Here I am…blogging again. For now. It has been so long since I had an urge to
write anything here, but things are shifting.
I’m not here to write detailed herbal monographs, or pontificate about
nutrition (because really, I’m DONE with getting lambasted by the vegan camp), or
even wax on about long therapeutic perspectives on this health condition or
that. This is personal, this is authentic, and this is raw.
This summer has been
intense, more intense than I anticipated.
I worked so hard for a year, to drag myself out of a black hole, and
move back to the home I love, and I accomplished it. No small thing. I was proud, ecstatic. Reunited with my home
land plants, reunited with my true love, reconnected with a community of
friendship that supports me in ways I could never imagine.
And then I hit the ground running in my new home- hoping to
make my little herbal endeavor even better than it was before. And then I nose dived. Constant financial struggles, not enough to
eat, sudden car failure leaving me stranded in the middle of the city on a loud
street corner- it left me reeling.
Feeling like, “WTF? Was I better off before I came home?” I peered over the edge of that same black hole and reeled. And then I got real. I no longer had excuses
about wanting to be somewhere else.
What was really going on in my little mind universe?
I asked myself some hard questions, and got back answers
even harder to hear. Its not that don’t
love plants, plant medicine, and helping others by sharing their medicines, but
it’s a shift in perspective about what I am here to do. I’ve spent 10 yrs learning to be an
herbalist, and crafting myself into what I thought an herbalist is-
practitioner, writer, therapeutic expert, materia medica geek, physiology
fanatic, nutrition nut…only to discover that is not where my true gifts and passions
I’ve discovered that my mind swirls and dances endlessly around recitation of facts, of organized written tomes on the umpteen details of every
plant constitutent, therapeutic use and latin name. Its not that I don’t understand or can’t
speak that language, but my mind detests it.
I turn my nose up at research- at the tedium of hours in front of a book
or a screen hunting for minute details.
I thwart myself at every turn when I try to force my swirling, dancing,
sensing mind into these boxes of knowledge.
There are many gifted and talented herbal writers, educators,
clinicians- they are gifted in their own way, and we are blessed to have the
fruits of their knowledge and skills at communicating them. But I realized this is not me. This is not the way I was built to be in the
My mind loves to look at plants from new perspectives
through the lens of a camera, it relishes scanning the landscape for patterns
that indicate plant friends, or plant habitats, it runs wildly ecstatic when
given the opportunity to engage in the sensual nature of wildcrafting a plant
medicine from the earth- body moving, sweating, smelling, hands in dirt, sticky
with resin, holding the life of the medicine in my hands, giving deep thanks
and prayer and love to these amazing beings we call plants. It experiences, it feels, it senses….I love
to create and concoct- blending the flavors and qualities of plant medicines
into potions that soothe, heal and bring pleasure to the recipient. I experience the sensual pleasure of creating
and sharing nourishing meals- relishing the taste of each morsel, each smooth
drop of oil, and each aroma with my full being.
I sit with plants and listen, listen, listen, for the soft quiet
intuitive knowing of a plant communicating to me its love, its medicine, its
nature- free from constituents, free from western knowledge of the way the
world works, and enveloped and rooted in the magic of the natural world. The place where the heart hears what is being
said. My mind is made to experience
deeply, to sense exquisitely, and to translate what nature and plants intonate
into images and understanding of a different kind. I am here to create and
craft and birth beautiful and delicious sensual pleasures. I am
here to dive deeply into the wild world, into the heart, and to show the way
for others to follow if they wish- to experience, to sense, to taste, to FEEL
Of course it is important to understand logical, left brain
pieces of plant knowledge…energetics, therapeutics, latin names, constituents-
and to know how plants effect physiology, and I wouldn’t trade in all the
knowledge I have gained in that world, and I’ll never stop helping the people
that ask for the plant medicines to ease their pains, shift their process, and
heal their bodies.
But as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been trying to keep up
with the Joneses, forcing my brain to try to operate in ways and perform in
methods that it just doesn’t embrace. I
will no longer try to fit into that expectation I created of what an herbalist
does. I will no longer force myself to
recite facts and figures. I’ll not write
extensive monographs. I’m not going to
call myself a “Clinical” herbalist anymore.
I am in no way clinical- I want to leave the bounds of the
indoors and take you out to smell wild minerals of the wet dirt, to fill your
mouth with the spice of tree resin, to drum your heart into a rhythm that
allows YOU to hear, feel, see, sense, experience the magic and sacredness of
the natural world. I want to show you
how to see with more than your eyes, see with your body, your heart, your
sensual nature. I want to feed the
senses and bodies of my clients with the holiness of the plant medicine- not
just the extracts and constituents that help them feel better, but with the place
where the earth wisdom, plant manifestation touches the spark of life within
each heart and body.
This is my gift.
I’ve been spending weeks getting ready for the Traditions inWestern Herbalism Conference
- where I’m scheduled to teach a class on tree
medicines of the southwest- and have been busily crafting herbal medicines and
foods to bring to the vendor market. I
have been putting off tasks that include writing, recitation of plant facts,
and time away from the sensual reality of the plant world. Instead coming up with ever new ideas for
salves, and elixirs and teas and treats to EXPERIENCE the plants by. I find myself creating, bathing in the
alchemy of plant medicine in the kitchen, running outside to snap yet another
picture of each new marigold blossom that opens, to capture the sunlight behind
the rain clouds, to express in some physical way my hearts joy at seeing my
bean plants grow, flourish and climb- relishing in the same rain falling that
My dreams are filled with ideas to create opportunities and
experiences for others to find themselves immersed the ecstasy of nature, and
plant magic, the sensual pleasure of being alive, of moving their body with the
Earth, with their inner rhythms, of connecting deeply with their own heart,
wisdom, magic, senses - starting at the end of the month, offering for the
first time, an opportunity for people to go deeper with the plants, with
nature- at the Sacred Plant Medicine Retreat in Tucson, AZ
. Sept 28- 30th. A short weekend of plant ceremony, journey,
and sensate experience in the Sky Islands- a doorway to open this beautiful
world that I see, the doorway to a deep connection with your sacred heart,
sacred nature, and the magic of the wild.
This work has been calling me for a long time…and I’ve been putting it
off trying to be something I’m not. But
To be truthful I’m nervous about going to the conference- no
longer wanting to wear this cape of “Clinical” herbalist and the trappings of
writing long tomes, of reciting clinical facts about plants, teaching herbalism
101 (there are so many good teachers who can do that), and instead embracing
the reality of who I am - Senser,
feeler, experiencer, shamana, wildcrafter, concocter, alchemist, musician,
singer of deep emotion, weaver of spirit/heart connection to the wild world. I’m sensitive, and raw and new right now.
It’s hard to express all this newness, and truth, and letting go of what I
thought I wanted to/tried to/should be.
Still it is unfamiliar territory to let that go and embrace what is
really who I am, and expose it to those who have been peers, colleagues,
teachers, mentors, friends.
But I’ll be bringing
my medicines to share- deep pink prickly pear love-collected under the hot sun
of the desert with my love- and simmered with joy at the sheer beauty of its
color- salves infused with the fragrant healing of the trees- tinctures crafted
from the wild plants I love so much, and run to with abandon and ecstasy when
seeing their shining green and flowering bodies growing- smudges of Juniper,
the tree that first TALKED to me and my strongest ally, to help others create
sacred space, luscious teas with spices and flowers and chocolate to open the
heart, to awaken the senses. And I’ll be
bringing my banjo for those moments when I need to get back to feeling, creating,
expressing. And my drum to share the
heartbeat of the Trees with those who venture out with me. And my heart- raw and authentic and feeling.