Mythology and Plant Lore

Every plant has not only its history but also its lore and mythology, let’s call it its ‘herstory’. Plant lore is not scientific or factual, but rather, a rich source of imagery that lets us connect and understand the essence of a plant, holistically and psychologically. It forms the bridge between our inner and outer experiences of reality.

The field of mythology has experienced a huge renaissance ever since Joseph Campbell and the Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung detected their underlying universal patterns of symbolism. Jung coined the word ‘archetype’ to refer to these psychological patterns that occur not only in myths and stories but also in our dreams.

Plant lore is tightly entwined with these ancient stories. They teach us something about the plant in question and/or about ourselves, too. They guide us to a different kind of understanding, a different kind of seeing the natural world. Sometimes, they are fables that teach us moral lessons of life. Sometimes they illuminate the character of a plant. But regardless of their function, plant lore and mythology open a hidden gateway into the secret garden of our inner worlds.

‘Herstory’ is ancient, yet always relevant, as each seeker is called upon to imbue the stories with fresh meaning and relevance to the here and now.

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