Posts Tagged ‘Druid Plant Oracle’

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, we have Ivy to offer us some inspiration, provided we are clear of the muck to be receptive.

Blessings,

Thistle

Ivy (Eidheann)

Prophecy, Connection, Death & Rebirth (also Ambivalence, Tenacity, Support)

The card shows Ivy growing beside a sacred pool. It’s black series will slowly ripen over the winter to provide food for birds, just as its flowers have offered the year’s last source of nectar and pollen for bees. Around the pool, we can see the carvings of a green man, a double spiral, and the Ogham glyph for Gort.

Meaning: Since classical times, Ivy has been associated with prophetic intoxication, sought by the Druids particularly for creativity so that their work is inspired by something greater than their own personalities alone. Selecting this card may mean that such inspiration is coming to you, or that you should seek it. To be receptive, you will need to still your mind, which will mean first resolving any conflict or confusion that is troubling you. The way to feel free and to forget yourself may be in the apparently opposite direction of becoming more aware of yourself and that which limits you. The poet Robert Frost says, “The best way out is always through,” and you may have to plumb the debts of the issues that trouble you before you can find yourself free of them.

Alternatively, the card may be reaffirming or you the belief that life is cyclical and that nothing is truly lost.

On the other side: Ivy flowers later than any other plant – providing bees with nectar and pollen at the very end of the season. Yet, its charms are hidden and many of us see only the dark, destructive side of its character – in its capacity to smother trees, render walls unstable and invade gardens. Each of us has the ability to bee destructive as well as creative, and both powers are necessary in order for life to flourish. This card may indicate that you should look at this ambivalence in your personality and your relationships, to determine whether you need to start behaving differently.

Ivy is an extraordinarily tenacious and vigorous plant. If you are able to channel both these forces within you, in appropriate ways, you will find it easier to pursue your goals and access your innate vitality.

The Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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This card rings true for me at the moment – I’ve been living a very physical, task-oriented existence lately but I feel the need to reconnect with Spirit. Sometimes it’s a hard balance when we have so much that needs done, but we must take time to rest and recharge the mind, body, AND spirit.

Blessings,

Thistle

Chamomile – Rest, Guardianship, Regeneration

Chamomile brings rest and protection. If you have chosen this card, it may mean that you are entering or need to enter a calm phase in which you will be able to connect again to your inner resources – both physical and spiritual. Our lives can be so frenetic that even when we do take time to rest we find it hard to calm down. Chamomile can help us to do this. In addition, chamomile is one of the Saint Johns wort’s plants – a term that was used for a number of herbs traditionally gathered on Saint Johns day, and, originally, probably at the summer solstice. These plants convey the energy of the summer sun – regeneration and vitality. Without vitality, whatever we do is colored by a sense of fatigue or lack of enthusiasm, and choosing this card may suggest that you need to focus on how you regain your zest for life, and the energy you need to cope with the demands of the life you have chosen. This card may also be suggesting we need to go back to basics, the simple things in life, or even to return to the family and the nurturing it can offer.

Most people’s lives tend to be stressful, but is how they cope with it that determines whether or not it makes them ill or depressed. This card may also indicate that you’re experiencing a good deal of stress at the moment and it can be helpful to focus not on the source of that stress, which could be out of your control, but on how you are reacting to it.

The more you focus on something, the more your awareness is consumed by preoccupation with it. One of the values of a spiritual path lies in its ability to offer inspiring ideas, rather than worrying thoughts, to focus upon. It should also offer an oasis of calm – sanctuary in the midst of life’s troubles – to which you can turn when you feel overwhelmed or under great pressure. In Druidry, the sanctuary is often visualized as a sacred Grove – a Sun-Dappled Glade in the woods – where you can rest and meditate, reconnecting to the essential in life, and finding support and inspiration of an age-old tradition.

The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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While looking soft and warmly colored, the Lady’s Mantle card is a bit more complex than it seems on the surface. Notice the stormy skies in the background and the Sheila na Gig carved in the stone. These all point to the different potentials of the card.

Blessings,

Thistle

Lady’s Mantle – The Feminine, Detail, and Miracles

Meaning: A dewdrop is a tiny thing but, when you gaze into it, it acts like a crystal ball, revealing the whole world within it; it is reminiscent of William Blake’s famous lines:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour.

This card may be reminding you to treasure the small things in life because it is in the details that a life grows rich, and every person, every subject, every event, grows richer the more we focus upon it.

The card may also urge you to connect more deeply with the Goddess in your spiritual practice or with the Feminine principle in your emotional and psychological life. It may be that you have been used to approaching the world and relationship in an analytical or objective way that is no longer serving you. Now may be the time to open to that less predictable, sometimes wilder, way of relating to and looking at things that could bring miracles into your life.

On the flip side, this card reminds us the most people are quite naturally dismayed when the going gets tough. But if you have chosen this card reverse, it may indicate that you have the good fortune of being able to see opportunities for growth even in the most despairing of situations. The alchemists of old believed that gold could be made out of “base matter” and that this, though dismissed as worthless by many, provided them with their working material. 

In the same way, the challenges and trials of life are seen by the Druid and spiritual alchemist as ideal opportunities for learning and development. Although to some extent this involves reframing a situation in its most positive light, to “make the best of a bad job,” a deeper process is at work. Character, qualities of soul, wisdom, maturity, and compassion come not from a life of ease and tranquility, but from a life in which our hearts, mind, and sometimes even our bodies are pitted against forces we may not understand.

Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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As the card description explains, the warrior spirit does not always have to be used for war literally. We sometimes have to fight for the time, space, and right (in others’ eyes anyway) to create, to rest, and many other things that our souls need. Use this warrior spirit carefully though or you may cut the connections you need to further your goals.

Woad – Freedom, Bardistry, Warriorhood

The card shows Woad flowers in detail in the foreground, and a mature plant grows proudly beside a spear, symbolizing Woad’s connection with warriorhood; this is enhanced by the carving of the boar in the rock behind. Spears were often made with the wood of Holly – Tinne in Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet – and we can see the unmistakeable outline of Holly leaves in the tree above.

Meaning: Nothing evokes the feeling of freedom more than the sight of a clear blue sky, and Woad dye reproduces this shade of blue perfectly on cloth or in paint. I you have chosen this card, it may indicate that you are striving to gain freedom, and the fact that Woad evokes the qualities of both bardistry and warriorhood offers a clue as to the way forward. Bardistry is the art of the Bard, who in the old days was Druid storyteller, poet, or musician. Each of us has a Bard, a Creative Self, within us, and this card suggests that true freedom comes when you are able to give full expression to your creativity. To do this, you sometimes need the energy of a warrior not to wound others but to provide you with the aggression, ambition, and single-mindedness to achieve your aim. Without these qualities, it is hard to avoid stifling your creativity with concern for others’ needs and doubts about your own abilities.

Alternatively: Astrologers assign Saturn, the planet of structure and limitation, to Woad, and  this card could mean that the structure around you is hindering rather than helping you. Perhaps you are feeling wounded or hampered by obstacles; longing for freedom from the limitations around you. If this is the case, it may be of help to turn this card around and gaze at the image upright – particularly at the sky. Rather than talking about what you want freedom from, think about what you want freedom for. Finish the sentence “I want the freedom to. . . .” If you are able to find goals that make your heart sing, the very things that seemed to be standing in your way can become stepping stones the lead to a flowering of your creativity. In the same way, if you feel wounded, although it is important not to deny that awareness, it may be helpful now to shift your focus from the wound to what you can give to the world.

Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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It’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of what’s important nowadays. Sometimes the fix is as easy as stepping outside, taking a deep breath, and smelling the oils from the mints, rosemary, or lemony herbs outside my back door. Other times, it takes more dedication and control to get back into focus. There are times to relax and not worry about focus – today is not one of them.

Blessings,

Thistle

Card of the Day: Mint (Clarity, Concentration, Renewal)

Meaning: Mint was traditionally used to aid in concentration and digestion. Today, we often need to process a vast amount of information, and our concentration is challenged by a thousand distractions. Choosing this card may indicate that you are entering a period when you need to focus carefully on your work or on what is currently happening in your life.

It could well be that a renewal or freshness will appear in a relationship or project that you hadn’t expected, and to profit from this you will need to be attentive. Just as vibrance and clarity are elusive qualities that can easily disappear in amount, so too can opportunities for new life and growth be missed if you are inattentive. You might also like to think about ways in which you could be proactive in initiating renewal, rather than simply waiting for it to occur.

Reversed: Confusion, Dullness, Lack of Focus

Clarity is a subtle quality that is worth cherishing. If you have chosen this card, it may indicate that you have lost this characteristic and that you need to focus on bringing it back into your life. Remember the feeling of waking to a bright spring day when you were young, of splashing your face with cold water and of feeling wonderfully clear-headed and alive. Ask yourself what you need to do to regain that feeling, and see if you can take steps toward this. The plant world in particular can help you in a this respect – walking in nature, communing with trees and plants, eating the right foods and taking the right herbs can all help to bring you the sense of clarity, freshness and renewal that you seek.

Alternatively, the card may signify a temporary loss of focus. It could be time to explore your goals and discover what it is you really want out of life, and to start prioritizing your life accordingly.

Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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This card is a bit deceiving; it looks almost cheerful – just look at those blue skies and that happy pig in the corner! And while it’s not a scary card, it offers more serious work than it might appear. It may be time to revive something gone or abandoned; to treat out of a pattern, and more. It’s a complex card with many potential meanings.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thistle

Celtic Bean – Fertility, Reincarnation & Nourishment (also Confusion, Ancestors, Impurity)

Meaning: The Broad Bean is associated with fertility and reincarnation. As it sprouts, it is a phallic symbol, and the bean when it has formed resembles an embryo. The ancients saw the plant as being in direct communication with the realm of the dead, with their spirits returning from the Underworld through the hollow stems of the plant. Choosing this card may indicate that something that you thought was dead has come back into your life in a new form. A relationship you believed was over may suddenly be revived or a project that was buried a long time ago may be bearing fruit in an unexpected way.

Alternatively, you may be experiencing a sensual earthiness which seeks sexual expression, or you may find that you are drawn to expressing this earthiness in an artistic way.

On the flip side, this plant was connected to the Otherworld and the realm of Ancestors. If you have chosen this card reversed, it may mean that you are being strongly influenced by the Ancestors at this time. They may be inspiring you to behave or feel in certain ways, or you may simply be acting out a pattern that was laid down by a previous generation. This might be appropriate, or you may wish to be the generation that finally stops acting out this pattern, in which case a ritual offering of beans to the spirits of the Ancestors may be indicated. Try throwing some over your shoulder or casting them on the ground after stating your intention.

Alternatively, you may be experiencing some confusion or a sense of impurity. Trying to be free of impurity can end up making you feel even more uncomfortable. Purity is a quality rarely found in Nature – everything from water to air needs a good mix of ingredients to make it wholesome, and we need our flaws, weaknesses, and history of mistakes to make us human. What counts is not purity but integrity, which literally means wholeness.

Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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The primroses native to the Midwestern area I live in bloom more in late spring or early summer, so for us the daffodil is a bit more the first bloom of spring for many people. Still, this card indicates something new coming along as well as creativity. Interestingly, my love and I were talking just last night about getting my creative juices going again.

Have a lovely Friday and weekend, everyone!

Thistle

Primrose – Love, Creativity, and Rebirth

Meaning: Because they are so small and beautiful, and are among the first flowers to appear after winter, Primroses have always been associated with romantic love and new beginnings. Drawing this card may indicate that a new love is entering your life, or that a fresh wave of tenderness will appear in an existing partnership. Our relationships, like our dreams, have seasons, and however long you have been together it is still possible for a new cycle to being.

Alternatively, this card may indicate not the dawn of romantic love but the rising of creativity within you. The Primrose is the flower of the Bard, and each of us has a Bard within us who longs to sing the song of their soul and tell the story of their heart.

Out of the cauldron of Cerridwen came three drops, and the changes experienced by Gwion Bach were profound and many. A third possibility is that, rather than love or creativity, this card is pointing to a birthing of wisdom.

On the flip side, this card could be reminding us that a search for love can easily turn into a trap that ensnares you in a world of illusion. Hollywood tries to ensure that none of us feels fulfilled unless we are in the throes of a passionate love affair, and yet experience, and now studies of brain chemistry, tells us that the initial stages of love give way either to disillusion and separation, or a less intense form of affection, care, and companionship that can lead to a fruitful and long-lasting relationship. If you have chosen this card reversed, you may need to objectively assess whether you have fallen pretty to the illusory aspect of romantic love. To what degree is your quest in life to find completion through another human being, or through yourself?

Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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Have no fear – though the Mandrake’s folklore includes a scream that can kill if it is pulled up, this card is fairly benevolent. Mandrake enhances magical workings, as well as eases all kinds of pain. Perhaps today you will be the one to help another or instead maybe be the recipient of this gift. Keep your eyes open for this opportunity.

Blessings and have a good start to your week,

Thistle

Mandrake – Wealth, fertility, anesthesia

Meaning: The ability to assuage pain is mandrake’s greatest gift to humanity. Easing pain in others – whether it be physical, mental, or emotional – is a skill that should be treasured. If you have chosen this card, it may indicate that you were called upon to alleviate suffering in someway. This may be as simple as offering reassuring words to distressed friend  or it might involve a vocational choice; perhaps you are considering whether to follow a course of training or work that focuses on alleviating pain in others.

Alternatively, the card may suggest that you are entering a phase of great luck and even wealth. Mandrake has been associated with prosperity and good fortune for centuries, and those who planted seeds of happiness for others in the past can expect to experience joy in their own lives too.

Since mandrake is connected with love and fertility, the card may also mean that love is entering your life or that you are beginning a fertile phase in your physical or spiritual life.

On the flipside, mandrake was considered a magical amplifier, which could act as a magnet to attract love, power, and wealth. Like the Devil (or Cernunnos) card in the tarot, the forces it represents can be beneficial or detrimental depending upon intention and maturity. If you have chosen this card it could also indicate that you need to be aware of the dangers of obsession – of becoming overly occupied with a notion or desire that may have a value, but which risks being all-consuming. 

Although mandrake was used medicinally in the ancient world, it was also the first plant to be used in chemical warfare. Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, faked a retreat from an African enemy, leaving behind wine steeped in mandrake as a poison. Something that is life enhancing in small measures can become toxic in higher doses.

The Druid Animal Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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Blessed Solstice, everyone! Those of us in the Northern hemisphere have gone through the longest night while those of you in the Southern have enjoyed your longest day. My boyfriend, Chili, grabbed a shot of the morning sun burning through some mist and frost.

I felt the urge to draw from this deck instead of the Storyworld deck I have been using, and it was a good call. The Restorers are here to help us regain balance, strength, and a calm centeredness in difficult times. I’ve seen so many folks not feeling the spirit of the holidays and filled with fear and concern. While we still have reason for those, losing ourselves to them will not help us get past this stage. Remember, part of the winter solstice is to take time to embrace the dark, to restore yourself to face the long winter months as the world slowly warms and brightens. It’s OK to let yourself go within at this time (despite what society is trying to sell you). Rest and learn in the darkness – just don’t hide in it.

Blessings on the beautiful day!

The Restorers: Roseroot, St. John’s Wort & Valerian

Retreat, balance, or calm. On the other side, imbalance, anxiety, or disturbance

THE CARD: The Restorers are a trio of ancient and indigenous plants of the Druid sourcelands, which act to restore the balance between body and soul, healing the heart and mind with their calming and strengthening powers. The card shows a Druid healer in her bothy, sitting beside the fire. Through the open door, we see the Scottish Highlands. Roseroot and Valerian hand drying in bunches from the rafters, and freshly gathered St. John’s Wort lies on the table.

MEANING: Although adventure and excitement are necessary ingredients in life, we also need periods of peace and calm: oases in our busy lives. Drawing this card in a reading may mean that you should create such a time for yourself now. Retreats are an important part of spiritual practice, and in Druidry these can include visiting the old sacred sites and walking the old tracks. But wherever you are, you can take a retreat. Even if you are busy, see if you can withdraw from your schedule for three hours, during which time no one disturbs you and you treat yourself to whatever will help you find calm. Better still is a longer retreat – three days or more – in a setting close to Nature. By taking such a break, you give your body and soul a chance to catch up with each other add to find balance once more.

This card may also indicate that you or someone you know are out of balance and feel disturbed and anxious. Life is often puzzling, and relationship are so difficult that it is no wonder so many people suffer from anxiety and depression. Now may be the time to tackle this imbalance with a combination of counseling, herbal medicine, and lifestyle changes.

Alternatively, the card may indicate that a situation or project is unstable or completely unrealistic, and that a good dose of common sense is required to get it back on track. It may be time to hire a consultant or simply get someone to look at the problem objectively and give advice.

The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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Often we react rather than act with intention. Today we are all being asked to use our intuition to go within and seek clarity on a situation.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Mugwort – Prophecy, Clairvoyance, Protection (also Confusion, Indecisiveness, Negativity)

The card shows Mugwort growing on a riverbank. Its flowers have not yet fully opened as it is Midsummer’s Eve, the time when tradition dictates that its leaves should be gathered. A full moon can be seen between the summer clouds, and the moonlight on the surface of the water reminds us that Mugwort s reputed to aid in the ancient art of scrying, whereby the seer gazes onto the surface of water or into a crystal ball to divine the future.

Meaning: Using an oracle such as this can help you to see beyond the everyday. But in addition to reading the words on this page, you need to engage your intuitive abilities so that you can sense the card’s meaning in a way that is valuable in the context of your own life. Choosing this card in a reading may suggest that condition are propitious for the development of your intuitive powers. Mugwort is said to aid in the work of prophecy and clairvoyance, which means “clear-seeing.” Rather than developing any psychic power for its own sake, the Druid seeks to develop the ability to see and understand things clearly, and it may be that such a clarity is a quality that you need to seek in your present situation. You can only achieve the objectivity necessary for clear-seeing when you are untroubled – when you feel safe and secure emotionally. Mugwort is a powerful herb of protection and can help to create an atmosphere of safety that banishes all negative influences while also connecting you to your inner source of strength and healing.

On the flip side, there are times when it seems almost impossible to see things clearly. There is such turbulence in your inner or outer life that it is hard to come to any kind of objective decision about how you should react or behave. I you have chosen this card reversed, it may indicate that you are finding it hard to come to a decision or to see the way forward. It may be that you simply need to wait for the situation to change – for the turbulent waters to become still again, so that you can gaze onto the surface to know yourself again – to see your reflection clearly once more. And then, looking beyond yourself toward the moon reflected in the water, perhaps you will be able to discern your deeper purpose and the choices you should make. In the meantime, ask yourself how much time you spend in critical thought, and to what degree you blame other people or situations for your current difficulties. It may be that you need to find ways to dispel negative influences in your life, and the best place to begin is within your own heart and mind.

Druid Plant Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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