How to Connect with Plants


3 min read

with Julie McIntyre Herbalist, writer & educator


Becoming sensitive to the touch and communication of plants. Or phytoirrationalism.

From our earliest emergence on this planet, there have been cultures and individuals who believed implicitly in deeper, invisible dimensions of plants. The sanctity of vines and trees is far older in human memory than the history of crops, agriculture, and religion. They are far, far deeper than our rationalist dissection – and understanding -- of the natural world. Who we are as a species is interwoven with that of the plants. This has always extended much further than them being the source of our food, our clothing, our medicines, our buildings. All indigenous cultures, as did all ancient cultures such as the Athenians and Romans, understood that Soul and intelligence were inherent aspects of plants. They knew that powerful spirits lived within trees and plants, that they were closely interwoven with that of the gods, even of Gaia itself.

Gaia’s story lives in the underbrush and the soil of this world, in the tendrils of plants, in the cambium of trees. There is not a child born that does not feel the touch of that story as easily as they breathe. But for many of us, as we grow, as we train our rationalist minds and forget the feelings of our hearts, the story becomes far harder to see. Nevertheless its threads are not only interwoven throughout the world around us but lie waiting in the understory of the human psyche.

Plants and all of Nature “speak” through metaphors and images; they are communicating all the time.  To “hear” them requires awareness of and sensitization of the invisible perceptive capacity of the feeling sense that has become atrophied for so many in the West. This talk will include an experiential component so participants can get a sense of what it is like to interact with plants in this way.

Tip - you will need a second person to do the practical exercises with so make sure you watch this talk with a friend.

Julie McIntyre

Herbalist, writer & educator

Julie McIntyre is a writer, international lecturer, and workshop leader, having taught throughout North America, Ireland, and the UK. For many years she led ceremonial sweat lodges for native men in prison and for nearly two decades was a clinical herbalist working with severely ill people suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases (such as Lyme) in twenty countries around the globe. Julie lives in a restored cabin in the woods, adjacent to the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wildernesses in southwestern New Mexico where she continues to study human, plant and Gaian relationships. She is the author of Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart; Nature, Intimacy and Sexual Energy and the forthcoming books (2022) The Confluence of Gaia, Plant Medicines and the Human Soul and (2023) Lyme Disease; A Clinical Handbook for Practitioners.
Julie is a collaborator and partner of Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of (2022) Earth Grief; The Journey Into and Through Ecological Loss, and Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm. His website is www.StephenHarrodBuhner.com


In partnership with

Watch & Listen