Sarah Mcunn
Sarah’s journey toward the herbs began when she met the Seed Sistas at Breaking Convention in 2017, where they shared some drops of Perception Potion with her in a moment that she was feeling tired and disconnected. The shift back into herself that she felt was marked, and her curiosity into plants was piqued!

She’d been living with chronic health issues as well as anxiety, and a sense of sadness at her disconnect from the natural world and from the magical in day to day life.

Now in the second year of the practitioner course, she celebrates the experience of striking up a connection and bond with a herb finding it as profound and rich as with a person or animal.

Another of her life loves is electronic music, her mixes can be found here Mixcloud.com/HowlingTao

Sarah can be contacted here – [email protected]

Valerian Poem

My name, officially, is Valeriana, originating from an ancient language of yours, and meaning “to be strong and healthy”. I go by many other names of course: ‘all-heal’, amantilla and Jessamin, as this one calls me. On account of my rather distinctive, penetrating, pungent smell, the ancient ones saw fit to call me ‘Phu’. So it goes, you can’t please all the people all the time, and neither should you want to! It does rather please me that cats adore my scent, being such discerning creatures of utmost taste.

My will, my purpose in our exchange, is to ease your agitations. I am a mercurial being, the celestial body which governs the nervous system and nurtures communication and wit, as well as logic. I wish for creatures to find their true voices, and have many ways of assisting them in this regard. My streak of logic manifests as a firmness when needed, (I do like to get quite quickly to the point) and undoubtedly groundedness (see for yourself), But I rather magically temper this with a transportive etherealism which I employ to steal you from the heavy mundanity, the repressive expectations and ‘rules’ that dull the senses, restrict the magical flow, which place a heavy burden and constrict the miraculous swirling of your systems.

I contain not one, but a synergy of compounds – reflective of the complex systems which lead to agitation and dis-ease, and so I employ a unique cocktail to ease you of these. Try to take me apart and the dream collapses. The labelling of my parts, which you’ve determined at over 150, will certainly tie the tongue. valepotriates, esterified iridoid-monoterpenes, Sesquiterpene lactones – I cannot help but smile at how you love to over complicate, but then again, that’s where I come into my element – to untangle, to simplify, to set you free from the knots you find yourselves tied up within.

It has been told, in tales of old, that it was in fact I who drove the rats from Hamlin, having been placed in the pocket of the piper. Like cats, they cannot resist my aromas, which witches use to call in familiars. I can neither confirm or deny this particular tale, but as they say, behind many a great man, stands a ripe and pungent woman. It was also told that I would bring peace when storms were rumbling between human beings, and fights were being spoiled for. A Whiff of my charms on the air could bring ease to the bubbling up of aggravations. Take the stories literally if you want, or not if you don’t, but one thing is true, and that is that if the rats are your demons, and the fights that break out are your inner torments, the causes of your emotional clenchings, your own inner critic turned upon you and suffocating your experiential richness, then indeed my back will arch, my claws will out, a little fur will fly and you will hear the echo of a feline screech is I flee from the swipe, for I absolutely cannot stand a bully and will chase them out to the corners of your being and banish them into the beyond.

I see so clearly the agitations that seize and possess the beings of this realm we inhabit together, and that linger and loom from within and from without, from above and from below, from the past and from the future, into what should be the ‘felt now’, but is so often not felt as such because of the painful gripping of each part, the constituents, through to the whole. If you allow me, I will flow in like mercury, reviving each cell, plumping it to wholeness, permitting it to take up all the space it was intended to, so that each organ and each system and each one of you can in turn remember that you need no permission to be, to exist, to take up every inch of the you shaped space in this universe, and inhabit it fully, in flow, in peace, in warm, penetrating peace.

Where you are so tightly wound, that all your energy is flowing up and out, let my roots ground you, entice your vital energies back to where they are needed and can flourish. For some I may bring dreamy sleep where she has not been able to visit, for others no such subtlety is given. I see what you need, you see, and I act accordingly. If you need validation, I will swaddle and bathe you in reassurance. If you need relief from gripping and spasm in your body, from tightness, from tension brought on by the yolks you have come to carry, I am all yours, and will swim in to massage out the binds, the knots, and turn back to soft down what had become thicket.

I will ease your digestion, and propel the flow of nutrients and of energy through your body. I will fill hearts that have been wounded, I will allow love in where it has been turned away from in a bid for self protection. I encourage you to explore the place that is you – feel that you are a space, and that within it such beauty flows. I want to help you see that, and to explore it without the burden of doubt and shame. I desire nothing more than to see you inhabit completely, the captivating nowness and isness that we are gifted to exist within.

As a wise one once said, it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, and my gosh I want to see you dance with abandon, to play, to express, to move with the gliding ease of mercury, unified, with shine. This world needs it’s creatures in wholeness, unencumbered by doubt and inhibition, and lifted from the grip of all powers that seek to oppress and stifle life, for we are here to love and express and nurture. It is my deepest wish to remind you of this, so that you can move toward wholeness, for we all have important work to do, and plenty of mischief to turn.

And so, let’s take a stretch together, and yawn, for far from symbolising boredom, a yawn has many great powers on your agitations, and yawns are catching. Stretch your legs, wiggle your toes, take in a deep breath and release it with a sigh. Close your eyes, feel the aliveness in each of your molecules, feel their place in this soup of existence. Imagine the curve of a cheeky smile appearing from within your being, and spreading slowly out to each corner of it, then beyond. I want to tell you from my heart, to go easy on yourselves. As for another wise one once said, the miracle in life is not to walk on water, but to walk on this earth with awareness, and in peace.

Comment section

3 thoughts on “Valerian Poem

  1. This is so fantastic to read, Sarah. I love it and also to see your picture, so well remembered, of you in your fabulous Valerian creation. Thanks so much to Seed Sistas for including your wonderful work.
    Carol

  2. I’ve always known how powerful stories are. How, if told like a storyteller, most of the information, including small details, can be retrieved from memory effortlessly. But I never thought knowledge of plants could be conveyed in such a memorable way. I’m impressed by how much everything made sense as I was reading, how much I understood without trying to, how clear it all became and how easy to remember!

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