Manicured Hands



Many healing traditions that use plants medicinally also build relationships with the spirits of the plants, getting to know them on a "personal" level.


Fostering a relationship with the spirit of a plant offers a distinct opportunity—it is an intimate experience that occurs within the space of one’s own psyche, and often one’s dreamscapes as well.

Each plant spirit has unique qualities and can help to assist in clearing certain kinds of blockages, beliefs, and limiting patterns. For example, the spirit of rose is generally used for matters of the heart—opening up to self-love and intimacy, building trust & finding gentleness.

To get a taste of this work, download one of our Guided Meditations.


Emma Sartwell somatic therapy

Somatic Practitioner
Holistic Coach + Spiritual Guide

dara's portrait.png

* see video transcript below


A plant apprenticeship is a series of at least five sessions with Dara, or can be a natural part of your sessions with her if you are already working together.


Dara will gather your history and choose a plant spirit most appropriate to your needs that she too has apprenticed with and has a working relationship with. All plants offered are non-psychoactive, commonly used herbs within our own culture.


You must commit to drinking your chosen plant and spending at least ten minutes a day in conscious communion with it for two weeks. This process is aided by making simple, daily offerings to the spirit of your plant, guided audio meditations created and provided by Dara, and regular email messages + support throughout the process.


You will meet with Dara for a minimum of five sessions, the last two sessions providing vital integration of the work. These can be done either in consecutive weeks or spread out over a longer period of time, depending on your needs and the plant you are working with.


An apprenticeship will ideally become a lifelong relationship with the spirit of a plant.


After completing this guided experience, you will find you have a special connection and resource with your plant spirit whenever you have need.


Apprenticing yourself to a plant spirit can be an incredibly powerful and transformational experience.


The power of a plant spirit continues to grow long after the actual plant matter has been metabolized.


Plant spirits help create profound shifts in your inner and outer worlds days, months, and years after the beginning of the apprenticeship. Work with plant spirits can help with issues as diverse as:

  • love for oneself

  • true intimacy in a relationship

  • finding personal purpose

  • shadow work

  • codependency

  • breaking addictive patterns

  • manifesting beauty, abundance & wealth

  • childhood wounds

  • trauma

  • deep fear & primal insecurity

  • empathic fatigue

  • connection to the spirit world

  • opening psychic abilities

  • embodied universal wisdom

Plant Apprenticeship F A Q

What kind of plants do you use?

All of the plants I offer apprenticeships with are widely available in North American grocery or herb stores. Some are indigenous or grown in cultivation in the United States, while others are from different parts of the globe.


It is the plants that choose me and not me that choose my plants. However, my intention is to use plants that are accessible within our own culture. There are no psychoactive plants offered in the plant apprenticeship.

How do I get started?

Simply click the Get in Touch button below, fill out our contact form, and we will set up a free 20-minute call so you can learn more.

platinum-member-badge chamber of commerc
platinum-member-badge chamber of commerc


"Working with Dara is always a treat. Her ability to pick up on subtle shifts in resonance and her intuition are finely honed, and she flourishes in working as a plant to human counsel. The extended duration of the program, combined with the insightful prompts and check-ins facilitated my ability to feel some genuine connection with Rooibos. We lack this kind of slow work in our culture, and it continues to prompt me to reorient myself to aspects of my inner and outer life that have long needed nurturing. It seems that a large part of being able to communicate with our non-verbal, chlorophyll-loving neighbors lies in getting out of our heads and into our bodies, which is very much a part of what I have learned in this work with Dara. She is authentic and caring and seemingly wise beyond her years. It is a gift to have such a groovy and mindful mediator in my corner and I would recommend her to anyone considering plant spirit medicine."


Plant apprenticeship

"If you listen well to a plant you have solicited medicinal aid from, they say you can learn its song, and its song will be as effective a medicine as the plant material itself. That's when you've taken that plant in as your deep ally: when you can invoke its medicine without even necessarily touching or finding the plant. At that point you have access to the spirit of the medicine."

Kathleen Harrison
Visionary Plant Consciousness

Plant Spirit

"Every breath is a giveaway dance between you and the plants. Breathe this in. Plant spirit healing vibrates like a harp string, shimmers like a spider web, and is destined to be a warp thread in the re-weaving of the healing cloak of the Ancients."

Susan Weed


Shamanic Healing

Ongoing Shamanic Healing

We integrate shamanic-based practices into our body-based counseling. We find that these modalities work wonderfully together: through going deeply into the body and our personal history, we can more easily access that which is beyond our individual identity.

Plant Apprenticeship

Plant Apprenticeship

Plant Spirit Apprenticeships are a guided process in which you develop an intimate relationship with a plant, such as lavender or rose. By devoting a few minutes a day for a set period of time, this relationship can deepen and heal many aspects of your life.

Distance Healing

Distance Healing

In a Distance Healing session, you hold an intention or question for your deeper knowing. Then you relax, while the practitioner seeks guidance and healing on your behalf.

Plant Spirit Apprenticeship Video Transcript

This is Dara del Rio, and I’d like to talk a little bit about what plant spirit apprenticeships look like. So, the question I get most commonly asked is “Okay, so you’re helping people connect to plants. Does that mean I have to have a plant with me?” And the answer is no. In this work, we’re doing something different than what we’ve been taught to do. We’re connecting with the spirit of a plant, and that doesn’t require physical proximity. And it doesn’t even require that the plant grows in your area. What it does require is a heartfelt intent to connect from a distance to the spirit of another being. So this is really different than what we’ve been taught is possible in the limits of material reality. And that’s okay. That’s the point. This work with plants is meant to be a departure from that world into a world where we can connect with spirits, where we can connect with the trees, with the rocks, with the water, where can have direct communication with these beings and learn from them, because they are all so wise and have so much to teach us.

So, what does a plant spirit apprenticeship look like? Well, first off, it can be rolled into work that you’re already doing with me. So if you’re seeing me in more of a counseling setting, that’s fine. We can just roll it in. It works great together. Or if you’d like, I also offer plant spirit apprenticeships as their own package. So, typically, what I’ll have a client do is, during the first session, we discuss your background, your personal history, any sort of traumatic events that you feel you’d like to heal from, or maybe ways in which you’d like to grow. Then I’ll assign you a plant that I have a relationship with, and I want you to connect with in spirit. And one of the ways that you do that is going to be through ritual. And this isn’t weird. It’s not too out of the box or anything. All I ask people to do is make a simple daily offering and drink their chosen plant in the form of a tea, or maybe you have it as a spray if you’re working with lavender, for instance. Just something to remind you of the essence of that plant. And set aside 10 minutes a day to connect with the plant. There are different ways to connect with plant spirits. And if this is unfamiliar territory to you, then that’s totally fine and expected. And that’s what I’m here for: to help bridge that gap and create meaningful connection with a new ally.

Then, as time progresses and you move more into the integration phase of connection with your plant spirit, my job is to facilitate any sort of deepening insights that you come to. And this can happen over the course of several weeks, several months, several years. I usually ask that people commit to five sessions with me: the first two, the active phase of the plant spirit apprenticeship; and the second three, more of the integration phase. And those three can be spread out over a period of time, or they can be done in consecutive weeks. Some folks that I’ve worked with like to have all five sessions right in a row, and other folks have sessions many months apart, just depending on the scale, the timeline, maybe what your personal goal is with the plant. If you want to find your life’s purpose, that’s probably going to take more than five weeks.

So, this is a little bit about plant spirit apprenticeships. If you have questions or would like to learn more about this, this is one of my favorite offerings that I’ve developed, and I would love to hear from you with anything you want to share. So, feel free to reach out to us in the contact page above, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Hi. This is Dara with Somatic Spiritual Counseling. And in this video, I want to share a couple of the most frequently asked questions I get about the plant spirit apprenticeships, and give you a little bit of an idea of who I am and what you can expect from working with me.

The plant apprenticeships came about because I realized that there are a lot of people in our culture that are looking for teachers or mentors to teach a certain kind of wisdom or knowledge that’s not common anymore, that comes from a deep connectedness to the land, to the environment, to our ancestry. In our culture, a lot of that has been lost. We all have different paths and avenues and ways that we’ve arrived to where we are today. But the commonality is that we’re out of touch. We’re out of touch with the natural world around us and with how to communicate with the larger realm of spirit beings. So, this work with plant apprenticeships is to build a bridge between where we are now, where we’ve been in the past with indigenous pathways of wisdom, and where we’re going in the future, to a more hybridized world of synthesizing technology and human psychology with more traditional ways of knowing and connecting to the natural world around us.

A plant spirit apprenticeship is a series of sessions with me. In our first session together, I’ll decide on the plant that we’ll use. And the reason for this is because I have a relationship with a series of plants already, and it’s important for me to be able to track your progress with the plant that we’re working with. So it’s kind of like I have a friend that I want to introduce you to because I think you’ll get along well, and I want to make sure that I’ve pre-vetted that friend and I know that what they offer you is going to be helpful for what you come to the table with.

So, we’ll decide on a plant, and the commitment is to drink the plant every day for two weeks. Usually this is easiest in the form of tea. The plants I work with are all non-psychoactive and easy to find in either a grocery store or an herb shop, just depending on the plant that we choose. And you’ll drink the tea every day for two weeks and spend at least 10 minutes, preferably more, communing with the spirit of the plant, which is something that we will dive more deeply into how best to do that during our sessions together. I’ll also be providing email prompts every couple of days to give you a framework for what you should be looking for, what kind of communication avenues the plant might be taking with you. If you’re having a lot of experiences, we can have a dialogue about how to digest some of that or how to best work with what’s coming up. So, that’s the first couple of weeks.

The last couple of weeks are to integrate, and that can happen spaced out over a period of time or it can happen three weeks after the first two weeks, so all consecutive. Different plants have different lengths of time that they work through. One plant, for example, that I have a relationship with is lemongrass. And lemongrass tends to come on very quickly, very strongly, and is kind of to the point, so there’s a shorter period of time that we can kind of condense and work with it more effectively. But then another plant, for example, lavender has a much longer breadth, I could say, of experience to offer. And it unfolds over the course of several months. It can even be up to a year or more. And that’s true with all of these plants. The longer you have a relationship with a plant, the more it offers you, the deeper the teachings become as you continue to integrate and digest what you’ve learned from the spirits.

So then, going forward, the beautiful thing about this work is that it builds upon itself. And you don’t have to continue to work with me to be able to continue to build a relationship with these plants. Different plants, even trees and rocks and mountains and different spirit beings, whatever feels like the best fit for you, whatever your natural talents and proclivities are to cultivating a deeper relationship with the natural animate world around us. So, that’s a little bit about what plant apprenticeships are.

Another aspect of this is our personal trauma and what we bring to these plants. So, it’s not just about finding these new ways of communicating and having your life purpose met and all of this. It’s really about grounding in the body. The way we communicate with the plants often is through the body. So, one of the tools that I work with in sessions with people are somatic-based practices to be able to strengthen those pathways of communication for those higher-level insights and wisdoms to be able to come through. And that means looking at our personal history and traumas that we’ve been through in order to clear those lines of communication, so that we are clear channels and pathways of connection.

So, that’s a little bit about what plant spirit apprenticeships are. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to me through our contact form. And I look forward to hearing from you.