collapse

Important Announcement

Changing the Guard at The Cauldron

Sunflower is the new Host of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
Please read this thread for more information.

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Plant Spirits  (Read 973 times)

Darkhawk

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4831
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 719
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Plant Spirits
« on: July 17, 2012, 04:45:32 pm »
A while back Lupa (a neo-shaman I'm acquainted with, who has at least a little name rec) started talking about building relationships with totem spirits of plant species.

A couple of her articles on the subject can be found here:
http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2012/04/16/a-few-thoughts-on-plant-totems/
http://therioshamanism.com/category/plant-totems/

I know that, for example, people who do work with psychoactive plants say that one important part of getting meaningful spiritual experiences out of the process is cultivating a relationship with the spirit of the plant.  Which means, presumably, that in traditional systems that use those tools, there are techniques in place to guide people to start doing so.

I also know that there are various systems (mystical, divinatory, etc.) that touch on plant symbology and so on, which meant that when I made a passing reference to cultivating a relationship with a particular totemic plant spirit a friend pointed me at some of her ogham studies insights from years before I knew her.  Which is not the same as the plant spirit, per se, except of course that it is.

So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

SkySamuelle

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 717
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 02:46:40 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
A while back Lupa (a neo-shaman I'm acquainted with, who has at least a little name rec) started talking about building relationships with totem spirits of plant species.

A couple of her articles on the subject can be found here:
http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2012/04/16/a-few-thoughts-on-plant-totems/
http://therioshamanism.com/category/plant-totems/

I know that, for example, people who do work with psychoactive plants say that one important part of getting meaningful spiritual experiences out of the process is cultivating a relationship with the spirit of the plant.  Which means, presumably, that in traditional systems that use those tools, there are techniques in place to guide people to start doing so.

I also know that there are various systems (mystical, divinatory, etc.) that touch on plant symbology and so on, which meant that when I made a passing reference to cultivating a relationship with a particular totemic plant spirit a friend pointed me at some of her ogham studies insights from years before I knew her.  Which is not the same as the plant spirit, per se, except of course that it is.

So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?

 
That's not something I had considered before, but I can see how creating a finer attunement with the spirit of the -few- plants I work with by habit might help to reinforce the experiencing of their psychic properties.

I generally use laurel and or sage to help to prepare for ritual. Sage for pre or post ritual cleansing and oracle work, laurel only for oracle work so far.

I use those plants by infusing the water I'll use for the Ha-prayer of the day with their leaves and chewing/ingesting those leaves before the rite. I can do this even three times each day of pre-ritual preparation and I feel it helps me to get more in tune with their energy.

That's different from having a relationship with the plant spirit but I think it might help with the process (particularly with the frequent ingesting of the leaves, unless they are poisonous/psychoactive), as even the cultivating your plants if it is possible. Maybe we might go about contacting the plant spirit , as we go about with the programmation of crystals - aka opening a psychic link toward a branch of X specific plants, sensing its energy and 'climbing' insidethe planch to see what the residing spirit has to say.
“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” ― Neil Gaiman *
Currently blogging at: http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Icon by jewelotus

Aster Breo

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2826
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 48
    • View Profile
Plant Spirits
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 02:50:12 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?

(I haven't read the linked articles yet. Will try to do so asap.)

I don't have much experience with either totem animals or totem plants, although they are intriguing ideas.  

But I've been working with ogam divination for a while, using my take on Erynn Laurie's system, which draws heavily on plant symbolism (among other things; Erynn's system is not a "tree alphabet"), with a bit of Alexei Kondratiev's system thrown in.  That might be a helpful starting point.

Would it be useful for us to go through and discuss this aspect of Erynn's and Alexei's work?

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

SkySamuelle

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 717
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 03:22:53 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;64718
(I haven't read the linked articles yet. Will try to do so asap.)

I don't have much experience with either totem animals or totem plants, although they are intriguing ideas.  

But I've been working with ogam divination for a while, using my take on Erynn Laurie's system, which draws heavily on plant symbolism (among other things; Erynn's system is not a "tree alphabet"), with a bit of Alexei Kondratiev's system thrown in.  That might be a helpful starting point.

Would it be useful for us to go through and discuss this aspect of Erynn's and Alexei's work?

~ Aster

 
I am not familiar with ogam divination, but I would be very interested in informing myself if you had articles to advise me toward.
“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” ― Neil Gaiman *
Currently blogging at: http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Icon by jewelotus

Annie Roonie

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 915
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 05:43:07 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
A while back Lupa (a neo-shaman I'm acquainted with, who has at least a little name rec) started talking about building relationships with totem spirits of plant species.

A couple of her articles on the subject can be found here:
http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2012/04/16/a-few-thoughts-on-plant-totems/
http://therioshamanism.com/category/plant-totems/

Awesome! I loved those! I like how she compared some gardeners love of plants to pet owners love of their pets. I feel similarly except that the plants have a, hard to explain, different spirit. Their feedback requires more on my part than getting a cat to purr.

And the saying thanks to the plants! It feels so good to have someone else express this kind of thing.

Thank you so much for the tip to those!

Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?

This might be confusing. I have had my own communications with plants forever. However, I thought there must be some great way to do it that I had not found. So I looked. Most of what I came up with was stoner stuff, but then I got the Cunningham video about herbs and he showed a way to feel the energies. I was so excited to have that. I practiced on everything that grew that I could find. That was recent.

And even more recently I was talking to (okay, here is where I trust you not to think me a freak) the petunias. They're like a tea chat friend in summer and they looked at me and and it was obvious they needed pinching (taking off dead bits). I did that and felt them respond. And then I realized that I have my own way and it works for me. I can look elsewhere, but I have to trust my own some too. These are my friends. They've been my best friends all my life. No joke.  (Not all, of course. Gotta develop the friendship like with anything.) I disliked gardening for so long because I thought it was playing favorites and I didn't want to hurt any feelings.

Here was how I started as far as I can remember. I looked at them and touched them and laid down with them and talked to them. This was not always safe. My entire upper body has a layer of scar tissue from playing with poison ivy. I was so happy even when itchy and covered in scabs. My mom said I looked like a monster. I overheard this when she was on the phone. I felt bad for the poison ivy and to this day, when I have to kill it, I apologize and explain how my body will react.

I ate the little yellow flowers of a clover species (oxalis I think) that grew behind shrubs and called them wheaties because the plant told me they were good for me. They taste like spinach. Or rather as I found out later, spinach tastes like them.

Clearly, I cannot recommend this method, but include it to illustrate that if you're open to it and it is safe for you, get those hands dirty.

Here is a method to practice getting in touch with spirit of a plant that I use when I encounter a new plant now. I think if you pick any plant that exists where you live that also has a cultivar (or the wild if you like) that you can plant at home to examine in another setting, it would be a great start.

1. Observe it in its own environment wild. See how it grows - does it grow up or to the sides? (This can be important later because there is always a reason.) Where does it grow? Sun, shade, banks of rivers? In the water? Does it need another plant to grow well like vines in the woods? Does it kill other plants? Does it need tending for growth or to control growth or is it just dandy all on its own?  When does it have sex and how? If you can tell this without a botany book or wiki. Sometimes it's easy as seeing the bees. Sometimes it's very difficult to decipher without reading. Getting a spoor print from a mushroom for example takes study even to know that it should be done to identify it well. Take a photo. Draw it. What does it look like?

2. Talk to about itself and about yourself. If you have not done this, it can feel as awkward as a blind date even if no other human is listening. I think that feeling is normal and to me, tells me that I am being heard. Look at the plant when you talk. Touch it if you can. See what feelings you get. Is it prickly? That's something to look into because there is always a reason and you can come back to it and have a more informed conversation later. Does it feel like the flowers, if there are flowers, are looking at you sarcastically or in some other way when you talk? Personify them over all over the place. If you're off base with your personifications, the plant will prove you wrong in one way or another eventually.

3. Botany, medicinal and agricultural sites and books, read them about your particular plant. Find out their stories like doing background checks on them. This can help you have more informed conversation, but also how to give good gifts. I have read that sprinkling salt is a way of saying thanks to a plant. Not all plants are going to groove on that, and it's not like they can hop in the car and go to the market to return it. This  information is also good for understanding what gifts they can give to you. Like any good friendship, if you don't let them give sometimes too, there is an imbalance.  I also look at mythology to see how the plant has been used in the past. Not just medicinally. Gods can be associated of course.  Know your plant's friends and enemies in this world. It can be critical.

4. Getting one wild or a cultivar of the plant you've chosen to live at your house will help you see how it adapts and if it wants to come with you. Now this can be a nightmare of self blame when something doesn't take. I apologize, give thanks and start over, but NOT right away.

Related tangent: Plants are not fast. The cinquefoil I planted looked dead. But experience told me to let it ride and keep the pot weeded and watered in the sun for at least another year. And this year it came back to me! I have done a little dance and I five that cutie on the way in the house all the time. If you have a couple of pots your able to keep, keeping one blank is interesting. Some plants will migrate by air. This year lavender that died in one pot came back and is taking over the blank pot. Portulaca is a crafty little booger that way too. And something will grow if you are able to keep a blank pot outside in most regions. Sure, you may get a weed, but I've looked at that as the plant that was sent to me to study.

Back to your plant at home. If it is not a year round grower and you keep it outside, gird yourself for saying goodbye. If you've spent time confiding in it or even just chatting, you may feel an emotional loss. But if you can keep it growing and inside, continue observing it and talking to it. This is a time when you can put good gift giving study to work. You can see almost immediate results from adding things like eggshells to the soil.

5. Don't get hung up on the terminology. That might be an impediment to communication with the plant and it might make a body loathe plants in general. I think if you make up your own words for things, the plant won't mind. And by the way, when I say plant, I do mean plant spirit. It is alive and it knows so much without words at all. The terminology is great and necessary when talking to people though.

6. Think about death and poop. What does it mean to the plant? Compost is death a party. And not all poop is shit (some is bad for plants though, like dog poop from dogs who eat foods high in fats can kill some plants - and then some oils like fish oils can be great for plants). Worm poop is teh awesome for a lot of plants. And maybe consider the times when people weren't buried in caskets and cement vaults and how animals return to nature. I think the plant knows of these things in a wordless and essential way. And how does the plant itself poop? They do. They have waste products. Will their own waste kill them or does it make them stronger? Petunias do not like their own waste and tend to grow away from it IME. But other plants are cool with it.

7. Sacrifice your plant eventually. Or another one if you can't handle it emotionally that can take a while to get over for some people (me:o). Ask to do this and explain it. Thank it. Tell it you'll see it again someday. Get to those roots. I want a glass pot so I can examine the roots in living action, but at some point you have to cut into them and see the structure. Okay, you don't have to but I think it can help in understanding. If you have a bulb type plant that will happily share its roots, cool, you only have to take a bit. If you can safely and want to, taste it (and the other parts too if possible - it is the spirit going through you - to know it that way is very special IMO).

To know what you are looking at will take study, but if you're focusing only on one plant, it won't be overwhelming. Just keep in the back of your mind that there are more of them than there are of us species wise and learning it all isn't going to happen overnight or at all in one lifetime. Watch how it degrades. Does it become sweet smelling or does it smell like booty? This can be predicted if enough study is done and the compounds are understood, but learning first hand is good too for getting in touch with the spirit. What creatures are attracted to the decaying plant matter? How does it look when it is dried? In the death there are clues as to how the life goes.

8. Get mad scientist. Boil it, fry it, mash it, dry it, grind it. Add different things to it. Study helps here. I am still in process with this and will have to dig into very deeply if I am going to be able to understand how certain chemical bonds are formed and which ones are helpful and which ones aren't.

Make notes about not only your science type findings, but also how you have felt every step of the way. Nothing huge. Just something to let you know that you have had feelings associated and they were real.

I have purposefully avoided specific terminology because I think if a body is to commune with a plant spirit, safety is important, but so is letting go of the human need to define everything in words and in usages. Seriously, there is enough structure already in the plant world. They get along pretty well and tend to abide by their own laws nicely most of the time. The words are for humans the feelings and even the gasses those words emit are for the plants.

Trees get most of their food from the air not the roots. This is something children know but many adults seem to forget and I think in large part that is because we've educated some of our natural communication out of ourselves to a degree.

Sorry for the length.:eek: And if somebody here has a better method, use it! I will not be offended in the slightest! I have read some words from people here that tell me there is a wealth of experience with plant spirits. And I may need to be corrected, so be it and awesome on top. Whatever works to get someone who wants to, to see with the mind and senses both.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 05:44:44 am by Annie Roonie »

Annie Roonie

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 915
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 06:11:15 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
..

 
I wanted to add . I think it does a good job of opening the door to plant spirits.  It anthropomorphizes them, but sometimes doing that is a way of understanding too. YMMV of course.

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 07:20:30 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
A while back Lupa (a neo-shaman I'm acquainted with, who has at least a little name rec) started talking about building relationships with totem spirits of plant species.

A couple of her articles on the subject can be found here:
http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2012/04/16/a-few-thoughts-on-plant-totems/
http://therioshamanism.com/category/plant-totems/

I know that, for example, people who do work with psychoactive plants say that one important part of getting meaningful spiritual experiences out of the process is cultivating a relationship with the spirit of the plant.  Which means, presumably, that in traditional systems that use those tools, there are techniques in place to guide people to start doing so.

I also know that there are various systems (mystical, divinatory, etc.) that touch on plant symbology and so on, which meant that when I made a passing reference to cultivating a relationship with a particular totemic plant spirit a friend pointed me at some of her ogham studies insights from years before I knew her.  Which is not the same as the plant spirit, per se, except of course that it is.

So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?

Interesting blog! *adding to follow-list*

I've been interested in work with plant spirits for a long while (some of my interests go back to the year when I worked on an organic farm with a little botanical garden for herbs before I started to research paganism), but it has been a very slow topic to me. I find it takes me very long to really develop a relationship with specific plants.

I wouldn't say it's more difficult than developing a relationship with animal spirits, it's just a different form of communication in my experience. Animals can talk verbally in dreams or trance experiences with me or they can actively guide me somewhere, show me something if they don't talk for some reason.

With plants it's a more silent and intuitive experience for me. I just feel the presence of some when going for a walk or they appear in dreams or trance experiences to me without 'doing' anything. Once I had a dream in which belladonna was growing everywhere and I later discovered that it's a homeopathic remedy against my toothache.

I nevertheless talk to them because it helps me forge a connection.

I often go on a walk in a secluded area and open up to the plant life around me. Then sometimes certain plants catch my attention, I concentrate on how they feel and look them up afterwards.

I think some plants resonate more with me than others and some resonate with me in specific times/moods. (Yesterday I walked past a chamomilla and felt a big resonance while I'm normally not such a chamomilla-person.)

I have something of a memory how a plant feels like to me, like remembering a scent. I had a very astonishing experience when I first came across an aconitum in a botanic garden. While I didn't know its appearance, it immediately cought my attention in the midst of a dozens other plants because it felt so familiar. I've often taken homeopathical aconitum before so I kinda recognized its 'feel'.

Actually I think plants are in some sense much closer to us than animals because we see so many of them daily and consume much more plant stuff than we consume animals. But Lupa makes a good point in saying that many people pay more attention to animals as spiritually significiant than to plants. They take a mint on the wayside much more for granted than any warmblooded animal and don't pay much attention to the herbs in our tea bags unless they need something to soothe an upset stomach. (I can't say that I'm much better.)

Btw, another interesting way to develop a connection is to draw a small circle around yourself and a plant and concentrate fully on percieving the plant in the middle of the circle.

I've also once made a protective pendant by asking holly for its help and blowing its spirit unto the pendant. Worked really well and I'm normally not much of a magic/spells expert.

There are also quite some books about work with plant spirits. I'm mostly thinking of the books from Wolf-Dieter Storl - don't know if there's an English translation yet, but he really concentrates on working with the plant spirit and also tells a lot of lore. Some of Fischer-Rizzi's books have been translated in English and she also considers the plant spirit, not just the usability, though I couldn't find the one I have in English.

Another interesting way is to draw a card from a plant oracle deck weekly or monthly and research and look for the plant. I've doing this with 'The Celtic Tree Oracle' from Murray which has beautiful cards of trees, shrubs and some plants and a very short lore summary on each. (I wouldn't recommend it for accurate ogham work, I just like the artwork.) There's a Celtic plant oracle from Carr-Gomm I might buy at some point.

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 08:32:57 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
A while back Lupa (a neo-shaman I'm acquainted with, who has at least a little name rec) started talking about building relationships with totem spirits of plant species.

A couple of her articles on the subject can be found here:
http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2012/04/16/a-few-thoughts-on-plant-totems/
http://therioshamanism.com/category/plant-totems/
...

 
I now have two new blogs to follow.

I'm a gardener (indoor and outdoor), so I have a special love for plants but the closest I've come to what Lupa describes is the relationship I have with Basil.  I grow Basil year-round and have come to identify with its life cycle - from germination through harvest, we commune with each other.  I'm not entirely sure how it came about, to be honest.

I'd like to cultivate a similar relationship with Blackberry but really do not know where to start other than spending time with the canes, and giving thanks for the fruit I harvest.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 09:18:31 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;64739
I now have two new blogs to follow.

I'm a gardener (indoor and outdoor), so I have a special love for plants but the closest I've come to what Lupa describes is the relationship I have with Basil.


Btw, there must be an awsome lot of lore about basil, because in some Asian regions a certain subspecies of basil is considered sacred. (If you don't know already.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_basil

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 09:28:25 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;64739
I'd like to cultivate a similar relationship with Blackberry but really do not know where to start other than spending time with the canes, and giving thanks for the fruit I harvest.

I just looked up blackberry because I didn't know the English name (I only knew 'bramble') and found out that many popular berries like blackberries and raspberries are related to roses...how iteresting! Maybe I should study plant genealogy/classification a bit...

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 10:19:05 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;64744
Btw, there must be an awsome lot of lore about basil, because in some Asian regions a certain subspecies of basil is considered sacred. (If you don't know already.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_basil


I always wondered was tulsi actually was!  I learned about it reading Monsoon Diaries but now I think I may need to grow some.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Tana

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2295
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 02:55:02 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;64754
I always wondered was tulsi actually was!  I learned about it reading Monsoon Diaries but now I think I may need to grow some.

 
Tulsi is pretty intense.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Elementalist

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 59
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 09:14:08 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643

So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?


Plants choose me. For example I bought a dried plant root in a supermarket recently. I had never tried this root before and had no idea what it was for but the compulsion to buy it was strong. When I got it home I took in the smell of it, pungent, acrid, rooty yet somehow soothing even though it's not what most people would think of as a pleasant smell. I tossed it in my cupboard. Got a strong feeling to brew it up in tea and drink it. Bitter sweet and somehow calming.

That led me into a week of meditations in which I allowed various aspects of this plant to speak to me. I got visuals on what it's for, it's relationship to it's elemental force and loads of other interesting information. I found it extremely grounding and excellent for magickal study. When I researched it's physical properties I found it was a hormone balancer and had lots of applications in TCM as well.

So for me, ingesting (a non poisonous) plant is a good way to begin a relationship with it. When it enters your physical body it begins it's work from the inside out and will inspire you onto further understanding of it. Other plants I use in perfumery and can also gain a relationship with them by mixing their essence with my own in this way. Oakmoss is a good example, when you wear it, even in a small quantity it cloaks you in it's essence.

Dried portions of plants are far from dead. And using a portion of a particular plant can connect with the entire collective spirit of the live ones. Great if it's a plant that doesn't grow in your region.

Maps

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 703
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 01:11:47 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;64643
So: what experiences do people have with cultivating a relationship with the guiding spirits of plants?  Does anyone have any thoughts about how to begin doing so?

 
I've begun to think about this recently, buying up handbooks on local flora and fauna, and taking walks. The thing that bugged me about this sort of thing though is that the plants that truly matter in local ecosystems seem to get looked over for the non-native European varieties (because hurr witchcraft) so I didn't want to bother much at first. But then I kept thinking about chapparal and many species of sage brush in California flourishes in areas that see wildfires, and some in fact have evolved to be particularly flammable. And there is one plant that has completely dominated the areas that were burned by the Station fire from '09, a kind of sage, that has stained the hillsides a deep red. Forget the yew, or the mushroom... I can't think of another family of plants that court death so dramatically.

Watching and getting to know the sage and chapparal is going to be a long and detail-oriented process because of the dozens of varieties that all work together to rehabilitate scorched regions and encourage it to happen again. Each plant has a place in that cycle, and it might be difficult to fully understand if I don't get to see another fire in person.

Aine Rayne

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 438
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Plant Spirits
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2012, 11:30:32 pm »
Quote from: Maps;79322
I've begun to think about this recently, buying up handbooks on local flora and fauna, and taking walks. The thing that bugged me about this sort of thing though is that the plants that truly matter in local ecosystems seem to get looked over for the non-native European varieties (because hurr witchcraft) so I didn't want to bother much at first. But then I kept thinking about chapparal and many species of sage brush in California flourishes in areas that see wildfires, and some in fact have evolved to be particularly flammable. And there is one plant that has completely dominated the areas that were burned by the Station fire from '09, a kind of sage, that has stained the hillsides a deep red. Forget the yew, or the mushroom... I can't think of another family of plants that court death so dramatically.

Watching and getting to know the sage and chapparal is going to be a long and detail-oriented process because of the dozens of varieties that all work together to rehabilitate scorched regions and encourage it to happen again. Each plant has a place in that cycle, and it might be difficult to fully understand if I don't get to see another fire in person.

 
Glad I'm not the only one who has always wanted to have a relationship with plant spirits. Right now I'm trying not to panic because it's getting cold and my lavender and oregano are weak. They seem to be regaining a little strength, but I'm worried about them. I always loved plants, I hope my plants live through winter. Unfortunately my basil is dying. It grew well last year, but this year I think it gave of itself to my lavender plants because I was so sad and disappointed that the sproutlings ended up dead last year after being attacked by raccoons when I had their pots outside while it was still warm. I really think it sacrificed itself, because it seems to have taken the brunt of the damned gnats and such that tried attacking my plants again. I may give it a gift before putting it in the trash.
Finding the Secret Places This is my new blog

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
3515 Views
Last post August 08, 2012, 02:42:29 am
by spoOk
36 Replies
2376 Views
Last post June 16, 2013, 09:50:19 pm
by yewberry
10 Replies
951 Views
Last post July 23, 2013, 01:36:22 pm
by yewberry
17 Replies
2456 Views
Last post February 05, 2014, 01:14:48 pm
by DavidMcCann
1 Replies
801 Views
Last post April 12, 2015, 07:44:06 am
by Nerys53

Special Interest Group

Warning: You are currently in a Special Interest Group on the message board with special rules and focused discussions.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 24
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall