This article refers to the current (2017) TWC ritual. If you are unfamiliar with it, please click on the link in the next couple of lines and familiarize yourself with it. There is also some rather good information in here about Intuitive Herbalism so please read on…
Since launching Plant Spirit Essences: Protective Offerings from the Four Directions, we have been getting asked questions, so far, they fall into two categories, which I shall try to answer.
Can I simply choose plants I am already familiar with?
This ritual is different from previous TWC rituals in that there is a lot more depth to this than is immediately obvious. This isn’t about people coming together to do ritual together, this is about us, as pagans, simply being a vehicle to take the plant spirits that choose to go, to Lancashire. It is about us listening, and being their mode of transport.
The way of connecting with, and listening to the plants in your local area is explained in the ritual page and this in itself can be a rewarding learning experience if it is new to you. This is about striking up a relationship with the plant spirits that call to you. And in this case, when I say ‘call to you’ I don’t mean in the new-agey sense of ‘what you feel like picking’. I mean that they will choose you.
There is a 15 minute audio clip by Nathaniel Hughes that you can listen to by clicking on this link that explains this process much better than I can here. Nathaniel is a herbalist and teaches Intuitive Herbalism. Please have a listen to his brief description of the process that the groups he facilitates go through.
Can I just do the first part and not the second part of the ritual?
If crux of this is that you set out with your intent to ask which plants want to go to defend the land in Lancashire. If you go out with this invitation, and then do something else (or nothing) instead, then you have been dishonest and betrayed the relationship between yourself as a person and the plant spirit.
If you are able to go to Lancashire, but dont want to/ its difficult /havent got time then you are actually lying to yourself and the plant spirits if you have given a false invitation.
If you truly cannot go then it should be up to you to find a way to get the plants to Lancashire. Pass them to a TRUSTED friend for instance. Maybe if a group of you make your own plant relationships, it would only take one person to take all the bundles. The story of the experience can be relayed to the group afterwards, and then relayed to your individual plants.
Of course, you can be totally honest, without intending to go to Lancashire, and set out with the intention of doing something else with the plants. In which case, you are aren’t doing this ritual. You are doing something else. That’s your choice. And of course the plants’.