by Miriam Knight April 03, 2015
I had never heard of "plant dieting" before picking up this book, but quickly learned that it's a ceremonial practice to deepen one's relationship with nature by ingesting specific plants in order to receive their healing energy and wisdom. In California, it's not unusual to find edible marigold flowers or dandelions in a bag of mixed greens from the Farmers' Market. Still, the idea of ingesting a plant sounded to me like a formula for an altered mental state. I'd rather meditate on a plant than take it into my body. What if I ingest something poisonous? Well, luckily this book is written by a medical herbalist and medicine woman who has practiced the art for more than 30 years. Carole Guyett knows her stuff. She gives instructions on how to make plant elixirs, a whole chapter on how to prepare for the ceremony (through diet restriction and a gentle liver cleanse), and how to partake of the plant's energy. She gives a detailed description for each plant, offers some background history and folklore, describes its place in contemporary herbal medicine, its healing qualities, habitat, and where it can be found. Then it's on to making the elixir, preparing for the ceremony, and a bevy of reflections from those who have experienced the plant initiation. The author ties the ceremonies into Eight Celtic Fire Festivals, and includes access to four audio journeys to facilitate the initiations in this book. As a way to deepen our relationship to Nature, tap into higher levels of consciousness, and connect more with the planet as a whole, this book is a magical guide.