A mother gives birth to a child.  This child is human and will always be human.  It won't grow up to be a lion or a snake or a whale.  It has the inner vision of a human, a blueprint.  It will grow hair, nails, and learn to use its thumbs.  It won't grow wings or leaves or fins because those simply are not in the plan.  

As this child grows he continues to make decisions, consulting his inner vision that he carries in his soul.  He was born with this vision and as he interacts with the world, he will make choices based on his unique personality and blueprint.  He may stop getting taller, but his mind and spirit continue to grow.  With every experience he has, he learns and becomes wiser with age.  These are some of the energies that spring, which correlates to the wood element in the Chinese 5-element philosophy of Plant Spirit Medicine, brings!

The wood element of spring is all about direction, time, plans, decisions, boundaries, and anger.  We each have the capacity for all of these qualities within ourselves.  This is part of our spiritual blueprint!

"The perception of life purpose is the dawn of spiritual vision", Eliot Cowan (Plant Spirit Medicine).  When we are young, it is important to follow and discover our own unique inner vision.  And we continue to do so with each experience for the rest of our lives.

I grew up with a spiritual tradition and started learning to meditate when I was 3 years old.  Meditation kept me in tune with my spiritual blueprint.  When I was 10, I had a vision in a meditation that I was a healer.  I wore a white doctor's coat and consulted my client, reassuring them that I could help them with their personal issues and health issues.  It was a type of healing where I didn't administer any form of pharmaceuticals, but gave them healing in a completely different way.  

After the meditation, I contemplated my vision for a while.  I had no reference for what this healing modality could be, so I just filed the experience away.  I knew I wanted to help people in a deep way and I just figured it would unfold in time.  And, as it turned out, I was introduced to Plant Spirit Medicine 9 years later.

In traditional indigenous societies, there is much more attention paid to discovering one's gifts and developing them.  Each person has a unique role in the community based on what their strengths are.  Here in the states, not as many people come from this point of view.  We try to act the same and accomplish the same things.  Most of us end up working at jobs we dislike to make money, not because it is our life's calling.

Imagine if your gifts and inner vision had been nurtured and supported when you were a child and young adult.  How would your life be different?


There is a ritual, in traditional indigenous societies, that marks the transition from child to adult.  Usually this is performed soon after puberty where a child undergoes some fasting and other hardships in the wilderness, away from their family, and under the guidance of elders.  Until recently, this type of ritual has not been very available in our culture.  In 2005, a couple of women from my community ( began a powerful initiation program to lead girls into adulthood.  Not long after, an initiation to bring boys into adulthood also emerged.  Now they are available under a program called Lifeways (  With the cut-off age of 25, I was lucky enough to make it in just under the wire at age 24 3/4!

When I finished this transformative week of initiation, the change I felt inside was palpable.  I related to the world, my family, and my friends in a new way.  It was through the eyes of an adult and with a stronger connection to nature.  I suddenly had an undeniable trust that no matter what life brought me from here on out, it was all perfect and that I could not stray from the path I was meant to be on.  There is a blueprint for my life and I know that I am following it without question.

It was only 6 months later that a burning passion to study Plant Spirit Medicine arose from my heart and I signed up for the class.  My path began to unfold in magical ways and I am so deeply grateful for the opportunity I had to go through initiation to find my alignment with my true self. 

Plant Spirit Medicine is also a strong and subtle force to bring us in touch with our unique inner gifts and give us direction.  So, here we are in the spring season.  We can work with the energies of this season to tap into our own inner blueprints, our inner visions.  The willow tree sprouts from seed and starts growing up to be a tree.  Its plans dictate that bark is in order as well as leaves.  What direction will it grow?  What branch will come first?

Picture yourself as a tree.  Visualize your roots going down into the earth.  Ask yourself what you need to do to open your life to more growth and change.  What gifts do you have to offer that come from your inner blueprint?  What gifts do you have that are already being revealed in the present moment?  As time moves on, let the wood energies propel you forward!  Rejoice in your inner growth and the growth that has already been brought forth!  And visit your Plant Spirit Medicine healer so that the plants can help you on your journey!

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Visit These Links For More on Plant Spirit Medicine!:

Adrilia Pedersen, Plant Spirit Medicine healer in the Chicago area, keeps a regular blog on her website too!:

AuthorCourtney Shelburne