THE ROOTED PEOPLE
We’re surrounded by plants wherever we go, and we depend on them to provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, but this is only a tiny part of their role in the ecosystem.
Plants are linked to the living Earth from which they spring. Each plant is a living teacher and must be approached as an individual spirit, a vital life force which may become your ally if approached with love and respect. Witches utilise plant spirit powers, but to capture these without alienating or dissipating them is not simply a matter of walking three times around a tree and saying ‘can I have a branch’ and leaving a coin in return. When properly approached they may share something of their life force, their spirit.
Sometimes a plant or tree will call to you, and you should listen and trust your instincts. Every plant has a role, a place within the great pattern. Accept any insight that is given to you, no matter what the circumstances. If the plant is approached with love and trust, its force will harmonise with you and share its secrets. If the plant is taken with the wrong motives, if it is mistreated or misused, it may cause discomfort, mislead or seek to gain control of the you.
The life force – or spirit – of the plant is more important than any ‘active ingredient’ in magical work. Spend time with your plants, noting where they live, in sun or shade, on chalky soil or sandy soil and so on, their growth habits, when they flower, and when they set their seeds. Note the shape of the leaves, their texture and colour, and their taste, if edible.
In this way you will begin to learn from the plants themselves. It is a knowledge that cannot be bought, and which cannot be learned from books, but only by doing. Allow yourself to trust your inner wisdom.
Communicating With Plant Spirits
Choose a plant to try to communicate with, perhaps one you are specifically drawn to. Contemplate its colour and shape. What is it that attracts you? How does it feel to the touch? What is its scent like? Take your time and gently feel your way with this. Be grateful for the time you spend with your plant and come to appreciate it more. Try sensing its aura, its spirit. Try sending it feelings of love and gratitude. If you open your heart, you may find the plant spirit responding, and begin to communicate with you.
Anna Franklin, The Hearth Witch’s Garden Herbal, forthcoming Llewellyn, 2023