Sharing profound experiences from his long career as well as his first years growing up on a remote Seminole reservation in the Everglades, renowned herbalist Matthew Wood interweaves practical herbalism and the spiritual potency of Nature to explore the plant teachers, animal medicines, and foundational principles of shamanism.
Wood explains how his life’s journey required him to learn a new language in which the patterns and relationships inherent in Nature are emphasized, rather than the linear human perspective. Thanking the precious indigenous culture in which his first thoughts were formed, he draws an experiential map to the “Green Tongue,” the “Language of the Shamans.” Based on direct and sometimes supernatural experiences as well as case studies from his practice, he examines the alphabet of Nature personified in animals and the spiritual lessons of animal medicines—animals personified in plants. He shares accounts of Turtle Medicine plants for self-examination, Bear Medicine plants to open the imagination, and Wolf Medicine plants for wholeness and magic. He explores the plants of Alligator Medicine for healthful prosperity, Horse Medicine plants to bring the conscious self in harmony with the animal self, Badger Medicine plants to strengthen gut instincts, and many other herb and animal teachers. He also looks at plants associated with journeying to the spirit world through the medicine of Crane, Dragon, and Bat. Throughout the shamanic adventures he shares, Wood offers profound comparisons between shamanism and the psychology of Freud and Jung, the visions of Carlos Castaneda, and the occult teachings of Rudolf Steiner and G. I. Gurdjieff.
Revealing the shamanic roots of his herbal teachings, Matthew Wood provides not only an inside view of his life-long spiritual path but also an immersive and experiential guide to the shamanic wisdom of countless plant and animal teachers.
By Matthew Wood