Much can be said, and even more experienced, about the varying states of consciousness we ebb and flow through in our green sorcery. To me, consciousness is a spectrum and throughout the course of a usual day all people will move in and out of different states which can go from quite dense to incredibly translucent and permeable. These various states of consciousness can help to anchor us more fully in the here and now, or they can grant us a more direct perception of the worlds of otherness that surround, saturate, and contain our own.
Students often ask me about ways in which they can enter into altered states of consciousness to make their plant spirit work easier. They want to know how to quiet the thinking brain while activating the experiencing heart center- the liminal point of the body. Knowing that an altered state can make it easier to connect and communicate with non-human persons, most folks on a plant spirit path know it’s an important skill to hone. While many methods and techniques exist, one stands out above the rest in my work as both a personal favorite and one that I see facilitate the deepest and most profound effects in those who use it.
This particular altered state is one which, when entered, is never left behind. It becomes a new level of everyday perception by which we can more fully engage and experience the wholeness of the word we live in and lean further into the complex spiritual realities that weave through all the different levels of being. It is a way to be fully who and where we are- functional human people- while also having a dynamic access to the world of the plant spirits as we walk our respective paths.
This state comes as a natural effect to changing the way we see, acknowledge, and experience the world at large. The moment we step fully and whole-heartedly into an animistic perspective, we do in fact enter into a non-ordinary state of consciousness which allows more in and allows more of us to project out into nature.
Living with an animistic perspective means that we venture out into the world with the understanding that the world is inhabited by a vast and infinite number of fully sovereign persons who are not human. We choose to acknowledge and interface with animals, insects, trees, flowers, lakes, rivers, mountains, thunderstorms, and a whole host of not-visible people with the understanding that they are as much person as we are. Many of them, like the plants, know we’re there when we’re there. Some are just as oblivious to our presence as we are to theirs. Some engage with us directly in deep ways even though they aren’t like us, others engage in relationship with us through the power of avoidance and boundary. No matter who, or how, the animist perspective initiates us into a way of living that destroys human exceptionalism and decenters the human perspective in favor of wholeness.
By walking through life with the awareness that otherness exists, we wash away layers of dust which have accumulated over the eyes of our hearts so that, in a short time, we begin to re-experience the real magic of life and the real complexity of presence.