Book Review: Sacred Plant Initiations – Communicating with Plants for Healing and Higher Consciousness by Carole Guyett

This is a very sincere and beautiful book, about ceremonial work in a magical place. It is based on decades of personal experience working closely with plants and their spirits.

The author uses her own unique method, (that is to say: I had not heard of it before!), called plant dieting. Essentially this involves making an elixir from parts or extracts of the physical plant and then drinking this ceremonially as well as (intentionally and intensely!) connecting with the spirit of the plant for a certain amount of time. Generally speaking this is done ceremonially as a group while people are fasting during that time. That fact alone will bring up memories and life-long issues, of course.

You can also do it on your own and make adaptations to suit your health or medical needs. – the author offers guidelines for this and does not impose her way as the only way. The most important thing is a sincere willingness to embrace the plant as a teacher on your life’s journey. Once you have that and honour your own boundaries, the rest falls into place.

The book includes many first had accounts from participants in courses run by the author and what becomes clear is that many people gain an ally for life – meaning an ally they will return to and continue to work with, even once the “diet” is over.

I work with plant spirits as much as I can during the summers I spend in Sweden. I find it harder to keep this up when I am working more than full time in London during term time. What I can say is that this book brought a beautiful expansion of certain plant spirits I had already connected with on my own. It was a pleasure to meet these “old friends” and here how the author (and her students/participants) perceive those plants and trees. Examples of those are Primrose, Elder, St John’s Wort and Dandelion.

The author also links the plants to folklore and identifies especially good days on the “hedgerow calendar” for connecting with certain plant spirits. She works blends the Celtic tradition with the teachings of The Beauty Way. A lot of the word is done at Derrynagittah in Ireland, where her family was guided to move and settle.

I have read many books about plants and about plant spirit medicine but this book still adds something new: a personal take and unique way of working, information I not come across in other sources. So even if you are “fluent in the language of plant spirits” you may still find something fresh in this book.

It would make a beautiful present for gardeners, herbalists who work in different traditions and people keen to step beyond our everyday perception of plants!

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Imelda Almqvist, 14 December 2017, London UK


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently working on her second book Sacred Art.

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www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  (Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)