Plant Spirit Healing
The last 40 years have seen a continual rise in people’s interest in traditional indigenous cultures that engage with the unseen forces of nature and the spirit beings that inhabit the astral/dreamtime dimension.
This fascination with what is called shamanism seems to be a response to our malnourished spirits in the Western world and the longing for connection with the greater web of life and the meaning that comes from that connection. This movement toward spirit is perhaps an evolutionary one, or maybe it is a return to our birthright. Our very DNA is encoded with a memory of a time when we all lived close to spirit and its individual manifestations.
Plant-spirit healing is a way of life as well as a modality of healing because it helps us to become fully aware of our own true nature and to live accordingly in what can be a life-long journey. The plants are our companions for life and guide, heal and help us along the way. They also assist with issues of intention and humility, reminding us that ultimately we are in service to the holy, the sacredness in all life.
Plants and trees have a direct line to source energy, and it is this energy that causes healing to take place. This source energy is powerful. The container of our bodies needs to be free of clutter and to have the capacity to hold the enormous spiritual energy that moves through us as we work with plant spirits.
In the West we are now very conscious of needing to strengthen our bodies – the physical vessel – through exercise, breathing and bodywork, while eating good organic food and drinking pure water. However, we are lacking in our understanding that we also need to “clean house” internally; to empty the closets of our psyche of worn-out beliefs, old patterns, negative thought processes and unwarranted fears.
When working with plant-spirit healing, we focus on the energy body to address the source of dis-ease, rather than merely treating a symptom. There may be many manifestations of illness in a person but they all come from the same source – a disruption in one’s energy body. When we are not at home with ourselves or not living according to our own true nature, the energy becomes contradictory, causing misalignment or vulnerability.
Because of the vibratory quality of light and sound, and the high level of intelligence of plants, their ability to communicate and heal is superior to that of any other life-form on the planet, including humans. The practice of plant-spirit healing is a gift available for everyone to receive – not only those with a special interest in plants – and the Shipibo Onanya can guide us to re-connect with the plants and re-learn the heritage of wisdom that is carried by the plant kingdom.
Onanya Plant-Spirit Healers
Shipibo Onanya are ‘doctors’ working within a very different system of healthcare. Indeed, traditional Amazonian shamanism could be called ‘plant spirit-assisted healthcare’: working with plant spirits to address energetic imbalances, psycho-spiritual conditions and the fragmented souls of participants due primarily to the trauma and emotional losses of the past. Throughout the Peruvian Amazon, healers who work with ayahuasca are often called medicos not shamans. Medico is the Spanish word for doctor. Genuine Amazonian healers are shamanic practitioners who act as conduits for the plant spirits.
The Shipibo name for a healer working with ayahuasca is an Onanya, which means ‘one who has wisdom’ – the wisdom to heal and to bring back balance and harmony.
The key to Shipibo healing traditions (and many other indigenous healing systems in Peru) is the understanding that ayahuasca is a nexus that enables communication with a vast array of other plant and tree spirits. Through many years of arduous and demanding apprenticeships, Shipibo healers are able to call into ceremonies a team of many plant-spirit doctors to work alongside ayahuasca.
When ayahuasca is served and the ceremonial process is directed by sincere healers, they work with the spirits of the plants to conduct complex energetic cleanses and surgeries. This level of plant healing mastery with ayahuasca can only be found in the Amazon. Each ceremony becomes a spirit hospital, with many different plant-spirit doctors operating on the guests, not only ayahuasca. Without a team of plant spirits, ayahuasca (one of the doctors) would be limited in its range of healing. The level of precision, concentration and skill that authentic healers bring to the healing process is the key to reaching into the roots of energetic blockages and carrying out the most effective ayahuasca healing.
However, despite the fact that healers of the Amazon work in non-ordinary ways (compared to Western doctors) and are able to transmit light-filled healing energies from the plants, they are not ‘enlightened’ beings themselves – this is a common misconception. The Western perception of spirituality (born from mysticism and Eastern wisdom traditions) is often very different to the Amazonian perspective. Spirits are part of their cosmological vision and overall understanding of the fabric of reality.
Most Amazonian people do not consider the world of the spirits ‘non-ordinary’, but simply existing side-by-side with physical reality.
Amazonian healers live with a much deeper sense of interrelation and interconnection with the unseen forces of nature. Within the ceremonial space, they are able to clearly see both positive and negative energies. There are benevolent and malevolent spirits, dense and light energies, good and bad forces, healers and witch-doctors. The rare few quality shamans choose a path away from temptation and work solely with the Light.
Since the beginning of 2007, the Temple has carefully selected and vetted our team of healers to ensure they are genuinely caring, working with the very best intentions from a place of integrity, and are highly trained and genuinely committed to their healing practices.