The following practices are from my ebook- Wombcraft- download it for free at the bottom of this post!
“Nature does not hurry, but everything is accomplished” Lao Tzu
Spending time in nature is a proven way to slow one’s heart rate, lower blood pressure and ease mental stress. If you listen closely, with your senses, you can feel the slow pulsing heartbeat of the Earth Mother. Simply going for a walk in nature can relieve us of tension and pain. When we walk mindfully and set our intention to relax, the body responds.
Next time you go outside, when you step out of the door take a moment to feel your feet on the Earth, and breathe in the fresh air. Exhale any tension out of your body. Notice any nearby trees or plants. Look at them and imagine them radiating their vitality, kindness and strength. Each plant and tree has its own personality and gifts.
As an animist, I see plants and rocks as being alive, with their own unique ‘vibe’ and personality. Feeling this connection, however requires slowing down and becoming very mindful to my environment. Being in a big city means I often need to seek a quiet area where I can properly ‘tune-in’. But sometimes that is not available, and so I have had to practice tuning-in to nature and tuning out distractions and noise at the same time. With practice, it becomes easier.
Walking mindfully in an urban envrionment has allowed me to feel just how we- human beings, with all our noise and traffic and chaos are still a part of nature, part of the flow of life around us.
Wherever you decide to take your walk, the important thing is that you are feeling open to the energies of the beings around you and feel safe doing so.
Here are 5 simple ways of deepening your connection with Mother Earth and supporting womb health:
Earth Practice #1 Mindful Walk in Nature
When you go for a walk, go a bit more slowly and mindfully than usual. Do so with the intention to simply be in the moment and take notice.
Decide on a theme-word for your walk that encourages you to notice that thing. For example: Beauty, Strength, Uniqueness, Softness, Vitality, etc.
When you go for your walk, keep looking for things that evoke that word for you. Write down how you feel before your walk, and after. Notice any shifts in your mind, body, emotions and spirit.
If on your walk, you feel drawn to a particular tree, plant, flower or rock, take some time to be with it. Be sure that if you feel like taking something home with you, that you always ask a stone or a plant for permission to take it with you, and leave a gift for the Earth in return. You may wish to leave animal-safe food, herbs, Sema (tobacco) or another eco-friendly offering. Thank the Earth as you give your offering.
Reflections for before leaving for your walk:
Right now my mind is feeling:
Right now my heart is feeling:
Right now my body feels:
Right now my spirit feels:
Inspiring word to take notice of:
Reflections upon return:
Right now my mind is feeling:
Right now my heart is feeling:
Right now my body feels:
Right now my spirit feels:
Where did I notice (inspiring word) today?
What else did I discover on my walk today?
Recite the following affirmations as you walk:
With each step, say to yourself:
“I am here.
I am home.
Earth Practice #2 Befriend a Tree
I invite you to find a tree friend near your home that you can visit on a regular basis. Bring with you an offering, such as animal-friendly food, herbs or Sema (tobacco).
Bring your offering to your heart and connect with gratitude for this tree and for the land you live upon. Ask it if it wishes to connect with you, and listen for its answer, with your intuitive sense. I usually place my hand onto its trunk to feel its energy. You will learn to decipher what a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feels like in your body. If it is a ‘yes,’ then give it the offering, and sit against it or if standing, place your hand on its trunk. Allow yourself to relax and simply ‘be’ with the tree. You don’t need to force anything or ask anything in particular. Just be open and interested in the energy of this tree being.
Notice any impressions or thoughts that come to your mind, any feelings that arise. Notice any changes in your breathing or how you feel in your body.
Ask the tree anything you wish to ask. A simple first question may be ‘What message do you have for me today?’
Thank the tree and tell it you will be back again. Trees love it when we acknowledge them and all that they bring to our environment. They also appreciate us sending them love through placing our hand on their trunk or giving them a hug.
Earth Practice #3 Menstrual Blood Offering
I understand that some people might feel put-off by this and if you do not menstruate, it won’t be relevant. But, I found that offering trees and plants my menstrual blood to be a very powerful practice that really helped me to feel the sacred connection between my womb and the Earth.
As you grow comfortable with a particular tree or plant, you may wish to strengthen your bond with it by offering it some of your menstrual blood mixed with water. Menstrual blood has the same nutrients found in common fertilizer. It nourishes the plant and creates a bond between you and that plant.
Bear in mind that our blood contains not only nutrients, but bacteria which can draw insects or cause things to grow that aren’t helpful for the plant. For this reason, I recommend keeping a low ratio of blood to water, and to do no more than one blood-water offering per month, per tree or plant. Or, if you have a strong bond with the plant already, simply ask the plant what it would like.
- You may start out mixing about a teaspoon of your blood with about 500 ml water in a jar.
If you use a menstrual cup, it is easy to collect the blood and pour it into the water. I often used a cloth pad and then rinsed it into a mixing bowl with water. You may also squeeze the blood out of your tampon. Best if it is an organic, unbleached cotton tampon for this practice; These are also much better for your body.
2) Tell the tree or plant that you wish to offer it your blood and ask it if it is ok. Listen for its response. If the tree doesn’t want your menstrual blood, you can ask your houseplants if they would like it.
3) If the tree says yes, ask it where it would prefer the offering poured. Then as you pour your offering, send the tree your love and let this act bond you in a relationship. You may then ask the tree if it can help you with your womb healing. Over time, this tree can become your womb healing ally. You may find simply spending time with it regularly or communicating with it helps to resolve some of your emotional or physical symptoms. You may also wish to explore its medicinal properties with the support of an herbalist.
Earth Practice #4: Befriend an herb or flower
How to choose an herb or flower? Try going to a nearby field, forest, or even a garden centre and see what you are drawn to. Connect to your womb first, and then let it guide you. Or you may choose one of the herbs mentioned in the next section. Choose an herb and care for it. If you already have one in mind, try growing the herb yourself, speaking with it and nurturing it over time.
You can meditate with an herb by either holding it in your left hand (the left hand is closest to your heart, so considered the intuitive hand), or putting it right on your heart, while in a relaxed state. First with eyes open, look at the herb, and then with your eyes closed, ask it to tell you about itself. Notice any images or impressions you receive. Feel the energy of the herb, and jot down what it is saying to you.
You may also brew a cup of tea with the herb and mindfully sip the tea, feeling the herb’s wisdom.
There are many, many wonderful herbs for womb health. Here I will just mention a few of my favourites:
Raspberry Leaf: Raspberry leaves have many nutrients such as: Vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is known for its ability to tone and strengthen the uterus, which is why it is famous as a pregnancy tea. It is also amazing for the uterus at any time, especially if you deal with very painful menstrual cramps. It is energetically very powerful and resonates with the womb.
Nettle: This is an amazing herb if you are dealing with blood loss from heavy periods, are postpartum or are feeling low on nutrients. Nettle is rich in iron, vitamins A, C, D and K, potassium, calcium and chlorophyll. It is also useful for menopause. Energetically, it supports strong boundaries as it is known for its prickles that protect it.
Oat Straw: Oat Straw contains protein, starch, B vitamins, calcium and other nutrients. It is very soothing and helps to calm anxiety. It can be taken as a tea, but is even better as an infusion (a large amount of herb steeped in boiled water for several hours) which restores our ability to ‘go with the flow.’ It supports sexual lubrication, making it a boon for those experiencing the vaginal dryness of perimenopause or menopause. Its energy is calming and soothing, just as oats are, whether we eat them in porridge or take an oat bath for itchy skin.
Ginger: Ginger is helpful for digestion and calming nausea, which is helpful for morning sickness in pregnancy. It is also very good for circulation and decreasing inflammation which makes it helpful for menstrual cramps. It has a warming, revitalising energy that strengthens our immunity making it a welcome ally for helping us meet the rigours of daily life, and preventing stagnation.
Rose: Rose petals and hips contain vitamin C, help reduce inflammation, reduce menstrual cramps and support hormonal balance. Connecting with Rose energy can help us to heal our sensuality, feminine energy and feel more alluring. It awakens the Goddess within. Rose water makes a lovely facial spray, and a bowl of Rose petals beside the bed can encourage intimacy with your partner. Rose encourages a softening and opening of the heart, while also not being afraid of our wild, sexual or thorny side.
Mugwort: This is an herb that carries old, wise ‘Crone’ energy and supports our sleep, dreaming, meditation and intuition. Mugwort can make a calming nighttime tea, but tastes better when mixed with other calming herbs like Chamomile, Lavender or Sweet Gale. It is also wonderful to burn Mugwort for smoke-clearing your energy field or space as an alternative to White Sage, which is currently being over-harvested. Mix some Mugwort with Lavender and Chamomile in a thin cloth and sew it up into a fragrant dream pillow for a good night’s rest.
*Always consult your health practitioner or herbalist before ingesting any herbs. Use caution when pregnant.
Earth Practice #5: Grounding Tree Meditation
When you are indoors, at work, or don’t have access to a tree and need to ground yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually, try my 9-minute audio Grounding Tree Meditation: https://soundcloud.com/serena-oakley/grounding-tree-meditation/s-qBYoik3by1y
The more we connect with nature, the more we feel rooted. Rootedness is a feeling of safety in one’s body, self and environment. It is a feeling of belonging and interconnectedness that I feel most of us suffer from in varying degrees due to living in this largely dis-embodying digital age. Many of our chronic illnesses and mental health issues are fed by stress that can be dissolved through re-connecting to our Mother Earth.
To learn more about how Earth-Based Practices can help us heal, sign up below for my free ebook!