February 2020: As Above, So Below. Plants & Spirituality

As Above, So Below. Plants & Spirituality.
By Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT, CA
Mind, Soul, and Self LLC

Christina in the Glass Gallery at JMKAC

You may be wondering why a holistic healing and spirituality business offers so many plant and gardening classes. Let me explain to you why…..

As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”― Hermes Trismegistus

This is my favorite quote. It deeply resonates with me for a number of reasons. The concept implies that the cosmos is linked to nature and that the microcosm and the macrocosm are connected. We are divine and the divine is us. The earth is a mirror of the larger universe. One way I personally interpret this quote is that we can connect to the divine through nature. Plants and Spirituality. Spirituality is a personal and individual practice of developing one’s inner reality/inner path. Spirituality is feeling like a whole and complete person with meaning and purpose. It’s searching inside yourself for the answer. It is an inner path enabling you to discover the true essence of your being; the deepest values, morals, and meanings by which you live. It’s a feeling as if there is something greater than yourself; a higher power or a higher being, nature or the cosmos. You feel that you are more than just a physical body. You feel connected to others and to your surroundings. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.

Nature has been an incredible teacher to me in developing and deepening my spirituality. Nature is my church. A beautiful sunset is a mystical experience. Admiring beautiful plants and flowers inspires me. Walking through the forest, I feel so connected and a part of something much greater than myself. Caring for a garden; watching it grow; harvesting it; then making food or medicine or art from those same plants I grew gives my life so much purpose and meaning.  I am both a creator and a caretaker. Humans forget that we too are nature. When we get out of sync with the natural rhythms, the seasons, and earth’s creations we can feel existential emptiness. Being attentive to the cycles of nature can impact your spiritual, physical, and emotional health for the better.

The human/plant connection can be traced back all the way to prehistory (the time before writing systems were developed). We find that different cultures around the world, for thousands and thousands of years, have been utilizing plants as medicine, for fun, for ritual, for divination, for altered consciousness, for decoration, for food, for clothing, for art, and for aroma/perfumery. Plants are and have always been the principal form and oldest form of medicine for the majority of the world, since the beginning of time. Several diverse lines of evidence indicate that medicinal plants represent the most widespread form of medication. The use of herbal medicines has been documented for over 6000 years. Anthropologists and archeologists have found evidence that prehistoric man took medicinal plants and botanicals to cure health problems. In addition to using plants for medicine, the act of gardening and caring for plants can also improve all areas of your life and wellbeing…physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Spending time outside is good for our bodies and our minds. Research has shown gardening can help us: connect to others, connect to nature, connect to something greater than ourselves, help us be in the present moment, reduce stress and depression, improve mood, provide us with exercise and fresh air, and helps us reach higher states of consciousness through mindfulness. Plants are amazing!

My mother and grandfather were both avid gardeners. I grew up a little girl among the flowers. I started my professional and personal journey into holistic healing over 20 years ago with aromatherapy and essential oils. I then evolved into an herbalist and more recently, a gardener. I had a spiritual awakening in 2005. At that time, I lived on a 200-acre farm in the middle of nowhere. That time immersed in nature changed my life. I am a Certified Aromatherapist, Herbalist, Natural Perfumer, have Wisconsin Master Gardener Training and a PhD in Health Psychology with 22 years of higher education and experience in psychology, spirituality, holistic healing, and natural health. I am a Member of the American Botanical Council, I am the Project Chair of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Indoor Garden, I teach Continuing Education Gardening Classes at University of Wisconsin Green Bay, I am a Botanical Artist, and a supporter of organic farming and non–GMOS. My business-Mind, Soul, and Self LLC believes plants are essential to spirituality and holistic healing. Enhance your spirituality, connection to nature, and holistic healing abilities. Join me for upcoming gardening, botanical healing, and herbal medicine classes in 2020! Click on the name of the event for more info:

Holistic Healing with Herbs Certificate Series starts April 18, 2020.

Earth Day Event: Miniature Indoor Upcycled Garden. Saturday April 25, 2020 from 2pm to 5:30pm

Gardening 101. Sunday May 3, 2020 from 9am to 12pm

Gardening 102. Sunday May 3, 2020 from 1pm to 4pm

Mini Indoor Garden Workshop. May 7, 2020 from 5:30pm to 8pm at JMKAC

Family Gardening Workshop June 4, 2020 from 6pm to 8pm at UWGB: Sheboygan Campus


Ok….now to the Photoblog…..

February 2020 Photoblog: Care for yourself while caring for mother earth! Connect to the divine by connecting to nature! It’s hard for me to put all of this into words, so let me show you with pictures:

**All photos are the property of Christina Wilke-Burbach. All rights reserved ***

My PhotoBlog: I have come to understand, true ways to heal spiritually, psychologically and emotionally are non-verbal: through art, music, movement, meditative states, and bodywork/energy work. The language of the soul/psyche is symbols, images, colors, vibrations, sensations, and patterns; we communicate this non-verbally. I have been on an incredible personal growth journey of my own the past few years into the world of art. I have become very involved with John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, WI. I am the chair of the JMKAC Indoor Gardens, a member of the Friends of the Arts Council, and a museum docent (teacher/tour guide). I try to take a new art class every month. I started joining my artist husband in his art studio to paint and experiment with making art. Coincidentally, my old office space was located in an art gallery and my current office space is in an entire building of art studios. My preferred social media has become Instagram. I try to post a new photograph every day. I have enjoyed experimenting with art and photography as ways to express myself. So I have decided to have a photoblog to complement this personal and professional journey that I am on.