Many Sacred Artists and Spiritualists talk about and recognize spirit animals as guides throughout their journeys. However, I feel plant spirits are often overlooked and aren't given the recognition they deserve. Every plant, just as every animal, has its own energy and characteristics that can teach us lessons, give us power, and relay messages from Spirit. You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, as they say.
The Orchid is basically the bourgeoisie of the flower society. This exotic flower's delicacy and gracefulness make it one of the most refined and coveted of ornamental plants. Even though there are 25,000 different species of Orchids, they seem to carry with them a sense of rarity. Historically they have been revered for their healing, protective, and strength-giving properties.
I have five Phalaenopsis Orchid plants on their second blooming season now and they radiate feminine energy. They are beautiful and appear delicate, but they are actually very tough plants. They're a type of air plant, so they don't like they're roots covered. The roots can even be seen sticking out over the side of the pots. The long stem is much thicker than the average flower stem, and the flowers are not as delicate as they appear. If you look into the bloom itself it looks like the sacred Yoni, the female vagina. This plant spirit teaches us what it is to be beautiful, strong women. Remaining grounded isn't the same thing as holding yourself back. Strengthen your roots so they can withstand any situation. The stem represents our bodies. Regardless of the other 'flowers', it's important to remember that a strong and healthy stem outlasts smaller, weaker ones. Also, the focus isn't the stem, it's the bloom. The bloom of a flower is it's soul, it's representation to the world of what it truly is, and where it can visibly display it's power. The Orchid reminds us that our power resonates from our femininity. True beauty comes from allowing your inner Goddess to bloom, maintaining a healthy 'stem', and staying rooted while also being versatile.
Another lesson Orchid teaches us with it's multiple blooms on each stem is that there is power in a group. Connecting with other women and taking time to appreciate each other and yourself is key to maintaining healthy feminine energy. And symbolically the Orchid represents a tribe of blooming women all connected to a stem coming straight from Spirit (the roots). A great book on the importance of connection and finding 'tribe', or building a strong community (especially with other women), is Tanya Paluso's book Open Your Heart: How to be a New Generation Feminine Leader.
Orchids is really quite easy. It's funny because they really are just like women, they can be temperamental but if you give them what they need and want they do good. They don't need to be watered very much, and I'd speculate this is how they usually meet their demise as house plants. Most have a tendency to over water indoor plants. During warm months I usually water mine once a week. To water them I remove their plastic pots from the planters (unless they're in a pot with drainage holes already), and run water over their roots for a minute then allow them to completely dry before putting them back. Also, something most people forget or don't think about is making sure the plant's leaves are clean. If the plants leaves, stem, or even blooms are covered in dust (indoor plants have this problem) then it's hard for them to breath. Wipe or rinse the leaves every time you water them. In the colder months I wait two maybe even three weeks between watering, but if it's a little longer they are usually ok. It really all depends on the moisture in the air around them. But you can usually always tell if a plant is thirsty just by looking at them. If the petals are wilted and the leaves droopy, your plant most likely needs a drink of water. If it's looking stunted, sad (lifeless looking, or heavy), or yellow then they probably need more (or less) sunlight. One of the reasons Orchids make such good house plants is because they only need a moderate amount of sun. Mine have done the best if they're near (but not directly in front of) a pretty bright window, but the sunlight is indirect or filtered.
As a side note.. I have seen a few things around about watering your Orchid with ice cubes. While I don't have much experience with this method, and it may very well work, I don't like to use ice cubes to water my plants because the temperature of the ice and even the melted water going onto the roots of the plant is too cold for a tropical plant. That's just my opinion and preference.
Remember to listen to your plants! They're not only here to feed us, heal us, protect us, and entertain us, they also have many soulful lessons waiting to teach us.
A solitary and experienced Hedge Witch currently residing in Southern Virginia.
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