Plant wisdom: Bracken Fern
During meditation early in February 2016, a strong, rushing energy made itself known while a fern frond unfurled itself along my spine. The energy coursed through the entire length of my body, seemingly unaware of the vessel it was passing through. It was purposeful and unapologetic and did not attempt to commune at all. But nor was it brash or brazen or offensive. Its name was not given, however the Stone name Chrysocolla was provided as a clue to where this Plant sits with the Peace Space work already channelled.
The encounter developed the next day and the Plant eventually announced itself and spoke its wisdom at length, the basis of which forms the following paper—the latest of the Plants to be written under the Peace Space auspice and the first in a very long time.
Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum)
Mandala No. 37, “The Song of the Senses”—Light LIME, the Stone essence of Chrysocolla, the Animal wisdom of the Grey Shrike-Thrush.
|The Bracken Fern is the oldest and most widespread fern in the world. With a carbon date of over 55 million years and such a wide present-day distribution, the Pteridium genus is generally regarded as the “most successful” of the ferns. While there are around ten sub species—including P. Esculentum, endemic to Australia, New Zealand and S.E. Asia—P. Aquilinum is generally considered today as the most common globally. On every continent (except Antarctica) and in every climate condition (except desert environments), you will find the Bracken Fern… and probably spreading unabated. Although the Bracken Fern does not flower, its growth is prolific during its main Spring-Summer growth period, as well as subterranean with the rhizomes spreading out a metre or more underground between upright stems. In fact, a good 90% of the plant is not visible above the ground.With global climate change has come favourable growth conditions for this already resilient plant. Bracken dominates and overruns most other vegetation, particularly after fire, largely due to the presence of its allelopathic chemicals which enable the plant to obtain more of the available nutrients, water or light, thereby starving surrounding plants of these resources for their own growth. Its eradication is laborious and the steps to successful permanent removal many-tiered; it is considered a noxious weed even though it is usually also native to where it grows. Where once it had uses for humankind such as soap and glass making, animal bedding and tanning, its pervasive spread has caused its existence to become problematic. In the natural world, although it has a growth habit that largely inhibits many other less invasive species, it still acts as a shelter for birdlife—several bird species use Bracken Fern fronds as nests and to take shelter, some even laying their eggs under its suitable canopy—as well as providing ample shade for other young plants to thrive. In this manner, it would appear that Bracken Fern’s strength is a worthy and useful characteristic.Bracken Fern energy says,
“You walk the earth where I was firmly rooted and stood strong and tall. Be as you are, as your true nature intended. For then you will have done your great service, that which is your gift to the Earth where you find yourself rooted. Then the power will shift within you into that of the Great Ancient Warrior you once were. My power is that of harnessing the potential of my roots, to bear life on new ground and to work with the soil in which I grow. No more, nor less. Take stock, heed what you sow.”
Bracken Fern energy can be described as coursing, strong, fast flowing, almost raging, and yet productive and joyful in its mission, which is, put simply, “to be”. This may be seen as a reminder to note your own spiritual force and how strong it is, or you are, when it is coursing through you. Take care not to overpower another or a situation and take stock—be mindful of how your Source energy may be affecting something or someone and be aware that by simply being, you may at times be too strong for some. This is not to say you must weaken or diminish, or even hide or deny, your true power. However, being conscious of not overbearing when applying this Source energy whilst amongst others, particularly the young saplings who value the shelter you can provide, will prevent any disrespectful “bush bashing”. Your pulmonary system is put under undue pressure in your race to accommodate all your life’s disconnected pleasures and seeks the refuge of your deep-breath taking. If you continue to push hard and fast, without let-up, like a car beyond its time for a tune-up, physical illness could occur, pertinent to the heart and lungs. This is your caution not to overpower or “overdo it”.
Bracken Fern grows as it grows, unabated, perhaps a reflection of humanity’s collective consciousness having also overrun its course. Just as humankind has overblown its own true nature in many ways, your limitations will be fewer and accomplishments greater if only you slow to heed the harmonious song of your senses. Give yourself the space of this pacing time, lest you lose your usefulness to your own Self. Your voracious generosity of sharing may be perceived at times as aggression. The less “they” ask or seek your service, the more you may tend to dominate. This is not the way to strike harmonious balance in your relationships and surroundings.
So, when in doubt, ask: “What am I overrunning, over-thinking, over-doing, over-playing? Am I over-striving to be seen as ‘successful’? And, in so doing, what have I over-looked?”
 “Successful”—a human perception, which may be seen as reflecting the cause of the overgrowth of something in the first place.
 Allelopathy, cf: Greek word compounds, meaning “mutual harm” or “suffering”
 If striving for success is left unabated or unchecked, the effect reflected in the proliferation of Bracken Fern is the raging result of unapologetic over-consumption and overgrowth.