:Entheogenic Plant Spirits and the Spirit Worker

Plant Cosmology

A plant, like any being, is made up of more than one body.  It has a physical body that is rooted in the earth, grows as a parasite on other organisms, floats on water, or creeps across the surface of stones.  Barring outside interference, this body generally stays in one place throughout its life.  Its spirit is tied to its body by the same mechanics that attaches our own spiritual counterparts to our bodies; the spiritual body of a plant is typically local to the physical body, though like us it has the option of moving some part of their spiritual force around (we call this astral projecting or another name meaning approximately the same thing) or appearing in remote locations.  This mobile spirit body can take any number of forms depending on the plant's desire and (to a lesser extent) what part of their nature we are best able to perceive.  This form may be a copy of the physical body, a human shape of some description, another kind of creature, or something abstract like fields of color. 

The rules determining the physical and spiritual health of other beings apply equally to plants---the ties connecting their spiritual and physical bodies must be free of distortion, a healthy relationship with their environment should be maintained, and their needs must be met.  Though not all will be friendly or approachable and many have what can only be described as attitude, most plant spirits are easy going, naturally optimistic entities; it's not hard to make a plant happy.  Plants will only naturally grow where the environment will support them, so it is only due to interference that they will be found growing in a location that makes them unhappy; the environment may have changed drastically over the life of a plant, so distress can result from those upsets.  Physical problems due to poor soil, water, or air, as well as trouble with insects or other organisms also cause distress.  Rarely will a plant have the sort of spiritual ailments that are found in humans; it's highly unusual for any part of them to get "misplaced" or separated from their physical bodies, but it can happen---I'm not entirely sure how. I was once called on to help one displaced skullcap spirit find a body.  At some point the physical plant had disappeared and the spirit was trapped without an anchor; it behaved in a similar way to a confused and unhappy human spirit would if they were lost or had experienced a sudden death.   

Plants have a very healthy relationship with the concept of death.  We've all known a plant that won't thrive no matter how much care it is given; sometimes they're just ready to go.  A poinsettia I once cared for was very unhappy with life; apparently being raised en masse for only a few weeks' pleasure and then thrown away had depressed it.  It wasn't interested in living any longer; I called it Fred and took it home.  Fred stayed in silent limbo for a little while, eventually deciding to go wherever it is poinsettia spirits go when they die.  At the end of a growth cycle the spirit goes to sleep and will reawaken the next year if the plant is not an annual (only living for one growing season).  I'm not sure if they experience what we would think of as reincarnation. Upon returning to life in the spring, the spirits of perennial plants are more or less the same as they were when they died in the fall. I've noticed that many spirits in their first and second years seem to mature as the come back to life over and over again. When a cutting from a plant is taken, I haven't found that the spirit of the original plant separates into a perfect copy of itself; the feel of the parent spirit remains but it is a bit different, and somewhat younger.  

Aside from individual spirits local to their bodies, entire species of plants have what I refer to as "Grandparent" spirits; Grandmother Valerian, Grandmother Marijuana, Grandfather Wormwood, Grandparent Skullcap, and so forth.  These spirits rule over all the plant-children in their care, and the Grandparent keeps track of each one; it is these spirits that you will likely be communicating with them most in your work with entheogens (but exceptions to this rule do occur) .  The small spirit in an individual plant may not have as refined a level of communication; the Grandparent may speak to you through that small spirit, or communicate with you directly.  In my experience, the Grandparents spirits have always appeared in more or less human (bipedal) forms.  While the small spirits may be very friendly, the Grandparent spirits are generally more reserved and care should be taken against allowing too much familiarity to form; even if they have agreed to work with you, some have little concern for human life and I have found that it is best to think of them as business partners: trusted, but not close friends.  The Grandparents are teachers and give their permission to use their plants in your work.  Working without their permission and blessing is inadvisable.  People who don't know better may get away with abusing these plant children for a while, but there may be extreme consequences as well.  There are numerous accounts from people experimenting with datura , often describing horrific experiences that sometimes culminate in severe illness and even hospitalization (fatalities due to datura's chemistry or injury from the actions of those under that influence are also well-documented); Queen Toloache , datura's ruling spirit, has no patience for those who trespass on her spiritual territory and shoots intruders on sight, so to speak.  The Queen behind Salvia divinorum is particular, revealing herself to some people while ignoring others altogether.  Others spirits, like Grandmother Marijuana, have more tolerant attitudes towards abusers or even a measure of twisted affection.  However, this affection results only in a growing addiction, which is a form of spiritual (and physical) punishment and debt.  This is discussed in further detail in "Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Effects of Entheogens."

The world of plant spirits is a complex nexus of information and energy. This energy is connected to our world through the physical body of a plant; a physical plant is the place where the physical and energetic layers of our world are bisected by the energy of the Green World. Plant spirits can be most readily contacted through the physical body of a given plant though it isn't unheard of for the spirit of a plant to make contact through the dried form. Some of the spirit's expression lives in the plant's chemistry, so even dried plant matter contains useful energy.


© Silence Maestas, 2006