February 26, 2019
I was north of Vancouver in British Columbia, having returned to the place of my very first flower essence collection trip—ten years later. Instead of fall, it was spring, and an entirely different world of plan tlife was active.
All the ferns of the forest were in the process of unfurling themselves in the spring sunlight. All the winter snow had melted, animals in hibernation were waking up and little streams trickled around us.
If you’re attracted to Eagle Fern, you may have a vision of creating something that has never been done before or that you have never tried before. You may be wanting to create an experience either outside of or inside of yourself that is otherworldly and you may not know the precise steps of how to get there.
It can also be indicated when we feel like we need external resources or some other piece of information in order to bring our dreams or vision to fruition. We may worry that we don’t have the right set of skills, info or resources to accomplish our aims. We might get stuck believing that we need someone who knows it all better than we do or that we need external help. In this situation, one danger is that we make a move that’s out of alignment because we are rushing out of fear of the unknown.
We may also find ourselves going to the extremes of yang (overstimulation, overdrive, overworking, burning out) or yin (lack of passion and getting bogged down).
Eagle Fern helps us take things one step at a time, trusting in our inner resources. Instead of looking outside, we can trust our capacity to envision and feel our way into it from the inside out.
Just as ferns have spores and thus don’t need wind or pollinators to do the work of reproducing for them, Eagle Fern helps us know that the resources we need are all contained inside of us. In projects or life goals where we cannot see the final outcome, we trust in our ability to discover and reveal our vision bit by bit, piece by piece.
As long as we are in the right energetic state of being, staying rooted in spaciousness and grounded in nourishment, we can continue to create what "feels" right (not based on emotions, feelings or selfishness—rather, it’s seeking out the proper energetic state of being that feels aligned). In this way we can continue to keep taking the next aligned step, without worrying about 10 steps ahead.
Contrary to the popular opinion that Eagle Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) has its name because the fronds look like an eagle, the name actually comes from an eagle-like shape that appears in the transverse section of the root, discovered in the 1700s.
During the warmer months, the Eagle Fern grows up to a meter tall and in winter dies back down to ground level. There are 11 different types of Eagle Fern, found all over North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia.
Eagle Fern grows readily in areas that have been disturbed, making it a pioneer species—a plant that grows quickly in order to heal + nourish the land that has been disturbed. Its rhizomes grow so deeply into the ground that they can also survive forest fires.
The First Nation peoples of British Columbia roasted and steamed the rhizomes as well as boiled the fiddleheads (unfurling new growth). They never ate the fern leaves, however, because they are toxic to livestock and because of a chemical constituent that has been implicated in stomach cancer.
The young stems of the Eagle Fern are eaten as a vegetable in Japan, Korea and China. They are first soaked in water to extract the toxic component in it called ptaquiloside. Soaked, boiled and stir-fried, it’s commonly served in vegetable side dishes as well as in the popular Korean dish bibimbap.
Magnifies: Internal resourcing. Trusting your inner vision. Step-by-step unfolding.
Dissolves: Fear of the unknown. Feeling like we need external help. Getting either bogged down or overstimulated.
Inner Knowing allows you to hear and listen to your own inner compass with lucid clarity. You don’t need to intellectually ponder anything—you can trust your direct access to the inner knowing inside you. And you begin to realize that what’s best for you is actually what’s best for everyone else.
Love + flower petals,