time immersed in her beauty. This is healing in & of itself. We need not travel far – often our own gardens (be they little or large), our community green spaces, or the vastness of an empty field, offer much for us to enjoy & to benefit from.
It puts us in touch with our own wildness – something so many of us have forgotten or neglected, as we live our highly sanitised and busy lives.
Spring is presently in full bloom here (for those of us in the South East of South Australia), & there is warmth in the air & in the soil. It’s a wonderful time to be outside appreciating beauty, & the cycle of renewal that blossoms here every season.
These following notes on Rose are intended to offer an invitation for all of us (myself included), to consider what our plant ally’s have to share.
We have this tendency these days to focus on just the physical – even modern herbal medicine has (sadly) moved in that direction. But can we look further and remember what our ancestors knew – that the plants have more to tell us.
Sometimes these messages are there in obvious ways, & in other moments they are more subtle. Regardless, the communication remains clear & consistent. Can we slow down enough to notice?
Let us begin this invitation with the Queen of the flowers – Rose.
The roses in my garden are in full bloom at the moment. It always amazes me every year – their journey from a stark, thorny skeleton – to within just a couple of months, sprouting rich green leaves, ripening buds, and then blooming into the most gorgeous of flowers…..& that’s not to mention their exquisite perfume.
Our obsession with Rose is LONG. No flower in human history has been linked with us in such a way as Rose. Whatever you look to – religion, art, music, culture – Rose has a mythic presence across cultures and civilisations.
This is evidenced by the multitude of roses we have now developed & cultivated (true wild rose now is much rarer & is actually much smaller than the roses we have become accustomed to). That’s said, each rose offers us unique gifts & medicine.
Rose has long been the universal floral symbol of LOVE. Given to each other by couples the world over, the intelligence of this is so often missed, but intensely appropriate. Rose cleverly reminds us that love is oftentimes wrought with thorns. Rarely do we love without pain. If you love intensely, at some point, pain, loss & grief will also be present.
Alongside Rose’s velvety leaves and delicate petals, the thorns also remind us to keep our boundaries. To balance our softness, & to be discerning between who & what we allow into our space.
In this way Rose carries the medicine of strength & softness together.
She shows us the duality of Love & joy, grief & sadness. These things are inseparable – & we cannot experience deep love without also at some point, experiencing deep grief. This is true for all of us.
‘Power without vulnerability isn’t strength, real strength always contains an element of vulnerable openness to life, to others, to sharing the truth of ourselves with the world’ Amber Magnolia Hill – American Herbalist and Host of ‘Medicine Stories’ Podcast.
As a plant, Rose is hardy, robust, & can weather the storms of the seasons, emerging each spring to bloom – not unlike a long love relationship which has its own seasons of hibernation and blossoming.
Not always known about Rose, is that it has the ability to unwind the stuck-ness that can happen as a result of old grief and trauma. These experiences can get locked in our body when they happen – mostly because they are too painful to manage at the time, & because we can’t or don’t know how to process them.
Rose slowly & gently starts to ease the tension that holds these traumas/patterns in place. I myself, have felt the gentleness of Rose unwinding long held pain in my body, by using the medicine as a topical oil.
Historically, Rose has been used for anything from treating wounds, inflammation, dizziness, stomach issues, to grief and heartache. Rose is known for being an aphrodisiac, astringent, nervine, analgesic and antimicrobial – the list of attributes is extensive (and varied depending on the source!).
Traditionally Rose has been considered a woman’s herb, Rose is so healing for the womb space, acting as a blood mover and breaking up stagnation, & bringing warmth to these tissues. The womb is an area where many of us hold trauma and shame – Rose gently helps this to slowly unwind.
Rose is a medicine of:
‘Rose allows us to trust ourselves & our bodies, resulting in us being able to reach out & touch the world, but most importantly, letting the world in to touch us back’ Rebecca Altman
Most of all, Rose invites in Whole hearted healing.
Enjoy her – Queen of the flowers.
Note: Just basking in the presence of Rose offers us these messages and healing. Know though, that your own garden will bring you your own messages – listen and trust what is offered.
Rose can also be used topically as an oil, consumed as Rose tea or used as an essence. Rose hips are a potent source of nutrition and have their own beneficial properties.
If you are using your own rose petals/hips, be sure they have not been sprayed with pesticide or roundup.