Also known as Trish or Grandmother Red Hawk, Patricia Hurley lives in the Asheville area and has been practicing Plant Spirit Healing for over twelve years. She has studied with Maldome Patrice Somé, a West African shaman, and Elliot Cowan, a Classical Five Element Acupuncturist, using Plant Spirits for healing. Patricia is a carrier of the Sacred Pipe in the Bear Tribe tradition. She is a Water Pourer for the Stone Peoples Lodge (Sweat Lodge). She has also been given a Healing Pipe Ceremony, a Crystal Ceremony, and a Feather Healing Ceremony.
Patricia offers Elemental Divinations and Elemental Rituals from the Dagara People of West Africa. The divinations use shells rocks, crystals, coins and bones on a cloth that displays the five elements (water, fire, earth, mineral and nature.) Divinations have been used by people since ancient times for guidance with spiritual paths, difficult decisions, relationships and insights. In the Shamanic tradition, Patrica also teaches how to journey to the Upper and Lower World to meet with your animal, plant or spirit guides.
Plant Spirit Healing is a deeply healing modality based upon two ancient healing traditions of Classical Chinese Medicine and Shamanism. Plant Spirit Healing has been used around the globe for thousands of years and is alive today among indigenous people throughout the world. Plant Spirit Healing is not a “physical” ingestion of the plant, but rather a Plant Spirit practitioner calls upon the extraordinary healing of the plant spirits. The result is a deeply effective and elegant form of healing.
Contact Patricia at 828-551-0840 for questions or to schedule an appointment.
First impression: Down to Earth. With her beautiful long, grey hair, sparkling, wise eyes and a jovial laugh, there is an immediate comfort level with Trish. She lives and works in the Asheville area. It is a bit of a distance from her farm girl upbringing in Illinois—both in distance and in lifestyle.
Trish has worked in the corporate world but suspected that there was a much deeper level of engagement in the early ‘90’s. It was about that time that she met a woman who was studying with an Ojibwa medicine man, Sunbear, of the Bear clan. With an unknown amount of Native American in her background, she settled into the apprenticeship easily. A couple of years later Eliot’s book Plant Spirit Medicine came to her attention in such a mysterious way that she took it as a message.
“I’ve been communicating with plants for years. As a girl I was around plants all the time and played with them a lot—sending milkweed seed in the air, sitting in the apple and plum trees—I spent hours deseeding plants and throwing them to the wind. And they have always spoken to me.
“One of my first times of actually having to talk about it was with the Tulip Poplar. We were living in Atlanta at the time and we wanted to put in a garden but this tree was tall and blocking the sun and my husband wanted to cut it down. Well, the tree did not want to be cut down—and it let me know that. So I went to my husband in tears—this was early in our relationship—I thought, ‘He’s going to think I’m a nut case, but I’m going to tell him!’ And so I did—and he said ‘OK, I won’t cut it down.’ Through the years, as it grew and grew we loved that tree. As time went on I started having grandchildren and they would bring me flowers from the tree. It has really been a friend through the years.
“We moved up to Charlotte and I was in a bookstore—this was a great store and I always came out of it with too many books. Well, I saw Eliot’s book and was immediately attracted to it—but I had promised myself not to splurge. Anyways, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book for weeks and finally went back to get it—but they had sold out! I looked and looked and got a clerk to help look—and just as we were going to give up—she was straightening a few books and noticed one was lodged down behind a bunch of other books and it was Plant Spirit Medicine! I was hooked!
“I found a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer in Asheville and have been going for 13 or 14 years now. After a few years my healer said, ‘You know—Eliot’s going to be teaching a course in the area.’ So I signed up. The medicine has been huge for me—it fits in perfectly with what I was already doing with the Native American tradition.
“Then, again after a few years, I went to a talk by Malidoma Somé and took one of his workshops. Malidoma said to me ‘You know—you’re already connected very well with Source,’ he was very respectful of the two disciplines that I had been studying, ‘but I don’t know how you can be a healer until you know how to divine.’ After some more conversation he said that he could show me how to offer divinations. That is what motivated me to enter a two year study with him.
“It seems that there are more people that come for divinations, but I’ve got my regular Plant Spirit people who have been with me for a while. There is so much that I gained by studying with Eliot and being in community with other Plant Spirit Medicine people—from the clinicals, and the classes and friends, that I really don’t think I would have all of the insight into the elements for doing the divinations if I hadn’t taken Eliot’s course. It is like a bridge between my Native American and the divinations—it’s the perfect bridge—it taught me so many of the connecting things through the five elements and understanding the physical energy of the body. Particularly learning to question . . . that has been a great help with the divinations—asking the right question and asking it the right way.
“When I divine I’m using stones and bones and shells—coins—crystals and things like that. This is done on a cloth that represents the five element system. The reading has to do with where these things are placed by the person. Sometimes I will see something that I don’t quite understand—it’s then that you ask an important question the right way and they answer in a way like ‘Oh! I got it!’
“I am careful to avoid using the term Plant Spirit Medicine for the healing that I offer—yes I work with the spirits of the plants in the way that I was taught by Eliot—and I honor the protocol with this, as with my other practices. I didn’t take the opportunity when the ‘grandfathering’ was offered. I just let Spirit bring clients to me and it just feels cleaner that way. This is a relationship between me and divine and I had a strong voice saying: ‘You took this on this way and you managed to create a few clients this way’—and I had to listen. And it is the same for other areas—there’s something about Spirit that is guiding this that’s a lot more than I am. It was that way with distance healing.
“When I first thought about doing long distance healing I was traveling to Pennsylvania, teaching a class and began treating a number of clients. At the end of the class they all wanted me to continue—which would mean distance healing from Asheville, NC. One strong supporter said ‘You can do anything from anywhere—distance is not relevant.’ So, I asked Eliot about it and he suggested that I talk with Grandfather. Well, an opportunity came up only 2 or 3 weeks later. So I asked Him if I could do long-distance healing and he said it was OK—his only concern was that I wouldn’t be there for them if they had a crisis, but that I could be very effective. I thanked him and told all my clients that they had to have a back-up in their area in case of a crisis if they want me to treat them long distance—and each of them said: “That’s OK, I’ve got someone I can go to!” So then I journeyed about the whole thing and received an affirmation—it is like Spirit presented it to me. (Ed note; There are a few distance healers in this community, for interested healers please contact the Temple of Sacred Fire Healing for the procol.)
So along with the Plant Spirit healing and offering divinations and talks, the Ojibwa Medicine: the Sweat Lodge and work with the Pipe is still a big part of who I am—it called me first. I work with another woman who also studied Ojibwa Medicine with SunBear. She is a Pipe carrier as well, and in fact, she also studied with Malidoma and does that work as well. So we came through the same pathways, but we didn’t meet each other until individually we had finished both paths. We will do a Sweat and have talking circles, pipe teachings and things like that.
“What I enjoy so much with Plant Spirit Healing is the connection I make with my clients over a long period of time—of watching their journey, seeing their growth, seeing how the plants affect them and seeing them year after year. I don’t get to do that with divinations, I might only see somebody once—and then you wonder about the session and what came of it. Sometimes a person will actually come back to tell about their journey but you don’t get to follow everyone. With Plant Spirit Healing there is a connection—and it’s like no other connection. And—I really enjoy having that kind of relationship with people.