I am discovering more a new “essential” Shamanism can be practiced, particularly here in the West through meditation on a solitary path. This practise includes invoking the unique nature and use of certain plants through visualizing them, and deploying their magical potential, in Symbol, rather than in their actual, physical use.
In The Secret Teaching of Plants , Stephen Buhner reminds us that plant teachings are the foundation of modern discoveries in both medicine and plant foods. Gathering of such knowledge directly from the wildness of the world is known as biognosis—meaning “knowledge from life.”
Buhner asserts that this is an aspect of our humanness inherent in our physical bodies and is therefore something that each of us has the capacity to develop.
It seems likely that, in the beginning at least, almost all original discoveries of plant medicine came from communication of the world’s shamans with the plant life here on Earth. This communication is part of the training of the Shaman in all indigenous cultures, and in the transition to new sestern shamanism, we need to remind ourselves of this natural school of learning and healing.