Communing with Plant Spirits
The very thought of talking to or communing with plant spirits might seem strange, odd or downright delusional to the average person. Fortunately, I don’t consider Pagans, occultists and witches “average”, not by any stretch of the imagination. Our very existence flies in the face of average, mundane and status quo. Most of us live a life that is immersed in magic, beauty and mystery. We live for those moments of connection… to each other, to the divine and to other living beings.
This weekend I attended the Houston Pagan Conference hosted by Blackberry Circle. The featured speaker was Raven Grimassi and he spoke a lot about communing with plant spirits. How to do it, why to do it and what you can expect if you do it. I was mesmerized by the idea of being that in touch with plants to have them actually appear to me in spirit form. How cool would that be?! He told us a story about getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and returning to his bed in a bit of a sleepy stupor. There he found 2 mandrake spirits about mid-calf high, standing next to his bed looking up at him. His initial thought was “I don’t remember leaving my boots here.” and as he rubbed the sleepiness from his eyes and saw their little faces he said all he could muster was a weak “Hello.” as he climbed into bed. He jokingly said that when plant spirits appear to you at 3am for the first time “Hello” is about the only thing you can get to come out. He went on to talk about them disappearing and reappearing at the foot of his bed in full human size. They started to dance, shuffle and sway. Initially he thought “This is really creepy.”, but after a few moments of watching them what seemed creepy soon became beautiful to him. Their dancing and swaying was calming and as they carried out their little routine he started to receive a message from them. He had wondered why they appeared and they told him telepathically and given him a sense of calm. Just as quickly as they had appeared, they disappeared leaving him with the message they wanted him to have. It was a lovely story… one that stood out for me.
I’ve never had a mandrake plant spirit appear to me to dance and convey messages, but I have felt a sense of connection and knowing
with plants and trees. I have felt an overwhelming wash of calm come over me in certain places. I have felt a sense of being remembered in others. Some of my earliest memories of feeling connected to the divine, to nature and to my authentic self have not been in the presence of other people, but in the presence of the giant redwoods in Muir woods, under the wispy branches of the willow tree in my Gram’s backyard and lying on the soft needles of the pines with nothing but earth below me and sky above me. Those moments are the ones I often try to recapture in my current surroundings. They brought me peace, serenity and a greater sense of self.
So what does any of this mean to you? Well, it means that if you want to feel close to the divine, find a way to connect to the life around you whether big or small. Don’t be afraid to stand barefooted in the grass or to put your hands in the soil. Lie on the damp ground and listen to the hum and chatter of nature around you. Be open and willing to accept even the most unexpected messenger. Whether that’s a talkative little robin or a dancing mandrake… this life you’ve chosen (or that may have chosen you) isn’t meant to be ordinary. Magic doesn’t reside among the ordinary… it’s the unbridled possibility of what if’s in this world that makes the life of a witch extraordinary. So don’t be afraid to truly live it out loud.
The next time you are tending to your herb garden, rose bushes or house plants… whisper to them that you are a witch and that you mean them no harm. Tell them that you are thankful for all of the amazing things they are capable of. Name their uses and properties one by one. Touch them, praise them and nurture them. You will be amazed at the ways in which they will communicate with you and how much closer to the spirit of the land you find yourself.