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We are all intimately interconnected in this web of life. Since the beginning of time, people have been deeply connected to the natural world, relating to it as a source of food, shelter, clothing, and medicine and as a way to interface with their gods. It was once commonplace for people to know which herbs in their area could cure ailments and illnesses, or which animals they could pray to for healing, strength, or courage.

Though most Western cultures have long forgotten these ways, we are fortunate enough to be alive during a time when many of these beliefs are reemerging to help humanity and our planet heal. We have the fantastic opportunity to reconnect with the hidden wisdom and power latent in the natural world by working with plants and animals for healing, just as our ancestors once did.*

*Much of the material in this chapter first appeared in Liberating Yourself from Lyme, chapters 14, “Plant and Animal Spirit Medicine,” and 15, “The Great Mystery.”

Calling Upon Plants, Animals, and the Ancestors

Most indigenous cultures have some shamanic tradition where they connect with spirits as a direct interface with the divine. They reverently call upon these plants, animals, and the ancestors themselves as teachers and receive their wisdom and guidance in return (Jung 1968). While this concept may seem far-fetched to some, this ancient way of relating to Earth and her inhabitants dates back to our Paleolithic ancestors, and it lives on in some part of our consciousness, as certain animals are associated with symbolic meanings even to this day.

In the United States the bald eagle is clearly recognized as a symbol of pride. Many people hold the grizzly bear as a symbol of protection. In visualizations and meditations, the image of a calm ocean is often called upon to create a feeling of peace in the body and mind.

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These are but a few examples of the way that our connection to nature is still intimately woven into our lives. I invite you to explore this a bit deeper by considering the ways in which you can learn from other plants and animals.

Many shamanic traditions believe that there are different realms of existence. We live in one realm, with what we see and perceive here, but upper and lower realms simultaneously exist, and the spirits and ancestors live there.

In many traditions, it is possible to enter a trancelike state, where the veils between the worlds grow thin, through drumming, rattling, breathing, prayer, and working with plants. While we are in these realms, we have access to information and guidance we are otherwise unable to perceive or receive.

Who can help you face your fear by helping you find your inner fire and strength? Who can comfort you or stand by your side on this journey? Who can you call on for help?

Calling on Animal Helpers: Spirit Animals

Call on animal helpers. Take a moment to contemplate what these animals have to offer, and see how they could be of help on your healing journey. You may have some unique animal to guide you, such as a tiger, bull, bear, wolf, eagle, or hawk. Try calling on the animals that resonate with you.

Mama Bear

Mama bear can be there for you when the fear is overwhelming. Imagine a big grizzly or polar bear holding you like one of her cubs, fiercely protecting you from both seen and unseen forces. You can envision the grizzly claw carving out any disease. Bear claw is used in this way for shamanic purposes in many traditions. Fortunately we don’t need to own a bear claw or eat bear gallbladder to receive the medicine of the bear. We can call on its spirit.

Lion or Tiger

Tiger can be a great ally to help you awaken the fire in your belly and that sense of protection. The very image of a lion or tiger inspires respect, awe, and fierceness in most people. Those qualities live inside you as well, waiting to emerge and help you heal. Embody the tiger. Feel into what it would be like to chase down a gazelle at lightning speed, catch it, and eat it. This is a raw, primal part of ourselves that we seldom think about but has so much to offer us.

By embodying the tiger or calling on the tiger spirit, you can chase down anything that wants to harm you and devour it. Waking the Tiger, by Steven Levine, is a landmark book that talks about awakening the inner tiger to move through trauma stored in the body into healing and a more profound sense of embodiment.


Owl would often come to me, and I found owl to be very wise, just like the stories of old. Owl arrived when I needed to make efficient decisions.

In many Native American cultures, owl medicine can pierce through illusion or deception. It can achieve its goal with a single-pointed focus, which you can observe in the way owl hunts at night on silent wings. It can see as clear in the dark as in the light and thus is a wise ally. Call on owl medicine when you need to see clearly in a practical way or clear things away.


Use your creativity and imagination, as the possibilities here are limitless. Think about nature and observe her ways. Notice who eats what and the balance that is maintained through this circle of life and death. Eating something merely transforms that life-form, that food, into something else, liberating it as energy.

Step into the ecology that you are. Try to transform Covid into something else in your alchemical pot, perhaps something you can use for your growth. Spike proteins are like little rocks. What animal would eat little rocks? Birds have a gizzard where they keep little rocks that help them digest food. Call on imaginary birds to come and peck out the spike proteins.

Poisonous Animals or Plants

Sometimes venomous or poisonous animals or plants, like rattlesnakes and black widow spiders, appear in our intuitive space. Consider that poisons might be what you need, in minute or even homeopathic amounts. Many resources can help you further explore connections with both plants and animals.

The medicine card deck Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power through the Way of Animals, by Jamie Sams and David Carson, is an excellent way to explore what can be learned from creatures that fly, crawl, run, and swim beside us on Earth.

Calling Upon Plant Spirit Medicine

In the same way that most ancient cultures looked to animals for healing, they also listened to plants as teachers and guides. Both modern-day indigenous cultures and an increasing number of herbalists and spiritual seekers hold the belief that plants have innate intelligence and a spirit that has much to teach us. Some cultures have ancient traditions of working with plant medicines in shamanic ritual, taking a plant spirit into the body to receive the teachings and wisdom of those plants.

In long Covid, the brain gets caught in a “limbic trauma loop” or a faulty default mode network (DMN). Meditation, neuroplasticity retraining, acupuncture, SSRIs, dissociative medicines, and psychedelic drugs can help us out of this loop. There are several plant teacher medicines of the psychedelic and psychoactive variety, including peyote (respect traditions here), San Pedro cactus, ayahuasca, iboga, and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as dissociative medicines like DMT (synthetic, 5-MeO-DMT, bufo). Kambo, the poisonous secretions from a tropical frog, though not a psychedelic, can be placed here, as can ketamine, though it is synthetic. These medicines, when used properly, can be of great benefit, and there are many stories of using them for healing from long Covid.

All of these medicines should be approached with the utmost respect and under the guidance of a trained shaman or guide. Many psychotherapists are now being trained to guide people on medicine journeys as a way to help them break through the stories of the past. The conscious mind is released or moved out of the way so that space can be held for the unconscious mind and stuck emotions to reveal themselves.

Psychedelic therapy has some benefit in modulating the immune system, reducing autoimmunity, and calming and resetting the immune system (Thompson and Szabo 2020). There are many methods and practitioners who can help you here. These medicines can also help us access deeper unfelt emotional issues and ancestral issues that may be dampening the immune system or causing a malfunction.

A Word of Caution

As medicines like ayahuasca are becoming more popular, let me impart a word of caution here and say that working with psychoactive plant medicine is not for everyone, and it is by no means necessary for healing. It is a powerful way to heal, but it is only for those who feel a strong calling to this work and have the constitution to sustain potentially destabilizing experiences. If you have bipolar disorder or any other psychiatric conditions (before developing long-haul Covid), the types of lessons offered by plant medicines can be challenging to handle and integrate.

Additionally, the legality of these plants vary from state to state, and local laws should be taken into consideration. These medicines can help us get down to the core self beneath the disease. They are just one of many ways to get there.

I will say again that working with psychoactive plant spirit medicine is not a gentle path. It should only be explored if you are genuinely drawn to “walk into the fire” in this way and must be done with reverence and caution.

Gentle Ways to Connect with Plant Spirits

There are more gentle ways you can connect with plant spirits on your own, such as going out into nature and seeing which plants catch your attention. When you feel an energetic resonance with something, a medicine may be waiting to be discovered. The work (or fun) is to create a space to explore what that medicine is.

I would suggest that you set aside some intentional time to be in nature and see what presents itself. It helps to breathe deeply and walk slowly when going on plant walks to quiet your mind and bring you into your sensing body. If you don’t have access to a park or a forest, you can even do this in your backyard.

Plants are everywhere, growing up out of cracks in the pavement, like dandelion and milk thistle. Wherever you are, scan the ground and see what plants jump out at you. Stop and sit beside the plant you noticed and see how it makes you feel. What does it remind you of? Does your body want that plant? Ask for the plants to come to help you.

An herbalist mentor of mine used to say that there are no weeds, only volunteers, and that one must pay extra close attention to the plants that volunteer their way into our lives and yards as they have things to teach us. The voices of plants do not speak as loudly as humans do, and we must quiet our minds enough to hear them. Often weeds are the most potent medicines as they have the resilience to sprout and take root without much nurturance or support.

A New Way of Relating and Learning

Open to a new way of relating to and learning from the green friends who are all around us. They have many gifts to share, even beyond purifying our air and soil, feeding our bellies, making our world more beautiful, and healing us with their medicine, all of which they do day in and out.

We are blessed to have many life-forms surrounding us on this planet—plants, animals, and other organisms who can help us remember why we are here and where we came from.

Please don’t forget to make an offering to Earth and thank the plants and animals that have helped you if you call upon them for support.

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission from the publisher,
\Healing Arts Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.

Article Source:

BOOK: Healing Therapies for Long Covid

Healing Therapies for Long Covid: An Integrative and Intuitive Guide to Recovering from Post-Acute Covid
by Vir McCoy.

book cover of: BOOK: Healing Therapies for Long Covid Healing Therapies for Long Covid by Vir McCoyEarly in the pandemic, Vir McCoy contracted Covid-19, which developed into post-acute sequelae of Covid (PASC), commonly known as long Covid or long-haul Covid. As a medical intuitive and scientist he began collecting both intuitive information and extensive scientific and medical research about the nature of long-haul Covid. Integrating his intuitive impressions with other protocols and support group success stories, he developed this comprehensive healing guide for successful recovery options from long Covid.

The author discusses the primary symptoms and predispositions of long Covid and outlines the basic steps for dealing with each of them, including brain fog, tinnitus, loss of smell and hair, debilitating headaches, hormonal dysregulation, immune malfunction, limbic system dysfunction, gut issues, mental instability, sleeplessness, and intolerance to certain foods. Backed up by more than 350 scientific references, he presents medicines and methods for healing long Covid.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here.  Also available as a Kindle edition. 

About the Author

Vir McCoyVir McCoy is a teacher, healer, author, lecturer, musician, and ecologist who works both as a bodywork healer and as a field biologist and botanist focusing on endangered species.

Vir has the brain of a scientist and the soul of an artist, which has made for good company.  He has a vast knowledge of herbs, supplements, homeopathics, and antibiotics. 

After suffering from Lyme disease (2001-2009) he was able to make a full recovery, and then again with Long Haul Covid by becoming a medical intuitive, and has written two published books on the subjects.

Visit the author's website at: 

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