Connecting with Plant Spirit Allies
Digging Deeper: Connecting with a Plant Ally
by Darcy Blue French and edited for length and clarity by H. Culpepper
This article is an excerpt from the 2015 Almanac
Many people have allies, spirit guides, or helpers that come from the animal and
stone kingdoms. These allies give us messages, lessons, and support in various
aspects of our mundane and spiritual lives.
The botanical world is a powerful place to find allies, teachers, and helpers as well. The realm of the plant spirits contains the ancient wisdom of our earth—the plants have been here longer than the animals—and they colonized bare rock, built the soil with their bodies, rejuvintated
the atmosphere with their respiration, and developed ways to feed themselves and feed
all of life. Our culture has believed that because plants did not move or vocalize
that they were not sentient, that they did not communicate or feel pain. But this is
now known to be untrue—plants have complex nervous systems that can feel plea-
sure, hear music, and feel your love.
They can also communicate with other plants near and far. For millions of years, humans have relied upon plants for food and medicine. Before we hunted, we gathered plants. We have co-evolved with the intelligence of the plants within our own bodies.
But plants have far more to teach us— they are more than food or physical medicine for our bodies. The spirits of the plants communicate with us every day through our emotions and electromagnetic and energetic bodies. As beings with a deep understanding of community, adaptation, and resilience, plants can teach us how to walk upon the earth with respect
and honor for ourselves and our communities for all of life.
They can also teach us how to heal and learn from our emotional wounds with ease and grace, and help alleviate our physical pains and illnesses. They can offer us protection and deep,
healing spiritual lessons. We can connect with the plants in our immediate surroundings by walking outside and communing with the tree or shrub that waits every day. And we can take their medicine into our bodies in a very real way to receive and learn from their medicine.
How to Find a Plant Ally
So, how do you find a plant ally to learn from and work with? For some, it can be as
simple as choosing a plant that is growing in your yard or for which you have a spe-
cial liking. If there is a plant you would like to know better, this is a fine way to
choose an ally. You can also peruse books with photographs or medicinal uses of
plants and find one that speaks to you. But I have found that oftentimes plant allies
will choose YOU!
When you begin looking for a plant ally, make your intention clear and then start to notice. Perhaps you will have a vivid dream about a plant, or you will begin to see images or hear the name of a plant everywhere you go.
Perhaps a plant that you have never seen before suddenly shows up in your yard or
along your daily route. It will seem to shine a bit brighter, or it may wave its leaves
at you while the wind isn’t blowing. You might find a leaf or a flower that falls out
of a book or lands on your lap as you sit outside. Most people find they have a
strong pull and attraction to a particular plant when they start paying attention with
intention. Once a plant begins to call you, it is often insistent and may not leave
your mind alone until you acknowledge it.
How to Begin to Work with Your Plant Ally
So now you have a plant whom you would like to ally with or that has made itself
known to you as an ally. How do you begin to work with your ally?
Plant Ally Altar
I always suggest starting by building an altar for your plant ally—include pictures,
seedpods, live plants/flowers, or dried pieces of your plant ally. You can include
teas, tinctures, essential oils, or flower essences of your ally as well. I find it helpful
to include an offering bowl or plate where you can leave gifts, intentions, or talis-
mans. The most important piece of a plant altar is that you spend time with it. You
can use it for journey work, meditation, daily offerings, or just a few moments of
quiet repose contemplating the relationship you have with your ally.
You should find a living representative of your plant ally (or plant one in your
garden), with which you can sit, visit, and spend time. I recommend that you sit in
meditation with your plant at for at least twenty minutes at least one day a week.
You should leave offerings and gifts.
I find the relationship deepens on a very emotional/spiritual level—the gifts and lessons received come more clearly when the gifts are offered by the plant in this way, rather than in harvesting medicine physically. This isn’t to say you should not harvest from other individual plants, but reserve one as a sacred teacher you sit with and offer gifts to, rather than taking from it.