What is it about the green world that draws us in and connects with us deeply? There is something about the realness of the plant world, how they relate to our truths and bring them out to be revealed, loved, and handled. Plants and plant spirits have a way of connecting and opening us up even when we feel we are not able to. Just like ancestral spirits and spirit guides, plant spirits work with us in a natural way.
Plants are a part of us, and we as spiritual living beings have plantcestors as well as ancestors. Our ancestors knew that plants were connected to us and were sacred children of mother earth. That’s why plants were treated with the utmost respect, in some traditions they were given offerings and honored as well as received as offerings for special occasions or specific deities. Plants spoke to the wise ones; plant spirits came to the healers and the Seers and taught them the sacred information needed to perform miracles of all kinds.
In every region of the world, you will find plants that are used and honored in rituals. There are multiple reasons for this, both spiritual and mundane. Other than accessibility to the plants, certain plants often resemble the part of the body it can heal. It’s interesting to see the connection between the plant spirits and humans, we must really think about it because back in the day there was no room for trial and error. The healer had to be certain that what she was about to give to her patients was truly going to help and not harm unless that was the goal! Since there were no books and internet or classes to teach these healers, they had to learn from the source…. the spirits themselves.
Spirits, plancestors and ancestors, were the original teachers. They would come to the women and men who had gifts, those that were different than other people. The spirits would teach healing, magic, and ways of calling on the spirits as well as how to communicate with spirits in dreams or at times of solitude in the woods. Each spirit initiates contact differently, some will show in dreams, some will begin to speak to you while either in meditation or just a calmed state of mind. The same is true of plant spirits. If we look at poisonous plants as a family, only will we have different things come to mind as opposed to plants for healing, but we will also all connect to each plant differently because the spirits speak to each of us in our own way.
At first glance, the poison plant realm seems associated with a specific type of work, in all actuality that is not the case. Looking deeper at the poisonous plants, we begin to realize that there is so much more than meets the eye. Plants like Mandrake, Henbane, Datura, and Belladonna all have strong associations with astral travel, shadow work, the darker aspects of life and death, necromancy, and baneful magic. Most people believe that the poisons are for negative workings only, in my practice that is far from the truth! I have used them in baneful magic but when I’m working with the spirit, I am most likely working towards growth and change.
The amount of time I have spent working with poisonous plants, and plants in general, has shown me a few things. Each poisonous plant holds a different shadow for me. Each poisonous plant understands one of my traumas and faults and they are willing and able to help me overcome them. Poisonous plants are always teaching me, even if it is a plant I have never worked with as a spirit ally, they will still come into my dreams and show me the way.
When you are building a relationship with any plant spirit the best start is to spend time together. If you are in a place where you can start a garden, that is the ideal way to start. If you don’t have the space the next best thing to do is get the dried plant so you can keep it near you. Failing that, print a picture of the plant and hang it up near your bed or keep it with you. No matter which way you choose, your connection with this plant will slowly grow. You may even start to feel psychic downloads coming from them. Keeping a journal, especially in the early stages, helps us learn how the plant communicates with us.
In time the spirit might start asking for offerings or a sacred space. When you work with a spirit, no matter what spirit it is, only do what you feel comfortable with. If the spirit is asking you for something that you don’t feel comfortable with then politely decline and offer an alternative. You must remember that these are still spirits, so you can and should set boundaries.
The plancestors are exactly what they sound like, the ancestors of the plants. Everyone has plantcestors, they are plant spirits that have had a role in your family’s history or are an important plant from the region your family is from. Plants have always played a role in the livelihood of people; from medicine and makeup to food and shelter, plants played a key role.
Everyone is encouraged to start working with their plantcestors. If you are unsure which plants belonged to your family, then begin where you are now, and where you know your family has lived. Follow this as far back as you can, researching the plants from each stage, eventually the plants will begin speaking to you.
The most sacred of beings on the planet, plants will continue to flourish no matter how humankind tries to destroy them.
No matter how you decide to work with plants, the important part is to remember how vital plants are to us and show them the respect they deserve!
Would you like to learn more about the sacredness of plants and how to forge a working relationship with the Plantcestors? Sign up here for Vivian's class on Italian folk magic and Poisonous Plants. Class begins July 15th.