Lessons and Gifts from Pink Lady's Slipper

Pink Lady's Slipper is a rare native Orchid which grows in the Northeast.  After a twenty-nine year search, I recently reencountered her.  This is a sharing of some of the lessons which I have learned from her.  (I have learned more and I know that there are many more to come.)

Community:

One of Pink Lady’s Slipper’s (PLS) gifts is to help us live in community and cooperate with others.  The seeds of PLS do not have food to support them through germination.  Instead PLS has created a symbiotic relationship with a fungus.  This fungus will break open the seed and attach threads to feed the seed.  When the plant is mature enough to produce her own food, she feeds the fungus.

Pink Lady’s Slipper assists us in opening to our community, towards broadening our definition of community.  Often we have particular belief about who we want in our lives, PLS helps us to release these limitations which allows us to discover healing and gifts we were otherwise limiting.

Music of the Plants:

About a month ago, after a Music of the Plants presentation, someone asked me about connecting the device to Plants who live outside.  Since there are many roots in any area of soil, she was curious how we could be sure that we were listening to the song of a particular Plant.  While we were listening to PLS, my friend asked me a similar question.  To be honest, this is something that I have been grappling with, my method was to set an intention to connect to a particular Plant’s roots.  This question presented itself because we could clearly hear PLS responding to the shifts in energy of the Mountain.  In particular, when humans would come by, she would quiet and slow down.  The answer that I received that day is that the song we were listening to is the song of the Mountain as interpreted by Pink Lady’s Slipper.  When a Plant becomes a good singer, what she is doing is interpreting the energy of her environment.  We can think that the song from the potted Plant is more pure because there are not other roots; however, this is analogous to extracting a compound from a Plant and saying this is the healing component.  We know that the real power lies in the wholeness; the more “pure” song is that that contains all the connections.  This does not mean that the song from a potted Plant is not healing or powerful, for it definitely is.  For sure, Plants have ways of connecting beyond their roots.  It is just a reminder to keep us from getting carried away with our pseudo purity.  Purity has come to represent the absence of other substances.  We have become somewhat obsessed with sterile environments, particularly focusing on anti-bacterial soaps, etc.  However, Purity is when something is True and in alignment with the highest possibility.  This occurs when we live in balance with all life, honoring the fullness and the varied aspects of diversity.  This is where the richness and magic lives.

Stewardship:

Pink Lady’s Slipper is a reminder of our delicate balance.  She once grew in abundance in this area.   Though now she is very rare and is listed on United Plant Savers’ “At-Risk” List.  (There are areas of the country where she is thriving and supposedly in “abundance”.  Because of this, there are some people and groups who propose that she is not endangered and think that it is okay to harvest her.  I don’t live in one of these areas and this has not been my experience with her.  I also think our idea of abundance may be skewed because PLS was over harvested before we were alive.) PLS was over harvested for her medicine (and I imagine her Beauty).  She helps with nervousness and can help with epilepsy.  However, she is also a slow grower (generally takes 7 years to produce a flower) and requires specific growing conditions.  PLS is a reminder of the beauty (and healing gifts) that we can lose if we do not take care of our Home.  


Pink Lady’s Slipper and Sexuality:

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When I first met PLS, he looked like a pink sac, frankly like a scrotum.  Another name for PLS is Moccasin Flower, I felt that this was more fitting for the flower felt rather masculine to me, delicate yes, and masculine.  As I went about my herbal and Flower Essence studies, I often heard PLS described as being feminine.  Her blossom was said to resemble a vulva.  I really couldn’t understand this.  Until I sat with her again.  For as the flower matures, an opening forms in the middle of the pink “sac”, which most definitely does look like a vulva.  According to the USDA: “Bees are lured into the flower pouch through the front slit, attracted by the flower’s bright color and sweet scent. Once inside, the bees find no reward, and discover that they are trapped, with only one point of escape. Inside the pouch, there are hairs that lead to a pair of exit openings, one beneath each pollen mass. The bee must pass under the stigma, so if it bears any pollen from a visit to another flower, it will be deposited before picking up a fresh load on the way out.”

This is beginning to paint a picture of the very sexual nature of Pink Lady’s Slipper.  And indeed this is a Plant of extreme sensuality and sexuality.  The Flower Essence can be used by individuals who are sexually shy or who have difficulty embracing and expressing their sexuality.

As I shared my story with my friend about first thinking that the blossom was a scrotum, we began to wonder if Pink Lady’s Slipper could help Transgender individuals.  Well, the answer from PLS is “Yes!”  

As we listened to Pink Lady’s Slipper sing, I felt such strong Kundalini energy rising.  My body began to vibrate.  It was amazing and intense and lasted many hours.  I think this healing gift is important for our culture now.  As I have said before, we need to shift and heal our mainstream view on sex.  Sex has become another way of having power over and another way of debasing women.  This is not how it is meant to be.  Sex is meant to be a way to connect with the Divine including the Divine within oneself and one’s partner.  Sex is a way in which to succumb to and become Love.  Pink Lady’s Slipper can help us to reclaim our innate Divine Sexual Being.

Pink Lady’s Slipper and the Heart: 

PLS also opened my Heart even further.  When I listen to the Music of the Plants, my Heart automatically opens or put another way, I automatically move into my Heart space.  Pink Lady’s Slipper helped me to move to a new level of open heartedness of being able to give and receive more love and of connecting deeper with all of Nature.  My Heart remains open.  I generally think of myself as an open-hearted person and I concentrate on bringing more Love into this world.  However, as I continue to learn, our Hearts can (and need to) open more.  We have been conditioned to fear including to fear Love and to fear heartbreak.  While heartbreak generally isn’t pleasant, what it is doing is helping your Heart to expand more, so that if you are willing to process your pain, you are able to experience more Love.  Heartbreak also helps us to learn the lessons that we agreed to learn in this life.  If we want to evolve and grow, we need to open our Hearts wide, we need to live in our Heart space, and we need to Love more (including loving ourselves).  Pink Lady’s Slipper can help us with this.

Right timing:

As I wrote in my earlier blog piece, "Of Plants and Magic", Pink Lady's Slipper helps us to accept right timing. That is that sometimes we can get impatient or think that things need to occur or need to occur faster. However, generally, everything occurs when it is needed.  If we would have certain experiences earlier, we wouldn't have been ready or they would not have been as powerful.  PLS helps us to let go of our supposed to-s and move into the flow of right timing.  Of course, this does not mean that we do not take action and are simply passive waiting for life to occur.  For more info on this particular gift, read my article here

Opening to Magic:

Pink Lady's Slipper helps to increase our awareness of the Magic and gifts that surround us.  We can be blind to them, often having a limited periphery vision or walking through life with a narrow focus.  To see PLS, you need to broaden this vision and be willing to go deeper into the wild - which is also deeper into yourself.  When we do this, we suddenly discover things that were always there; however, we did not see before.  This gift can be utilized in other areas of our life.  Through PLS, we can discover the jewels that have been lining our path all along.

More Possibilities:

I am continuing to work with PLS and understand her gifts.  As with any Plant, this could be a life-long pursuit and I could still have more to learn.  One of the areas that I am noticing and intrigued by is that it appears that PLS helps to open one to Possibility.  I have also noticed a huge connection to the Past.  I suspect that PLS could help us to heal old wounds, particularly those that are connected to a certain place.  Oh, there is so much.  I am happy to say that I continue to dream with her and of her.  May the magic continue!