Spirits of plants

When I was in art school, I had a substitute teacher for just one class of the semester, and she lectured on plant and animal communication. I should note that this was an art history class and this topic was in no way related to the curriculum. She introduced me to The Secret Life of Plants and we quickly became friends even though she was more than twice my age. In hindsight she was also the most totally badass witch I’ve ever met, though I didn’t really know any at the time that weren’t mostly re-enacting scenes from The Craft.

Our friendship was sort of short-lived, the way that friendships sometimes are in our 20s without much good reason, but it left a lasting impression to have met someone else besides my mom and myself who talked to plants and animals— and more importantly listened for the answer.

It’s really cool to see this exciting public interest in plant consciousness and acknowledging the spirit of plants lately, from Fantastic Fungi and How to Change your Mind, to Finding the Mother Tree and Braiding Sweetgrass. It’s suddenly something you can bring up in casual conversation without people giving you strange looks. Of course none of this is really new, both in the sense that it is longstanding indigenous and native knowledge, and also because people of remarkably different spiritual perspectives who work with plants generally acknowledge the importance of talking to them.

Metaphorically, trees in particular are also important teachers regarding timelines, which has increasingly has become a focus on my own trancework. They are some of the only beings we see on a daily basis who have lived for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years. Learning to listen helps us to better understand cycles and the “big picture” of our lives as a tiny dot in this fantastic, unimaginable universe.

One of the concepts I’ve been learning about in mediumship is blending, which is the act of (first expanding our energy and then) allowing your energy to blend with the spirit world in order to not just receive information but to feel and channel that data. This is pretty different than the intention I bring to reiki, which is a different form of channeling where my energy stays concise and isn’t a part of the healing for others, so I was feeling a bit nervous to try it.

I thought I would practice with the safest beings I know: Plants. 

I was taking my usual long walks in the woods of Prospect Park, practicing expanding my energy and asked permission to blend with the trees and plants. It seems kind of obvious to me now but I had not really tried doing that before. Not just listening and talking but actually experiencing the energy. It was different than times I’ve given reiki to plants or hugged a tree. And it also felt different than calling in the spirit of certain plants in meditation or in making herbal medicine and flower essences. It’s hard to describe the complexity of emotions that I felt because…it was a greater timespan of experience I guess. I suppose especially because of accelerating climate crisis there was a definitely sense of how even ancient beings can have their perspective stretched and challenged. And yet with clear knowledge of a universal consciousness there was not the sense of fear I might associate with that pain. I dare say, I think the plants I encountered enjoyed the blending and probably know much more about it than I do! It was a beautiful moment of synchronicity that as I was applying mediumship skills to connecting with plants, I started reading a book that had just arrived Plant Spirit Healing which is a surprisingly similar method (and another great read by the way).

Especially when you’re feeling a bit out of your depth in karmic healing and its implications, there’s something really comforting about the idea of a being that has a literal physical record and map of these past experiences.

Even within a single lifetime we have many lives don’t we?  The record of that is in our own energy.

Eileen McKusick speaks in Tuning the Human Biofield about energy in our own system being generated from the midline and expanding out over time, like rings of a tree, with the most recent experiences being closer to the midline and “younger” or more distant past experiences towards the edges. As I was blending with some trees I was thinking about how perhaps those rings of energy would include past lives, not only a record of that past life but the energy around it. Maybe from a karmic perspective, this is part of how patterns continue to unfold unconsciously in our lives now, that energy is at the periphery and more easily interacts with the environment and others. My own focus around the outer energy layers and aura has naturally coincided with more information around past lives as well.

As much as initially I found this idea a bit unnerving, I’m starting to enjoy this idea of blended consciousness, all these layers of energy forming a cosmic soup, holding the mood of previous lives alongside this one. Connecting with other selves is like traveling to a new place, the unconscious expands out and dials in to the creative unconscious.  We can begin to see the full range of possibilities, both what our spirits are capable of and where we can choose to change direction.

I’ve experienced a few past life regressions, and though I found them enormously helpful, I also found them to be “leading the witness” somewhat. The pacing and instructions a little too specific, a bit too much influence on the trance state rather that letting the scene unfold organically. Specifically I’ve noticed that more often than a narrative of a single life and its details (which I think can be explored equally well in Akashic records, if you’re reiki attuned try googling the Akashic records prayer, use the HSZSN symbol and have fun!), I will see many lives tied together by the repeating energy. Or to put it another way, I see the pattern as it has repeated across timelines and in different versions. From here we can more easily see what kind of healing or change is needed not only in that moment energetically but in our waking lives.

But now I digress, I’m getting ahead of myself because that’s a whole other topic I’ll be unpacking over the next few months.

Meanwhile I’ll end with a strong suggestion to try blending your energy with the tree.

Go somewhere that there’s trees. 

Form the intention that you’re only connecting with a benevolent and loving tree or plant, other energies around you are staying outside your personal space.

Bring your awareness to your rib cage, heart space and solar plexus area, connect with your own energy and consciousness. Use the breath to let it build and grow, like blowing on embers to ignite them. Feel it expanding through your whole body. 

Let it grow beyond the confines of your skin, expanding like a circle or egg all around you, each breath letting it grow larger until you feel yourself right up against the energies around you.

Ask a tree or plant for permission to connect and blend. Notice who (plant being) is watching you and expand your energy into theirs…

Allow the edges of your energy field to blend. Notice what you’re feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing in your mind’s eye 

Take as much time as you’d like and remember to say thank you when you’re done.

By the way! There’s a related type of post called “channelled messages” that you will find throughout this site, and you can see them all together here. Most are from plants and trees, sometimes animals. If you’re into that sort of thing…

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