November Herbal Happenings
Thursday, November 1, 2012

As we witness the devastation from Sandy, extending from the Caribbean through New England, it is a reminder of the importance of community. When our homes have been destroyed and our normal means of existence ruptured, we hope there is a hand to catch us. It is important not to wait until disaster to begin weaving your web of support. This support structure starts with you and includes your neighbors, your local fauna and flora, and will continue to grow as long as you nurture and care for it.

This past month I was lucky to attend two herbal conferences which filled me with abundant gratitude, not just for the opportunity to work alongside the healing plants, but also for the deeply compassionate and incredibly intelligent herb-lovers I am sharing this journey with. First came the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference. This annual gathering of over 1,000 women and children, offers learning on so many levels. Helping to facilitate the free clinic each year is a highlight, as I appreciate the opportunity to combine passions– free health care, herbal first aid, and support for out sisters. Here is a link to photos from this year’s clinic. In an effort to “spread the health,” I put together a checklist for supplies needed to set-up a highly functioning clinic to service 1000+ women and children for 3 day events. This is still a work in progress, but I hope is helpful and can be a stepping stone to making this type of offering a more regular occurance.

Just a fews days later I hopped a plane to Western Pennsylvania for the American Herbalists Guild Symposium for 3 days of classes and plant walks. The woods were on fire with fall (the picture above is the fading foliage of Wild Yam.) The teacher-roster was incredible, and really displayed the diversity that gives herbal medicine both its relevence and longevity. The Georgia Herbalists Guild sponsored a viewing of the documentary Herbal Aide which promotes community building through herbalism. This one hour film highlights the wonderful miriad of ways in which we can support our community through our herbal work (disaster relief, United Plant Savers, free clinics, education, etc…) Here in Atlanta, one way I contribute to community building is through my work at the Open Door. Our weekly free foot clinic was featured in a beautiful photo essay in last month’s issue of Hospitality, the Open Door’s monthly newspaper (see pgs 6 & 7.) Click here to learn more about this clinic’s holistic offerings and how you can be of service.

So what’s to come? The month begins with 3 days of amazing classes at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with Christopher Hobbs and Richo Cech (see calendar below for details.) Then, as we ease into the holiday marathon, I’m offering an herbal gifts workshop on the 10th in the hopes that we can show our friends and family how healing the holidays can be when we gift them with herbs.

Today is seen by many cultures as a day of transition. We move from summer to winter and we recognize the cycle of life and death. We have just witnessed massive destruction, and now we have the chance to rebuild and nurture.

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