Plants are people that participate in our world in wondrous, mutualistic ways. Plants serve as the foundation of our human lives, in so many ways, grown by Solar rays of a very high Source. Plants bridge us and the Sun. How can we serve plants? A mystical practice, known as a type of theurgy, is one way to empower plants to give greater gifts as they go forth in life, using the power of human mind to imagine and visualize colors and light.
Definitions of theurgy tend to be vaguely described, as hints of it seep out from the mysticism of various traditions. Definitions often include compelling or querying supernatural beings and deities. I offer this definition based on my learnings and experiences on alchemy:
Theurgy is the mental animating of matter, so to bring out more of matter’s inherent qualities and potential capacities, without imposing a state or process on the matter that is not in harmony with its nature and natural laws of cause and effect .
There could be a lot to unpack here, but I will leave that to your own inner and outer inquiries. I raise this work to share an ecological application of it. Based in imagination, it is the use of visualization and color to enliven objects with their vital three-part nature.
A long term steward of the northeast, Sunchoke aka Earth Apple aka Jerusalem Artichoke aka Helianthus tuberosus. This plant is a sunflower species with a starchy, potato-like root that propagates itself (usually easily) from year to year.
In the video below, Ben Falk harvests and discusses a 400sq.ft. area that grows sunchokes year after year, with minimal maintenance, while building soil. This year’s harvest offers 90lbs of starchy “J-choke” tubers, leaving some in soil to regrow the patch for next year’s harvest. He notes using them as pureed soup after some slow cooking, as well as pickling and lactofermenting them. I have only had them a few times. When I cooked them I cut them thin and stir fried them, cooking them for a while and adding other veggies and seasoning into the mix. They are dense plants and feel like a good staple, able to significantly help mitigate ‘the hunger gap’ as Ben says regarding strains on food supplies and ecology. I look forward to growing, harvesting, and cooking more of this perennial plant ally.
I give thanks
for the source
for the music
for the indigenous people who share it
for the mutualism one can live
showin’ the way
For the present
The grief of a flower.
The grace of a bird.
The wisdom of a way.
The finality of a word.
50 million year + mutualism
Resounding generation – we hear’em
A grief. I feel it for a brief time now and now again. Takes ya to the deeps, something that comes with ya to ya sleeps.
Environmental, mental, an ever sentimental scent that scarce sense keeps dyin’
What I & I am finding
Renewal keeps tryin’, LVX movement illumine what’s next
Each particle a wave
Each ending a new beginning
A new in-ing, a new unfolding
A new present olding
Each one teach one, love some way to say two become one
Some one to be, the one self you see part “I” part “the” part “we”
A memory out of each moment, a moment of momentum
And on and on and on went
. . .
5 element theory got folks kinda leery
Got me in peace like a circle and a square
And I dare in this bi-polar world to try to be a triangle in the spot
☉ne dot in a circle
That’s sun, that’s light, that’s life, that’s one
The boom of m☽☽n in the room ☽y☽lin’ through forests and tombs
And tunes, as life goes on
And on and on and on went
. . .
New beginnings, for ever
Grief and gratitude, toward Home one better
Every time I eat, I give some thought, “I give thanks to the Source, for the present, to mother Earth for all the creatures who enable me to enjoy this food.”
Sometimes it’s complex and inconvenient to know the source. There is always a source.
One beautiful thanksgiving for food I’ve learned of is ‘saying providence’ from indigenous and permaculture communities. At a potluck or any meal, take a moment to speak about and acknowledge with gratitude each ingredient you bring to the table. This has a few benefits obvious and subtle. – Sharing providence from my own meal, an egg and cheese sandwich. Years ago growing interest in self-sufficiency, I thought it would be great to have a 100% home-grown peanut butter & jelly sandwich. My perspective’s changed a bit, for one I’m more interested in community-scale sufficiency and ecological mutualism in food. For two, I’ve realized a 100% community-grown egg and cheese sandwich is way more feasible and is plenty good too! Not there yet, but getting closer:
This sandwich is a snow-day lunch I enjoyed with a little help from my friends (afar)! Most of the ingredients have something special to say about’em, and it’s nice to pay each ingredient some attention in any case. I give thanks:
Interesting science on how plants transmit light from surface into roots and out into otherwise-dark soil. Light triggers a cell, phytochrome, to produce a growth-guiding protein in plant leafs and shoots. This same type of cell exists in root tissue, and light received at the root tips via the plant’s light channeling fibers helps guide root growth via phytochrome.
Like plants, on the surface we receive sunlight and its archetypal analog, consciousness. Underground, at our roots, within us, we see that light reflected in elemental waters. The partner in polarity of the sunlight is the moonlight, as fire is to water, as consciousness is to subconsciousness.
“May peace be upon you.” Perhaps ‘you’ are the roots, and upon you the peace of a healthy plant. The plant too, or a human stewarding it, can be the ‘you’, and peace may be upon ’em too.
In my journey an important lesson is recognizing sources. As I eat, I consider what is the source of this that sustains me? I consider it and give thanks to it, whether it is nearby and wholesome or distant and complicated. The practice inspires spiritual exercise to have a greater capacity to consider that question, as a complete answer is ineffable. Giving thanks to the source does a lot of things, one of which is remind with humility that we too are a source.
Much thanks to Lyla June for the leadership and wisdom she shares. Truth, faith, compassion.