In order to stay into a right relationship with plants I ask the plant “What can I do for you, Plant Being?” “Is there something you need from me?”
Right relationship means – to be in a reciprocal circuit of energy. Or, to have a relationship that is an “equal exchange of give and take”. Though, I would add to the latter that no one is receiving or giving more than the other and no one is keeping score.
Western society has a habit of valuing anything that looks or acts humanoid. Plants have no legs, arms, eyes, mouths, ears and they don’t have sensations in the same way humans do. Therefore, it’s challenging for many humans to see plants as Beings and let alone as having the capacity for connection and relationships.
I think this perspective comes from human centric religious ideals that have made the rounds through Western colonialism and imperialism. I’ve also noticed that Western herbalism contains some of the same ideals. I’ve noticed I’m no exception either. In some ways I have and still am perpetuating Western herbalism’s sordid colonial past.
That’s why I must “begin again” over and over.
Begin again by going back to the plants.
Treat them as sacred Beings with the capacity for connection.
Tap back into the world wide web of intuition and plant communion?
Listen to them.
This is where Plant Temples can help.
I learned about holding Temples with Elayne Kalila Sophia Doughty of Priestess Presence. I experienced Temple virtually and at a three day in-person retreat. (Read more about it with part 1 of this blog series).
My first impression of Temples was that it was held in a stone building for elite people and a central authority figure sitting on a throne.
That is far from the case.
Priestess Presence Temples are about setting an archetypal frequency so participants can cohere to the resonance. The resonance is set through ancient technologies such as symbols, color, archetypes, sound, poetry, meditation, sacred theater, and more.
Temple is an energetic container that can be held anywhere.
During my Temple Guide Training, I wondered how I could use this potent sacred technology with the Plant Beings. Since I feel the energy of plants, I feel the various frequencies that they have, and seek plant communion; perhaps the Temple techniques would help cohere with those frequencies in order to more fully commune with them.
I wanted to use the Temple ways to:
- cohere with the plants.
- Turn our undivided attention to the plant
- Create space to fully feel and listen with our hearts and not our minds
- Receive energy without judgment
- Allow the plant to commune
- Facilitate a practice of DEEP listening
The object is a veil, and communion parts the veil.
In my Plant Priestess Circle I held six virtual Plant Temples with these plants – cardinal flower, marshmallow root, wild Black cherry, chamomile, burdock root, yarrow, and pine. I used song, images, color, and taste to help me invoke and embody the plant.
Through guided visualization participants were to cohere with the plant and feel how their body responded to it. I suggested they ask the plant what name it wanted to be known by. The intention was to drop out of the analytical mind and FEEL our way with the energy.
Western herbalism teaches that each herb has a set of actions (ex. antimicrobial) for an indication (ex. Strep throat). Each plant has a scientific name and some common names.
My coherence and Plant Temple with chamomile taught be something else:
“know more about me, go deeper, spread wider,
humans have only known one layer of me.
They stopped when they felt the ease I had to offer . . .
and I have more to offer.”
Each person’s connection with a plant can be different and change over their life. However, there were similarities that overlapped when the participants shared what they felt in their bodies and experience intuitively.
As I embody the plant, I speak the vibration I feel. It’s an interesting feeling to keep my analytical mind at bay so I can follow the frequency. Sometimes I hear the words coming out of my mouth and wonder “what does that mean?” It’s sort of similar to how poetry works – the string of words doesn’t always make complete sense, but the overall meaning of the poem can be articulated.
Ways I Cohere
I made an altar for each Plant Temple and kept it up for a full moon cycle. It helped me to focus on the plant energy, to articulate the frequency, and communion with it.
I slept with the plant under my pillow for at least two nights before the Temple. The dreams were noticeably different and aligned well with my current knowledge of the plant and illuminated some further insights. I kept the plant near me as much as possible for a full moon cycle from teas, tinctures, flower essences, to sitting quietly by it outside, if possible.
My next wish is to hold In-person Plant Temples. If cohereing to a particular plant frequencies can be done on-line and in the middle of winter with success then in-person would seem to be more potent and effective. That’s what I experienced with virtual and in-person Temples with Priestess Presence. Both were helpful and useful, but each had its beneficial nuances.
So what can you do to cohere and resonate with the frequency of plants? I’ll leave you with my interpretation of chamomile’s vibration.
“Surrender into the warmth of your bed,
Surrender into the flavors of the food on your fork,
Surrender to the sound of the rain on the earth,
Surrender to the smile of your friend,
Surrender to your joy.
Let it shine forth,
so you can see your way,
so you can feel your way,
so you can light your way,
through the tendrils of your Life. “