Plants as Allies: Deepening and Building Relationship with Plants for Power, Healing and Wisdom.
Plants are amazing teachers and have a lot of wisdom to share.
Working with a plant ally is to open a doorway into another world. It may become a personal healing journey or a pathway into deeper learning and understanding about plants, herbs and the natural world in general.
Relationships with plant allies takes time.
Just like human friendships and relationships, the more time and energy we put into the relationship, into interacting with the other person, the more we get to know them. Getting to know a plant is the same. You can’t expect to know the inner workings and essence of a person/plant on your first encounter. As your relationship develops, so will your understanding and knowledge.
Like people, each plant has a different personality. Some will be upfront and talkative, others will hold back until they trust you. Your path will be as individual as the relationship between any two beings.
When working with plant allies it is good to partner up with one that chooses you, that wants to work with you. It may not be your favourite plant, but you can trust that it will be just what you need.
If you deepen your connection with this ally, it will be a friend for life. All healthy relationships with plants are a step toward healing the sense of disconnection we have with the natural world.
Deepening Relationship with your Plant Ally
So you’ve met your plant ally, now what?
There are so many ways you can start to develop this relationship, here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Commit to working with this same plant for at least six months, though the longer the better.
- Spend time with your plant. In the physical if possible, but if you can’t find it locally, get a picture of it and contemplate that.
- Start a notebook for your plant ally. A journal in which you can keep notes on what you learn, what you receive in your meditations with it, drawings etc.
- Grow your plant, learn its life cycle, see what it likes and what it doesn’t like.
- Learn about the conditions it thrives in and where it commonly grows.
- Draw or paint your plant. Even if you can’t draw, just trying will help you to notice the details of it, to feel deeper into the colours, to notice things that are easy to miss otherwise.
- Spend regular time just sitting with your plant and listening. You may be surprised with what you hear. Meditate, contemplate with your plant.
- Learn your plants Latin name and its common names and what they mean, where they come from. This can lead to valuable clues about it. What family is it in?
- Look up the history of your plant. Does it feature in mythology? Or bush medicine? What is its folklore?
- Has it been used medicinally in the past? What for?
- Make a tea with your plant (if it is edible…please check and take responsibility for yourself) and be present to what arises as you drink it. What does it taste like? How does it make you feel as you drink it? Notice how it affects you. Keep notes.
- If your plant is edible, find some recipes and introduce it into your diet in some way.
- Connect with the deva of your plant. Sit quietly and set a firm intention to connect with the plant’s spirit for guidance. Open yourself up to the response and keep notes. You may like to ask: What can you teach me? Why did you come to work with me? Do you have any personal guidance for me right now? How can I give back to you?
- Remember that relationships are a two way street. Ask your plant what it would like from you. How can you give back?
- Talk to your plant often. If you are harvesting some of it, make sure you ask first, get consent. Make sure you ask it for guidance…..which parts to pick, when to stop, how it would like you to do it (i.e. break at a certain part, or use a knife or just a clean break…. Each plant is different, remember they are individuals so it is always best to ask each time).
- Respect your plant by communicating before you work with it. Share your intentions first. Listen for a response or a feeling that assures you it is happy with this. If you don’t feel this, then don’t do it!
- Depending on your creative pathways, express your plant in some way. It may be a painting; it may be listening deeply and allowing the plant to sing or play some music through you; it may be a poem or a story that expresses what you have felt from the plant; it may be a dance. Wherever your creative inspiration lies, allow it to be guided by the plant for a session.
- Make a flower essence from your plant. As it is being made really be present and tune in to the essence of the plant and how it can be used for healing.
- After working with your plant and learning from it for a decent period of time, go back over your notes and summarise what you have learned. Are there themes present?