At times we sit on the fence between fact and fiction. Do we believe or not? Many pundits and obeah men have agreed that mal yeux (pronounced mahl-Joe) or najarr, or bad eye exists, that negative energies can be transmitted from one human to another, which may occasion various reactions. The same can be applied from human to plant and from plant to human.
Several years ago in Sangre Grande, an aged woman who was said to possess bad eyes mal yeux approached a neighbour; she called out, “Aye! Mih Compere, ah see yuh have nice, big ochro in dat tree, over dey so. Yuh better give mih some foh mi calloo.”
The man refused. The disappointed woman stared longingly at the ochroes on that particular plant. The next day, all the leaves on that plant began to droop; at the end of the week, that plant was completely dried. That is only one of the many instances of that negative energy reaction. Similarly, it occurs from human to human—of course, the person does not dry up but may experience a lack of appetite, upset stomach and lethargy.
On another level orchid enthusiasts claim that this unique class of plant responds to positive human energy and so, exhibit lush growth and better blooms when touched with tender, loving care. Many others speak in gentle voices and even hum or sing in tones of endearment to their treasured plants. It is said that soft, classical music even seems to inspire the general all-round health of the orchids. One such lady, who cultivates a garden of orchids, said that “Even though I show great attention and tenderness to my plants, I sometimes threaten some of the plants, which are not striving well, to chop them down. Seemingly, they begin to improve.”
Many other people, who cultivate orchids, complain of slow growth and general poor health of the plants. It is said, that such condition may exist with those who are disgruntled, disturbed, frustrated by seemingly chronic angry moods. Such conditions create a repulsive, negative aura, not only to plants but also to those around them. We must agree, however, that in this confusing world of stress and anxiety, it may be unavoidable and regrettable.
Among our plant life, the mighty silk cotton tree stands out as a legend of fear by many; especially hunters and woodsmen who claim that it emanates negative energies, which can lead to mishaps. It is recalled a few years ago, a young hunter of South Oropouche, in his attempt to capture a manicou from a silk cotton tree, unfortunately fell to his demise. In another related incident, a similar huge tree was being hewed down on the hillside bank of the Lady Hailes Avenue in San Fernando, when a heavy dismembered branch fell onto the owner of the chain saw, which was being used in the operation. Many brave hunters of the past, related countless, weird apparition of jumbie (ghost) manicous, in the vicinity of those legendary silk cotton trees.
The beautiful barbadine vine is also believed to whistle and sometimes, to call names in a human voice. Many, many years ago in a Southern village, a woman had just taken a bath in a little detached bath cubicle. The whistle was followed by a man's voice, shouting her name. She hurried out in search but saw no one...It was not a familiar voice. A woman neighbour who lived on the other side of the fence also heard the loud call and rushed out to her gallery to investigate. There was no one on either side of the fence.
The village pundit was contacted to seek answers about the mysterious call. The woman explained that similar calls were heard several weeks before. After much discussion, the pundit waved a warning finger as he said, “That barbadine vine is a bewitching vine. That could cause all kinds of disturbing events in your house, and things will forever go wrong; money running out, quarrel in the house, car giving trouble. That vine does give out negative vibrations. Cut it down one time and everything will go right.” The vine was destroyed and all negative energies were gone.
Among the Hindus, there are many trees which were brought from India. Those are considered to be of good spiritual and medicinal values. The ashoka tree is one which is rare and considered to be sacred. It is also called “The wishing tree.” Every part of that tree is said to be of medicinal value; the leaves, flowers, seeds, bark and roots. If someone has any deep desire or wish, that could be materialised by sitting in the shade of that tree against the trunk and offer prayers toward fulfilment. It is said that many women who could not have been conceived, prayed for that fulfilment and were successful. Others, including young lovers, married couples, students and others of diverse desires enjoyed positive results.
At almost every Hindu temple is a peepal (peeparr or peepul) tree, which is considered to be the “tree of peace.” Those who need to be relieved of stress or anxiety must sit at the roots of the tree, relax and meditate. Its positive energy helps to restore the balance of body, soul and spirit. The neem is considered the “tree of healing.” It is also used to repel insect pests. There are many more trees in that category, which are well-regarded to possess positive energies.
The Chinese, who generally have a sensitivity toward plants, have created an art and science of cultivating selected plants and introducing those in a well-charted and organised order around and the homes to create that symbiotic balance, through the exchange of energies between plants and human beings. The well-known bamboo is a popular inclusion in many of their arrangements.
The world over now appears to be looking back at the natural symbiotic relationship between plant and animal, which includes us as human beings. There is an awakening to the medicinal and spiritual values of our humble herbs in alternative healing. The search for special species; the preservation, cultivation and use for a positively energised and healthy world.