As the seasons turn from summer into autumn, we reflect back on the June course and the lessons learnt, while anticipating ahead to the September course and what it may bring.
It was evident to us on the June course that it was the intelligences of the plants themselves that were largely guiding the process. The intuitive exercises showed us that synchronicities were more than just mere co-incidences. We mention this so as to reiterate that this is not a course intended to just give more information. We have ample access to this through the internet. We intend, yet again, to slow down to the pace of nature, and tune into the intelligence of the plants.
There are a few alterations to the structure of the course this September. The main change has been to reduce the length of the course down to a weekend, rather than the full 4 days we initially intended. This is because we wanted to make the course more accessible to people who can’t afford to take the time off work. It was a difficult decision because we are aware that a lot of the interesting stuff comes up after a few days. This is largely due to the fact that in our busy lifestyles, it takes us time to arrive, and slow down to the rhythms of nature.
Herbs are occasionally a quick fix, but this is not our intention. We ultimately wish to promote a lifestyle shift, encouraging people to adopt herbal medicine as a way of life for general everyday well-being. This, we believe, is the most powerful and effective way of working with the plants.
We realise that we are a part of a growing movement who feel similar. The rise in interest and opportunities in herbal medicine are on the increase, and this has in part been stimulated by necessity rather than curiosity. Access to high quality herbs and nutrition is still a big issue in the modern world, even for those who can afford it. In addition there are conflicting messages spread through the media as to the best approach to manage ones health.
And we do not claim to have found all the answers. We know only what works for us, our families and our friends, and those we have worked with. We recognise however, that we are inheritors of a tradition, which has persisted because of its value to people in all walks of life. Some of the remedies we use go back thousands of years. They are ancestral. In addition, we encourage you to build relationships directly with the herbs through the cultivation of them, and we can assist you with the tools to do this.
A big aspect of this course is the recognition and intention to connect to the spirits of the herbs. We use the word spirits in the traditional sense, but we could equally use, in the words of Stephen H Buhner, “the invisibles”. We want to welcome these intelligences into our weekend, to guide and initiate people themselves. We, as humans can only do so much to instruct one-another, but the plants themselves are the real teachers of the lore. We allow them to show us the way. In the evenings we are using the medium of sound, through drum, rattle, and gong, to assist inner journeywork to tune into the spirits of the plants.
This September course will be a time of fruiting and seeding, as the wild creatures scurry around gathering all they can while the time is ripe. It will be a time of welcoming in the spirits of the harvest, of abundance, of the earth mother, the provider of all life. At the heart of this time is the “seed”, the beginning and the end of any plants life cycle. We welcome you to join us on the journey, this feast celebrating our heritage and ancestral knowledge of plant medicine.