Loving Oneself

I have been working through various health issues over the past few years, finding spiritual ways to improve or even alleviate them, alongside homoeopathic help to try to cease my dependence on “anti-” medications. Last month I turned my attention to my nose, which has permanent rhinitis and reacts to anything. I was surprised when the message I got through meditation was that I had to love myself more.

Now I thought I had made good progress on love in the last few years – and have seen how loving myself more spills over into loving others more as well. I have become far more open-hearted and trusting. Less critical of myself, and I would like to think non-judgemental of anyone. But clearly I have only touched the surface so far, and it has been quite hard to realise how far from truly loving I am – if my health is an indicator of this.

On a parallel track, as M grows up and becomes more independent, I have started to think more about what direction I want to go in next. Sometimes it would be much easier to know what our life plan is, know what we should do and how we should act, and be confident in ourselves. But that would mean loosing our free will which the rest of the natural world frequently reminds us we are unique in possessing. Ultimately what we learn for ourselves through our difficulties seems to me more valuable at the soul level than what we simply do by instinct. As I develop further spiritually, I find I question more things in my life, influence my environment around me simply by my desires, and have much more trouble working out what I should focus on. Dreams that have long been buried come to the fore, but then there are too many possibilities. So as part of all this, I have started to put together a summary of different ‘pathfinding’ methods for myself to see what clues each gives me for following my life path and, more importantly, where they coincide. So far I have looked at two types of Numerology, palmistry, astrology, eye reading, and foot reading. All areas I either know something about already, or else where there is information easily available online. While individually there wasn’t a lot to surprise me, by putting them all together two aspects came out of it that I hadn’t expected.

1. My crazy path through life is probably going the right way even if it doesn’t always feel like it at the time. The various jobs I have had, and activities I am now involved in, do actually make sense when taken as a whole – they are a lot more than a series of dead-ends!

2. I was amazed how little I even recognised let alone valued some of the skills I have – things that seemed just common sense to me, and were dismissed as irrelevant. But after reading about who I am six times, I finally realised that to be organised wasn’t so boring after all and might actually be something I am naturally good at. Alongside being logical and rational, dependable, trustworthy, stable and loyal. That isn’t all of me of course, but it is one part which I had hitherto neglected, or even negated. So I have started to appreciate myself more, for who I am right now.

And the outcome of all of this? Well I have still carefully avoided making any decisions, but between what I have learned here, another recent experience from a first look at my past life experiences (possibly a topic for a future post), and some breath work suggested to me in the meditation, my nose seems to have settled to the point I can still breathe through it without spraying it with anti-cholinergics three or four times a day. That to me is an amazing improvement.


Aconitum napellus

Aconitum napellus

I first started growing Aconitums in the garden when I discovered it looked a bit like delphiniums but didn’t get eaten by slugs. Also known as Monkshood, thanks to the flower shape, or Wolfsbane thanks to its poisons; all parts of the plant are highly toxic.

There are few traditional uses for Aconitum, poisons for spear tips or arrows to kill wolves or tigers being the main ones, but some have used it on the skin as a painkiller for severe joint pain apparently, and horses can eat it when dried to give them a powerful narcotic stimulant. Used with Belladonna, Henbane, Hemlock and soot, it is said to produce a ‘flying ointment’ for witches – the landing may be a little more insecure than most of us would wish however! Modern witches have created a number of uses for Aconitum such as consecrating knives to banish old energies and give protection, burning at funerals, or when calling upon Hecate with whom the plant is associated.

Recently I have discovered Aconitum can be used for a very effective homoeopathic remedy for colds. Many homoeopathic remedies are based on poisons; my interpretation is that because of the way they are diluted and shaken to have a high energetic presence of the poison, the body is triggered into a reaction. However, as there is no actual physical poison there, the body’s reaction is used instead to fight the disease, in this case a ‘common’ cold. Magic. But not something I would want to prepare for myself…

So why grow it?
Besides being a way of becoming familiar with a great plant, it is actually very garden-worthy. A. napellus, pictured, grows to nearly six feet tall in my windy garden, yet never needs staking. It is a very pretty plant with a full four seasons of interest – the fresh young growth in Spring, flowers in Summer, good leaf colour in Autumn, and finally dried stems and seed cases through the Winter. It seems to be fairly undemanding, neither taking over nor being easily squeezed out, and grows happily in the middle of borders which conveniently ensures it is not brushed accidentally.

I see its parallel with Yew in the world of trees. Equally poisonous in almost all parts, Yew teaches us about death and transformation, letting us see the dark side of the cycle as a positive experience and allowing us to be reborn. Aconitum can be used to clear what needs to be cleared at a stroke, and see the fundamental truths. It is fast acting, being fast growing, but carries the power of renewal from the deep taproots. Having cleared, there is a store of energy there which can be used to create something new out of the ashes.