Monday, September 24, 2012

Herbs And Crystals: A Dynamic Duo

Herbs and Crystals: A Dynamic Duo

If you are an herbalist, using crystals can enhance your practice. Crystalline vibrations complement the healing energy of plants, boosting the overall effect of herbal remedies. For one, crystals aid the growing of medicinal plants, improving strength and yield of harvest. They also make great additions to brewing tinctures, adding layers of energetic healing to the already-potent potion. Crystals can also help us understand plants on a spiritual level. The partnership of crystals and herbs is a dynamic duo—a highly-charged interaction with wonderful results.

A Flourishing Garden

Moss Agate is known for its ability to foster growth in the plant kingdom. Suspended in a translucent, milky white background are green tendrils that resemble moss. Another form is Tree Agate, which is typically more opaque and contains more white than green. Both stones have similar grounding properties, promoting connection to nature.

These crystals benefit gardens in a couple different ways. First, they bring out our green thumb by attuning us to nature so that we resonate more freely with natural rhythms. This ability is great for gardeners, who have to pay attention to plant cycles. Meditating outdoors with Moss or Tree Agate is a great way to align yourself with the beauty and bounty of Mother Nature. Moss Agate can help you connect with nature spirits, while Tree Agate is especially useful for tuning in to the wisdom of trees.

Infusion of Moss Agate in Water
These Agates also fosters plant growth, boosting the viability of seedlings, strengthening mature plants, and increasing harvests. You can place a stone in garden soil or a potted houseplant, or create a small outdoor alter near your garden for sacred objects such as beneficial crystals. Another nice way to boost plant growth is by infusing the stone in the water you use for your plants. Just set the stone in a container of water for a couple of hours, preferably in the sunlight, and intend that the water soak up the healing benefits of the crystal. Remove the agate and water your plants as usual.

A Crystal-Clear Brew

Placing a healing stone in a jar of brewing tincture magnifies the effects of the herbal remedy. Of course, care must be taken to avoid potentially toxic effects of certain stones. Use only hard and polished stones, not anything that will powder or flake off, and do a little research to ensure it is not toxic. The dust of Malachite, for example, is known to be toxic, so avoid using this crystal in your tinctures. If unsure about a crystal, you can impart its vibration to your brew indirectly by placing the stone on or near the jar. (Another word to the wise: while crystals make a nice addition to cold infusions, dropping one into hot tea can have disastrous effects for your beloved stone, so it’s good idea to avoid hot crystal infusions as well.)

Quartz Crystal on Milky Oats Tincture
How do you choose the appropriate stone for a certain tincture? Again, a bit of research is in order. Consider the physical as well as emotional properties of the plant you are macerating. For example, Hawthorn is a world-class heart remedy, healing both the physical and energetic heart. Adding a stone that works with the heart, such as Rose Quartz or Aventurine, will amplify Hawthorn’s healing power. You could even take it a step further and use a heart-shaped stone.

Another favorite combination is adding Lapis Lazuli into a Feverfew tincture made for migraines, or into a Lavender brew for headaches. Keep in mind that a single plant has myriad healing capabilities. Use your choice of crystal to augment the medicinal properties you’d like to bring out. For example, use a heart stone when creating a Motherwort tincture to aid the heart. But, if your Motherwort tincture is for PMS, choose a stone that will soothe and balance the sacral chakra, such as Moonstone. Or, a clear quartz crystal is always a good choice for magnifying all   healing aspects of an herb.

Connecting with Spirit

Stones are often used for meditation, divination, and connecting with our spirit guides. They also aid the art of plant spirit healing, connecting with the spiritual nature of plants for healing on multiple levels. We’ve already discussed meditating with Moss or Tree Agate to connect with plants. You can also leave crystals as offerings to nature spirits, which is an appropriate practice when harvesting plants. Azurite Blueberries, small blue stones that Native Americans have used to connect with spirits, are among my favorites for offerings. However, you may use any stone of personal significance.

A crystal pendulum is another way to connect with Spirit, and can be used to determine which remedy to use. This is especially effective for choosing flower essences, since these are strictly energetic medicines that heal psychological and archetypal patterns. Sometimes our minds tend to think we need help in one area of life when the root cause lies elsewhere. Letting Spirit guide your choice can be educational and transformational.

Moss Agate Pendulum
To use the pendulum, first determine how it indicates yes and no answers. (For more information on how to do this, click here.) Then, simply hold a bottle of flower essence in one hand, with the pendulum suspended above it in the other, and ask if you need this essence. You might choose to do this blindly, so that you cannot see the name of the essence and your conscious mind does not interfere with the process. The same technique can be done with other herbal remedies, especially when choosing between two plants with similar actions. Of course, herbal medicines can be very potent, so it’s good practice to research stronger remedies such as tinctures to ensure you make the right choice.

Healing Intentions

The beauty of healing is that the more care you take in creating your remedies, the better they work. Ritual and intention are just as much a part of healing as the herbs themselves. Divine energies take notice when you put your mind and heart to healing, so the more loving intention you put into each bottle of tincture, the more healing is reflected back to you and your clients.

Taking the time to honor the Earth and plant spirits with offerings or connect to them through meditation also boosts our own healing capabilities. Gaia loves to share Her abundance of minerals and flora with us, and She delights in our healing journeys. The plants themselves each possess a unique spirit that has a particular set of lessons to teach...if you pay attention. Crystals help align your consciousness with the plant kingdom, so their healing secrets can become known to you.