This month in the Embracing Shakti Temple our featured embodiment of the Divine Feminine is Airmid, the Irish Goddess of Herbs and the Art of Healing. She is a goddess who takes things slowly and is content to wait. She understands that healing and growth can take time and she embodies the sweet quality of patience.
Airmid was a member of the Tuatha De Danaan, the most ancient race of deities in Ireland. She and her brother Miach followed in their family’s footsteps of being incredibly powerful healers. Both were more skilled and impressive than their father, Dian, who was so envious of his children’s gifts, he murdered Miach.
Deeply grieving, Airmid went to her brother’s grave and laid a cairn of stones around the burial plot. She went there everyday to grieve. Then, after a year, she noticed three hundred and sixty-five herbs grew on that spot, one for each day and one each to cure a specific part of the body. She spread her cloak and began to gather up the herbs according to their properties. Dian learned of this, and again in a fit of rage, he overturned the cloak scattering the herbs to the wind, so no one but Airmid would ever understand their healing gifts.
Little else is known of Airmid in Celtic folklore, but after falling out with her father, she spent her time in the mountains where she tended to fairies, elves and humans that needed medical attention.
It is through the essence of Airmid that we may learn to use and appreciate the sacred power of plants. The symbolic number 365 tells us that, with time, we can heal our wounds and that herbs have power throughout the solar year, whether in seed and root, bud and stem, or flower and leaf.
Here are some suggestions to evoke the energy of Airmid so that you too may connect to the secrets and powers of the plants around you:
- Go for a walking meditation and gather plants along your away. Pause and reflect upon each species that you choose and ask permission to take a piece of the plant with you. Find a quiet place to create an earth altar with your gatherings and sit in final reflection of the abundance and beauty of plant life everywhere.
- Sit outside and take 20 conscious connected breaths. Breathe in and out through your mouth and drop the breath right into your belly. Every breath you take in has been imprinted by the plant that created those Oxygen molecules. This is medicine that I believe is activated by consciously breathing. Take in the healing that the plants around you are providing all life.
- Plant a garden, flower pot or window box in Airmid’s name and ask her blessings for the growth of your herbs. Do some research and learn about new ways that you can use the plants that you grow. Great opportunity to get creative!
How does Airmid’s story inspire you? Do you have another practice that connects you to the plant world? Or do you have a picture of your garden or earth altar to share with us? Please head over to my Facebook page and post away!