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"There are only five pillars of medicine.

And all medicine, across all time, fits into these pillars."


Five pillar hand.jpg

The Five Pillars of Medicine is a body of knowledge that began to spontaenously come through shortly after I completed an initiation in a Southern African medicine tradition. These teachings have come through dreams, plant teachings, spontaneous insights in nature, and hold a comprehensive oversight of the patterns of nature.

This work is not only to share the information received, but to inspire the ancient remembering that there are ways of gathering knowledge about the world that is different from the way we have conventionally been trained.

The knowledge is holographic, which means that it applies to the tiniest microcosm as it applies to the greatest macrocosm. The same principles in the foundational levels of this work are echoed and built upon as the knowledge gets more sophisticated.

There are five branches in this tree of knowledge. This website explores the first two:  The Cedar Teachings and The Five Pillars of MedicineEach branch of knowledge builds on the foundations of the previous, expanding on that understanding and offers us insight to enrich our lives. This sacred order guides us as we dip deeper into the well of our life to explore untapped gifts.

Explore these teachings and apply them in your own life. Investigate, question, and see how this map works for you...

The Cedar Teachings

Cedar Teachings
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When I was in training and learning about various herbs and plants I felt a sense of overwhelm. There were so many to learn, and the mode of learning was one by one. I remember going in to the garden one day and speaking directly to the world at large:


 “I cannot learn such an abundance of wisdom and information inductively, one at a time. I request to understand deductively, to be able to deduce the medicines and properties of a plant through their underlying principles. I'd like to know the “why” in how these plants hold these properties. Please teach me these patterns, so I can recognise them in any plant…”

And I left it at that.


A few years later I received a response, in the form of The Cedar Teachings.

This was a teaching received directly from a Cedar Tree. I had been working with a shaman from Peru, sitting in the garden in between sessions talking about the various plants around us. Later that day, with some mischief in his smile, he mentioned that the three Cedar trees along the driveway were waiting for me to open a friendship with them.

I found it a fascinating invitation, and began to curiously engage them from then on. Every time I came home I would greet them, leave little offerings of tobacco or other gifts, I began speaking with them, singing to them, giving them a hug on my arrival... One day on coming home I touched them in greeting. As I walked in I saw one of them left a sticky kiss of resin on my sleeve. Now I knew the needles of the this tree are a powerful smudge when burned, yet I hadn’t considered what other parts of the plant did.Excited by this little gift, I wanted to see if the resin held the similar properties, and if so how it was different from the leaves.


I fired up a piece of coal and dropped the resin onto it, heading outside to stand under the trees while the resin began to bubble and smoke. It took a moment for the smoke to slowly waft up towards me. As it hit me I was suddenly engulfed with this most exquisite, unexpected aroma. If felt aged and feminine, an ancient smell that held warm wisdom in it. Taken completely by surprise, my heart burst open in delight and I stood in rapture at the base of the trees, moving the smoke between myself and the cedars… And into this open space of gratitude the tree spoke to me. It said:

The Spirit of a plant lives in the sap
Power is in the leaves
Medicine is in the bark
Connectivity is in the roots
And Love is in the fruits


It gave me a moment to digest this, showing how these principles largely govern the allocation of qualities across the plant kingdom, giving me examples to illustrate this. It seemed so logical, so simple. With time these principles have come to guide how I navigate the use of herbs and herbal interactions, finding this information to be impeccably consistently.

With time this teaching continued to unfold to show how these principles extend across all natural bodies, from the molecular, biological, human, and earth as a whole… From micro to macro levels these same principles apply. In knowing this simple formula, self-evident as it is, we can utilise it to guide how best we grow and evolve. 

This potent insight continues to inspire and inform as levels of understanding drop deeper. Combinations become formulae, and these ingredients are the building blocks of creation. As we arrange the correlating parts of our selves, we can design our alignment and engage different elements of what it is to be human in enlightening ways.


After working with The Cedar Teachings herbally for some time, it was revealed that these same principles flow through all the kingdoms, from microcosm to macrocosm. The same pathway of functionality found in plants moves through humans, animals, the planet as a whole, and each cell therein. These correlations of principal are shared in the online course. 

This then is the doorway to the rest of the teachings, and begins to act as a bedrock for understanding the Five Pillars of Medicine….

5 Pillars

The Five Pillars Of Medicine

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The Five Pillars of Medicine describes the five governing principles that run through all of nature. They describe the phases of evolution, and how these can be applied as medicinal and therapeutic approaches.

These teachings came through to me after a day of working with powerful Zulu sangoma - traditional healer - who I had worked with for many years. Just as I was falling asleep I heard a strong instruction to, "Get up and write this down!"

I jumped up and began to notate what was coming through. It said that,


“There are only five pillars of medicine. And all medicine, across all time, fits into these pillars”.

The teaching proceeded to stream through, showing me the five modes of medicine, the ancient and current systems that use them, and how we draw on them instinctively in our daily lives. This body of knowledge forms a deep medicinal tool, applicable in personal to global contexts.

A brief overview is below. To experience the full immersion and personal application of this information, visit the online course.

The First Pillar of Medicine:



The Roots

Like cures like




Element: Earth

Level: Body

Skeletal System

Places of 'Home'

Cedar Teaching: Root | Connectivity

Chinese element: Earth

Organs: Spleen and Stomach

Taste: Sweet

The First Pillar of Medicine is where we take a 'substance' - be it plant, animal, mineral, time or space - that represents where we are. It represents the exact frequency of our experience, and in holding that frequency it allows us to be liberated from holding it ourselves. As a result our energy can be redistributed through our system.

Homeopathy is a good example. ‘Homo' means same, ‘pathy’ means to suffer with. Meeting the symptom with the same resonance is the foundational principle. "Similia similibus cura" - similar cures similar, like heals like, is the quintessential explanation by the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann.

Like the root where connection lives, this pillar is about resonance, acceptance, rootedness, anchor, our ground zero. Any medicine that uses resonance as a modality, be it a practice, modality, medication, nutrition, sound, will be a First Pillar medicine.And this sets the stage for a healthy emerging of Second Pillar Medicine…

The Second Pillar of Medicine:



The Leaves





Element: Water

Level: Heart

Nervous System

Places of 'Learning'

Cedar Teaching: Leaf | Power

Chinese element: Wood

Organs: Liver and Gall bladder

Taste: Sour

The Second Pillar of Medicine is where we take a 'substance' - be it plant, animal, mineral, time or space - that represents where we want to be. It represents where we want to expand towards, where we are reaching. This expansion happens by learning, by going beyond our comfort zone. In moving towards this we give our being direction, and set up a trajectory for growth.

Any kind of entrainment, learning and evolution that expands us is a good example. Embodying our potential. Wherever we gain new knowledge, new skill, new energy, new nutrition, is resemblant of Second Pillar Medicine.

Like the leaf where power lives, where we collect energy and push into wider growth, this pillar is about expansion, courage, energy, entrainment and learning. Any medicine that engages moving beyond our previous condition into a new realm with skill, will be a Second Pillar medicine. This lays the ground for the emergence of Third Pillar Medicine....

The Third Pillar of Medicine:



The Bark






Element: Fire

Level: Mind

Immune System

Places of 'Protection'

Cedar Teaching: Bark | Medicine

Chinese element: Metal

Organs: Lung and Large Instestine

Taste: Astringent

The Third Pillar of Medicine is where we take a 'substance' - be it plant, animal, mineral, time or space - that represents where we do not want to be. This is 'venom' or 'poison' medicine. It exercises the immune system and stimulates protection. It is about inoculation, the boundary, and navigating wellness with intelligence. A small taste of danger is enough to ignite vigilance.

For example, a small dose of a poison such as a purgative stimulates an immune response. Triggering the body's protective reaction in reasonable doses keeps it healthy. 'Hormesis' is a term that explains this well, where stress in various forms leads to a strengthening response. Beneficial effect results from exposure to low doses of a strain, and stimulates powerful reactions that support overall health.

Like the bark where medicine lives, this is a concentrated function that serves to contain and protect.  It is where our inner world meets with our environment. Like the 'skin' of our being. it is astute in its porosity. Medicines that operate on discernment, boundary, inoculation, containment, are Third Pillar medicines. This allows a healthy platform for Fourth Pillar Medicine...

The Fourth Pillar of Medicine:



The Fruit
& Flower





Element: Fire

Level: Mind

Immune System

Places of 'Protection'

Cedar Teaching: Bark | Medicine

Chinese element: Metal

Organs: Lung and Large Instestine

Taste: Astringent

Element: Air

Level: Soul

Respiratory System

Places of 'Offering'

Cedar Teaching: Flower, Fruit | Love

Chinese element: Fire

Organs: Heart and Small Instestine

Taste: Bitter

The Fourth Pillar of Medicine is more subtle than the previous pillars, as we have gone beyond the level of dense substance, beyond the 'boundary'. This moves into the energetic realms and functions in the non-physical attributes of our being. It is the realm of thought, language, symbol and imagination. It is where dreaming happens, and where beauty emulates. This is the magnetic realm of our being, where we draw towards us that which we focus on.

A good example is the practice of mantra, where the physiology of the language stimulates points in the mouth which are connected to meridians of the body. By chanting these correctly we activate these meridians and get this line of energy to vibrate in accordance with a certain quality, drawing that into our life.

Like the flower and the fruit where love lives, this is calling medicine. Invocation, enchantment, enticement, attraction. All these are the functions of the fruit and flower, the offering and gift of the being. It is where we cross pollinate with other species and interact on exchange, gifting and love.  It is what we call towards ourselves. And this sets up a receptivity to Fifth Pillar Medicine...

The Fifth Pillar of Medicine:

Sap Five Pillars of Medicine.png



The Sap






Element: Ether

Level: Spirit

Reproductory System

Places of 'Guidance'

Cedar Teaching: Sap | Sprit

Chinese element: Water

Organs: Kidney and Bladder

Taste: Salty

The Fifth Pillar of Medicine is the most refined level of being. It is the realm of quantum. This is the extraordinary field that hosts all the others. Without this none of the others could be. It is the ether that hosts the other elements, and the non-form that hosts all form. 


With the understanding of the quantum nature of reality, the holographic way our universe is designed, we can affect the macrocosm of things by concentrating on the microcosm. A good example of this in a therapeutic context is kinesiology, family constellations, any oracle work. A whole system is represented in this compact focused treatment, and the effect then emulates and influences the field as a whole. 

Like the sap, the waters of life, this is where the spirit lives. In its clarity it holds profound guidance. It is the essence of being. The quality of this part of ourselves infuses the rest of our experience. This is quantum medicine. Vibrational medicine. It is the residence of the Akashic field. The Akash is the ether. From here a vibration is emanated, and this forms a resonance, which once again lays the foundation for First Pillar Medicine...

And so the vortical cycle of nature goes.

About Lila

Lila Lieberman


I have been working with medicinal plants and indigenous ways of healing since 1996. Beginning my journey in the Atacama Desert of Peru when I was 18, I learned its native plants and teachings. Later I initiated as 'sangoma', a traditional medicine person and seer in the Shona tradition of South Africa in 2012. I have spent much of my time engaging cultural wisdom and the use of plants and practices in a medicinal capacity.

I focus on learning from the living library held in the mineral, plant, microbial, animal, and spirit kingdoms, examining how their collaboration activates valuable openings and pathways within us, and holds a profound capacity for creative new perception. Exploring the spectrum of cultural ways, rites, passages and ceremonies that open these channels of learning is what lights me up. 

This knowledge is applied in my therapeutic practice; shared at conferences; and taught through the body of knowledge - The Five Pillars of Medicine.

My academic background includes a BA in Anthropology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, with an Honours in Transpersonal Psychology and Philosophy, and a Diploma in Integral Coaching.

My work is dedicated to the upliftment, inspiration and re-membering of our collective humanity, and the natural capacities, powers, and openings that are our birthright.

Conferences, Talks and Festivals

Limmud, Johannesburg, South Africa:  2013

Khanyisa, Johannesburg, South Africa:  2013

Breaking Convention panel, UK:  2015

Plant Consciousness panel, UK:  2015

Somara Conference, Byron bay, Australia:  2016

Plant People talk, Johannesburg, South Africa:  2016

Talks in UK - Glastonbury, Manchester, The Wirral:  2016

Rainbow Serpent Festival, Australia:  2016 and 2017

University of Glasgow  "Other Psychotherapies - Across time, space, and culture":  2017

Earth Frequency Festival, Australia 2016 and 2019

Rebel Herbal Conference:  2018

Entheogenesis Australis - online presentation:  2021

Entheogenesis Australis Conference, Melbourne Australia:  2022 

Embodying Psychedelia Conference - Uki, Australia:  2023

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