Jul 232017
 

Promote Your Herb Shop or Online Herbal-Related Business

in Plant Healer’s 2018–2020 Herbal Shops & Suppliers Directory & Guide

With Articles, Business Profiles, Ads, & Free Listings

In past years, Plant Healer Publications has produced extremely popular guides, including ones for herbal conferences and schools.  Now, at the request of many in the Plant Healer community, we are creating:

A Special Buyers Guide, with illustrated articles describing the different kinds of sources for herbs, medicinal preparations, herbal products and supplies… and including personalized profiles of participating businesses as examples inside the articles themselves – combined with

A Thorough Directory, with brief or lengthy listings of all kinds of suppliers of interest to herbal consumers, medicine makers, and practitioners…. including web addresses and contact info.

Offering you:

1. Paid Promotional Packages with lengthy business listings, graphic display ads, photos of your shop/customers/products, and personalized business profiles and tales within the actual Guide articles… or

2. Free 40-Word Listing in the Directory

Reach 50,000 or more herbal product consumers and medicine makers.

If you can’t afford the extensive portrayal and promotion of a paid package, we will gladly include a short listing for you anyway!

Welcomed Are Online & Brick n’ Mortar Businesses Such As:

Herb Shops & Apothecaries • Natural Health Stores • Bulk Herbs Providers

Manufacturers of Herbal Preparations, Tincture, Medicines • Cannabis Dispensaries & Producers Herbal Tea Sellers • Seed Sellers • Herbal Nurseries & Farms • Gardening Tool Suppliers

Suppliers of Alcohol, Bottles, & Equipment

Online providers will be listed by Product Category.

Brick n’ Mortar businesses will be listed by Region or State depending on the numbers.

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Distribution

Distribution will be to the 32,500 subscribers of Plant Healer Magazine and the Herbaria Monthly, and

the 44,000 readers of the Medicine Woman Blog, as well as shared with another estimated 30,000 herb enthusiasts.  A download link to the PDF will be announced/advertised in our publications for a full year,

and will be promoted with excerpts in an issue of Plant Healer Magazine, through the websites and mailing lists of those businesses appearing inside, as well as through our huge FaceBook network.

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Releasing in late Fall 2017 or mid-Winter 2018

To be sure of being included, send an Insertion Form with your Description, Anecdotes & Pics ASAP

Click on, download, fill out, and return the:

Herbal Shops & Suppliers Directory Invite & Application

http://www.mediafire.com/file/g8t6110z3i39wt1/Herbal_Suppliers_Directory_Application.doc

It’s a pleasure to do what we can to bring attention to your herbal-centric business and products!

Thank you much,

Jesse Wolf & Kiva Rose Hardin

PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

Jul 212017
 

Yesterday I went in for my 19-20 week ultrasound, and got a peek at the wee beast for the second time. Said beastie was very active, yawning/babbling while tugging on the umbilical cord and using hands and feet to smack at the pressure of the offending implement on my abdomen.

Here you can see the field pea with mouth wide open, hand gripping the umbilical cord, and probably very much wishing to be left the hell alone. Especially after the indignity of being peered at bottom first for some time as we assessed the sex of the squirming unseelie creature.

 

And so I am carrying a tiny male, a baby brother for Rhiannon, who is utterly delighted by the prospect. Being that gender is such a cultural construct, knowing the sex changes little, if anything, for us. Certainly not clothing or colors or toys, but we are happy to know just a bit more about our wriggling, wild beast!  We are counting the days until December, eager to greet this new family member and to introduce him to the world with great celebration.

Earth Mother by Edward Burne-Jones

Jul 192017
 

For my recent birthday, Rhiannon and I headed straight up into the mountains to find our favorite sort of haven – cool, wet, boggy, and wild. Here in the Southwest, that often means looking for un upper elevation ciénega. These alkaline moist meadows that sometimes verge into swamps are rare, and incredibly important, refuges for a plethora of wildlife, including these two water loving changelings.

Our seasonal monsoons have gotten something of a late start but now seem to be finally taking hold. The day of our journey, clouds hung low and dark in the sky, casting peculiar shadows across the landscape as we wandered along creeksides and the edges of a burned out forest. At 9,000 feet in the air and only 60 degrees, we felt as if we’d left the muggy Summer heat far behind….

Meadow wildflowers are just beginning to bloom, replenished by the much needed rain in this seemingly endless drought. This year the Owl’s Claws, Hymenoxys hoopesii, seems especially prolific, turning the roadsides and meadows gold with their brilliant flowers. Normally, I would gather at least a few for oils and salves to soothe musco-skeletal aches and pains, but right now I’m halfway through an exhausting (and exhilarating) pregnancy, and am reserving all my energy for the medicines I most need for the coming year.

One of those medicines is our native Saint John’s Wort, Hypericum scouleri, which I’ve been making frequent use of for the nerve pain that has accompanied both my pregnancies. I’m excited that the Hypericum scouleri seems fairly abundant this year, as I prefer it to the more common H. perforatum, but will only harvest it during seasons in which it is plentiful and I can gather it without making any visible impact on the local population.

I also gathered a bit of Yarrow since it’s been scarce in the lower elevations this year. The Violet leaves seem especially aromatic and plentiful so Rhiannon and I spent a good long while crawling around beside the creek filling our basket with their bountiful green goodness.

Rhiannon is nearly 17, my darling goblin girl. She not only helped me wildcraft the herbs I needed but also assisted in preparing our birthday picnic, and baked me an amazing Rose-Pistachio Cake!

Here’s one of our ramekins of shepherd’s pie, made with lamb, mushrooms, beet greens, leeks, turnips, and topped with herbed chevre and a Checkermallow flower.

Here’s the amazing cake Rhiannon made for me! Redolent of rosewater, with Icelandic skyr icing  and topped with ground pistachios, rose petals and buds, and marzipan. This has to be one of the prettiest birthday cakes I’ve ever seen.

Gratuitous closeup of the Roses.

Yes, we do like to eat our cake off of leaves!

Rhiannon adores the lush beauty of moist meadows and couldn’t resist rolling in the sweet, soft grass.

Sniffing a bit of Oshá/Loveroot leaf, Ligusitcum porteri. I didn’t harvest any even though it was very abundant in this area. Partly because of my low energy levels, but also because this plant is a strong uterine stimulant/emmenagogue. I couldn’t resist that sniff though, as Oshá leaves are one of my favorite cooking herbs!

If I can’t harvest it right now, I can at least admire it!

Back home again, Rhiannon and I prepared a quick but nourishing soup with just gathered Sheep Sorrel leaves, Wild Onions, Crimini mushrooms, Leeks, and lamb. Tired but satisfied, we ate our soup while still regaling each other with the beauty and fun of our picnic feast!

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In the spirit of our celebration, here’s a bit of music for you. Waldkauz is a German band playing Medieval inspired music in the pagan folk genre. If you enjoy Faun, you’re very likely to love this album as well.

Jul 162017
 

Invitation To Submit Class Proposals For Plant Healer’s Annual International

GOOD MEDICINE CONFLUENCE

www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

In these times of oppressive Normalcy, Creating a Divergent Alternative Couldn’t Be More Fun!

––5 Big Days Every Year – May 16th-20th, 2018 – Durango, CO––

From Plant Healer’s first Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference in 2010, through the HerbFolk Gathering, Herbal Resurgence Gathering, and now the Good Medicine Confluence, Plant Healer events have been distinguished by their utter uniqueness, and the diversity and vibrancy of the attending tribe.  This has happily inspired emulation and the founding of new conferences worldwide, from anarchic to bioregional, while our events continue to evolve into exciting new forms as not yet imagined.  Always, our focus is on empowering as well as informing, promoting herbalism as the “people’s medicine,” offering a balance of useable information and life-changing inspiration… seeing our work as not just the healing of bodies but the mending and changing and beautifying of the wondrous world.

Jul 122017
 

A CALL TO RE-ENCHANTMENT

by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Kiva and I loved teaching a class on the topic of enchantment at the Good Medicine Confluence last month. The following piece on this topic, celebrates the birth of Enchantments, Kiva’s rewilded, acc-sense-uated new manifestation of her long beloved Medicine Roots blog. You can read the earlier, much longer versions in the book The Enchanted Healer, and in the Good Medicine Confluence 2017 Class Essays Ebook, both available by clicking through to the Bookstore page at www.PlantHealer.org

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The little cabin where Kiva and I sleep, nests far from what is called civilization, seven river crossings from pavement and 250 miles from the nearest real city, and thus from the sounds of sirens and traffic that so easily impacts the rest of oversensitive and neurodivergent. The only sounds we tend to hear after dark, are the nuanced songs of the crickets as they slow their tempo with each degree of drop in the canyon temperature, the tones of owl and whipporwill, the steady background murmuring of our nearby Sweet Medicine River, and the tidal cadence of my dreaming wife’s restful breaths.

And so it was not an alarming sound that woke me up one recent night, but rather, it was the incredible white-blue light of the full moon seeping through my closed eyelids, exciting my brain to resume its fervent explorations. I sat up extra carefully so as not to rouse anyone, turned to the window and beheld what seemed to me a magical sight.

At first I imagined everything might be covered by a surprise Spring snow, as all within reach of the moon’s silvered brush glowed with an unbelievable intensity – the tops of ancient volcanic rock frosted and luminous, yucca fronds reflective like glass, the upper faces of every leaf jewel-crusted and glistening, and what seemed to be a sparkle to the air itself. 

I could feel my eyes widen like an astonished child’s as I pressed my nose against the window, my heart quickening.  It was, as I quickly realized, an effect not of cold and water but of atmosphere and light, the lunar gilding of a landscape normally beautiful but familiar and as expected.  This night, that moment, it was as if transformed into a fantastical setting for an unfolding fairy tale, a place of untold possibilities, not just the background but the means for unforgettable events and life impacting visions.  It called to me to slip outside and wander about amazed, called me to “come out and play,” and I once more proved susceptible to its spell.  The so-familiar scenery now seemed somehow strange and new.  Time felt suspended, and tingles reigned where no words yet cared to follow.

I was – to be clear – utterly enchanted.

 

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”   — Iris Murdoch

enchantment |enˈCHantmənt| noun:

1. a state of great interest, heightened senses, and extreme delight

2. being under the influence of a spell (as in magic)

We can love a place, person or thing deeply and attentively, never taking it for granted, and yet still suffer a loss of sheen… a reduction in our sensing of – and being affected by – the world’s ever present luster.  We can easily find ourselves slipping away from palpable engagement and deep experience, withdrawing into circular thoughts and prefabricated scripts, moderating and monitoring our consciousness, the moon shrinking until it is only a small bit of background decoration instead of a heart-lifting celestial orb that we can barely take our eyes off, a force summoning the ocean’s waves, a celestial enchantress.  But this night, it was enchantment that reigned, as my habitual ways of perceiving this canyon that I’ve loved for nearly four decades were in an instant exceeded and enhanced, with the land again revealed as it really always is: enlivened, evocative, wondrous, spectacular, astounding, and ever so compelling.

One of the primary effects of enchantment is the sudden and dramatic boost in our ability to find things fascinating.  As children, the world seemed to be communicating to us and we often switched from whatever we were doing to listening raptly in an attempt to discern the language of animals and plants, decode the designs in rock, uncover meaning in every form and gesture.  We were very likely entranced by the back and forth of foraging park squirrels, mesmerized by the interactive patterns of a scattering of raindrops falling into a puddle, and characteristically susceptible to the mind altering effects of full moon’s light.  But gradually,  some of us may have grown accustomed to the puzzle of squirrel behavior, increasingly inured to the interlocking circles that rain falling in puddles makes, grievously immune to the faery dust of lunar illuminations.  It is enchantment that can summon us back, again and again, before those aforementioned portals to infinite possibility.

Later as adults, if we chose to study or practice some form of healing and bettering the world instead of  securing a typical education and corporate career, most of us were acting not so much out of a rational strategy as out of enchantment.  And enchantment can continue to inspire, adjust and flavor our lives and work, to the degree that we cease blocking it out and begin to welcome it, to help both create the conditions and clear the way for it, and learn to sustain the sensibilities and perceptions that fuel creativity, raise excitement, call attention to the wonderful and the mysterious, and help make our healing practices feel not only valuable but personable and magical.

Admittedly, there are many reasons for dreading, avoiding or repressing our enchantment.  Extreme or prolonged states of enchantment can be disorienting, intimidating and sometimes terrifying, for the above reasons and many others.  Altered perception and awakened senses are indeed intense, and we would find ourselves bombarded by a confusing flurry of sensory information without some perceptual filters straining out unneeded information, prioritizing what requires our immediate attention.  Even the processes of forgetting are often natural bodily mechanisms for protecting us from the hurtful traumas of the past, and serve to block out the distracting irrelevancies of the present.  It could be hard to get our work done if the intricate motions of our hands, the workings of our computers and tools, the patterns in a wooden table, every word and expression a client makes, or the slightest shift in the breeze all clamored for focus, all the time.

These perceptual filters are similar to an optic lens that bends or distorts light to create a message that can be deciphered by the brain, but unfortunately these easily harden, and once rigid, the eye is no longer able to adjust for changes in focus and light.  Once we allow our perceptual lenses to harden with habit, everything beyond our understanding or out of the ordinary is treated as bewildering, threatening or untrustworthy, and as something other, alien, introduced, as an imposition or manipulation as if it were a hex being placed on us by a malevolent entity.  Enchantment is, however, a lot like entheogenic plants, in that something like Datura doesn’t implant visions, and mushrooms do not impose ideas.  They work not by inebriation but by temporarily sweeping aside the neurochemical barriers to free association, synthesis, sensations of a unified field, and the experiencing of ecstasy.  What they can and often do is to unleash intrinsic, already existent means and capacities, open the door to repressed memories and untapped abilities, and make possible ecstatic connection through our natural, native senses.  Similarly, enchantment works not by implanting or imposing, and not by altering who we fundamentally are, but by disrupting the filtering processes that can not only protect us but also impact our realization, creativity, and blissful wonderment. It is a lantern in the dark, through the swamp of disillusionment we follow its light.

Disenchantment results not from the disappearance of enchantment, as the world is never less magical, and the capacity for ecstatic perception and engagement still resides in us even if dormant.  Disenchantment is a result of the overabundance and dominance of our protective filters.  Because we feel safer in a predictable world, we tend to try to eliminate or downplay surprises.  Because change can be so stressful, we often try to spin reality in ways that make it appear as if it actually stays the same. Unfamiliar environs and situations can feel scary, so we sometimes recoil from new revealings. Due to the fears, preconceptions, and judgments of family, friends and employers, many of us become guarded about revealing the extent of our transformative enchantment.  To keep from feeling stupid, we may prefer acting as if we know over acknowledgment of the unknown.  To protect ourselves from the wild visions, intense sensations, and perceptions and responses that might set us apart, we may have downplayed our enchantments, while sequestering ourselves behind our filters.

“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up… not me!”  –J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan)

In the story of Peter Pan, Peter faces what is framed as a dire choice between clinging to the perspectives, liberties and joys of childhood, and growing up to assume his place and role in society. Who could be blamed for refusing to climb down from the boughs of a magical looking tree, into the cold arms of societal expectations and rote assignments, dampened passions and debunked mysteries?

We damn sure don’t need to do “what we’re told,” if what we are told is to unquestioningly accept their reality, to “straighten up,” “settle down” or “get with the program.”  We do need, as we’re advised, to “come down to earth,” but in terms of getting closer to elemental life and the living world we’re a part of, and actually experiencing rather than simply conceptualizing and analyzing, doing as well as planning… not in terms of letting go of our lofty hopes, cutting loose our cherished dreams, doubting and turning our backs on our visions, rejecting the giddy extremes of sensing and savoring, or retreating from the depths of ecstasy and brilliance of visions.  We need to “get real,” as most of us have been admonished, not by abandoning fantasy but by doing all we can in the real world to make the fantastic and visionary come true.  We need not grow “up” but “inwards” and “within,” growing not bigger but better.  Growing more beautiful.  Growing more healthy, more hopeful, more imaginative, more creative, more determined to be healed, and to help heal others and this earth.

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”    –J.M. Barrie

On one level, we don’t need to ever grow up… only to learn how to act in public so that we don’t handicap our efforts or endanger ourselves or our goals!  On the other hand, humankind and the entire planet does need us to take on the best attributes of adulthood, including mature consideration and reflection, discernment and critical thinking, patience, focus, responsibility, initiative, service to a good that is greater than ourselves, self-discipline, follow-through, pledge keeping, and sacrifice when and as required.

As adults we have more entrenched disbelief to get over, and more preconceptions to overcome, but at the same time we have a deepened capacity for a more complex and greater realized enchantment than we knew as kids, a state of ecstatic wonderment made richer by our actual experiences, informed by our memories, feeding our creativity, and fueling our healing purpose.

“You have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead and get with the program of a living world and the imagination.”   –Terrence McKenna

Healing is largely about helping to mend the rifts – not only to pull together the bloodied edges of parted flesh, but also the torn fabric of community and land, to heal the schism between us and our own bodies, and between the land and us.  In need of mending, too, is the perceptual gap between science and spirituality, magic or the mysterious, between investigation and wonder, what we think and what we do, who we are and what we love… between doing good and feeling good.

There is no inherent contradiction between being a serious, effective, credible Healer of any sort – even a professional clinician, mathematically-minded climate researcher or academician – and being an enchanted Seeker, Seer, Shifter and Celebrant. The best Healers will be those who tend their hearts as well as minds, exercise their capacity for wonder as well as their ability to assess and test, discern and understand.  Assuming we already know something impedes new realizations, taking anything for granted diminishes its significance and value, and “normal” states of mind provide a limited and often disenchanting view of the world we seek to enjoy and improve.  Curiosity and excitement are vital to both our learning and our practice, and satisfaction comes from enjoying not only the act of knowing but the exhilaration of the unknown, the teasing and encouragement of the evident but invisible that even now coaxes us forward.

Conformism and the need to fit in, convention, objective distancing, imagined certainty and the desire for predictability, systems of blind belief and cultures of cynicism, all combine to paint an unremarkable reality, featuring stark limits and reduced colors, contributing to our personal and collective disenchantment.  But we were born to be enraptured explorers, unafraid of new revelations and the overturning of paradigms, glad to be different and to take chances, unafraid to “go out on a limb”… because exploring high in the boughs, wonderstruck and leaf-dazzled, is a natural place and way for us to be.  With our increased awakeness, intense presence, heightened senses and greater awareness – with increasing tools such as the self-nourishment of sacred indulgence, our homes and work spaces made beautiful and intriguing, the creation of an inner sanctum, plant and animal totems, conscious cooking, drumming, dwelling on the edge, questing, places of power – we have the chance for a life and mission that is as fantastic as it is authentic.

Enchantment is not about being bewitched or bewildered, it is a healthy glamour that amazes us with revelations of magic in the mundane, of significance in the overlooked, misunderstood or undervalued.  It is neither hallucination, feel-good diversion, self delusion, sleight of hand tricks or entertainment.  It is allure, necessarily followed by engagement with what fascinates us, engagement with the ever so real world and our work within it… albeit a world  that will always be at least in part a wonderful mystery, and everyday healing work that is nothing less than extraordinary – not so much credible as incredible, not so much known and conventional as mysterious, adaptive, and mind blowing… with effects and results that can be astounding, awe-inspiring, and incontrovertibly phenomenal.

One can access all the universe through an intimate exploration of the natural world and ourselves, with threads and trails leading off to every mountain and gully, ocean depth and star’s song, to the missions and processes that need us, and to the very healing herbs we most need.   The portal we seek out is not only located in the deep woods, however, unless we include the wooded recesses of the wild mind.  The doorway to our enchantment is always near to us, its wrought-iron latch within easy reach of our hand.  In the clinic or lab, turn our heads quickly enough and we just may get a glimpse of the tree shaded contours of its Wisteria-covered frame.  On the streets, handing out medicine to the homeless, we may hear above the noise of the traffic a siren’s call that leads us down an alley – or thought-way – that we have never been down before.  We can be ensconced at our computers, far inside the bowels of some hospital or university, and feel a draft we can’t explain.  If it is insistent, and we prove sensitive enough, we will look up from our screens and follow it to a needed opening, an escape from the rote and entrance to the wild unbeknownst.

We have the possibility and option of stepping through this portal again and again, each time finding ourselves more intensely right here, not a new person in a new place but in the same place, a place somehow freshened and revealed, with our purpose deepened and fueled, and with ourselves each time renewed.  We become not only self-appointed servants of healing – in the very deepest, largest, most meaningful and encompassing sense – but also agents of awareness, imagination, the always evolving Gaian imperative, the percolating powers of discovery, of adaptation and synthesis, and of emergent balance and bliss.

One reason for the existence this Enchantments Blog, is to bring attention to this important truth, to celebrate our sensate lives and purposed roles – a call to re-enchantment! The practice of healing is ours to claim, to commit to and fulfill, develop and utilize.  And the gift of enchantment can be ours as well, empowering and exciting our personal missions and wild adventures, infusing wonderment and delight into our ever more purposeful lives.

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(please share freely and widely)

Jul 102017
 

Sometimes the very best things don’t go at all as intended. Wolf and I had originally planned for a tiny wedding in the White Mountains of Arizona, with only a few of our closest friends and family members. But as is often the case with busy folks, we couldn’t make the schedule work and so we ended up cancelling. I was confounded by the logistics, and couldn’t quite figure out how to pull it off when so many of our friends live all over the country and world. Wolf had already had my wedding dress made, and I’d ordered his outfit all the way from Ukraine, with no way to have a wedding.

In a moment of desperation, or brilliance, depending on how you look at it, I suggested to Wolf that we just have the wedding at this year’s Good Medicine Confluence. After all, the conference is the one place our tribe regularly gathers to celebrate!  And so it was decided, even if we had no time to plan out the details in the midst of all of the other last minute conference preparations and planning, right alongside morning sickness and pregancy plans! We chose to place the wedding in the midst of our yearly Fairies & Plants Masquerade Ball, making it even easier to wear our preferred elven style garb.

We’d initially assumed we’d buy wedding rings like anyone else, but after much thought about mutual sensory issues, conventional wedding ceremonies, and our personal aesthetics…. we decided against rings. Instead, we chose to exchange traditional Northern European style braided neck torcs. Of course we wanted something as handmade as possible, even with the time crunch we’d gotten ourselves into, and so I set to researching and contacting craftspeople in hopes of finding something exquisite, and yet within our insane time frame. We were lucky enough to find Danny and Sherry Hansen of Crafty Celts, who managed to create our torcs just in time! A sterling silver spiral torc for Wolf, and a bronze Ash leaf torc for me.

 

These are pictures from the site, as opposed to our actual torcs, so Wolf’s is in silver and heavier guage, while mine is a bit more delicate.

 

We only got as far into formal planning as selecting the music for the ceremony, and hoped the rest would fall into place while traveling, because it was clear there was simply no more time for anything besides packing. And when the engine blew in our vehicle three quarters of the way to the conference, all available brain cells were immediately reprioritized for figuring out last minute transportation and how to still make this event work while running late. Huge thanks to herbalist, teacher, and friend, Marija Helt, for swooping down to retrieve us, as well as generously allowing us to use her vehicle for the duration of the week!

Which is how it happened that on Friday night, a couple hours after teaching, and a very few minutes before the actual ceremony, I found myself in the Healer’s Market frantically (I mean serenely, right? Like all brides….) committing my vows to paper. Since this was something that I knew I’d be treasuring forever, I chose to write it in my beloved Green Woman Journal, custom made for me by Chris and Jinny of SkyRavenWolf of Wales and Wiltshire, England. There’s no doubt in my mind that the beauty and intricacy of the journal helped me find the right words to commit myself to my beloved.

 

 

Meanwhile, Betsy Costilo-Miller and Holly Torgerson had been out gathering flowers to weave into my wedding crown. I’m so blessed to have two friends who know me well enough to select the perfect plants, including some of the last Hawthorn blossoms in Durango, and create one of the highlights of my wedding.

 

 

My little sister, artist Melissa Du Bois, had traveled all the way from Clayton, North Carolina, to be at the conference, and helped me prepare for the ceremony. She and Betsy graciously did my fae inspired makeup, and attended me during the wedding, while Alanna Whitney shared her perfume, made me tea, generally kept me from losing my shit, and accompanied Wolf at the wedding. I’m certain we were an altogether unruly yet enchanted crew of otherworldly creatures!

 

Left to right, Melissa Du Bois, Betsy Costilo-Miller, and Alanna Whitney.

 

From the moment I began to make my way up the stairs to the terrace balcony in the dark of that cool Colorado night on the 16th of June, I lost track of everything besides the stars above and the dim fairy lights of the terrace, and the waiting for the music to start. It’s good that I know every note of Fiona MacKenzie’s Ribhinn a Chuil Bhain’ by heart, so that I woke up enough from my reverie to step toward the stage.

 

Once there, I was more than a little grateful I’d thought to bring the journal with me, and to read from it, for I’d forgotten most of the words I know in at least three languages. Somehow I managed to say the words out loud, and to hold back my tears enough for Wolf and the crowd to understand me.

I promise to be your partner and helper in work, in play… in life.

I promise to support you through whatever rewards and challenges we face, and that we will face them together.

I promise to love you now, for this life, and forever.

I promise to give you my honesty, my commitment, and my fierce loyalty.

Dearest Wolfling, you are my friend, my mate, my love.

You have my heart, my whole self, now and forever.

 

Also note Wolf’s wedding sporran, made by Chris and Jinny of SkyRavenWolf just for the occasion, complete with wolf, moon, and roses!

 

At the end I managed to laugh a little as I said “with this torc I thee wed”, and the audience laughed with me…. until Wolf spoke his vows, and the tears began anew. I somehow didn’t expect so much magic to infuse itself in this wedding, but it did. I didn’t know how cared for and blessed I would feel, but there it is. Perhaps I should have known better, but like I said, sometimes the very best things don’t work out at all in the way we planned…. and it’s the mystery and wild grace that gives birth to all this beauty.

 

Yes, I am wearing a thistle flower in my dress. An emblem of the Good Medicine Confluence and a longstanding symbol of resistance in the face of oppression.

 

For those of you there to witness and celebrate with us, so much gratitude for your love and support! I can’t tell you how much it meant to Wolf and I to have our tribe there with us for this incredible event. For those of you who couldn’t make it, we felt you there and thank you for your sweet thoughts and love sent from afar, even from across oceans and continents and too many time zones to count.

 

The back of my Green Woman Journal, the Tree of Life in all its intricate and storied beauty.

*With special thanks to Stephany Hoffelt for taking care of last minute details, logistics, and issues, so that I  could actually attend my own wedding!

© All wedding photos courtesy Cynthia Raiser Jeavons

Jul 062017
 

Be sure you subscribed to the free zine Herbaria Quarterly, to be sure of receiving the upcoming issue releasing on the 12th. Featuring a fresh new look, and more illustrated herb-related material. Included will be:

• Tales & Pics of The 2017 Good Medicine Confluence

• Radical Vitalism: A very powerful and important essay by Janet Kent & Dave Meesters

Plant Healer Herb Shops & Suppliers Guide: An invitation to list your business, or recommend your favorite sellers

• Healing With The Rosemary Plant: A clear overview for new students of this herb, contributed by enthusiast Jenn Heinzel

• Rosemary Gladstar Interview: Excerpt of a great conversation with the founder of United Plant Savers and Godmother of contemporary herbalism

TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE

(please do share this post)

Jul 042017
 

I’ve realized over the last couple of years that trying to stay current on social media, even just for business reasons, was eating up enormous amounts of my writing time. Recently, I’ve decided that it’s long since time to return to writing and give social media a backseat. So here I am, blogging again! I’ll no longer be on facebook, but you’ll still be able to find me on instagram, since I can’t resist posting pictures of wildcrafting finds, the beauty of New Mexico, all things herbal, and of course, the occasional picture of Rhiannon or Wolf…. and in the not too distant future, this very wiggly baby currently still tucked away in the womb.

Coming back to the blog, I realized that it no longer truly reflected my work, life, or passions. While my excitement for herbalism hasn’t diminished over the year, my ways of practicing and perceiving herbalism over the years have certainly shifted. I’ve renamed the blog to be Enchantments: Healing Roots, Backwoods Victuals, & A Faerytale Life, to give myself more room to talk about the foods I love, many of which are rural and rustic dishes that are a part of my Appalachian heritage, often integrated with the Slavic and Scandinavian cookery that I’ve been studying for the last decade. I also want to delve more into mythic story, and especially how they can assist and guide the herbal practitioner. And of course, I love my strange and diverse life here in the wilds of the Gila with my family, where we still live completely off the grid and without hot/running water, and can’t help but share some of the highlights of the peculiar challenges and delights of it all.

I’m 17 weeks pregnant now, almost halfway through! This pregnancy has been a great joy thus far, and also a great challenge. In part because of my ongoing nausea and exhaustion, but also because of the lack of accessibility to good information/care, that is especially relevant in my very rural area, but also clearly a common part of pregnancy in the United States for many women. More about that in a future post, but I had hoped that more had changed since my first pregnancy nearly two decades ago…. and it probably has in certain areas of the country, but when you want to see the real state of the nation, the place to see it is almost always in rural (or inner city), impoverished areas, often especially those without a white majority.

As our cabin renovations take shape, we’re almost to the stage where I can move some furniture in, and start decorating and otherwise preparing for the baby! I’ve tried to be very patient, but I’m afraid the nesting urge is now causing me to stamp my foot and tell everyone to please hurry. This is especially true since we’ve been so blessed by the gifts that some of you have so sweetly sent our way. Baby shopping is fun, but it will be a great deal more fun to think of each of you every time we wrap the baby in a gifted blanket, or warm the little one in a handmade hat. Likewise, I look forward to the day when I can the little beast where each item came from, and tell them about the person who sent it just for them! The recent Good Medicine Confluence definitely slowed down my progress on thank yous but I’m still working on them, and in the meantime, I hope you can feel our gratitude and love!

It’s fire season here, so the gardens and woods are sadly dry and somewhat barren, but I’m always amazed at what does persist and live on, the hardy Monarda pectinata insisting on blooming in the dry sands of the mesa regardless of the lack of water, the Datura digging deep into the soil to unfurl it’s violet tinged trumpets each evening. And of course we do baby a few plants through the seasonal drought, including our lovely little Pixie Peach that is even bearing a few small but tasty fruit! Since we don’t have a well, it’s challenging to prioritize our water usage, but I always try to save some for my favorite herbs, at least enough to keep the Lovage and Sage and Lemon Balm going until the rains fall again.

While I wait for those much needed monsoons to blow in and turn the canyon green again, I’ll be rambling on about brambleberry pie, herbs and pregnancy, and even a bit about our Wolf and I’s wedding, which turned out so much more beautiful and meaningful than I ever could have mentioned. Not least because of the love and help of more than a few special people.

Until then, if you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find my account under Faerythorn

And for those of you who have recently asked about the baby registry, here’s the link! Kiva’s Baby List

 

 

Jun 272017
 

Every year we compile extensive, in-depth Class Essays Ebooks on the topics taught at our annual gatherings. These are not class notes, but magazine length, book quality articles filled with inspiration and information for all on the plant healer path.

2017’s Class Essays Ebooks feature an unbelievable 533 pages of work by many of the most insightful and adventurous of healing and lifeways teachers today… compiled into 2 volumes.

Already provided to Confluence attendees, we are now pleased to make them available to all you in the Plant Healer community.  Order by clicking on the Bookstore Page at:

http://www.PlantHealer.org

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Jun 052017
 

Bring Your Kids to the Good Medicine Confluence Youth Village – June 14-18

Tickets for Kids Aged 10 to 17  – Only $69 for all 5 Days! – Kids Under 10 Attend Free!

Go to the Registration Page at: http://www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

Building The Plant Healer Kids’ Tribe

by Asa Henderson

I don’t want my son to reach intellectual maturity without input from our non-human brothers and sisters on this planet, and the upcoming Good Medicine Confluence will help me ensure that he won’t.  He was only 1 year old when we took him to Plant Healer’s very first event (The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference), and we’ve returned nearly every year since. I want other children to have this experience of nature, culture, and the blurring of the line between the two, leading us to  volunteer to coordinate the Plant Healer Youth Village in 2014 and ‘15. 

June 14th through 18th there will once again be an amazing group of volunteers and parents who have come up with some wonderful classes and activities.  Kids can expect nature-based arts and crafts such as printing with plants, experiential explorations of herbs, medicine making, and lots of play.

There will be a meeting of teachers and parents to discuss the schedule at 1pm Wed. the 14th, at the Youth Village site on the Ft. Lewis campus.  Parents of little ones may want to meet them to arrange for trading childcare time.

I will be teaching a couple of kid classes again this year.  If you’re as excited as I am about this and would like to help make it happen or have an idea for an activity you’d like to guide, contact the 2017 Youth Village Director to volunteer:

Ashley Kulik ashleymkulik@gmail.com

But the most important ingredient in this awesome kids’ camp is the kids themselves, so the most important thing you can do is to bring them! 

The Good Medicine Confluence will benefit from the vitality of your kids, and the movement toward a humanity more attuned to nature will get a new generation of ambassadors!


Tickets for Kids Aged 10 to 17  – Only $69 for all 5 Days! – Kids Under 10 Attend Free!

Go to the Registration Page at:

http://www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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May 222017
 

Class Schedule For

The 2017 International Good Medicine Confluence

We are getting more excited as we get closer and closer to this year’s Plant Healer gathering in Durango! There will be more attendees than ever before, twice as many teachers, a much wider breadth of unique classes, and 3 times as many classes as usual.  With six being taught at once in every time period, you may want to choose ahead of time the favorites  you want to be sure and attend.

It is hard to imagine the amount of consideration goes into scheduling, seeking a balance of topics and personalities in each period, and a mix of the clinical/practical and conceptual/historical/visionary, the radical and the downhome.  Sometimes there is an element of humor, as  in teachers known to let their classes run late, getting scheduled for right before meals so that they don’t delay the teachers who follow. And those who tend wake up muddle-headed or with a post-party hangover, have afternoon slots saved for them!

Here for your convenient perusal, is a link to the hopefully final version.  Hope you find the offerings as compelling as we do, we will be looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Click here to download:

Class Schedule–Good Medicine Confluence 2017

May 152017
 

The new May issue of Herbaria Monthly has just been released, the free Ezine supplement to the quarterly Plant Healer Magazine. If you aren’t already subscribed, you can still read and share it by clicking and downloading:

HERBARIA MONTHLY – FREE MAY ISSUE

This heavily illustrated, full color, 60 pages-long issue, features practical information along with inspiring perspectives:

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. Kiva Rose: A Cartography of The Heart

How the land shapes us and our practice – Kiva evokes sense of place for the herbalist

2. Making Publications, Events …& a Baby!

Wolf reflects on his and Kiva’s current doings…

3. Elias Davis: Making Herbal Beers

Some history, recipes, and information for herbally active brews

4. Herbalist Interview: Missy Rohs

Missy was a social and eco activist first, before opening a school offering the most practicable herbal info

5. Peter McCoy: Mushrooms

The author of “Radical Mycology” provides some excellent fungal information

6. Herbalist Interview: Shawn Donnille

The CoDirector of  supplier Mountain Rose Herbs went from Punk protestor to a sponsor of herbalism and conservation


Herbarias are produced as a service to the Plant Healer Community, especially those who are just starting to get into natural healing and plants, and those who might not be able to afford the quarterly Plant Healer Magazine.  You are encouraged to post this link online, send it to any friends who might be interested, and give it away wherever.  To avoid missing a single issue, please subscribe by entering your name and email address at the left of the Plant Healer website:

www.PlantHealer.org

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Click Here to Download:

HERBARIA MONTHLY – FREE MAY ISSUE

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(Please Share this Link, & This Post, Freely & Widely)

May 102017
 

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Announcing My Pregnancy!

by Kiva Rose

Spring in the Canyon means that the Banana Yuccas have been opening their waxy white blooms to be pollinated by increasingly rare Yucca Moths while the Mountain Nettles, Urtica gracilenta, grow in a lush profusion beneath the Cottonwoods down by the river. It also means that our favorite Phoebe has retuned to nest just outside the kitchen window, and that her chicks hatched just a few mornings ago. The Wild Hops, Humulus lupulus var. neomexicanus, are growing what seems like inches every day, coiling themselves in a mad spiral up the trunks of Willows and Alders to reach toward sunlight and New Mexico’s surreally blue sky.

With all this quickening has come another change that I never thought I would be announcing.

Seventeen years ago, I was entirely occupied by a difficult and life changing pregnancy. In August of 2000, I gave birth to Rhiannon, who altered my life forever and grew into the otherworldly creature I now consider one of the best friends I could ever have. Given the pain and complications of my first pregnancy, and that I am so completely delighted by my Goblin Girl, it’s been many years since I’d given thought to having any further children. Thus, it was probably more of a surprise to me than anyone else when I realized I really would like another wee beastie, regardless of how completely irrational this decision might be in the face of our tremendous work load, the insanity of an overpopulated world, and the ever more frightening political climate. Wolf and I must be equally insane because we were equally excited about this life changing prospect.

…….

…….

And so it is, that in my 36th year, I’m pregnant with another tiny one, who is likely to be born sometime in the cold mountain moons of November or December. Despite a hefty dose of morning (noon and night) sickness, we’ve been working on plans to welcome this seedling into our lives. Cabin renovations abound, and there are tiny leather booties hanging from the rafters in wait for the even tinier feet that will fill them. I’m impatient to name the very small person we currently refer to as the Field Pea, and spend too much time daydreaming about botanically-inspired names while trying to sort out just how many more fairy tale tomes I can fit in our tiny cabins!

Rhiannon and I are restocking the jars of dried Nettles, Oatstraw, and Raspberry leaf for nourishing infusions and tisanes. Peach blossom elixir abounds in every corner to take the edge off the morning (noon and night) sickness, and as my gardens turn green with the season, I begin to plan a new bed of herbs just right for little ones. Chamomile, Catnip, Fennel, and Lemon Balm are unfurling just as I turn my mind to gentle tea blends and baby medicines. Wolf spends much of his non-existent spare time coming up with ways to make my pregnancy more comfortable for me and thinking of how to create the perfect fairy tale haven for his growing family. A very large box arrived just the other day full of herbs, mineral tonics, seaweed, and other nourishing treats I’ve been much too tired and sick feeling to track down myself, with Wolf’s fingerprints alllll over it, complete with beautiful blooming teas and a glass teapot to cheer me up when the nausea and exhaustion seem overwhelming.

…….

…….

As each week passes, I’m more and more caught up in the delight that little ones often bring with them. I never imagined catching the baby fever again, but here I am, pondering bib styles and how to raise a multi-lingual Field Pea. Let the adventures begin!

…….

…….

Call this minuscule divergent soul a “Field Pea”, like we did in the beginning stages, or a “critter” or “wee beastie” as we do – since assuming semblance to the form of the oddball Plant Healer parents –but tis already getting some attention. Since word of a possible pregnancy leaked out – even before we were certain – a number of you sweet folks have written asking if you could buy or make something for the baby.  It’s touching, to sense how much you care about our lives and not just what we offer, which is another reason why we usually call it “tribe” instead of just “community.”

Making use here of something special from you, feels really good to us, being able to look at it and know who it is from, and before long being able to tell our lil’ critter who it is from.  It’s also true that the expense of setting up for child is a bit overwhelming, and gifts for the baby are also hugely helpful in this practical way. To participate, check out our Baby Registry Page.

…….

…….

We obviously aren’t into polyester blues for boys and pinks for girls thing, so the practical and aesthetic things we wish for our offspring work for either sex. Clothes are a bit of an issue, but then again, we’ve been shipped a traditional Russian peasant gown, and (recalling how both sexes of wee ones wore long tunics during more interesting historical times than now), we figure to see it on a precocious 1 year-old even if it’s a boy.

Once past the scary part of rolling with another baby – 16 years after having our daughter Rhiannon – we moved on to: Enjoying talking about picking names. Planning with our caretaker James how to turn the storage room attached to our cabin into a bedroom and kid’s room. Figuring out what kind of slings would work best for caring the child around. Imagining what kinds of botanical designs could be featured on them.

We’ve gotten a kick out of researching and finding a rugged offroad stroller to handle our wilderness lifestyle. Picturing a bambina hopping in a bouncer or giggling in a swing.  Wondering if there are handmade embroidered bibs with mythic or herbal themes. Deciding how much room we have in our tiny cabin for a compact crib, and googling for an earthy foldup bed and changing station.  Discovering a retro wood bassinet that will blend in with out old rustic abode and antiquey furnishings.  Funny how even choosing a diaper pail has fed the hormone infused parenting instincts.

Handmade gifts are precious, from toys to garments, with the possibility of natural materials, themes like Southwestern, Herbal, Botanical, Outlaw, Middle Ages, Mountains and Rivers, Elven…

And the practical stuff is great, from a car seat to a handcrafted old-timey rocking horse, basically anything that makes this a little easier for us and sweeter for the critter!

To make this easier and avoid duplications, we set up a Baby Gifts Registry with direct links to many of the items we picked out and hope to acquire.  If you have something else in mind you would like to offer, give us a write about it: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

To Participate, just click here on:

Kiva’s Baby Gifts Registry

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(Please Share This)

May 062017
 

 

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Youth Village Director & Teachers Needed

June 14-18, 2017 – Durango, CO

Volunteer to Lead an Activity, Teach in Exchange for a Free Ticket, or Apply to be Village Director

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Since the very first Plant Healer event and magazine eight years ago, serving the kids has been an important focus for us. We encourage people to write articles for Plant Healer Magazine that are either for kids to read or for parents to use when teaching their children about plant medicines, and we try to enable a children’s program at our annual conference/celebrations.

We are now scrambling to find someone to take over the Youth Village management, as well as additional teachers and helpers – now that its director, Liz Foster, has suffered serious injuries in a recent accident. Please join us in sending her healing wishes and encouragement… and let us know ASAP if you would like to give in these ways. Due to insurance issues, we cannot officially run the Village ourselves, so a volunteer program is essential.

Also, Liz no longer has records showing which of you had already signed up to teach or help at this event, so please email us right away if you had been planning on contributing.

Needed are:

Youth Village Director: Taking responsibility for the village activities, coordinating teachers and parents’ cooperative childcare, scheduling classes, and so forth, Thurs. June 15 through Sat. June 17. As thanks we will give you at the least a ticket to attend, plus extra tickets you can sell to cover all your expenses.

Teachers & Activity Leaders: Offering herbal or nature related classes and activities so that there is at least one offered in each of the time periods. Share what you know, but more than anything else, share your excitement for the plants and life so they might do the same.  It can involve making art and crafts, games, music, and so on. You can 1. Volunteer to teach just a single class, during the time period that words best for you. 2. Teach 3 to 5 kid classes, with free registration for you if you ask.

Email Us Soon

Write with your ideas and what you would like to offer – we thank you on behalf of the couple dozen or more Good Medicine Confluence kids!

PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org