Enter, “Herb School” – aka Community Herbalist Training…
For me, this first weekend of classes was too many things to fully describe, but I’ll do my best to capture its essence.
In broad terms, it fed our spirits, minds, and bodies; each piece carefully crafted to offer both challenge and nourishment.
Upon our arrival, we were challenged to share a piece of our journey that led us to the class and make an offering of a part of our personalities or gifts that will serve to enrich the group throughout the year. (I say “challenged” not in a competitive sense, but on a personal level. Speaking to a group of unfamiliar faces about what amounts to your “warp and woof” takes a certain amount of chutzpah from even the most outgoing soul.) In doing this, we were all nourished by seeing the web that connects us with our classmates, and taking the first step towards becoming a unified group.
We spent time in the garden, challenged to release barriers and open ourselves to the energy that comes from nature; to touch, smell, and analyze, and then to dig a little deeper and be aware of our own intuition, ultimately able to verbalize our observations. The pieces about energy and intuition might sound a little “out there” to some, but take a moment to remember a time when you sat on the earth, visited the ocean, or walked through the woods. Surely you felt different than when you are planted in your home or at your desk, no? That’s the crux of all of that energy and intuition talk.
Back in the classroom, we were challenged to commit to our studies in a way that is completely holistic, for we cannot realize our potential as herbal practitioners without exploring plants and ourselves from every possible angle, nor without setting a clear intention for our studies. We must seek to utilize all senses, so that the vast amount of book learning can be woven together with the experiential. It’s the learning by doing that nourishes both the practitioner and the practice.
Of course we talked, cooked, listened, questioned, and went over book lists and course requirements…
However, what I walked away with was the spirit of the journey that I’ve just embarked upon, and the energy that comes from working hard for that which fuels your spirit and burns bright in your belly, and THAT is an exciting thing.