Sep 232009


Numen: The Nature of Plants

A review by Kiva Rose

Anyone who has ever experienced the bliss and connection of gathering Mullein flowers on a warm summer day or the satisfaction of facilitating wellness in another living being, who may have ever known the incredible healing power of the plants – is sure to be touched and inspired by this cinematic exploration of herbal medicine!

The premise of Numen is very much in alignment with our work in the Animá Lifeways and Herbal Tradition.  What they define as Numen in the film, is what we call the anima, the vital lifeforce in the human body as well in plants. The creators of the film also clearly understand that healing is not just about tending our individual wounds but also those of our larger self, this inspirited planet. This movie is rooted in the understanding that healing can only take place in the individual self when the large self is also being tended, and vice versa. There is also an inherent sense of the magic of healing and the plants, a recognition that while science offers us many valuable gifts and ways of understanding the world, there is something akin to spirit and the miraculous in even the best aided results.  Numen inspires its viewers to take their health into their own hands, to empower themselves to reconnect to their needs and to utilize resources close at hand. There is an invaluable sense of alliance with the plants, rather than just an expounding on how we can utilize our “natural resources”. This personalization provides the viewer with a very real connection with the plants and process of healing.

numen goldenseal

Numen is divided up topically into sections: an Introduction, Plants as Medicine, Mystery, the Decline of Herbal Medicine in America, Disconnection, Just Say Yes, Allopathic Medicine, Whole Plant Medicine, Business of Herbs, Vis Medicatrix Naturae, Numinous Questions and Future Generations. Each section deals with either philosophical or practical aspects of healing with plants. From the opening scene of a woman gathering calendula from the garden to the closing shots of children creating a gorgeous plant mandala, the artistry and intent of Numen is clear.

The bulk of the film is based in conversation with practicing herbalists, ethnobotanists, ecologists, those who have been healed by the herbs as well as authors or speakers who specialize in related topics such as chemical sensitivity, earth-based healing and ecology. I commend their careful yet broad selection of knowledgeable and experienced guests. Each individual was both thoughtful and deeply caring, experienced in their chosen field and impassioned about their message.

Brimming with the enthusiasm, experience and wisdom of many great herbalists, including Phyllis Light, Matthew Wood, Bill Mitchell, Rosemary Gladstar, Deb Soule, David Hoffmann, Guido Mase and many more. I was heartened and inspired by their compassion, insight and commitment to the healing of not only we humans but also this precious earth and everything encompassed within.

I must admit that I expected there to be a bit of the new-agey fluffiness so common to recent documentaries on healing and spirit, but was pleasantly surprised to find the whole feature to be grounded in common sense observations, real life experience and understandings straight from nature. Numen truly stands on its own as an exceptional film and testament to the compassion and wisdom of the herbal community.

Indeed, I found myself completely drawn in to the conversation and close to tears more than once, especially listening to the sage words of the late Bill Mitchell and the passionate grace of Rosemary Gladstar. The filming is both sensitive and evocative, presenting a gorgeous presentation of the natural world through time-lapse photography, exquisite settings and a wonderful emphasis on the microcosmic world of the plants.


Numen is a film imbued with the spirit and every day beauty of the contemporary herbalist. Not to be missed by any student of the plants, whether you are just setting out on your journey or have been traveling your path for many years. No matter if you are a gardener, wildcrafter, herbalist, ecologist or simply someone who deeply feels the connection and gifts of the living earth, Numen has something important and beautiful to offer you.

Information for availability and purchase is included below, please support this wonderful project and give yourself and your family the gift of a deeper look into the profoundly healing world of the plants.

My personal thanks to Ann and Terry for taking years out of their lives to create this precious glimpse into the living tradition of herbal healing and the community committed to its continuance.


Numen: The Nature of Plants is a new film on the healing power of PLANTS

Hi Everyone– GREAT news!

The DVD of Numen is Arriving Very Soon!

If you haven’t heard of Numen by now – check out a quick preview here at

The DVD’s are in production right NOW and we are expecting the shipment in the next few weeks…

***But – there is a LIMITED supply, and they will go fast, especially when you see all the extra bonuses from Herbal Companies, Herbalist teachers and authors that come with the DVD.

***Click here to ensure you are in line to receive updates on how buy the DVD!

All the best,
Terry and Ann

***P.S. The release of Numen is a huge event for the herbal community – and for anybody concerned about healthcare… (and who isn’t concerned in the current raging national debate?) ****SO – Click here to join the Numen Grassroots movement to take control of our own health!

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