Why the Fern?


Why the Fern to symbolize health and wellness at Fern Life Center?

The fern is an ancient image that is rich with symbolism and meaning. It is easily recognizable as an indigenous species of the Pacific Northwest, where it grows in abundance. The fern contains the deep wisdom of Mother Earth within its graceful fronds, both literally as a medicinal plant, and figuratively as a multi-cultural and ancient symbol.

Like each of us, the fern contains all of the information needed to grow within its structure. A hike through the lush green forests of the Pacific Northwest in the spring, where ferns of many species abound, will enchant those who observe this special plant through its life cycle. The tightly curled fronds of young ferns are deceptive and it would be impossible to guess what a full grown fern would look like at this stage of development. Human kind is the same. Our consciousness must be awakened through life experience, learning, and awareness. Like the fern, we grow and flourish if we unfurl toward light or truth. The more we unfurl, the more the tendrils of our true nature begin to show as we loosen, surrender and soften, releasing and opening as we let go of old stories and rigidly constructed belief systems which contribute to negative patterns of behavior. Mental and emotional rigidity leads to reactivity which inevitably results in physical illness. The example of a slow, but steady opening toward light is the miracle of Mother Nature’s creation and is exemplified in the model of the fern.

Mother Nature provides the fern, with its many medicinal properties, as a tool for healing. The prolific stinging nettle (wonderful for curing the inflammatory response of spring time hay fever) can bedevil the uneducated hiker. Luckily, the spores on the underside of the fern, which grows right next to the prickly stinging nettle, provide instant relief to the stinging and itching injury the unsuspecting outdoorsman endures by wandering into the bite of the nettle. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda similarly provides a framework and tools for healing, opening and awakening. Keesha Ewers (ARNP and Master of Ayurvedic Science) combines the timeless philosophy of the East with the cutting edge science of the West in an integrative medical practice that is designed to bring balance and wellness by addressing the whole system; body, mind, spirit and environment. The team at Fern Life Center provides the methodology or light needed to bring about transformational healing and awakening to a new you. Just like the fern, you contain all of the ingredients within; you just need to recognize you are the source of your own creative energy!

The fern is known as the koru to the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, the Maori. The koru is often represented as a spiral in Maori artwork, symbolizing opening to new life and bringing purity to the world. It represents peace, tranquility and spirituality along with new growth or new beginnings. The Koru is also associated with nurturing and when it contains more than one frond, it represents the strength and healing of a loving relationship within family or community. The design in the shape of two unfolding fern fronds symbolizes the bonding of disparate kinds of people, with two opposite but complementary life forces, echoing the familiar Tao symbol, the Yin and Yang. As each frond unfolds to leave the circle, it reaches out for a new life, new growth and so represents the cycle of life and the interdependency of the web of life.

To the Japanese, the fern is the symbol of the hope of posterity, as it branches, so may the family increase and multiply through the generations. The fern, (or Aya), is an African Adinkra symbol of endurance and resourcefulness. The individual who wears this symbol suggests that he or she has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty. Who among us can say we have not all endured adversity? The ancients believed ferns brought rain, protection, luck, prosperity, eternal youth, health, exorcism, confidence and safe shelter. Finally, ferns are very often used in contemporary floral arrangements to amplify the faith in the magic of love. After all, love and light are all that are needed for humans to heal!

So take a walk on the wild side, hit the trails and pay attention to the strong, yet graceful multifaceted fern. Better yet, hike the same trail as often as you can for a month and be present to the wonder of the ever transforming fern as it unfurls to its full potential. Let this be an intentional exercise of recognizing yourself in all that is around you. Remember the fern and what it represents: The unfolding of a new life and everything is reborn and continues. It represents transformation, renewal and hope for the future. In other words, it symbolizes what is offered at Fern Life Center!