May, 2017


In truth don’t know all that much about plants – but I am still going to write a piece about plants!

For me summer 2016 was dedicated to learning about wild plants and communicating with plants and trees. We had just bought our dream house in Sweden. It is set on a huge rock in a pristine forest, on the Baltic coast just south of Stockholm. I spent a lot of time in the forest and walking down farm tracks. I also read some thought-provoking books written by people who have dedicated their lives to plants.

My key learnings about plants and trees in general were that

a) They live in communities

b) Unlike human beings they have no ego

c) They are genetic shape shifters with many strategies in place for coping with the unexpected

Here are a few more discoveries:

Trees and plants will send nourishment to specimens that are struggling.

Every plant community has some highly unusual species, often written off was “waste” or “random and useless” by clever humans. But actually those plants will often literally save the day when extreme circumstances (or even catastrophes) occur.

The larger picture I slowly gained was of plants as true teachers about community values, even Life and Death!



(Great Marsh Thistle)

Indigenous peoples speak of something they call Original Instructions the ancient teachings for sustainable living that are safeguarded and maintained by indigenous (tribal) peoples. Sometimes those original instructions are referred to as The Law.

One night after a blissful day of plant-studies I had a dream where a plant community appeared as ‘the school play’, where all pupils in a class were allocated roles, robes and props. But when the curtains fell the kids were just kids again and next year they’d all be allocated different roles and robes. The child who was the star of the show this year might have only a minor role next year and so forth. That way the children learned not to over-identify with their roles.

Sitting out in the forest, or walking the farm track, I started seeing glimpses of plant and tree communities where all members play the role that is required of them to keep the collective healthy, balanced, fertile and vital.

In contrast to such eco-systens we human beings live in ego-systems. We become attached to our roles and over-identify with them. Not unlike the child starring in the school play refusing to take off his or her crown when the curtains close, reality comes calling and a reshuffle is in order. We stay put! We dig our heels in! We push others aside or speak disparagingly of them. (Just watch politicians on the world stage right now!)



(Orange Rowan Berries)

To thrive human beings need to find meaning in what happens to them. They (WE!) need to feel valued, needed and appreciated for the unique contribution we make to the larger whole. This is fair and it is not an ego-need. I would call this a need of the human soul instead: to evolve in reciprocal partnership with All That Is (all sentient beings including non-human beings). However, when we human beings cling to our roles, we become attached to them. We call this ‘ambition’ and ‘career progress’. Often we end up standing in the way of a new generation, younger voices, fresh ways of thinking and shaping reality.

Remember that some plants are annuals: they die and re-seed themselves. Others are perennials. This allows for fresh constellations of ‘known’ and ‘new’ elements every year., in response to environmental conditions. One thing that plants and trees can teach us is how to die with grace. To leave when it is our time to go but also to return (or re-seed) when and where we are needed.



(Yellow Foxgloves)

Because plants live by eco-principles (not egoic drives), whatever they do is in service to the larger whole, the greater good. Within that some flower extravagantly and others cook up mighty poisons. And some plants do both!

Plants have roots and they wilt the moment they lose their roots. Many humans today try hard to thrive without knowing and honouring their roots or their ancestors.

So… if plants really are the keepers of the Law, of the Original Instructions, then I sense that we can learn the following lessons from plants:

– Eco not Ego

You cannot thrive if you pollute or disregard your environment

Living in communities

We can greatly enjoy the roles we are asked to play – but we need to be ready to hand our robes and crowns to others when the time comes. And often a new role awaits when we do so…

– The weirdest, most unprepossessing plants often save the day when catastrophe strikes

What if we take that teaching to heart and accept the mirror it holds up: how can the disabled, the sick, the elderly, the dispossessed save our planet today? What keys do they hold that we are not seeing? (What if we miss out on medicine that can save our planet because it comes from – say – a black lesbian autistic herbalist – rather than a medical doctor?)

What if a young child sees new ways forward?!

Where are we NOT looking?

What are we thoughtlessly disregarding (or not aware of at all?)

Individualism gone mad has no place in any eco-system

Plants show a vast array of individual expressions, colours, shapes, behaviour and adaptations. Even secrets, tricks and strategies! But plant spirits know that individualism gone mad has no place in the eco-system (it is an expression of an ego-system).

Today my question is: are we willing to learn fron plants and trees?

It is time to pay more attention to non-human teachers in our efforts to save the planet and arrive at sustainable ways of living?

I think so! I will spend summer 2017 in the same place learning more and I may well write another piece about my discoveries.




Imelda Almqvist, 5 April 2017

About the author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.

Check out TRUE NORTH (the school of Sacred and Norse Shamanism Imelda is opening in this location in Sweden in 2018):


Hally’s Hints

March, 2012

Enable Ego to Assist in Ascension

The passing judgment of others seems to be on the rise; but is it? There have been some significant shifts of late that are forcing the energetic vibration to choose. Like the metaphysical baseball bat to the head, it is forcing a decision to be made and a direction to be chosen. Some have chosen a lower vibration, or in other words to remain with status quo whilst others have opened themselves to the higher vibration.

This has been discussed over the last couple of articles and I wanted to look at this more specifically so you, yourself can identify who is doing what in your environment. Notice the impact this is having on you and the choices you can make to assist your own ascension, or what I call evolution.

In the past week the shift forced ego to come out and participate more obviously than in previous shifts. The week commenced with an air of negativity, heaviness and some choosing to go into the defensive, better termed ego. Whilst the negativity seemed directed, it was actually reflected of each individual.

As the week continued the heaviness remained however, the shift was so intense that each session, each conversation was taken to such an in-depth level allowing for greater growth, greater healing than previously. A beautiful process and yet, slightly draining due to the surrounding energies sitting within the state of ego.

At the end of the week, the rain came. This helped to appease some of this intensity; though it was not enough to remove the lingering energies.

Did you choose to go to ego or did you remain aligned to yourself? Did you feel negative, agitated, frustrated or more sensitive than usual?

Not all shifts are noticeable however, with the alignment of the Age, the ending of a long ascension period the energies are feeling compounded, pushed and eager to get to their destination.

Coming into ego does not need to be negative or relate to being overly critical of others, as it seems to be occurring with many. Ego in its true form is a lot simpler than this. It was never intended to rule or be the leader within. It was always meant to complement the other aspects within Self.

When ego is aligned properly, providing pure intent and delivering its true purpose, it is not about judgment of Self or others, it allows for this beautiful joining of the unconscious and conscious to becoming noticed within. Instead of having the attitude of “looking good” for others or “being better” than someone else, ego actually becomes “I feel good being me” or “I look good being me.”

A big difference to being disconnected from Self, isn’t it?

There are no limitations to ascension or the extent of increasing the energetic vibration. This is solely determined by the openness and awareness of the individual. Equally is the opposite of remaining in a static vibration which causes a decrease, thus becoming a lowering in the vibration.

Ego is an aspect of Self that is integral in this specific journey and the more that it works with each individual the more that can be gained as evolution towards the overall purpose is fulfilled.

As the shifts occur and the push increases towards the inevitable choose how your ego is to work with you.

The more aligned the more aware; the more aware the greater the ascension; the greater the ascension the greater the purpose to the journey.

For more information on Spiritualism, Ego and its Purpose:

Hally’s Hints

June, 2011

The Ego and the Spiritual

The ego plays an interesting role within each of us. Some believe it is our conscious and its role is to, in no better terms, look after us from/with the external world. Some call it the little voice in our head often telling us why we should, or should not, undertake certain actions. The American Heritage Dictionary defines ego as: “…the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behaviour, and is most in touch with external reality.”

In terms of the ego and the spiritual, it is another aspect that makes up “self”.

In using this perspective, ego can either work for or against us, depending on the alignment at that time. To take this further, it is also an aspect of self that can inhibit the ability to evolve into a higher vibrational level as it has a tendency of keeping us in the physical. This can create issues in moving into the spiritual as well as working on other planes.

However, the ego, when aligned to self, and then in turn united to the spiritual can assist in holistic connection with self, combining all centres of self allowing an even greater transformation into higher vibrational levels; which can surpass all of the known, expected and previous transitions.

For this to occur we must release the physical manifestations attached to the ego. This then allows for a new association to be created with the changing vibration. This transition can be easy and smooth, or it can be rather confronting due to the existing belief systems of the individual which are supported by the present state of the ego.

When confronted with this it can cause a step backwards, or several, due to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable sensation of the blind trust required in moving forward; which can at times, omit the security of habitual and clear expectations that we are used to.

Alternatively, a side step can be taken where the transition commences whilst still holding onto the belief systems at the same time. Inevitably one must give way as the transition gains flow and each of us can choose in that moment, which way we want to go.

Ultimately the choice is always ours; however, this should not be compromised through fear or confrontation. You will know if it is not the right time for you and equally when it is. Whilst it is best to be aligned authentically, you will know and feel within that the release of ego will provide an abundant connection to all aspects of self in a way yet to be experienced.

When working with the spiritual aspect of self, what role does your ego play?