In pre-American times Indigenous people in the pre-California area had strong ties and relationships with the land and plant relatives. People saw energy force in plants, such as a flower opening to the sunrise and closing in the evening. Back in those days, there was no separation between people and Nature. People were a part of Nature.
In alignment with that belief, we are caretakers of the plants, and the plants are caretakers of the people. There are teachings passed down for many generations on a healthy relationship with the land.
One central belief is that people should not live in one area too long. That can cause depletion, disease, and weather change. Most people in California would live in mountainous regions for some seasons and valley-like or ocean areas for other seasons. Before leaving their village for their other home area, one common practice was to allow a fire to dance on the land in the surrounding area. That would create an environment that would stimulate new and healthy growth and keep disease at bay. The people would return when the area was once again plush, healthy, and plentiful.
In modern times we mostly live in fast-paced and well-paved areas. Healthy soil is often absent around our living areas. Western society has disconnected us from Nature and, therefore, disconnected us from ourselves. Many of us feel anxious, nervous, angry, sad, etc., and we don’t know what to do. Try stepping away from electronics and sitting near a plant in times of anxiety. Close your eyes, place your hands out toward the plant and attempt to feel the energy radiating from the plant. Breathe deep breaths and understand that that plant is alive like you.
Just like us, plants can get sick, too. We and the plants need a healthy environment to perform our best. When we understand this and begin to care for our plant relatives and the soil they live in, we allow our plant relatives to nurture us.
Plants have a wide range of healing abilities. In the 1800s, Native people were shamed, often called witches, and killed for using plant medicine to heal others. Yet, many medications are formulated based on the healing ability of a particular plant to a specific ailment. That might not make the drug more effective than the plant. Still, it enables the pharmaceutical company to patent the medicine they make. In contrast, they cannot patent a plant whose ancestors have existed long before man. Medications, however, often have significant side effects that may require different prescriptions.
Why not consult a trained herbalist or natural health professional and learn more about treating ailments with plants. Some plants are anti-bacterial/microbial/viral/fungal. Some plants help keep cancer cells dormant. Some plants are a great help in repelling specific bugs or animals. When we learn and understand plants, they are an entire world of magnificent beings.
Singer, Song Writer, Emcee (rapper), Poet, and Published Author Jessa Calderon is of the Chumash and Tongva Nations of Southern California. Jessa also identifies with her Yoeme and Mexican roots. Jessa is a natural born singer who truly found her voice in hip-hop. As an emcee, poet and published author, Jessa is able to share her culture and truth in a way that keeps the crowds intrigued. Not only does Jessa bring pictures to life through the minds’ eye with her writing, she also brings her listeners enlightenment and healing. Since 2019 Jessa has joined the Dream Warriors collective with Tanaya Winder, Frank Waln, Lyla June, Tall Paul, Mic Jordan and Gunner Jules. Together they share, music, culture, stories, poems, seminars, workshops, webinars which equates to healing as a community.