Check out the latest GRACED Podcast Episode 💖

Listen to the GRACED Podcast

00:00 Episode Preview

00:23 Opening

00:58 Introduction

02:36 Interview Begins with Chelsea Granger & Anne Louise Burdett!

03:06 A Collaboration Between Longtime Friends

03:43 Inspiration Behind the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck

05:48 Transitioning from a Small Project to a Large Business

07:35 Where Did the Name Dirt Gems Come From?

11:46 How to Listen and Talk to Plants?

14:15 Tying in the Lessons of the Plants to Your Own Cycle

19:16 What is a Plant Ally?

20:56 Protecting Plants in the Modern World

25:21 The Dangerous Plants in Nature

29:02 AD – Download the Mystic Mondays App

29:32 Experiences They Share with Plants

35:55 Letting Plants Become Our Guide

37:45 Self-facilitate Vs Shaman Guidance

40:38 Favorite Plant to Work With?

43:01 Bridging the Gap Between Our Outer and Inner Ecosystems

43:54 What’s Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs?

45:04 What Advice Would You Give to Your Younger Self?

45:33 How Would You Define Everyday Magic?

46:00 What Are Your Favorite Rituals?

47:43 What Are You Looking Forward to in the Near Future?

49:15 Collective Reading from the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck

53:17 Closing Statements

53:42 End of Episode – Make Sure to Leave a Podcast Review!

54:42 End Screen

Welcome to the GRACED Podcast! A space for everyday magic for your everyday life. We do this through rituals, aligning yourself to your soul’s purpose, and creating Alchemy to heal our mind, body, and spirits so that you can bring in more love and joy, manifest your desires, and believe in your dreams. Listen and watch over at and on YouTube, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Instagram, TikTok and all the places you can find me on social media. Now let’s dive into today’s episode.

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Full Transcript

💖 Introduction

Grace: Welcome to the GRACED Podcast, a space where we talk about everyday magic for your everyday life.

Today’s guests are Anne Louise Burdett and Chelsea Granger, co-creators and friends of the Dirt Gems Plant Oracle deck which I have right here. Annie is the writer and Chelsea is the artist. In today’s episode, we talk about the wisdom of plant allies, recognizing our inner ecosystems to our outer ecosystems, and understanding our true nature by observing the environment and the plants that are around us.

We also talk about the collaboration process between the two of them, their long standing friendship, and how their friendship continued to blossom by co-creating this oracle deck together.

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own tarot or oracle deck, check out the Create Your Deck Club and join our course membership with deck creators from all around the world. If you’re curious or even hesitant to get started, the first step is to get going and what better way than to surround yourself with other deck creators who are on this creation process with you. You can check out more information on the Create Your Deck Club at

And we’re doing a giveaway of the Dirt Gems Plant Oracle deck on Instagram. So if you want a deck featuring the power of plant allies in your daily life, check out the @grace.duong and @mysticmondays instagram for all the details.

Now let’s dive into this episode.

✨ Interview Begins with Chelsea Granger & Anne Louise Burdett!

Grace: Hello and welcome to the Grace Podcast.

Anne: Hi there.

Chelsea: Hi.

Grace: We’re here in part to talk about your co-creation of the Dirt Gems Oracle deck. So I’d love for us to kick it off with who you are and the part you played in the creation of this deck.

Anne: I’m Anne Louise Burdett. A lot of people call me Annie. And I’m the writer of this and I’m a clinical herbalist for about 15 years.

Chelsea: I’m Chelsea Granger and I’m the artist and illustrator of the deck.

✨ A Collaboration Between Longtime Friends

Grace: Amazing! And tell us about the relationship between you two because from my understanding you’re longtime friends, is that right?

Chelsea: We’ve been friends for a very long time.

Anne: Yeah, Chelsea and I have known each other about 20 years now, which is crazy. I actually think it’s a little more than 20. And we started out as friends, but we really quickly turned into collaborators as well, and we’ve worked in the same performance company for almost 15 years, it was a pretty long run, and I’ve been making little projects together forever, while also being super close friends. So I’ve been very involved in beautiful collaboration over a super long time.

✨ Inspiration Behind the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck

Grace: So how did you two decide to come together to create the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck, and what was the inspiration behind it?

Chelsea: I think the origin it’s something that we dreamt into being in a very organic way, just through our friendship and through our love of plants. We would spend a lot of time, Annie had a really special and beautiful place out in the woods with, there was a big friend group that would hang out.

We’d spend a lot of time with plants, with magic, with tarot cards and I feel like it just it almost came into being in like a very dreamy way. Annie, you’re probably good at filling in the gaps.

Anne: Yeah, mean, we wrote about that in the intro. My little cabin was just, yeah, it was kind of this home place where we would gather together and I had all these herb gardens and I might, it’s like a teeny tiny little cabin in the woods that just was packed with plants and drawing things and things like stewing on counters and tinctures being made and it was this like really integral part of like how we were together in this sweet little space.

Chelsea and I would just talk about that kind of thing all the time of like her beautiful art and like me always wanting to teach and talk about plants and how we could do those things together.

And as we got more and more interested in tarot, we would sort of joke about how we wanted to make this project someday. And then we just decided, let’s just do it! But our original thought, I think, was really that it was gonna be this cute little project for a hundred of our friends.

And, we weren’t thinking of it as a business or a thing that would be this like really far reaching project, which we quickly learned we needed to adjust a little bit and learn a lot very quickly about how to have a business. And like volume changed really fast for us. So it was this really sweet little like dream up between friends that like became a really, a much bigger project that was really filled with this sort of sweet, like innocent love between us and like being in a really like wild space.

this cabin was like in the middle of the wilderness. It was like the animals there and it was just deep woods. So I think that informed the project quite a bit too.

✨ Transitioning from a Small Project to a Large Business

Grace: Yeah, and offline you mentioned a chapter closing in where you moved away from this cabin, and I’m also hearing there was a transition point between this really innocent creative project that kind of bloomed into becoming a business.

So what was that transition for you in this becoming a business? Like, how did that change your friendship, if it did at all? What was the transition point from your growth even during this process?

Chelsea: Yeah, it’s been a wild ride. We started, when we first published the deck, we worked with the Print in Demand company that we would basically when an order came in, the print shop would print the order and send it off to the person who ordered it. And so it started pretty small. And at that point, it didn’t really feel like we had this big business to run. It was just like, people would order something, it would get mailed to them.

And then it evolved. We made different editions, started getting them printed in bulk. I have a larger following on Instagram through my art and illustration and through that I started sharing the paintings of Dirt Gems and then we started an Instagram page for Dirt Gems and it just grew and grew where people were very interested in the art and I would paste the card descriptions into the write up part of the Instagram post and so through Instagram and through words of, word of mouth the project just grew and did become a business.

It’s just been learning. We just had to learn as we went what it means to manage, We just would have to get so many decks printed, have them shipped to a fulfillment center, have the fulfillment center send them out to people, manage all the little details of that. We ended up asking for help from someone.

And it’s been, our friendship has gone, has been beautiful throughout it all. That was probably one of the steadiest, most grounded parts of it is sharing the labor involved in that. But yeah, it’s been a pretty wild ride, I’d say.

✨ Where Did the Name Dirt Gems Come From?

Grace: Yeah. Where does the name Dirt Gems come from?

Anne: That’s a good question. I bet you can relate, most people we talk to can, that naming is just like one of the hardest parts of a project.

Being like, how do I pick something that means what this is in one word? Or how do people like both know what it is and also feel compelled by some amount of like mystery or like intrigue or something and it was like hours of Chelsea and I like texting each other ridiculous horrible ideas and finally like scrambling a bunch of different possibilities together and asking friends and stuff but I think in essence what we’re trying to get to is the the humble beauty of knowing plants.

Just the simplest kernel of what it means to sit down and shut up and listen and ask all the things around us that aren’t humans that don’t take up all the space and create all the noise. Hey, who are you? Can we know each other in a way? Like I approach plants and I’m sure this comes through pretty obviously in Dirt Gems as the same way I do people.

Like I think plants have personalities even. I think that they’re, they have preferences, they have things that they need and things that they want and there’s a range of how that works for each individual plant. And so I find it just, I’ve always talked to plants my whole life, was just an innate thing that started when I was a little kid.

And I love, like I, you’ll see me like puttering around in my garden, just like mumbling and laughing and like just like, I can feel their preferences. I’ll apologize if I disturb one of them and then be like, you’re going to be happier when we do this and what do you think about that?

And so the idea of little gems in the dirt or like even like you picture some beautiful glowing or either or even like fancy or luxurious thing like a gem like a stone and then you think of it like packed into the dirt it’s like this like return to the base of what this is and it’s like I don’t know if that’s very articulate, but it just we, it felt like it encapsulated this idea of just have a more humble attitude and a more decentered attitude towards your environment and learn and listen and let other things kind of take the room up and let their voices be heard.

And that’s something that Chelsea and I both do in our lives and in our friendship. And just to chime in to your last question, I feel like we are, I don’t know if it’s luck or just good circumstances, but we have had, I feel like our friendship is only stronger through this process, and we’ve just been so fortunate to go through a lot of really stressful things of shipments being lost, and things where you’re like, I don’t know what I’m going to do about this.

This is horrible and us just being able to really manage it super smoothly. We’ve never had a single conflict about this business. We’ve never had an argument. We’ve never, even if we disagreed a little bit, we just talked through it till we agreed or found a mutual understanding. It’s just been incredibly smooth and even just fortifying to our relationship, which I think is unfortunately kind of rare.

I mean, business can really put a lot of strain on people’s relationships. I just wanted to emphasize that. I feel very happy about it.

Grace: That’s beautiful. And I do feel like that’s rare, but what I’m hearing from you also in relationship to plants and what you were mentioning about listening and de centering yourself.

I feel like it’s about giving voice to the unspoken as well, so there’s a lot of nuances in relationships even if you are talking through things, there’s body language, now that you know how to deal with a lost shipment or whatever, like preparing for that in the future, or like, how can you both pivot and see the best for the both of you, and also, I think, in relationships and collaborations having each other’s best interests at heart because I do feel like a lot of conflict comes from when you have your own motive or the other person has their own motive but it sounds like the two of you were able to come as one together be able to listen to each other and also like really see the best in each other.

Anne: That’s lovely, I think that’s really true.

✨ How to Listen and Talk to Plants?

Grace: Yeah, so these cards were created through a process of listening to and loving the plants around us, which is a quote from your guidebook. For someone new in their plant connection journey, how does one listen to and talk to the plants?

Anne: I love that question. I can start.

I think that’s the whole reason we made this deck is to answer that exact question, or at least provide a template. And you can use the deck, which is one way to introduce people to thinking about plants in a different way. I’ve been a practicing clinician for a long time.

I used to run an herb school. I love teaching, but I really didn’t want to write something that was like, this plant is for this. If you have a cold, take these things. Like it, that, I feel like there’s a lot of that out there and I think that those are the kind of things that, that you can discover through a different type of research or experience.

But what we were really trying to do is consider the whole complex life of the plant as its own innately important being for its own sake. Not just because it’s useful to us, even though they are all immensely useful to us. And so I can use the deck, but also for folks that just want to be outside and with plants, it’s as simple as that.

What I often encourage students to do is just go pick I mean, it can be as small as a square foot, or it could be a small garden, or it could be one tree, and just return to it. And sit with it, and spend time, and watch the changes, watch what animals and insects are attracted to it, watch how water moves around it, watch its life cycle, watch what happens to it when it’s really windy, watch what happens to it when it’s baking in the sun, and you could learn everything you need to know from just one little tiny, spot, even if you live in the city, like you can find enough Bear Earth or one plant growing through the sidewalk that it could teach you an immense amount of things.

So I think it’s, I think it’s that. I think it’s as simple as like paying attention and for me, it’s really I like being outside all the time and design my life to be that way. But, They’re like returning to something with attention and devotion and just paying that level of attention, which I think in this day and age is very difficult to do.

every single moment of our days are filled. And even if you don’t fill your schedule, you are filled by your phone or the news or your texts or whatever. It’s having that like steady, devoted attention is, it actually requires energy and effort to carve it out now, but I think it’s totally worth it.

✨ Tying in the Lessons of the Plants to Your Own Cycle

Grace: So I’m hearing there’s a sense of being observant and patience when you’re observing like a life cycle. And so when you’re doing that, how are you tying in the lessons of the plants to your own cycles?

Anne: That’s a great question. I think the larger question is like how much, this is my observation and opinion, but how much we feel removed from nature.

And even having the word nature as that’s that, and it’s, and we’re this, instead of that it’s all just something that we are a part of. That to me feels like the bigger thing of what is my life cycle relative to the tree that’s outside my window right now? Everything about my life is determined by everything about that tree’s life.

I feel like the links between us are much greater than we think they are, and the way that tree is impacted by the wind is going to have a similar impact on my own physiology, and the way that my home floods every year now because of climate change has an impact on my physiology, because it also, then, we see okay, that’s how many mushrooms are out now. That’s what happens to the inside of my house. That’s what happens to the inside of my lungs.

If we could actually drop the veil that is this like illusion that we’re all so separate and see that like everything around us is just connected in every way, it would be easy for me to look at a tree and see its life cycle and say, that’s mine too.

We’re doing this together and whatever I’m seeing happen is mimicked or reflected in my own body. I don’t know if that sounds like far fetched or overly poetic but it changes how I view the world and I think it would be of benefit to a lot of people to like at least let some of those barriers down and let some of the ties become more evident.

Grace: Yeah, I feel like there’s a larger picture of what nature is, because I think in modern day society, we could be like, oh, I really miss being out in nature, especially if you’re in a city setting, and it’s you have to go out to find nature and go to a park, whereas What I’m hearing from you is that nature is inherently always around us even our current environment is nature, and that we are nature, we are human nature so there’s not necessarily a divide between, oh, I have to go out to the woods, and that’s where I experience real nature.

Whereas, I think that also makes it a point of being present in ourselves and our bodies because there’s a whole ecosystem happening within us, and so I think that goes back to your point about being observant, because if you’re observing a tree, and the life cycle of a plant are you observing your own life cycles, or current cycle of life?

Maybe the emotions you’re experiencing so like you’re mentioning the flood or noticing your house floods every year and that’s like a cycle or maybe like every moon cycle you are emotional on a certain day or period or you know whatever it is and I feel like there’s a certain cycle to nature that is predictable so that we’re not always constantly like shocked and surprised about something that’s happening outside of us.

Anne: Yeah, I totally agree. And I think paying attention to the natural world around us will inevitably cause us to become more embodied. I mean, we operate, I think most humans operate in a really like from the neck up kind of way. We’re super cerebral, very like intellectual, rational, logical, all of those things keep us from being in like our organism.

And spending time with other living beings that aren’t humans will, no matter what, bring us deeper into our own bodies. Chels sorry, I’m taking up all the talking.

Chelsea: No, it’s no, everything you said was so beautiful. I think it, my relationship with plants is also, I was thinking about the last question, just spending time sitting and drawing them what kind of practice that is in getting to know a plant really intimately, to either bring a plant inside and draw it and sit with it what a meditation that is, How grateful I feel to get to draw plants as some of the work I do, or even just if I’m using reference images online to like really zoom in and look at something and see the different ways that the leaves come out, the blossoms, the petals, like how they unfurl. Yeah, that’s for me a really special part.

I know that’s going back one question, but a special part of sitting with plants.

✨ What is a Plant Ally?

Grace: There’s a certain beauty to plants and I feel like just even noticing those subtle little things like the color of the bark on a tree or how the color transitions and your illustrations are beautiful, like they really pop.

I just pulled this card, actually, when I was doing the deck unboxing of this. Deck, but I love the little details as well, because they’re like heart shaped leaves, and we mentioned that in the description, and I feel like with the color green as well, relating to the heart chakra and whatnot. So how would you two define what a plant ally is?

Chelsea: Oh, wow. I’m going to let you go for that one, Annie.

Anne: It’s pretty simple. The cool thing is that we got a lot of feedback affirming that this was what people were also feeling. It’s basically just the encouragement of, or we called it Plant Allies to encourage, the idea that like, that these beings are our friends.

It’s it’s kind as simple as that. Like the, that we’re in a community together and the same way that there are people out there that you’re like, these are my allies. if I need something, these people are going to show up for me or they will go to bat for me or they will write me a letter of recommendation or they will make sure and call me if they know I’m having a hard day or whatever those little details are that can exist in the non human world as well.

And it certainly does. And we’ve had so many amazing, responses and messages, and a lot of people, because our deck came out in 2020 when so many people were feeling so lonely and so isolated, I think this deck had a really sweet impact in that I had many friends be like you guys made me feel like I wasn’t so alone.

You made me realize that like I had a lot more support than I knew and that when I couldn’t be with the people I loved, I could still be with all these beings that I love and that I feel loved by. And so that’s to call them plant allies is to not only be like, these are useful and they’re beautiful, but like that they’re there for you.

And there’s like actual, like there can actually be a true kind of like bond and relationship. With these plants. I don’t know. Yeah, that’s how I see it. And a lot of people really, I think, really related to that.

✨ Protecting Plants in the Modern World

Grace: Yeah, so what are some ways plants show up as allies? And in return, what are some ways humans can show up and be advocates for plants because I do feel like that’s a reciprocal relationship and I do feel like in terms of seeking out a plant or something like that there’s more of an active part on the human’s part anyway to maybe ask for help or ask for a plant to speak to them or something like that whereas do you feel like with human advocacy for protecting plants as an example what could that look like in the modern day world

Anne: To me, there’s just an immense amount of magic and synchronicity in the world.

I don’t know if you guys have this experience as often as I do, but you know when you’re thinking of a song and then it comes on the radio or someone pops into your head that you haven’t thought of in 20 years and they call you or To me, those things happen constantly.

Especially if I’m in a good place where I feel kinda like I’m in alignment with where I’m meant to be. And then it’s just they’re it’s everywhere. I feel that way with plants, too. If you’re willing to step into a space of being receptive to it, they’ll show you what you need. it happens to me all the time.

Something that I need, even if I work with plants every day, I don’t always have everything front of mind and something that I need will find a way to make itself known to me. And, just there’s so much benefit to be derived from being around any of the plants or animals in our world for so many innumerable reasons.

And I think you’re absolutely right at this point, especially because human impact is so far reaching, there’s not unimpacted places on earth now by humans, that it’s really more than ever our job to take up the role of advocacy for plants and animals and ecosystems. Personally, I might, I have had a business and a clinical practice for many years, but my actual career is as a conservation scientist.

So that’s what I do. And right now I’m more focused on ocean plants and ecosystems. So I work more with mangroves and seagrass and seaweed and coral and that sort of thing. But I think that each person has to find their place in that relationship of giving back or conservation. And some of that has to do with also that same attention of Who, where do I live in the world?

What impact do I have? I think it’s hard to know your impact or to even know where do I step in and where I could have a meaningful positive impact on something if you don’t know your environment very well, if you don’t know where’s your watershed? Like, how do things thrive here? What things don’t thrive under what conditions? What animals are here? And how has that changed over time?

I’ve lived in the country for 20 years, so I know this will be a different thing for people that live in the city, but It’s still a thing it’s still knowing your environment and knowing where your resources come from and knowing what your little life does in the world and it’s both positive and negative and everything in between.

So I think like even just the time and effort it takes to try to determine where you are in your community of both human and non human life and come up with ways that could feel like you’re giving back, that is a incredibly significant and important. endeavor. Because I think a lot of people think those thoughts and feel those feelings, but get a little bit paralyzed or overwhelmed, understandably and then just retreat from the question at hand, And I’ve had those experiences myself. I think if we just keep asking that question and finding the ways, even if they feel small, I don’t think any, actions are insignificant. In both directions, so I don’t know if that answered your question. I’m at the end of a day with a lot of loopy brain activities.

I might be a little out there. Chels, do you have a more coherent answer than me?

Chelsea: No, that was beautiful. As you were speaking, I was just reflecting being like, and this is the reason that I am the drawer and the painter and not the writer or the speaker. I was like, Annie says so beautifully and eloquently so many things that I think, but I feel quieter with my words and more present in how I can show up to the world with my drawing.

So I’m just grateful for everything you said, Annie, and I am, I’m right there with you.

Anne: Thanks, Chels.

✨ The Dangerous Plants in Nature

Grace: And on the other hand, when dealing with plants, because some plants are poisonous there’s kind this, I would say, fear sometimes, if you’re like, in a deserted place, and it’s just plants, maybe, especially if you’re like, used to being in a city, and it might be like, pure wildlife there’s like, no one around. How would you be able to identify and understand correct dosages, or deal with poisonous plants, or perhaps even come to terms with maybe the nature seems to be so out there, it’s not so dangerous at all, or come to the terms with nature can actually be quite dangerous.

Anne: I think the former is correct. I think nature is not that dangerous. I think there’s a lot more to fear from the human world than the non human world. For one, I wouldn’t encourage people go and just eat or just plants if they really don’t know what they are, just for total caution, but there are very few plants that are truly poisonous to us.

Most plants that aren’t necessarily good for us will probably at worst cause a little stomachache or something. Certainly anything could cause an idiosyncratic reaction for someone. I mean, the safest plants, there’s someone out there that’s deeply allergic to. So there’s just, it’s always best to exercise caution or to Equip yourself with basic knowledge if you might find yourself in a wilderness situation, or be with someone who knows more.

But truly, there’s not that many plants that could, really cause a lot of harm. And if you were wanting to know what those were, it’s not that difficult to gather some certain classes of plants to be to stay away from generally to to just be cautious with and it’s regional so likely you’re not going to be like blindfolded and taken in a helicopter and dropped somewhere that you don’t know where you are on earth and like everything is possible.

Like it’s so if you generally have a sense of where you are, you can find kind of the regional scariest plants and have that understanding of that. Like if you’re like, I’m going to go camping in Connecticut. What’s the worst thing I could find? That’s pretty, you can find that information pretty readily.

As far as dosing and that sort of thing, even with tinctures and things that people just haven’t tried, especially someone who’s like really never taken herbal medicine or that sort of thing, I usually recommend just using a one drop dosage. So you just take one little drop of the tincture and put it in your mouth and just wait a few minutes and see if you have any reaction.

And more often than not, if you’re going to have an allergic reaction or just like a idiosyncratic. unpleasant reaction, you’ll feel at least some of that with just one drop. You’ll be able to tell. And that’s also part of what I would call being further embodied is like, when you’re truly listening to your body, it takes a very small, subtle amount of information to know something.

And so I think if you’re really tuned in or you take the time to be like, okay, buddy, what do you really think about this? And you take something and it’s not good for you, some part of you will know that. And that’s again, I’m absolutely not suggesting people should go out and just recklessly try things, but I do think that it’s pretty safe out there and that there are Both intuitive ways to determine certain things and like a simple amount of resources that you could gather to feel a little bit more confident.

I don’t encourage the same with mushrooms. I’m a very, I have a very healthy fear of mushrooms. I know my like handful that I use a lot, but like I would never go into the woods and just try a mushroom or gather mushrooms. I don’t know.

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✨ Experiences They Share with Plants

Grace: Yeah. What were some shared experiences that you’ve had together that you can speak about, Chelsea, that kind of maybe made a stronger relationship with that plant or furthered yourself from that plant?

Chelsea: Wow. I think when I think of Annie and I think of our relationship, I think of being surrounded by plants and not a specific plant. I feel like, yeah, when I see our friendship and I see plants, I just feel them everywhere. we’re either sitting, even, I just went to visit Annie this weekend, and when I first got there she was just tending and planting her garden, and weeding, and we just, I just sat in the dirt while Annie did some work in the garden.

And so I feel very much a relationship that’s we have our friendship, and then we have our friendship with the plants, and we’re all just a big crew together. Annie speaks so beautifully of poison ivy. poison ivy was one of the plants that I think we were down south together on a trip. It was one of your friend’s houses that we stayed with Annie, and there was poison ivy growing all over. And that was the first time I heard you speak, on an energetic and a spiritual level about poison ivy, if you want to speak to that for a second, because that is one that I think of a lot when I think of our friendship with plants. Yeah.

Anne: Sure, I remember, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Yeah, I love poison ivy, I love poison oak. And you had said some plants, I’m like, they’re all wonderful and great. And you’re like, some are poisonous. And it’s true, and some are, they hurt, they cause us pain. And that is very true as well.

Poison ivy and poison oak I’ve put together because I grew up on the west coast and poison oak was the thing out there. They’re boundary plants so as we all know human beings really like to just like never stop growing and expanding and developing and there’s just no limit that we don’t want to cross in order to have more and build more and be everywhere.

There’s a lot of places either where we’ve developed a lot or we’ve harmed the land so much that it’s not even that useful to us anymore and moved on and or just there’s just been a lot of disturbance where plants like poison ivy come in and they are telling us like back off give me a break just like this land needs a breath.

You need to just stay out for a minute, let it come back, and then we can talk again. but it, to me, when I see it, sometimes I’ve had to do, when I used to do invasive species eradication and plant conservation work, I had to pull a lot of it out. It was choking out other plants that we wanted to have survive.

So there’s always some questions around management of things like that, but, In general, when I see it, I have this really healthy respect and gratitude for it because it’s helping land regenerate, it’s helping give pause, and it also is teaching us really important lessons of it doesn’t even have to be like, stay out of here, you’re not welcome, it’s more like, whoa, slow your roll, stop for a second, look around, and then proceed with gentleness.

And that might mean you have to take a different path, or you have to very carefully step over me. But you can’t just charge through here without paying any attention to what’s going on. And that’s a lesson that I’m always happy to learn. As I’ve gotten older, I just, more than anything, I want to learn how to slow down.

And I want to like, be discerning, choose my paths wisely, not do all the extra stuff, just slow and steady is what I want. Still figuring it out, but that’s one of the two lessons of this plan. And if you get a rash okay, you’ll probably remember to like, do that next time, So that’s I, just really respect those plans for One, truly being protectors of the earth and like against humans, which is just important. And also just being these kind of like wise teachers for us that I see humans as like toddlers on earth. We’re like the ones that are just like, like reckless and like still figuring out how to do things with maturity and grace.

And like everything else on this earth is okay, you’ll grow up eventually. Maybe someday you’ll figure out how to do this without destroying everything. But yeah, that’s, those are my feelings about poison ivy.

Grace: Yeah, that’s really interesting because boundaries are in essence like in a form of protection, so it’s like protecting the land and if it’s growing all over your house, I guess in a way it’s also protecting your house, is that right?

Anne: Yeah, totally.

Grace: And if you want to, because you can, and it sounds like you did, like you forcibly removed poison ivy before. Is it like, removing the poison ivy, removing the purpose of that poison ivy being in that certain area?

Anne: It can be. I mean sometimes things just are opportunists.

Plants are certainly opportunists, like really any being on Earth trying to survive. And so sometimes if you just create, like humans will open up a bunch of earth to do something, to Build a house, or a foundation, or a driveway, or a garden, or whatever. The plants that have been there before, and that are really good at surviving, are gonna rush in and be like, that’s fertile ground, I’m in, I want it.

That’s what the striving to survive is about, is like finding those opportunities that are gonna help you meet your needs. So sometimes poison ivy, like anyone, finds an opening and just takes it. And so it doesn’t mean every single place you’ve ever seen poison ivy, That’s where it should be and you shouldn’t touch it and it’s fine.

It’s just more, if you see it and particularly if you’re going to take it out, look at why it’s there. Pay attention to it, listen to it, understand what’s happening in that area. Why did it come in there? What else is around? And like the places where I was pulling out poison ivy, we were pulling it out because there were like really beautiful, endemic, endangered plants in that area, and we wanted them to be able to survive.

But guess why they were there? Because the poison ivy had been blocking that area off for who knows how long and then it had done its job. And we were like, okay, thank you for doing that job. Now we’re going to take you out so that you don’t yourself choke out the rest of these plants, So it’s like a balance of, and, human relationships with plants is also that balance of like how much to manage and how much to steward and how much to leave things alone. That’s something like, as a scientist, I have to constantly be asking, because the right answer is not always that we should be managing something.

Sometimes the right answer is just like step back and stay out of it, and I think poison ivy can really help you. It forces you to ask that question.

✨ Letting Plants Become Our Guide

Grace: Right. In the guidebook it says, plants teach us about our world, our geology, our soil, and our water patterns. Plants teach us our history. When we are not sure what to do next or how to begin, let the plants be our guides.

How do we let the plants guide us in our everyday lives?

Anne: Chelsea, you have… I’m talking so much.

Chelsea: I know, no, I really appreciate everything you’re saying.

Yeah, for me, the plants feel like guides in my everyday life because they slow me down, they humble me, they amaze me, they fill me with wonder.

Yeah, I don’t know, take it away.

Grace: what are some of your favorite practices that you like to do with them certain plants, and is that seasonal? Do you have a plant that you like to work with every day? Do you like to have magical, psychedelic experiences with some plants?

Chelsea: Yeah. Okay, for me, a plant that is a big part of my life as a nourishing companion is nettle.

I make nettle infusions a lot of nights and drink them the next day, like a big quart jar. And I love nettles. Annie and I have a tradition we haven’t done in a few years, but harvesting nettles around my birthday. The stinging nettle, the, the like another way in which you’re like slowing down to be careful with a plant is that you actually get stung by nettles and I think there’s so much to learn there.

And I just think they’re incredibly beautiful in all of their different seasons. Nettle brings me a lot of joy. I have a stronger and stronger relationship. you’re talking about psychedelic experience. I’m like, okay, I have a very strong relationship with weed, with marijuana, with tapping into my heart place with that plant.

Sometimes part of my art practice, sometimes just my slowing down, centering into myself practice. I’m trying to think. Those are some big ones for me. Nettle especially feels like my companion plant.

✨ Self-facilitate vs Shaman Guidance

Grace: I’ve had some powerful experiences with ayahuasca, for example. And I feel like those experiences have been transformative in even recognizing myself, and some of it was not pleasant, I have to say, after experiencing it multiple times, but I do feel like there are lessons in there to learn from, and What would you say to, because every time I go on a retreat of that nature, there tends to be a shaman present.

And what would you say to self facilitating with a plant of your choice, or needing somebody to guide you through that type of experience?

Chelsea: Yeah, that’s such an important and powerful question. I don’t have a lot of those experiences. I don’t feel like I can bring a lot of my own experience or wisdom to that question. I don’t know.

If you can, Annie.

Anne: I think having a guide or a mentor can be really valuable. Even just the practice of wanting to learn how to use herbs as like preventative medicine. that’s a lot of what I’ve done is I’ve worked with a lot of people that are in acute or chronic conditions, but also people that are just like, what can I have around so that I don’t get as sick as often?

And what do I do I always, I know this certain thing happens to me every year. What can I do to prevent that from happening or have it ready for when it does? And just having, just learning those relationships again, which I think used to be more commonplace for people.

And then ayahuasca and some plants that are more hallucinogenic or more kind of journeying plants i think inevitably do need they need to be guided because you’re going into a place that is not that is unsafe but that like creates a lot of vulnerability for your soul, for your spirit, for what you’re trying to get from that experience.

And I think I certainly wouldn’t want to do an unguided ayahuasca experience, I’ll say that much. But I and there’s been times where I’ve done some of that kind of thing on my own, but Chelsea and I have also had experiences like that together that Both positive and like harder where we were overly impacted by a plant and that I probably would have been nice if we’d had somebody there who wasn’t in that place with us who could have been like a bit of a guide and been like, I can get you guys to a safer place in yourselves.

So I think, yeah, I think that it’s a beautiful thing to have a guide through the sort of the max of really deep journeying and through us more subtle I need to use calendula because I have a rash but and I think that practice used to be a lot more common when people operated on a smaller scale and there was maybe more intimacy in communities than there often is now, and that’s been, that’s just always been a valued thing and I’m glad that it seems to be maybe more, increasingly more popular, more common.

✨ Favorite Plant to Work With?

Grace: Chelsea, since it seems like you answered the question of what are your favorite plants to work with, Annie, what are some of your favorite plants to work with on an everyday basis or seasonal basis?

Anne: That’s it. I have such a hard time with that question because there’s so many in my life. My current, my apothecary is smaller than it’s been in a while because my career has been really busy, but It’s still probably at least 150 to 200 plants and the same for what I grow in my gardens.

I’ve been really, I love, I’ve been just interested in the more subtle and nuanced lately. So I, I make flower essences. I take more homeopathy and that sort of thing now, which I didn’t use to. I don’t know. I guess one plant that’s it’s coming up really strong in my garden right now. And it’s for me, like the perfect plant is angelica.

And I love that one. It grows, it’s a really it loves like the mud of spring and that like thick dankness and it’s totally fine with like cold mud when you’re like working in the garden early in the spring and you’re, you have your hands in there and you’re like, okay, the ground’s not frozen, but my hands definitely are. This is not summer.

And angelica just likes this like kind of thick murky, like everything’s pushing up kind of energy and it’s super aromatic. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the like aromatics of Angelica, but it’s this really bright, like moving, dissolving, tingly aromatics, smell, taste.

It makes me feel like it’s cutting through all the like sort of slower material that has built up over the winter. And so it’s particularly great for the lungs, but. It’s just good for stagnancy, and you tell that because it thrives in stagnant conditions, which means it has no problem with them it just can cut right through it.

The stagnancy does not bog it down. It still just has this effervescence. So you can think of that in your own body, if you’re all boggy and swampy inside from being in the cold in the winter or getting sick a lot or any of that, eating heavier foods, moving less. It can come in and just reinvigorate everything in a way.

And it’s really anti inflammatory too, which seems to just be something that we all need now in life. Maybe I’m just talking about myself, but that’s just one, one example. I was just spending a lot of time with it today,

✨ Bridging the Gap Between Our Outer and Inner Ecosystems

Grace: So in nature, we tend to think a lot about ecosystems, like ecosystems that we’re living in different ecosystems around the world but also our inner ecosystem because we have a whole system going on in our own bodies, and also that’s affected by the ecosystem that we’re living in.

So how can we bridge the gap between our inner ecosystem to our outer ecosystem?

Anne: I love that question. I think that’s it right there. And I think I would say the same thing. that I’ve been saying which is just connecting ourselves more and back to the wilderness towards even just your little patch of nature towards whatever it is that you can connect to that’s wildness, that’s animal, that’s plant, that’s like I said I think we are of the same ecology, if we remember that.

It’s easy to cut ourselves off, but it’s an illusion.

✨ What are Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs?

Grace: Love that. So we’ll begin to our fast five questions, and for the sake of simplicity, let’s go in alphabetical order. What is your Sun, Moon, and Rising?

Anne: Mine is, okay, so my Sun is Pisces, Moon Taurus, Rising Gemini.

Grace: And does that resonate with you?

Anne: Oh yeah, definitely. It’s yeah, it’s like funny how much. Unfortunately it’s hard to live as a Pisces Gemini combo sometimes. There’s just like a lot going on inside. And so the Taurus, which I also, many of my closest friends are Tauruses, and I love Taurus. So that is like my saving grace and keeps me like, Rooted into myself and the world, and I know Chelsea has a similar and lovely astrology.

Chelsea: Yeah, remind me mine. I don’t know mine, I told you it’s Sun Taurus, Moon Aquarius, and then Pisces. I know we had two overlaps.

Anne: We have Taurus and Pisces. Your, Pisces is Moon and Sun is Taurus, so we have those flipped, and then, yeah, I think Aquarius was your Rising.

Grace: Does that resonate with you?

Chelsea: Yeah, the Taurus is what I know the best, and it very much resonates with me.

✨ What Advice Would You Give to Your Younger Self?

Grace: Awesome. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Anne: Oh gosh, that’s so difficult. I guess I would tell myself that like to just don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s what I would tell myself. There’s a lot of nonsense that can take up a lot of space, I guess?

Chelsea: I think mine would be to trust. We have no idea. Just to be as present as possible and alive as possible while we can be. I guess just to stay as present as, I can. I would like to tell my younger self that.

✨ How Would You Define Everyday Magic?

Grace: Love that. How would you define everyday magic?

Anne: I would define it as the world that we live in, the systems around us. Everything feels magical to me when I’m paying attention.

Chelsea: Yeah,

Anne: I’d say

Chelsea: everyday magic for me is being present, being grateful. Being grateful tunes me into the magic of every plant and every person and every moment. Yeah, I think that’s big for me.

✨ What Are Your Favorite Rituals?

Grace: What are some of your favorite rituals, and they don’t have to be plant related.

Anne: For me, it’s prayer, and not in a particular religion kind of prayer, but just actively speaking with the divine, which for me is It’s really the natural world, and movement. I dance a lot, and I see that as a form of ritual, particularly when I can get into a space where I let myself get lost.

I have a lot of little, small, or large ritual practices. An altar, and with different types of symbols and objects that are important to me, I usually connect them to the moon and the seasons that we’re in. And when I’m, I spend part of my time in the Miami Caribbean area, so when I’m by the ocean, I center a lot of it around

Chelsea: the ocean.

For me, a big one, I think it’s maybe been 15 to 20 years I’ve been doing, from the Artist’s Way morning pages, three, at the beginning of the day, making a cup of coffee and sitting down pretty much every day, unless I’m visiting a friend, I don’t often do it, but sitting down and doing three stream of conscious pages of writing that is just, yeah, just moving through whatever’s going on.

That’s been a beautiful, important ritual for me. And then with that, before I do that, I light incense and have also a type of prayer that I usually write one about once a month and then change them out, but just different gratitude, acknowledging my dead, different meaningful words or things that are coming up for me that I’ll say before I do the morning pages.

Those are my big ones.

Grace: That, yeah. Morning page is really powerful. I feel like it really helps clear whatever clutter might be in your head for the day. I’ve tried it too, so it can relate.

✨ What Are You Looking Forward to in the Near Future?

Grace: What are you looking forward to in the near future?

Anne: I’m really excited for my magnolia tree to bloom. I’m really excited.

It being spring, everything feels really exciting. But I just love, I love coming into spring and summer so much. And I’m also, as part of my work, going to get to go. For the first time and be part of a coral spawning event in Cuba, which is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And they only coral spawn only once or twice a year and increasingly less and less often, and only at a certain time of the phases of the moon and season.

And this time I get to be there, which is really exciting.

Chelsea: I just moved states, and I’m in a major life transition, living alone for the first time, and I am very much looking forward to my new place that I’m living has a little porch, and I’m very excited to sit on the porch, and very excited to bring my plants that live inside with me out and put them on the porch and to maybe grow a little planter box and plant some flowers.

And that’s a really big one. It’s been a long, cold winter slash spring. So I’m looking forward to some time on the porch.

Grace: What plants do you plan on planting in that flower box?

Chelsea: No idea. I don’t know, I’ve been trying, there’s just so many plans I feel excited about that I’m not sure yet. Annie and I have another friend that does landscaping and gardening, and I’m gonna see, get some feedback about what might grow well in my little area with what kind of sun, and yeah.

✨ Collective Reading from the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck

Grace: We usually end the interview with a collective reading, and Chelsea’s gonna pull a card for us. Let’s get into the reading from the Dirt Gems Oracle Deck.

Chelsea: Magnolia?

Grace: Oh, we were just talking about magnolias.

Chelsea: You were?

Grace: Well, the tree.

Chelsea: Okay. Magnolia says, get ready. It’s coming. Change will happen whether you are ready or not. Magnolia asks us not to fight change or resist where our life leads us, but to let things become what they must as we build our lives with integrity, slow down, and trust.

Magnolia reminds us, you are as old as anything on earth. You have everything you need. When you feel as though you have tried to change, and things always cycle back around, or you wonder how you will ever work through something, Magnolia says, let time flow through you. Everything you have lost is still around you, and everything you have once been will be again.

And Magnolia knows because they are 95 million years old. As they hold us in our entirety through our history, our whole selves in the non linearity of time and space, Magnolia has seen it all. With their velvety voice, Magnolia says, persevere. With their guidance, you can endure the passage of time with voluptuous beauty.

Let your swollen, teary eyes radiate your tenderness, your humanity. Let yourself be beautiful in all your states. Waxy, creamy, and tough, Magnolia asks us to believe in the fullness of time. To not waste our days worrying or giving in to expectations and disappointment. If you feel your limitations around you, Magnolia asks you to grow beyond yourself.

We are often attracted to or called by Magnolia when there is a natural process unfolding in our lives that we are fighting or resisting. Magnolia will remind you that time and space have no hold on you.

Grace: Beautiful. Annie, do you have anything to add to the Magnolia card?

Anne: No, I just love that I mentioned it and there, it was, that synchronicity, I just think of Magnolia, they’re ancient. Magnolia is, it’s one of the oldest trees on earth. And they’re also just they don’t have that sort of like foreboding I am older than you feeling they’re so soft and so gentle and you know some of the reasons I talk about like tears and things is because it’s a plant I think of a lot for grief and so to me, Magnolia has always been there’s a Magnolia right outside my house where I live now and there was a Magnolia right outside my house I grew up in and it of has this grandmother feeling to me, where they’re soft and nurturing, but my grandmother was very loving, but she was very fierce, and you could not mess with her, she was tough.

And so it was that combination of feeling held, and embraced, and loved, and protected, and also you can’t sweat the small stuff, you can’t let things that don’t matter get in your way, you just have to be the fullness of who you are, and I’m so grateful for that, and I sat under that magnolia tree growing up every day and just felt it I felt so held by it.

So yeah, it’s one of my very favorites of all time, and plants in the world.

Magnolia is a true love of mine.

Grace: Such a powerful energy to have with you through different chapters of your life from childhood to adulthood, and I’m getting a sense of protection as well when you were talking about sitting under the tree and feeling its presence. So I suppose for anyone who is transitioning or maybe needs some more protection in their lives.

Perhaps go out and get a magnolia plant look for a tree, sit under the tree, enjoy the presence of magnolia.

Anne: It’s also a wonderful flower essence. It’s hard to get to the tree itself. It’s one of my favorite flower essences.

✨ Closing Statements

Grace: Beautiful. Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast and sharing your wisdom today.

I feel like I got so much out of it from understanding the nature of plants, but also understanding the nature of humans in relation to plants. So thank you.

Anne: Thank you so much for having us.

Chelsea: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Grace: Thanks, bye! Until next time!

Leave a Podcast Review 💖

Thanks so much for tuning in to today’s GRACED podcast episode! What were some of your biggest takeaways? I want to hear what you think! Leave a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or a YouTube comment. I read them all! Thank you 💖

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✨ End of Episode – Make Sure to Leave a Podcast Review!

Grace: Thanks so much for tuning in to today’s episode with Annie and Chelsea, co-creators of the Dirt Gems Plant Oracle deck.

Plants have so much to teach us, and I’m so glad Annie and Chelsea were able to share their expertise, their creation process. On how they collaborated, on and with the different plant allies that are in this deck. I wanna know, do you have any plants that you work with? Any favorite plants? Any plants that you’d like to work with? What are some of your favorite plant rituals?

And as a reminder, we will be doing a giveaway of the Dirt Gems Plant Oracle Deck. I just realized I’m showing the back, but here’s the front. And check out the deck unboxing video of this deck on the Mystic Mondays YouTube channel.

Until next time my dear mystics, remember you are always blooming into the next version of yourself. So be gentle as you continue to blossom.

Sending you grace today and every day.

Thanks for tuning in to this episode. Remember to subscribe and check out other Grace Podcast episodes for how to apply everyday magic to your everyday life.

See you next time!