California, the place Fat and the Moon calls home, is on fire. Where there aren’t fires, there is smoke- the air is actually hazardous to breathe.
In these conditions, and when the threat of more fires looms, I think of plant allies for protection. Humans have depended on the protective powers of plants as much as we have depended on them for medicine, food, shelter, fiber and fuel.
Yet ‘protection’ is complex. In the immediate sense, we want to protect ourselves from outside forces that might do us harm.
Yet, if we pan out, it seems the most profound way to protect ourselves (and actually be safe) is to change the circumstances which create the threat in the first place. Of course, life is full of factors we cannot control. That said, there is much we can do.
In Slovenia, the traditional protection plants are also healing plants. Juniper, St John’s Wort, Garlic, Plantain, Cannabis, Rosemary- to name just a few- nourish, tonify, repair, detoxify and protect against lighting, flood, fire, hail, ill will, curses and the evil eye.
In the case of evil eye and curses, I believe plant medicines are called upon to tend wounded places where the desire to do harm is rooted. Plants as protection from ‘natural’ disasters evokes a plant’s ability as a preventative, which inspires a balance of elements and acts as a shield, an antidote, and a ward.
Living in, and perpetuating, out of balance landscapes yields the environmental and societal consequences we face today. When I call on the protective forces of plants, my request is to heal the conditions which create imbalance. I ask the plants to reveal ways of being, as well as new vantage points, so that we may heal our perception so we can change our reality.