Written by Kat Villain (www.katvillain.com)
Age and time dance entangled through space within each human, creature, and rock. This creates crystallization of matter, substantiating the clarity of wisdom through a collective remembering. It creates refined objects such as crystals, relics, and wine. Yet age can also be to our detriment when not utilized well as it equates with pain and disintegration. Thus to minimize aging is to negate a certain amount of suffering. This fascination triggered the early alchemists and through internal and external practices they become fluent in age-manipulation by altering this perpetual and undeniable force within their bodies. They sought their guidance from nature, and through observation, as well as trial and error, a materia medica was slowly created on the use of botanicals for their life-enhancing, health-protective, and illness-preventative properties. We are all born to die, a part of the cycle of nature, and each death feeds the soils of each return. Thus aging is inevitable yet with skill, highly malleable.
It is clear that humans are far different than other creatures and our endowment can also become our curse if we aren’t careful. Our gift, that of perception and prescience, is the key to manipulating time, the gold of not being governed by age. However, this is not our natural state, we must work for this gold. We have the ability to perceive life, in anyway we want, to then create the life we see, and then to use the facility of foresight, the intuitive faculty to vision it coming.
That is why the trick of life is to utilize practices and materials that keep one in the spring and summer of life, the seasons of infinite wonder, pliancy, and reverence for the sacred that moves through all things. In this way you begin to determine how long you remain in each cycle of your life. In these seasons the new growth of plants contain the highest amount of essential oils, generally, as it is in the spring of life that one needs more technique to gain resiliency from the elements. The essential oils are the inner resources a plant has to make it in its environment and to protect itself against pathogens so it can reach its fullest expression and create the seeds for its perpetuation.
Autumn then can be seen as a withering, the flip of spring, and winter’s rest is the polarity of summer’s full expression. In the winding down seasons a release of moisture occurs and a hardness sets in. This allows foliage to wilt so that the seed of potential may cure and rest before the winds of spring cast newness upon the fields of tomorrow. This movement towards density prepares one to endure the finality, to encourage the material to become heavy and move earthward, so that the immaterial may be ushered up and out into the ethers. This necessary wheel of nature is found in the cycles of the individual’s life personally, as well as in the rise and fall of civilizations, collectively. All we do becomes universal, thus each action should be in regard to what we want to see.
Fire rises to transform, water descends to cleanse, and in this original interplay of alchemy lies the great manipulation of time. Thus it is through how each individual treats their body-mind that will determine the timing spent within each season of life. Utilizing plants provides the benefits of protection, esoterically and physically. The preservation of essential oil is the bottling of spirit, and suspending this spirit in butters and oils imparts the moisture we need in our bodies to remain pliant to the changes in life, in a sense to defy the age.
These botanicals have endured time, many plants are in their origin and created the atmosphere required for humanity to sprout. Their medicine is timeless as it lives beyond the science of the times, for it is the bounty of all times. And in the vast and multifaceted nature of their healing capacity, it is truly the human that benefits through perspective - the ability to see their magic, and through prescience - the subtle knowingness of the atmospheric challenges around, that their life-enhancing and age-defying benefits can be sought out appropriately. That is why botanicals are magical and not medical for they are always changing. They alter with the seasons and the times for they are taking in our collective out-breath and in turn releasing what we need to thrive.