Hekate’s Garden is the mystical location that can be journeyed to in trance or dreams. Therein reside the Pharmakoi Kyrios, the Master Plant Spirits, of each botanical. We can connect to these spirits through using materia medica or purely energetically, using symbols of them. Plant spirit oracle cards are one example. Intuiting, channeling or divining botanical spirits is one of my central practices. Letting the spirits present themselves without knowing the standard properties is an amazing way to practice pharmakeia.
Botanicals are such a central part of my life that they are as important to me as air. They are food, they built my home and surround it, and they are how I enter the world of spirits.
Simple Ways To Practice Pharmakeia
If you are completely new to experiencing the mysteries of botanicals and the power of Hekate’s Garden, I recommend going slowly. Avoid pithy internet advice. Use a mixed-methods approach: follow your intuition and divination and then map it onto standard properties and applications. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Pharmakeia is as much science as it is magic. What works in general may not work specifically for you. Mugwort, to me, is mother’s milk. For others, it can trigger an allergic reaction. I consume all manner of botanicals each and every day, but I have an empirical approach to my ongoing practice. In our home, allopathic medicine is the absolute last resort unless it is clearly indicated. Pharmakeia, as it was originally practiced, is the spirit in which I work with botanicals. Entheogens, psychedelics and their kin are very alluring, but come with real risks.
Set up a journal and/or spreadsheet to record your practice of pharmakeia. Create monographs of the botanicals you work with, recording your personal experiences and intuitive correspondences and characteristics in addition to the standard ones.
Becoming aware of our reliance on the green world in materialistic ways can create a path leading to their deeper aspects. Go on a quest, opening yourself up to accepting the call of one local botanical. Birch, maple, pine, oak, ash, poplar, beech and other tree spirits are present even in the most urban spaces. Using bits of these botanicals in our witchery is enhanced when we practice Vox Botanica, singing or speaking to summon out their qualities and personality.
An inventory of the botanicals already in our homes is an excellent undertaking to demonstrate the plant spirits already among us. Of course, those spirits can become quite dormant, so studying their spiritual properties and characteristics is a fantastic way to learn how to approach them.
Look in the kitchen and elsewhere for evidence of Hekate’s Garden. The herbs and spices you favor, along with the scents you prefer, probably indicate the botanicals with which you have a natural affinity. Choose one to develop a deeper connection with.
Research the botanicals associated with your astrological considerations and birth month for a potential Pharmaka Kyrios – your personal Master Plant Spirit – if you don’t feel called to/by any one plant.