Ethnobotany, as Dr. Manuel Lizarralde, one of my podcast guests, so beautifully explained, is about more than just plants. It’s about our cultural uses and dependence on the plant world for shelter, housing, food, medicine, clothing, tools for living, and the lore that comes with them. They contribute to the richness, mystery, and magic of our lives.
Baskets are beautifully woven, priceless art, and time-tested vessels that help us carry, store, fill, and empty the gifts of daily life and the gifts of our metaphysical one. The weaving is often passed down through generations. The patterns hold memory and meaning. Basket weaving can be traced back to our origins. Often woven from reeds and grasses, they are useful.
Each culture weaves symbols and meaning into its baskets, making some priceless.
“In a world where there were no cupboards, plates, or bowls to hold your belongings, baskets served as indispensable items that had multiple purposes. They allowed people to carry water, clothing, food, and much more.”
In my travels with Native American elders, I learned to see more deeply into some of the symbols they shared. Many seemed simple or mundane, but I wanted to know more. The Burden Basket is one such example. Jamie Sands in Sacred Path Cards reminds me that this basket encourages self-reliance. To honor the process path of others and to refrain from gossiping about another whose back story we may never know. To enter another’s home respectfully and maybe leave our troubles by the door, in the burden basket, rather than dump them on another’s doorstep.
In dream work, we often go back into a dream if we find it disturbing or want to be in the energy of the dream for a brief while longer. Dreams dance in and out of our awareness like fog dissipating in the morning sun. I recommend using the basket in your meditations for dreamwork and personal awareness. One common example is to get settled into a quiet place and in a comfortable posture. Imagine finding a basket at a doorway that beckons you to leave the day’s troubles inside it and behind. Then, enjoy the meditation. Your thoughts and concerns will be waiting for you when you return.
Another suggestion is to place a basket by your bedside or at your favorite work area. Use it as a gratitude container for the day. Or write down a small miracle, a synchronicity, on paper and again place it in this container. At the end of a month or year, take them out and recall with gratitude what you have received that might be forgotten.
Both suggestions work really well and remind us of the power of the basket. When seen in our dreams, it can lead to unknown discoveries. And remind us to listen to inner guidance for solutions.
Sweet Dreaming. Judith