Dieting Borage

On July 8, 2017, Earth Advocate Presents will facilitate a one-day Initiation with Borage, called Exploring the Courageous Heart with Borage, in Guerneville, CA. Participants will:

🐝 Experience heart coherence techniques
🌱 Discover the basic tenets of Earth Advocacy
🐝 Make a ceremonially prepared borage elixir to drink throughout the day
🌱 Learn how to make offerings to borage
🐝 Gain basic plant communication techniques
🌱 Journey to meet the Spirit of Borage
🐝 Make borage medicine together to take home
🌱 Participate in a guided breathwork session called “Greenbreath”
🐝 Share our experiences and learn from others’ experiences

This daylong diet will give participants the opportunity to learn the basic framework of ceremonial plant dieting with common plants (a format developed by Carole Guyett) and initiate or strengthen an existing relationship with borage. Certified Earth Advocates spend an entire year dieting different common plants to learn directly from them, benefit from their healing powers and engage in sacred reciprocity (sharing energy and consciousness for mutual benefit from a place of heart-centered non-attachment).

Those of us who have been engaging in plant dieting have found that the experience is strengthened when we work as a group, and also when people in different geographic locations connect with a plant at the same time with similar intentions. This intention can create powerful personal and planetary healing and consciousness change. Plant consciousness evolves, just as human consciousness, and the plant realm has tremendous wisdom to share with us. Plants also benefit hugely from positive human connection.

For those who are unable to attend the class in person, here’s a simple format to follow to take part in the diet remotely. You may decide to set aside any length of time for your borage diet–even an hour can be beneficial. Before the day of, procure some borage flower essence and, if you are able, fresh or dried borage leaf and flower. You can make a simple borage infusion by pouring hot water over 2-3 tbsp fresh or dried herb/flower and letting it sit 2-3 hours before straining. If you know where to find a borage plant that’s growing or are able to purchase a borage start for your diet, this is great but not necessary.

Other supplies you’ll need: a simple altar with an item for each element/direction (a feather for East, candle for South, bowl of water for West, and stone or crystal for North will do), a glass bowl and wooden spoon for mixing the elixir, a cordial or wine glass, a smudge-stick to burn, a journal, colored pencils or crayons, a yoga mat or blanket, a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Read the instructions before you begin so you have a clear idea of what’s involved.

Instructions:

  1. Make sure you have a quiet, clean, distraction-free environment to set up in
  2. Build your alter in any way that you like as long as you have something to signify each direction and element.
  3. Gather your elixir components: your flower essence, strained infusion and fresh borage flowers if you have them, and your elixir bowl
  4. Begin smudging the space and then yourself
  5. Call upon and welcome the elements in each direction. You can face each direction, beginning in the East, and speak out-loud, saying a simple, heart-felt word of acknowledgement to each element. Call upon any other helping spirits or energy you desire.
  6. Sit down and visualize a protective bubble around the space you’re in in any color you’d like. Take a moment to feel yourself grounded, take a few deep breaths, feel your body, straighten your spine up tall, and rub your heart to consciously open it.
  7. Write down your intentions for the day (or however long you have) on a slip of paper and place it under the altar cloth.
  8. Now you will make your elixir. Add each component including 3 drops of flower essence to your glass bowl. Then, using your wooden spoon, close your eyes and begin to stir the bowl in a clockwise direction. Focus your energy on your intention and imagine you’re creating a vortex as you stir that welcomes in the energy of borage. Stir for as long as you feel called to.
  9. Pour some elixir into your glass. With intention and focus, drink a glass of the elixir, feeling how it feels going down your throat and into your body.
  10. If you have a borage plant on hand or can go to where one is growing, go and sit with it. Take an offering with you – either a bead, some tobacco, a piece of hair or your own saliva. Speaking out-loud, introduce yourself to the plant and share your offering with it. If you don’t have a plant, go outside and follow the same steps, giving your offering to the Earth. Borage will still hear you!
  11. Spend some time sitting with the plant and observing it and letting yourself “daydream.” Use your journal to record any observations. If you don’t have a borage plant, you can taste, smell and feel some of the fresh borage herb and record your observations.
  12. Go back inside and take another drink of elixir in your elixir glass.
  13. Prepare for a shamanic journey. You need a comfortable place to lie down. You can find a shamanic drumming track here on YouTube. It’s important to hold your intention very clearly in your mind. If you’ve done a shamanic journey before and have a spirit guide who can assist you, great. If you, just do your best – there is no “wrong” experience. To prepare, take some deep breaths, ground, and release any areas of tension in your body. Your intention is to go to meet the Spirit of Borage and receive its healing wisdom. When you begin the drumming track, you will close your eyes and imagine yourself, as vividly as possible, in a beautiful place in nature. You’ll imagine as many details as you can. You will then ask your spirit guide to take you to meet the Spirit of Borage, or just ask to be taken to where the spirit lives if you don’t have a guide. Allow yourself to feel sensations, see pictures or colors and be open to your experience. Again, there is no right way to do it.
  14. When the drumming track ends, come back to the place your journey started, then return to the present space and time, breathing deeply into your body and moving your fingers and toes before you open your eyes. Move very slowly, giving yourself time to come back.
  15. When you’re ready, you can record your experiences and impressions in your journal with words and or drawings.
  16. Take another drink of elixir
  17. You will partake in one more activity of your choice to connect with borage. You can make a physical borage preparation (borage flower honey is lovely), do some meditation or body movement while you imagine breathing the essence of borage into areas of your body, make borage flower crown, make a beaded offering or art project to give to borage, do some automatic writing where you ask borage specific questions, or any other creative activity of your choice. Again, intention is important.
  18. When you are finished, take your written intention out from the altar and see if it has been fulfilled. Offer any elixir that’s left back to the Earth.
  19. Close the directions by thanking each element and spirit for it’s presence and offering a final prayer of gratitude to the borage plant.
  20. Clean and clear your space.

If you do a borage diet on your own, please comment below and tell us how it went! For further reading about dieting common plants, see Carole Guyette’s book Sacred Plant Initiations.

About bsteinmann

creator of the Earth Advocate Apprenticeship and creator and Editor in Chief of Satya Collective. Her Wise Women mentors include Pam Montgomery, Carolle Guyette, Rosemary Gladstar, Susan Hull Bostwick and Kami McBride. Before becoming a mama, Beth had a private practice as a healer and holistic health practitioner, and she has been leading workshops and facilitating healing for ten years. Her work is to build bridges across human communities, between humans and other life forms, and the seen and unseen. She can be found tromping through the woods with her twin boys, stepdaughter and husband in the wilds of Sonoma County, California.
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