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Thread: Plant Spirits

  1. #11
    Member neráida's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    pantheist witch

    Re: Plant Spirits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    Personally I don't think plant and animal spirits are as different as they may seem. From my own experience of working with plant spirits, I agree with everything Rae'ya has said, only in my case, I feel that animals too have a collective spirit, and when we die our memories return to that 'whole' (like Jung's 'Collective Unconscious' or the more controversial Sheldrake's 'Morphic Resonance'). Likewise, plants can at times speak to us as individuals.

    I think of collective spirits as a sort of greater "archetypal" spirit of a species--a metaphysical version of Plato's Theory of Forms. If I understand it correctly, the individual is (as described by Aristotle) the ousia, or prime matter/primary substance (protai ousiai). Prime matter can become regular matter (the individual).

    Today, we were cutting back the lemon balm because both patches seemed a bit tired (it's not harvested much by the public). While we were doing it I felt uncomfortable, as though I really shouldn't have been cutting it back, despite the others reassuring me that they do it every year and it always bounces back and looks much healthier from it. Reluctantly I kept snipping (although my patch had more stalks left than anyone else's), but the guilty feeling didn't go away. I've cut back plants before and never had this feeling.

    It wasn't until I was home and thinking about it that I realised the discomfort I felt was most likely because we were just throwing the cuttings away. The lemon balm had worked so hard, putting out lovely scented leaves, leaves that should have been taken home, dried, and stored, ready to be made into tea to help stave of those cold and flu symptoms come the winter. I know this probably makes me sound like a madwoman, but I really think we've offended the plant.
    I understand feeling guilty. I feel this way when I thin seedlings. I don't think the plants are offended by the waste, plants more than any other creature understand culling--they understand why they make so many seeds, and that many will be eaten or trampled or flooded, burned, knocked over by wind, dug up by children. I think though, that if this bothers you, if you have to do it again, you should make a conversation of it with the plant. Apologize for the work you are doing, explain that it is to make the plants healthier, and promise (if you can) to take at least some of the cuttings home--lemon balm is delicious in tea, in baths, in witch hazel as a toner, in vinegar for salad dressing, in salad or with spinach in greens or a hair rinse, all sorts of stuff. Something else to think about is if the cuttings were being composted, if so, tell the plants that what you take will come back as new nourishing soil for other plants.
    A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' limited in time and space. He experiences something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us... Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the of whole nature in its beauty...
    --Albert Einstein

  2. #12
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Northern Tradition Shaminist Demonolator. Or something along those lines...
    Adelaide, Australia

    Re: Plant Spirits

    How on earth did I not notice that this had been dredged up back in August?

    Alas I don't think I have anything new to add, because my opinion and experiences regarding this haven't changed. Definitely interested in hearing new opinions though, especially as I'm starting to think about getting the gardengoing here at our new house (haven't been able to do anything yet due to crazy weather issues over the last 6 months).

  3. #13
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Northern Tradition Neo-Paganism
    South Australia
    I drink, and I know things
    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    (haven't been able to do anything yet due to crazy weather issues over the last 6 months).
    We missed the most recent one but still got 80ml!
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic


    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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