Women come together from all over the Southeast and beyond to connect with the wisdom of the Earth and their own bodies through the week-long Herbal Immersion. The connections with the intimate community of women in the circle are an extremely rich and joyful aspect of the week. Some students share that they realize they've had difficulty trusting other women, and that they notice internal barriers of competition with women melting as they are welcomed by their sisters in the context of the Wise Woman culture of acceptance--embracing our diversity as well as our commonalities. Women often leave with deep and lasting new friendships.
Who are the women that go to the Immersion?
Herbal Immersion students come together as women young and old, of all walks of life . . .
Here's how they describe themselves:
- We are beginning and experienced herbalists--from those who haven't eaten a wild plant before, to those who make their own home medicines.
- We are homemakers, professionals, students, women just scraping by, and women in a fullness and abundance phase of our lives.
- We are white women, black women, straight women, lesbian women, women of all colors and shapes.
- We are women who feel healthy and strong, empowered and hopeful--and women who are struggling physically or emotionally, feeling confused and concerned. We are women who spiral through all of those experiences.
Is the Herbal Immersion a journey for you?
- Are you into "alternative" health--and long for a deeper connection with the Earth and what it means to be a woman in these times?
- Do you want to develop close relationships with a circle of herbal allies that grow around you in your daily life as food and medicine?
- Do you sometimes wonder, "What would it really look like to learn to love myself, to source my happiness from within?"
- Would you feel more fulfilled by deepening your knowledge of the plants and your own body?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you would find yourself with like-minded sisters in this unique hands-on program. The Herbal Immersion is renowned as a wellspring for women who want to reconnect with their own inner Wise Woman.
"What an incredible, life-changing experience I had at the Herbal Immersion . . . I found myself fully immersed in a new culture. It is the culture of the wise woman tradition. It is a culture where there is no savior. There is no right or wrong. There is no judgement. There is no separation between health and disease. It is a culture of expression. It is a culture of attentive listening. It is a culture of deep (deep) nourishment. It is a culture of herbs.
We listened to each other, a group of thirty women ranging from the ages of 22 to 67. I learned from one woman how to skin a squirrel (I will need pliers). I learned from another what a reconstructed double-masectomy looks like. I learned from one how to sigh loudly whenever a feeling was intense in order to both digest and prolong it. I learned from another how to dance like the earth and water. I learned from one how I can recognize an interaction with an amino acid and my happy pills that I take for the crazy. I learned from another how to survive with dignity the loss of a child. I learned a joke from another (“What do you call a donkey with a sore throat?” “ A little hoarse”) I learned from yet another that I CAN eat dairy products made from raw milk without rueing the day I was born…or the day that as a fetus I developed intestines. I learned from many that the big boy is 14 so I can just relax. He is not going to like me for a while but he will always love me. I learned from several that we don’t have too much to fear for the future; there are some amazing young women out there.
We made medicine. All kinds of medicine. We went on weed walks. We touched plants: mugwort, plantain, violet, red clover . . . we tasted plants in little bites. We learned their universal Latin names--Artemesia vulgaris, Plantago major, Viola spp., Trifolium pratense--they sound so regal bearing those names.I learned how to use the talking stick while sitting in a circle. I learned how to make yogurt. I learned how to feel free in my own skin. I learned to be as quiet and invisible as I sometimes feel. I learned to touch the edge of my own power, without fear.
We sang. We listened to each other’s stories. We laughed. I performed a couple poems written by the incomparable Maya Angelou for the circle one night. My voice grew stronger. My movements grew larger. I felt myself taking up more space than I usually allow myself. It was through their eyes looking back at me that I was able to see myself. My life was forever changed."