Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Transformative Power of Nettle

Last night, inspired by the Guardians card from my new Druid Plant Oracle, I made myself a tea of elder flowers and elder- and hawthorne berries.
Druid Plant Oracle
This morning I decided to pull a daily from the same deck, and I drew: Nettle.

Aside from the nettle plant itself, the first two symbols that stood out to me were the snake and the butterfly. The snake doesn't feel threatening at all, rather I get a strong sense of calm and the transformative qualities of this sacred reptile - the shedding of its old skin to reveal the new. The butterfly has similar attributes of release and transformation, as its caterpillar form encases itself in a cocoon, later emerging as a beautiful winged creature.
Druid Plant Oracle
Nettle is one of the most nutritious herbs around, containing high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Niacin, B-Complex, just to name a few. It can be consumed as a vegetable, made into tea, even used as a hair tonic. The irony, perhaps, is that nettle stings! I remember walking along country roads in southeast England when I lived there for a time as a teenager, and making the mistake of brushing up again nettle bushes - they do indeed hurt. It's interesting that such a valuable, nutritious herb comes in such inhospitable packaging. And yet somewhere along the way humans came to understand its great gifts and offerings.

When I make nettle tea I find it quite earthy and almost hearty - like eating rather than drinking; not because its consistency is thick, but because its essence is so rich. To harvest nettle you have to wear gloves and take care that  bare skin doesn't come in contact with the leaves. But the reward from the effort is well worth it.

Nettle signifies transformation, and symbolizes the gifts that are disguised in hardships. It reminds us that though change is often uncomfortable, the product - the end result - is worthwhile when all is said and done. If we can see past the bitterness of transition, we will eventually behold the sweetness waiting for us beyond.

On that note, I'm off to brew some nettle tea!


  1. I love nettles and used to do regular infusions of it as well as oatstraw, another fave. You've reminded me to get back to this practice. Nettles is a real tonic for the lungs which could be helpful as winter approaches. I'm enjoying seeing this deck. As you say the artwork is lovely!

    1. Yes! Nettle is one of those wonder-herbs, for sure. I use it most commonly to treat seasonal allergies, along with elderflowers. And plus, it's just a nice, earthy cup :) Really, Will Worthington has great skill when it comes to creating art that invites the viewer right into the painting - who knew the artwork in a plant oracle could be so enchanting ;)