When we think about shamanic guides and helping spirits, what usually comes to mind are power animals, ancestors, angels, ascended masters, and all varieties of deities. But we also have plant spirit guides just waiting to connect with us. They provide healing, protection and other help as needed, and we can rely on them just as we do our power animals and other guides.
Their way of teaching is direct and multi-faceted. Some of the most profound lessons I have received have been from plants.
When I was very new to shamanic practice, one of the first successful journeys I ever did on my own resulted in a teaching from the World Tree. The World Tree is a universal archetype that has a place in many global traditions and stories. It is also called the Tree of Life (Celtic) and Yggdrasil (Norse). It spans all the worlds and has amazing life-force and wisdom. It introduced me to the cosmology of the worlds in non-ordinary reality. It gifted me a symbol and merged its energy with mine. I got a download of energy that made me feel as if I was as big as that infinite tree! It lasted about a day, then gradually faded. I told my teacher about it. She said that with serious practice I could hold that power longer, channel it for myself and others. The realization that there are shamans who walk around holding that level of power every day really blew my mind. That one journey taught me so many things, I am forever grateful to it for gifting me with so much.
There are plants that we meet in non-ordinary reality that are always there for us as a main teacher and helper. I have experienced their help and lessons in a myriad of ways; for healing, protection, knowledge and as vehicles of transport through the worlds. Then there are plants that just come to help with one job, like tend to a lung infection in a client, or clear a space of heavy energy. They are incredibly versatile, and always so happy to be of service.
Today when one hears the words power plant or plant medicine, what likely comes to mind first are hallucinogens like ayahuasca, mushrooms, peyote and other entheogens. They are powerful teachers, and many people new to shamanism think that having an experience with them is the way to initiation and knowledge. And it might be for some people. But it can also lead to confusion and dis-empowerment. I experienced that downside of hallucinogenic medicine myself very early on in my path. When people ask me about working with plants that way, I tell them that they do not need to ingest an entheogen or any other plant to work with it on a spiritual level or have it as a helping spirit. Journeying to the spirit of the plant is an initiation and begins our relationship. Then if it wants us to ingest it, smudge with it, cultivate it, it will let us know. It becomes our teacher and will tell us in journey how it wants to work with us.
Plant medicine is working with us in ordinary reality every day, sharing energy with us all the time. Trees, herbs, fungi and flowers growing right outside our door are wise and powerful teachers. When we recognize that we can connect with them on the spiritual level as well, our relationship becomes whole.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindredspirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
My friend and herbalist mentor, Lawrence Birch is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
Roger Wheelock and Gayle Ruth are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association.