It’s extremely helpful to know where your plant allies live. When I need Juniper, I know I have at least two places to look for it. When I need Mint, I can go into my tiny garden and snip a few leaves. What about you? Where do you go when you need Comfrey leaves? Where is the nearest Oak tree? This article has a few ideas on how you can become more aware of what plants are in your area as well as ways to work with their energy.
As many people know, plants are often used in magical works for their energy, and different plants have different energies. The energy of a Rose bush is very different from that of Wormwood. These differences are no joke–plants can contain hundreds of different chemicals, which can have several different properties and uses. Many of our medicines come from plants and native knowledge about them. It behooves us to pay attention to these powerhouses of energy.
Do you notice the plants in your neighborhood or nearby nature place when you walk? If not, here are a few ideas to give you get a better feel for what’s out there and how you can work with it. In other words, here’s how to find plant allies for your magical works.
1. Buy A Plant Guide And Start Identifying Plants
There are a few good field guides out there. I particularly prefer the Audubon field guides because they have photos of the plants. This helps me immensely with the identification. Check out their wildflower and tree guides in particular (and note the different eastern and western versions).
However, I haven’t found a great field guide that encompasses all of a witch’s needs — for example, helping identify the plant as well as listing the magical correspondences and proper way to collect from them. This is where your own research becomes helpful. Record what you learn in your own book of shadows to ensure the knowledge isn’t lost.
2. Note The Location Of Your Plant Allies
Once you’ve identified a plant, make a note of where you found it. You can draw a map of your area, or write about the location in your book of shadows. This way, you’ll be able to find it if/when you need it.
3. Create Your Own Personal Correspondences
It’s great to read that Bay leaves help banish negativity, but does that meaning really resonate with you? Witches and pagans talk about plant and mineral correspondences, which are usually from books or online. However, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the word correspondence actually means communication.
In other words, talk with the plant. Exchange energy with it. Listen to what it tells you, and feel where it touches you. Use your intuition to discern how the plant can be your ally. Take notes on what it tells you in your book of shadows.*
4. Collect, Thank, and Label
You’ll probably want to start carrying a witch bag with collection containers such as jars and bags so you can collect a little bit of the plant to take home with you. Before snipping from a living plant, always ask if it’s okay with them. If the plant says no, respect that answer. Sometimes, you can find dried pieces of the plant on the ground, which may also work.
You can also exchange energy with the living plant without harvesting at all. If this sounds difficult, don’t fret. Merely being in a plant’s presence is often enough for it to imbue you with some of its energy. If possible, leave an offering such as water or another plant matter that can decompose into nourishment for them.
When you get home, dry the plant properly. Sometimes, this means cutting up the plant and putting it in the dehydrator or the oven at a low temperature. Other times, you can hang it and let it air-dry. Look up online what way is the best way to dry this plant and how long it usually takes.
As soon as the plant is dry, make any final changes to it, such as cutting it up further, or grinding it. Then, containerize it. Label it with the name, date, and location. Store it in your magical spice rack with all your other magical plants.
5. Work Magic With Your Plant Allies
Now that you know what and where the plants are, and how they relate to you, you can work with their energy. You’ll have it on hand whenever you need it. Be sure to resonate with the plant’s energy as you work. They can be quite helpful in many different forms of magic.
6. Take Intuitive Witch Walks
I’m a big advocate of taking intuitive witch walks to find new plant allies. Intuitive witch walks are all about walking while following your intuition on where to go as you encounter the natural, magical world. This is a great way to jump start your magical practice and walk the spiritual path you wish to walk.
You might find new plant allies during this time, or come across ones you had forgotten about. Seeing a beloved plant from your childhood is a bit like seeing an old friend. At least, for me, it is.
I hope this article helped you discover a new way of looking at all the plants in your neighborhood. I also hope that you find great plant allies nearby. Happy magical workings!
* Of course, you should never consume a poisonous plant, even if it tells you to! Yes, really! I feel like I don’t have to say that, but it’s Gemini season, so why not?