All plants have certain qualities, their own magic or medicine. Often you can learn these qualities from herbal and gardening encyclopedias, but sometimes you either can’t find a given plant or don’t know what kind of plant it is. Fortunately, observation and direct communication can teach you about a plant’s magic.
First look at a plant’s form: What is its shape? Size? Color? In biology, form follows function; in magic, function follows form. What does the shape of the leaves, roots, seeds, or flowers remind you of? To take an obvious example, look at a cactus. Cactus medicine is protection (and chastity!) which is manifested in its thorns. Roses look like the luscious folds of a yoni, and they bring fertility, lust, and love. Kidney beans look just like kidneys, and they help nourish those organs.
Next look at the plant’s location. Does it grow in a ditch, in a desert, atop a cliff? A plant will lend you the properties it has had to cultivate to survive, and this too is part of its magic. For example, cattail grows in wetland areas. It is able to withstand soggy roots without rotting. It has fire energy, and offers strength in adversity.
You can also learn about a plant by communicating directly with it. Find a spot where you will not be interrupted, near a plant you want to know more about. Focus first on the energy inside your own body. You may want to start by feeling the inside of one small part, like your hands. Feel the tingling sensation or whatever you feel inside that part of your body, or the whole body if you can. Next, become aware of the earth beneath you. When you feel connected with your body and connected with the earth, you are centered and grounded.
Continue to feel the energy inside you, but bring you awareness also to the energy around you, in your energy field. Sit with this space for a few moments. Gradually expand your awareness around you, until you meet the plant’s energy. Ask the plant if you might connect with it. You will get an answer as a hunch or a sense. If that plant doesn’t feel like connecting, choose another plant until you find one that does. Most likely the plant will be thrilled that you want to communicate with it. With respect and thankfulness, expand the area of your energy to include the plant. What does this plant feel like? What do you notice? What does it have to share with you, to show you?
When you are finished, pull your awareness back into your immediate body. Take some deep breaths. Record what you discovered. Using plants magically and communicating with them may be new to you, but if you are curious to learn more, just stick with these practices and see what happens.