Swan Blessing - the Plant Healer

Artwork: Compassion by  Patricia Ariel

Artwork: Compassion by Patricia Ariel

I find myself in a forest I recently visited in a blood vision. Cool, dark, green. A sacred place of my ancestors. A path between the trees. A feeling of longing washes over me so deeply that it registers as sorrow. A longing for this place and it’s longing for me

Today I share Phoebe's Swan Blessing journey and story of a lifetime as a plant healer where she had taken a vow of silence. When it came time to release this vow Phoebe felt hesitation in cutting away this old binding promise but what she received was a new gift - a song from the sea. Sometimes when we are bound by a promise to medicine and gifts in another life we can keep ourselves from receiving the gifts that are waiting for us in this new incarnation. After her Swan Blessing session, Phoebe sat down and wrote about her experience, this is her Swan story:

"I find myself in a forest I recently visited in a blood vision. Cool, dark, green. A sacred place of my ancestors. A path between the trees. A feeling of longing washes over me so deeply that it registers as sorrow. A longing for this place and it's longing for me. A longing for this home that I once knew I belonged to. Every part sacred to me and I sacred to it. I find myself at the pool from my last vision. Dark water, a bottomless pond surrounded by women in the tree shadows. Surrounded by trees with arms, voices, faces. 

In the surface I see a woman. An animal head covers hers and she has a cloak of skin and feathers. She has deer antlers and a face that looks part human, part animal. She reaches her hand out and draws me in. We swim down into the dark pool and it becomes the sea of All Memory. We continue deeper until finally we are back in the same woods I have been walking in above. I am following her from behind. She takes me to her home which is round. In the center is a stone circle with a fire and big round pot with a spiral carved on the side. There are work benches with boards and knives, bunches of dried plants hanging. A sleeping area on the other side piled with furs. 

She lives here alone. She is a plant healer. People come to her for healing and they feel respect and awe for her. I can see her face now and it has ochre coloured tattoos on it. Lines and spirals and dots. She has bushy eyebrows and long greying hair, about 50 years old. I feel her sadness and her longing too. Or is it mine? The sadness and longing for this place echo off each other, a mirror image. 

I am now being shown how she came to work with the plants and know their medicine when she was younger. I see her with her ear against the earth, listening. Her ear against the trees, listening. They are teaching her directly. There is no mentor. She just listens to the forest speaking. She has chosen a solitary life to be out here listening and working with the plant medicines. I see her stretching her hands out towards plants and they are speaking. Between her hands and the plants, spiralling on currents in the air, are symbols and codes written in a bright bluish green that is almost white. This is how they talk. She is walking through the forest in a wash of these swirling symbols, speaking, hearing, knowing, light, safe, joyful, fully absorbed in her work. There is nothing else for her to do but this. I feel rapture and contentment. 

Then I see her inside her hut and there is a bag around her neck, a little pouch of yellow flowers. They are being driven into her heart, absorbed by her body. I then see that men are there that she doesn't know who are strangers to this land. They have metal on them, helmets. People of this land do not have metal garments. They have come for land and they know that killing her is like plucking out the heart of the people. One has blue eyes, trimmed beard and light blonde hair. My stomach churns to think about it. He is holding a knife to her chest, an old hand-wrought triangular blade. He slits her throat. She falls to the ground. I am crying, tears running down my face. 

Next, I am standing with this woman, with her spirit, after all this has happened. Our hearts touching, our beings so very close as to almost lose the notion of skin. I give her my love. I sing to her and she sings to me. And she becomes lighter and lighter and is free, flying away above me. I am left standing there knowing that I am different because of this and that this has always been so. I have vowed to be quiet. She never spoke when they came for her. I can feel this vow in my clenched jaw and my grinding teeth. I see living vines wrapped around me, growing up from the earth and binding me in silence. They swallow my head and face and I am as quiet as the forest has now become. No one to hear the swirling light language. With the forest listener murdered, all has fallen silent. Crouched, hidden, unsafe. 

She comes back to me, holding the knife that slit her throat. She has wrapped it in cloth and sprinkled it in herbs. She wants me to use it to cut myself free. But I don't want to use this tool of murder, I don't want to harm these living vines that protect and smother me. She rattles over me and holds out the knife, laying a hand over mine as we make one cut together, near my throat. All the vines unravel, twirling and unwinding in the air as my being becomes larger and larger and fills with light. Light is rushing through my being and I am more light and energy than form. The form I see is a kind of cross shape overlaying my body. 

My tree grandmothers around the pool from the beginning are now singing over me to heal me. I fly up to the sun and everything is burnt away - my body, thought forms and my pain. All that remains is spirit which I see is a swirling constellation of the symbols the plants spoke to me in. That is all I am. It feels so good to be this pure essence. 

Artwork: William Heath Robinson

Artwork: William Heath Robinson

I find that I am at the edge of the forest on the shore of a moon-lit ocean. I am receiving the blessings of the oldest grandmother. It is then that I see that the ocean is the repository of all the symbol language. It holds all the songs, all the whisperings, all memory. I see myself in the waters, leaping through the surface, singing this language. A name comes to me. I am Sea Singer. When I sing this song, I am signing the oldest song and it connects me to the memory of all things. All life comes from the sea and she remembers all her creatures, even those who now walk and grow on land. I can see the sea song swirling through the waters, running through my body and out my lips, blowing through the forest and forming the great constellations above. The pattern of life giving rise to all things. 

I felt my connection to this woman was past life but it felt so far back that it overlapped with my ancestry. The knowing I received from the sea song was that in the sea of All Memory, we are emanating from this collective of spirit and blood, the white and read threads. They are the two strands of my DNA that give rise to my form. I saw this as a double helix traveling up my spine giving me my body and being. The sea song is my spirit song. It animates all of existence and all life is constantly singing this language. As I learn to let it flow through me, I will be able to hear it, to learn and remember all I need to walk my medicine path. 

What a beautiful, profound, perspective-altering experience. Thank you for being a sure-footed guide and companion on my journey."  Phoebe, 2017 

I'm so glad that Phoebe has let go of this old story and past life vow to be silent, she not only found her voice, but found her song as the Sea Singer. 

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Read more about Swan Blessing past life and ancestral journeys.