Clay Holds the Healing

from Asheville NC
I am blessed to have spent the past weekend learning from herbalist and healer Phyllis D Light (yes that is her true name that she has had for her whole life. And her mom was a Bright, and her niece married a Ray. Yep.).

Phyllis is a healer in the living tradition of southern appalachian and folk medicine, a primarily oral tradition which combines the healing practices of indigenous north american people, the folk medicine of the british isles especially ireland, the spiritual and folks healing traditions of western and northern africa and  greek medicine as brought by the spanish and french colonizers.

In energy medicine we spend a good deal of time talking about and teaching GROUNDING, meaning fostering our human connection to earth. We breathe deep to sense that connection. We put our feet on the ground to sense, imagine, visualize, feel or otherwise cultivate our innate and necessary connection to our home.

One of the tenets of southern appalachian folk medicine is this: We are made of the clay of the earth, and we must go back to the clay for our healing.

Why the clay? Well, it’s deep. It’s not the topsoil (as important and necessary as that is, for sure!). The clay is where the minerals are. Our body is where the minerals are. Have we lost our balance?

Ask any herbalist or nutritionist about our food and what we need, and they will nearly all say we and the soil are mineral-deficient due to over-cultivation of so much of our agricultural land. So go deeper….

The plants that go to the clay have long taproots. And then there are the trees.

Some of the plants we visited in this context include Poke, all the Docks, Kudzu, Dandelion, Lady’s Slipper (which grows deeper by the year, and can live 60-70 years!), Red Clover (12 feet of taproot!), Mullein, Comfrey, Boneset, Smilax. And then there are the trees.

So if you like go take a walk and look around you for the plants and trees whose roots reach deep to the clay. You don’t have to pull one up to see. You don’t have to — although you can — make a medicine to take in to your body. Breathe, put your feet on the ground, and feel the healing from your lived connection to the clay.

With love and blessings,

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