As a medicine of the heart in the purest sense, Hawthorn has the strength to both fortify us on a physical level, and work her energetic magic to expose our hearts and envelop us in her warmth- emboldening us towards true expressions of love.
Fruit and flowers which bear so much beauty, thorns and seeds which hold the power to create fierce boundaries or even to harm- a striking reflection of love itself.
Hawthorn works her magic within us through her powerful compounds- rich in antioxidants which are known to strengthen and relax blood vessels and even heal damaged vessel walls- creating more stability in the heart to do its work pumping blood around the body. Like many herbs, we benefit from taking her daily- in this way we form a physical and energetic relationship with the plant- and her heart strengthening capacity over time is maintained, not temporary. This reflects Hawthorn’s staying power- once exposed to her magic and medicine, she will stay with you.
Hawthorn, being so connected to the heart also has a place in mediating the world of love and relationships. She can work energetically to remind us that our hearts are a gift, and to act from this place of truth. Her voice can be a quiet, tender whisper or a fierce, piercing roar, depending on the medicine we need- I credit Hawthorn with ferociously helping me follow the direction of my own heart. Many others have reported experiences of serendipity upon discovering Hawthorn trees out walking, and feelings of enchantment sitting beneath her boughs.
Fellow course-mates also reported feelings of support in dealing with complicated emotional issues when working with Hawthorn, finding her a great ally and aid to difficult conversations, issues around grieving and heartbreak. Hawthorn can aid in helping us with boundaries in love- her spikes remind us that we must protect our precious hearts. In places where a lack of love is felt, Hawthorn gives us courage (literal origin of the word meaning ‘heart-rage’) to speak from the heart, in a blazing yet gentle expression of our own truth.
Once we come to know the complex, maddening, beautiful nature of love we can feel the depth of her medicine- for
life is not always berries and blossoms, there can be spikes, thorns and poisonous seeds- and all are valid and essential parts of our human experience. Indeed many of the great poets and mystics of the ages have spoken of love and heartbreak as the path to enlightenment- that which cracks us open, exposing our hearts, can lead us into profound empathic relationships with ourselves and others- exposing the fabric of reality itself.
Written by: Martha Amy Rose
Photo by: James Keskimaki
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