This is part 5 of a 5-part series on plant spirit communication.
Click here to read part one.
In this, the final part of the series on how to communicate with plants, we come to one of my favorite ways of engaging deeply with our green allies. For this practice, you’ll need an herbal medicine preparation that’s safe and supportive for you to work with- tinctures are my favorite for this exercise because of their ease of use in a ritual setting.
When we take herbal medicines into our body in this intentional way, we’re inviting the plant spirits to teach us from within. As they move through our being and make the adjustments they do, they are also sharing wisdom and perspective with us that’s unique to who they are as arcane beings. By tapping into this subtle process, our herbal medicine taking becomes more powerful, more effective, and more holistic in the ways it influences our bodies, minds, emotions, spirits, and life paths.
For this explanation, I’ll be using an herbal tincture made from one single plant ally of focus. I usually dose just 9 drops for this practice, but you can take more or less according to what’s appropriate for you. If you work with a tea, powder, balm, oil, or incense, you can apply these processes creatively to suit your own medicine journey.
Following the Medicine
Think back to previous articles in this series where we looked at intent and receptivity to the plant spirits, exploring the plant with our senses, sharing breath with them, and most recently invoking them and experiencing their otherworldly presence. You can call all of these techniques up together to create a powerful ritual of communication, or you can focus on the ones that have been the most effective for your own green sorcery. I suggest ensuring that you are in a receptive state and that your intention to connect and experience the presence of the plant spirit through their medicine is strong.
This simple practice is one with massive efficacy for those who practice with it. Learning from individual plants from within your own being using your own internal language symbols is a shortcut to deep bond with the plants and a quickening of our ability to learn directly from the great green spirits.
This is part 4 of a 5-part series on plant spirit communication.
Click here to read part one.
In this lesson we move deeper into the personhood of the plant and the presence of their spirit in our work. This is by and far one of my favorite practices- and it’s one that creates a great depth of intimacy between human and plant while helping us to remember the many virtues and blessings the plant offers us.
In order to accomplish this practice, you’ll need to know a bit about the plant before you. You can study materia medica books, read monographs written by herbalists, look up the botany of the plant and learn about where they grow, what their scientific name is and why, what plants they’re related to, and so on. You can also search for lore and legend that include the plant or see how people that work with herbal magic work with this plant. Make notes of key points that stand out as interesting, meaningful, or powerful to you.
Invoking the Plant Spirit
Even though we sit or stand in front of the plant as they grow, we will still be offering an invocation as it opens up our intuition to the deep personhood of the plant while honoring them with a recitation of their virtues.
Taking the list of key points you made earlier, you can turn these into points of invocation for the plant spirit using the following framework…
I call you, great (plant name), from the green realm.
You who are (say a virtue such as ‘from the Mediterranean but now thriving across the world’)
Bringing us (say some medicinal or magical virtues of the plant such as ‘calming to the nerves and soothing to the aching heart’).
Great (plant name), with your (describe the plant here),
I ask you to join me in this sacred space that we might strengthen our kinship and commune with one another.
Here’s an example of an invocation written for one of my closest allies, Linden…
I call you, great Tila, from the green realm!
Linden, who lines the streets with medicine and magic,
You who bring us medicine of the heart and comfort to the center of our beings,
You who encourage us to speak our heart’s desire and always honor our true self.
Great Tila, with your heart-shaped leaves and the intoxicating scent of your blossoms which provide much joy to humans and bees alike, I ask you to join me here in this sacred space where I can honor you and learn from your wealth of wisdom.
As you can see, the invocation is a way to call on the plant spirit by acknowledging traits that are special to them and that feel important to your connection. These invocations help to call the plant more into your presence while also attuning your own subtle senses to just who it is you’re working with.
Experiencing the Plant Spirits
Now that you’ve done your invocation, it’s time to settle in, sit back, and just bathe in the presence of the powerful plant person before you. Open yourself up, listen from everywhere, and try to focus your senses- especially your mind- on being in the presence of otherness.
If another human were standing in front of you, you’d be able to experience their presence, their seeing you, and your seeing them. Try to duplicate that feeling and apply it to the plant spirit.
Spend as much time as you like here, and follow any journeys or inspirations the plant may lead you on.
This is part 3 of a 5-part series on plant spirit communication.
Click here to read part one.
Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re in a deep and powerful relationship with the plant spirits all right now. With every breath you take you are receiving an inhalation of green blessings- and with your exhalation you offer your own gift of vital force to our green allies.
The breath is the most powerful way to enter into connection with the plants. It’s already happening, and it ties us human folk to the plant spirits in an essential way. What we inhale is the exhalation of the plants, and what we exhale is the inhalation of the plants. This cycle is one of sacred reciprocity whereby we offer of ourselves to the plants so that they can do what they do and offer of themselves to us, and so on and so forth from first breath to last.
Because of this powerful breath connection, the body, mind, and heart are eager to use the breath as a path into deeper spiritual work with the plant spirits all. In this simple practice, we ride the breath into connection and let the plant lead from there.
To breathe with the plants…
Continue this breathing of offering and receiving for as long as you like. Don’t force or manipulate the breath at all. Rather, let it be how it is for you and just add the intention.
You may find that the breath carries you into a journey with the plant spirit where communication, inspiration, or healing occurs. You may find that you feel a closeness and rapport with the plant. You may find that this time is simply relaxing and connecting. With practice, the breath becomes a gateway by which we enter into the mysteries of the green realm.
This is part 2 of a 5-part series on plant spirit communication.
Click here to read part one.
At every instant we’re receiving billions upon billions of date bits from the world around us. Our sensory systems are in constant engagement with colors, sounds, brightness, scent, temperature, touch, taste, and a myriad other points while also monitoring the goings on within us. As all of this data floods in from the world around us, gateways in the brain, heart, and gut exist to filter out what’s relevant and ignore the rest. This powerful system is intrinsically linked to thought, and it happens in places other than just the brain. We think in the heart and the gut too- that is, receive, interpret, store, and respond to incoming information.
To engage the sensory system intentionally is to focus in on what data makes its way into our thinking places. This is an active meditation that gently quiets what isn’t important in the moment while giving more space and volume to what is.
For all of these reasons, to engage your senses with a plant is one of the most powerful ways to create rapport with them, open your thinking places to theirs, and open a way between you. For some people, this practice alone will begin a gentle flow of inspiration from the plant spirit which brings ideas, images, memories, feelings, and sensations to the person- all part of how the plant communicates. For the rest of us, this foundational practice eases the path of communication by allowing us to slow down to tree speed and be our most receptive selves.
To engage and explore…
This is part one of a five-part series on plant spirit communications
Being able to communicate with the plant spirits is an essential part of both green sorcery and plant spirit work in general. There are countless methods one can find online and in courses that explain how to enter into a dynamic sharing of wisdom and experience with our green allies- but many of them overcomplicate the process. Here, in a five-part series on how to communicate with plant spirits, I offer you a simple way to engage across the hedge using two powerful formats: the breath and plant medicine. Let’s get started!
INTENT & RECEPTIVITY
In order to communicate with plants, we have to set a few things in motion in order to open the ways between us. This first step to deep engagement with the mighty green ones is crucial- it works to open the hedge which separates our world from their world while simultaneously making us more receptive and sensitive to the ways in which plants communicate, guide, and teach.
We accomplish this by getting to states into place: intent and receptivity. These two states are aligned to the breath which we will explore in a later post; intent is exhalation, receptivity is inhalation.
Our intent is the force which separates the veil that separates this world from the world of spirit. It pierces the veil and parts the hedge so that a pathway is open to connect our world to the otherworld and allow the free flowing of green wisdom between us and our plant spirit allies.
Intent is about a deep desire to connect, know, and experience. We have to want to be in communion with the plant spirits- and this wat creates a powerful magic.
Receptivity is our willingness to receive and embrace what the plant spirits send our way. It is an openness to the unique ways in which plant spirits communicate and an eagerness to listen from everywhere so that all the ways in which the plant spirits guide us will be received. We’ll explore this idea of listening from everywhere more in a later post.
So, our first step in communicating with plant spirits is to want it and to be open to it. Simple, right?
These two actions, coupled with their respective aspects of breathing, work to open the gates and lay fertile ground for the work ahead.
Next up: Following the Medicine