Monday, August 27, 2007

Filled to the Brim

The Women's Herbal Conference is kind of like eating a humongous feast after starving. And after three days of it you are so full that you just check out for a while. I've been in a daze all day, happy, stuffed, and of course wondering how I can change the world.

Returning to reality with new perspectives is wonderful - an agent of change - but also very hard. At least for me. Returning to the guzzling cars and obnoxious facades that people wear is hardening to the spirit and saddening to my body of hope. Retreating and being slow on this beautiful August day, tinkering through the Lemon balm and Rue, is exactly what I need before embarking on the new year.
One of the most remarkable things about the WHC is the fact that my Mom and I go together. I think this was our fifth time. It's truly a blessing to strengthen our bond and to carry the lineage of herbal wisdom. Not to mention - we have a blast. Next year, we will be a clan of three generations, when my daughter joins us for the adventure!

Of the nine workshops I took, I realized that only two of them were herbal. Ha! But hey - a good herbalist is an empowered one, right? Yeah! Plus, in previous years I have taken many of the herb classes already. So I took the really juicy ones from my most favorite teachers.

I took two with the incredible, transformational ALisa Starkweather, on 'Becoming Butterfly Woman' and 'Feeding the Fire to Move Mountains'. YES they are as powerful as they sound and incredibly meaningful. GO to any of her workshops if you ever have the chance.
Susan Grimaldi, Shaman and Native Elder, taught a class on Trance-Dancing (where I had the honor of merging with frog) and a beautiful class on The art of seduction - which was very deep and reverent (not a come hither class) and included a shamanic journey where we created our true vision of ecstatic union. Absolutely empowering and luscious. And applicable!
I also shook and shimmied myself sore in two classes with Ann Marie Licari {I can't find a website for her, sorry! She's out of Vermont} who totally rocks. I'm usually disappointed when I go to a belly dancing class because I just can't seem to find the range of motion I need for it. But I think I got some good basics of it down and my wag started to look a bit more sparkly. Yay for me! I might be able to belly dance after all! I can't wait until I can ripple my stomach like a deep see jellyfish. ooohhhhhh.
Now the Mead Making Workshop given by Desiree Cohen was really a hoot. The mead's just seemed to keep coming around ... blueberry, rose petal, dandelion, pear, cranberry wine, and anything after that I can't remember! I know there was a lot of laughing, ye-hawing about Cowboys, (which turned out to be carboys but you see Desiree has a Boston accent) and long syphoning contraptions with delicious liquid flowing from it. It's a really good thing the class came with a detailed instruction booklet. Now I just need to check my hive again to see if the honey flow is ready!
And what two herbal medicine classes did I take, you ask? Ahhhh, yes.
Well, one was a tincture making class with Jill Frink Thompson (scroll down) who now practices out of Vermont not Asheville - and I loved her class. It cleared up a few simple things that I had been confused on. Jill is an exceptional teacher - articulate, high spirited, relaxed and down to earth, ready with fantastic knowledge and understanding of plants and people. I will definitely take more classes with her in the future. (And Jill if you happen upon this blog - let me know how I can update your web link! XO)
And I ended it with a BANG - a Triple Goddess Herbs class with the One, the Only, the Green Goddess herself, Susun Weed. My favorite Teacher of all, full of sharp insight, hilarious animation, deep rooted wisdom, and thorough, rich, applicable herbal knowledge. She starts and ends her classes in a chant which we all participate in joyfully, a tradition I'm thinking about taking on for my own classes. We learned about Cronewort, Motherwort, and Maidenwort, and about ourselves at the same time. These are three plants I love and use regularly, so it was nice to go deeper into them. And I got to thank her in person for her empowering work, and I got to slather her gorgeous Maidenwort oil (chickweed; Stellaria Media) oil all over my hands, which has to be the most erotic, slippery oil I've ever tried. Ohhh, yes, waiting for the fall flush of fresh Chickweed to arrive ..... pounce!
I also got to acknowledge some of my other favorite teachers .... like Kate Gilday, Tina Marie Wilcox, Rosemary Gladstar, Rocio Alarcon, and the Omnipotent Mz. Imani.
Now ...... given I can get over my grimacing reactions to biblical references, topics, or vocabulary, I need to go and Read the RED TENT. But really ..... I need to START A RED TENT.
Anyone else???????


Kiva Rose said...

So glad you had such a lovely time!

Ananda said...

Hi Kiva! thanks. I did have an amazing time and am still trying to adjust to the strange world I live in. I started The Red Tent - that is a strange world too! The book is thought provoking and a primal incantation of sorts.

Kiva Rose said...

Yes, I really enjoyed the book and it's retelling of a story I grew up with. It's well told with many beautiful moments. It's downfall is the overabundant drama, the price of epics I suppose. But I do count it among my top ten works of fiction just now.

Then read The Passion of Mary Magdalene for a real mind blowing experience. An ex-girlfriend once said that the write must have been channeling me LOL.

Ananda said...

Sounds like a good read. yeah there were some annoying things in the red tent, like the way she would conclude a drama before the climax of it really bothered me - but the overall tale of women's lineage and mutual midwifery is well done.

Jill said...

Wow! I'm so glad to find your blog! I am now in Central Vermont. I live and practice plant medicine in Plainfield VT. My contact info... Samhain Herbs 153 Main Street Plainfield VT (802)426-3220
Thanks so much for the blurb!
See you at the Women's in August!
Jill Frink Thompson

Ananda said...

Jill! Hello green sister! What a pleasure to have you stop by, and thank you for the update. I hope all is wel for you. Can't wait 'till the next WHC!