Terrior and Botanical Medicine

What is terrior exactly?

This word is certainly experiencing an appeal in the mainstream to describe all sorts of things in relationship to its surrounds. This word is of french origin and is used to describe the many variables in nature that make a unique and quality wine. This living landscape or the solar, hydro, earth, wind of a place and it’s effects on a plant; in the original case the wine grape.

I just love the holism implied by this word and can see why it is so popular now.

As we begin as a species to wake up and move away from the reductionist worldview that takes things out of context with whole and attempts to divide it down to the smallest denominator.

I envision a world where we as humans move back into accord with Gaia (this complex intelligent planetary organism of which humanity makes up but a tiny cellular part. Maybe we will begin to think, act and behave in a more holistic way, remembering we are not top dog, we are not god even though we think and act like it.

That it is pure hubris to believe we can save the earth, but the earth just might save us. Earth/Gaia will exist long after we are recycled and will continue to create new species to suit its complex needs. Have we as a species outgrown our caring capacity for the Earth?

Radicle thinking huh? I do not believe we are a plague or a cancer to Gaia. We humans are/were created for a purpose and that is no accident, but we have used up much of earths precious resources to get where we are now and to send people, probes and other research technologies into outer space.  Was this our entire purpose? To send bacteria into space? This complex bacteria of which all life originates from just 4 bacteria strains? After all animals were created so plants could move around.

This is good food for thought. Most of the above ideas were inspired by one of my own herbal  mentors Stephen Buhner.

Herbalists have long known that the many factors of a plants surrounds affect its medicine potentiality. Every aspect of a plants habitat can affect it’s physical and spiritual properties.

There is an invisible call and response communication between things, weather, soil moisture, shade, elevation, wind, ph of the soil, heat, cold, seasons, other plants located near, even what animals browse it may affect the medicine eventually made from it.

So an Echinacea harvested in one area is not the same as another grown in a different local. Even how it is collected, time of day collected, how it was processed, the person harvesting it and what energies, feeling responses they are transmitting be it reverent or without much thought may all deeply effect the plants medicine.

I spoke about this at a recent herbal conference -the importance of remembering the sacred, the feeling center and feeling from our hearts perception, feeling into things.

It is a time when many herbalists and many people in general have through collective shaming have become closed off from their tender hearts and closed off to the sacred.  Now becoming the very scientists engaging the very reductive views we need to be moving away from, or to somehow marry with science.

This Marrying is a distillation metaphor both symbolic and real -things are separated, go through a transformation, and then brought back together. I know, we just need to distill ourselves..Ha Ha I have had dreams where I was distilling people

Interestingly this is also the how many ancient and wise, meaty fairytales unfold with tragedy, loss, epic quest, difficulty, success, and finally transformation and return- usually ending with a rowdy dancing wedding feast.

Wise herbalists have know that a lot of our medicine herbs do better-meaning the medicinal constituents are stronger when growing in harsher conditions even when they don’t look as healthy as a plant given tender care. How does this relate to us humans and our modern dis-eases? Maybe we have become too pampered, too soft with all of our modern conveniences and should return to our more wild undomesticated selves in some way. I do not mean going back to the stone age but intentionally coming back into accord with our surrounds would be a good start. I see it happening.

The wisdom from the plants and animals is all around us if we notice and pay attention.

I had a dream where 2 years ago-

I was in a gathering of earths wise elders- (most were not human) from all parts of the earth -the mushroom mycelium was speaking with us -it spoke urgent, loud,  and clear it said

“until the scientists and the poets danced together as one we humans wouldn’t have much chance of survival”.

I think we can dance at the wedding feast!

©Victoria Reddick



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