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  • Mj Pettengill

Know Your Medicine

Updated: Dec 26, 2020


The Girl and the Moon

Together, we wait patiently and rise with the sun. Then, they sound the alarm.

It is her! The one that offers nuts and seeds so that we may hold our energy, so that our wings may bring flight, and the others—the four-legged ones—walk in balance with Our Mother. She sings, calling out to those that have spoken to her in and out of the dream world. Her voice rides the wind, lingering first in the understory, then over and above the tree council, reaching the mountains, fields, rivers, and ponds.


If carefully contemplated and honored, messages brought forth by our animal guides in dreams and visions open doors to understanding many that dwell in this divine space. Pay attention. Observe what they wish to convey. All life is sacred, and every living thing is a teacher.


Yes, I make medicine from wild plants, but it does not begin or end there. Medicine means numerous things. Our healing does not lie only in our hands and for those that we touch. Medicine is restorative, bringing balance to the Earth and Her inhabitants. It is present in the deepest, meandering roots while rising up and reaching out to the universe.


Sacred medicine is ever-present and omniscient. Heart-centered and immersed in endless, golden light, understand the wisdom of unity and oneness, and be it.


Know when to retreat to the shelter of the cave—the womb— for contemplation, dormancy, metamorphosing, rejuvenating, and rebirth. It is there you can find nourishment, peace, and if necessary, lick your wounds. Rest. Dream. Awaken.


In accordance with my ancestral customs and the ancients, healing occurs when one’s awareness of the body, mind, and spirit connection is valued, heightened, and realized.


Medicine is the act of accessing personal power, strength, and comprehension. It is a way of life that calls for being fully present in the Knowing Field—walking in humility, harmony, and intuitiveness upon the breast of Our Earth Mother.


Being human provides an opportunity to seek wholeness and harmony. Our brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom may come to us in some manner. They have been chosen to share and teach us that which may or may not be in our consciousness. Their lessons are infinite, as are the possibilities that lie therein.

If you seek stillness and quiet the mind, you will hear what is being said. You will be able to open your eyes and see what is necessary for expansion and growth. These creatures, in and out of Dreamtime, carry powerful messages, medicine, and endless knowledge. Each one that makes itself known to you rarely comes by only once. Do not make rushed judgments. Observe and trust. Explore their habitats, patterns, and behavior, and how they relate to you. Know the seasons and cycles of each and your own inner being as well. Maintaining the willingness to accept assistance and guidance from other creatures deepens your connection to self and Earth. This is medicine.

During this vital time in human history, I have deepened an already meaningful connection with my natural surroundings. My ongoing practice of reclaiming my rightful place here on this planet has carried me through what looks like uncertainty.

I thought that I spent time in the wild before. Now, I am one with it—more than I knew possible. Foraging, digging, singing, and even playing my cello for Mother Swift, the gray fox that came by during the summer, opened my eyes wider. Her lesson was of knowing and accepting impermanence.

Now, I know how to see what is out there, and I know what to do with all of that abundance that shows up as one gift after another. Last night, I heard the coyotes howling just beyond the stream. I stopped and listened. There is no rush to judgment. It just is. Perhaps they will sing again tonight. Or, one or all of them will appear in a dream. I am open.

If it were not for the fertile fields, woods, and creatures here, I would have been swallowed up in the illusion of what we, humankind, have created. At one point, while healing from a dangerous tick bite, the pond dried up, and I sunk in the black mud. I believed that I might have vanished entirely beneath the surface, but I summoned the strength to pull myself out.


At first, it all seemed bleak. I was alienated, not knowing where I belonged. I was momentarily unable to flourish in the thick fog. Without water in the pond, it appeared to be a wasteland. I had never seen it withered, dry, and without life before. But eventually, it rained, and it rained, and the nearby brooks flowed again. I am still recovering but grateful for all of the lessons wrapped up in the previous season.


However, even in the grimmest conditions, I am filled with hope. I remember that I am called upon for a unique and powerful journey. We all are.


Sometimes I wander, but I return to my meandering path—rarely groomed, wildly imperfect—which in turn brings me back home. I belong to the land; we are unified. I trust myself and look away from fear. Fear weakens and robs us of creativity and essence.

Remember who you are. Be the keeper of your sacred wisdom, or if you are unaware, look to one who will guide you. Know your medicine and always carry it with you.

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