Plant work is the collection of practices that center around learning from the wisdom of plants.
Plant work acknowledges the power of plants as teachers. It can include herbalism, where plants are used physically as medicines, and also energetic practices, ceremony, altars and other animist tools.
Plants are very deeply rooted and offer many layers of teachings, as well as tending towards being very long term allies due to their slower pace than animals. They are supportive of intense healing, as well as being powerful protectors and guides to more mystical experiences.
Different plants provide different teachings; some will help us understand and nourish our relationships while others will teach us warriorship, boundaries and power.
Plant work can be helpful in a wide variety of situations, depending on the plant you’re working with:
- When we need protection, plants such as rosemary, rowan or blackthorn can strengthen boundaries and clarify energy.
- When we need guidance in spiritwalking, plants such as yew and various fungi can be knowledgable guides.
- When we need physical healing, many plants offer powerful nourishment and antibacterial properties through teas, poultices and baths.
- When we need to develop a particular relationship, such as with the wild feminine or with the land of our ancestors, plants such as rose, gorse and hawthorn are good teachers.
- When we need to clear and prepare an area for working a ceremony, the smoke of a plant we have a good relationship with is helpful.
- When we need to honour and nourish a relationship, such as on an altar or craft work, working with plant oils is an intimate offering.
To practice herbalism and plant work, we need to establish a strong, healthy relationship with at least one plant. Working with this plant will include growing the plant, ingesting it (if safe), using it for smoke and oil, making remedies and teas from it, and other animist practices like altar work and crafting.
For more about the principles of animism practice, join the free 12 week Foundation in Animism course here: