Plant Ally Journal: Sam Parfitt & Coralillo

When we develop relationship with a plants, they can be powerful partners in deepening relationship with ourselves. During Sacred Warrior retreats and workshops, we use meditative practices to access our innate wisdom and ability to communicate with the natural world. When we quiet the mind and allow ourselves to let go of self doubt— even for a moment— we might be guided to exactly what we need.

I’ll be sharing plant ally journals by Sacred Warrior students and friends who have explored this work and in turn, come to trust more of their instinct, intuition while deepening relationship with nature, and themselves. The following is an entry from Sam Parfitt a colleague at the True Athlete Project. ~ Vanessa

Plant Ally Journal: Coralillo

Who knew that we each have an ally, a strong friend, a calming influence, a way of returning to our most grounded, rooted self? Who knew that ally was right beside us all along?!

I took part in my first plant ally experience in Costa Rica with Vanessa. I did not know what to expect, but I instantly found it a rewarding experience. The initial briefing Vanessa gave before the practice offered just the right amount of explanation to pique my interest, without impeding on the creative, intuitive process that followed.

We set about walking the beautiful sacred garden, discovering plants, and quietly observing our thoughts and feelings as we moved from one plant to the next.

I was eventually drawn to a couple of plants, and decidedly less drawn to others. However, I was less drawn to the other plants in a way that actually increased my reverence for them. I understood that though they might not be my ally today, they were someone’s, and had powerful properties. 

Noticing the thoughts that arose through this process was an extremely intriguing meditative process. I can recommend the practice wholeheartedly to anyone who has not tried it.

Eventually on my journey around the garden, one felt right, and so I settled on a short, leafy, free-flowing, rather delicate plant, that evoked strong and comforting feelings.

We were asked to predict what ailments the plant might heal, and without any knowledge of plants, I managed to get it spot on! What a wonderful and surprising experience this was to see the effect of opening up and allowing my intuition to come to the fore.

It felt relieving to know there was a certain intuition inside me, and amazing to feel a bond with something I would never have thought of as something I could bond with. During the following days of the retreat, it was also a comfort to come back to my plant. There was a sensible, grounded, natural, trusting, relaxed, and comforting aura that that space in the garden held for me. Even now, thousands of miles away in Scotland, it feels great to know my ally is still there, rooted and grounded, and living its life, as I live mine.

Vanessa uses the phrase “relationship with the plants” and I totally understand, now, what she means. There’s a very real and deep connection that happens when we allow ourselves the time to cultivate said connection. Better yet, the cultivation process is not difficult! The relationship already exists. It’s there, and it’s beautiful. We just have to pause, breathe, quieten ourselves, and listen. Or as Vanessa says, “peel back the layers”. Do try it – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


The Mayan name, Ix-canan, means “guardian of the forest.”

Among it’s many gifts, this plant is used internally as an immune stimulant, as a healing ally for depression and anxiety, and as cooling pain reliever in instances of inflammation such as rheumatism or arthritis. Externally, Coralillo is used as a topical anti-inflammatory for muscle aches & strains and anti-microbial remedy for skin problems such as rashes, bites, wounds, cuts, burns or skin fungi. Since plants offer us healing through the body, mind & spirit, this plant effects us on mental and spiritual levels, as well. Everything is interconnected.

Posted on May 18, 2017 in Earth Connection, Healing, Plant Medicine

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