Plant people believe if you do not like the smell (or taste if ediabe) of a plant, tree or flower, you need it. It is because it is believed that all things that come from Mother Earth for Mother Earth’s people (and creatures) are perfect. All that is natural is perfect. If we don’t like something natural, then we are out of alignment with nature...often times because we are not familiar with it.
When you do not like the smell (or taste) of something that is good for you, remember that is perfect. Then be humbled to the idea that you may not like it because you may be so far removed from this vibration. The plants and the trees, they vibrate their teachings so when you are turned off (or even disgusted by), reject, avoid or simply don’t like the smell or taste of one, it means you may not understand its teachings well. For example, I do not like mushrooms, and mushrooms represent the teaching of grounding growth. Being grounded is something that I work on but is not easy for me.
This wisdom brings a calling for us for self-awareness: which smells/plants/trees don’t you like? What does this plant or tree represent and teach? How is this hard for you (or nonexistent) in your life?
The idea is to hang around good things that you don’t like or that make you feel uncomfortable as they will help teach you new and healthy ways. It is a human quality to sometimes reject that which is good for us simply because we are not used to the positive vibration so we don’t recognize or understand it. And so the lessons begin….
Spikenard has one of those smells….she is powerful, strong, and her aroma will get your attention. Some people really like her, but generally when most people smell her their natural reaction is not “OHHH NICE” or “YUM”. It is more like “HUH?” or “That’s interesting!” or “What is that?!” Some will straight up say she is gross. I must admit that I hated her smell for my first year or so of using her: so much so that I would avoid using her.
Knowing what I know now about using Spikenard and all of the deep healing she brings, I understand why I was disgusted by her smell. Spikenard is neurological, cognitive, and psychological medicine. She provides deep healing for the brain and has been researched by scientists to show her positive effects on fighting depression, anxiety, insomnia and other “busy brain” conditions. This is because Spikenard speaks the medicine of peace and calm. For many people, the concept of peace and calm is not a familiar one. For me, a woman who pretty much came out of the womb nervous, it is no wonder it took me time to appreciate and enjoy Spikenard’s smell and all of her teachings. Calm was not my norm. I did not know that vibration. So when I smelled it, I thought YUCK instead of feeling a sense of joy, gratitude or connecition.
What is amazing is now each time I smell her and use her, I enjoy her smell more and more. As my vibration changes, and becomes more regularly calm, so does the way I interpret her smell. The journey to calm has been years and years of practice and is still going. I am still learning to appreciate the smell of calm. It is profound to see in such a tangible way on how I am changing.
Spikenard grows on sacred mountains at high elevations. You will find Spikenard about 10,000 (to 16,000) feet above sea level in the Himalayas in Nepal, China and India. She grows where many things can’t which shows that she is on the short list of things that grow closest to heaven. Her medicine is deeply spiritual.
Because she grows so high, in places that are tough or almost impossible for humans to live, she has a purity to her that brings deep healing to human kind. She is not affected by the technologies or worries of the common world or society. Instead, she grows up high above us, soaking in the light from the sun, moon and stars, growing in quiet and basking in peace. She knows what it feels like to live in calm and will teach you to do the same.
Because she grows so high, she is quite difficult to get to: this says a lot about her vibration. She is a ritualistic plant, that has been used to honor, cleanse, and anoint providing blessings and evoking deep spiritual inspiration within for all who experience her. For this reason, she attracts those plant keepers who operate from this level. The average person cannot harvest Spikenard due to her rarity and location. Sherpas will travel to her to get her medicine. This is done only with deepest regard. To find her and use her as medicine is an honor. Everything about Spikenard operates in this way: she teaches reverence and how to honor all things as sacred. She is special and considered one of the most precious oils available on Earth.
Spikenard is often times referred to as “Nard” and is mentioned (quite a few times) in some of the most sacred texts including the Quaren, Talmud, and the Bible. Stories have been shared about using her in rituals or through annointing for peace or healing. It is said that Mary Magnada saved a whole year’s wages to purchase Spikenard to annoint Jesus’s feet. Today, Spikenard is often burned in Jewish Temples. The Catholic Church iconography uses Spikenard to represent Saint Joseph. With this meaning, Pope Francis has included the Spikenard in his Coat of Arms. She is commonly found on altars and in temples. This is because she holds high spiritual power, and when around her, she teaches how to use and see all things as sacred.
Aside from a religious context, she has been used and honored throughout the ages. She was a common flavoring in ancient roman dishes, used to season foods in Medieval European cuisine and a prized ingredient in perfume in Rome. Nard was used to perfume the body of Patroclus by Achilles in Book 18 of Homer's Iliad. She was used as a healer in Ayurvedic medicine in India. In Egypt, obtaining her was a luxury. She truly is the sacred queen..
She grows high, but her medicine is made from the roots: the Rhizomes of the plant. Cultivating her is difficult as the Rhizomes are said to look like clumps of matted and knotted hair. Meditate on all of this for awhile: getting to her is a journey and then extracting her medicine is another journey within itself. Her process to turn into medicine is one of slow, presence. She is the plant that teaches that life is a sacred journey that is to be honored and lived with great presence and attention. She helps us to not rush, get overstimulated or stressed. She also keeps us deeply grounded in our spirituality. She comes from the roots--under the ground---on some of the highest places on Earth where plants can grow. She will inspire great heights of spirituality within you while keeping you grounded to share, apply and live that wisdom in your life at the present moment.
Spikenard helps heal the brain from stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. She brings healing to fungal and bacteria infections, aids hemorrhoids, inflammation, constipation, and hormone imbalances. She even helps hair from turning grey. She is potent third eye and crown chakra medicine. She helps cutivate, nurture, improve and awaken our spiritual vision. She opens our mind and connects us to the heavens while showing us how to stay at peace and grounded. She is easy to talk to. She wants to invoke conversations that take you to a higher level. She is a supreme spiritual teacher. She is a wonderful friend to use in your meditations, during times when the mind is calling to be still and in ritualistic practices. She will show you how to use her if you let her.
My deepest admiration for Spikenard is for the fact that she is said to heal wounds that cannot be healed. This is true on the physical level (and you can apply her to wounds that are not healing) but she serves in this way to our emotional and mental wounds. She helps release past pains so we can be liberated and free. She helps us feel better from emotional trauma or mental strife. She lets us walk away from the past, forgetting the pain while living in the wisdom from the wound. She frees us from the things that hold us hostage and create unhealthy patterns in our present life. She reminds us scars are not needed: she teaches that pain is one way to allow the soul to evolve but we do not need to hang on to the memories. She gives us the strength to walk away walking forward in a place of honor, spirituality, peace and stability.