Alchemical Herbalism a 9 month exploration of medicinal herbs. Meeting one night a week, Wednesdays (7-9:30pm cst), in either virtual or live for those who wish format, students will study 120 herbs in depth using the energetics of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Alchemy. One weekend a month from May through September will be spent in the country at Glastonbury Botanical Sanctuary journeying with the plant spirits, gardening, medicine making and learning plant identification. Three additional weekends in the city in the hybrid format will focus on alchemical seed planting, aromatherapy and flower essences.
HERB CLASS WEEKENDS:
April – In the city – April 22 & 23rd
May – LAND – May 27 & 28th
June – LAND – June 10 & 11th
July – LAND – July 15th & 16th
August – LAND – August 19th & 20th
September – LAND – September 16th & 17th
October – LAND – October 21 & 22nd
November – In the City – November 17th & 18th – Aromatherapy
December – In the City – December 9th & 10th – Flower Essences
The In the City Weekends:
April: This will involve an opportunity to be involved in the very beginning of the growing cycle. How do we alchemically potentiate the germination of our plants? How do we enhance the planetary forces to make our medicines stronger? We will learn about the planetary rulerships of plants (and what that means), the planetary hours of the day, how to awaken the “genius” of the seeds as well as general “best practices” for planting. Each student will also take home a potential seedling to enhance the experience of meditating with and growing their own plants. We will also talk about alchemy in general and how it affects our growing capabilities (as humans and farmers!).
November: Aromatherapy weekend. Essential Oils are the hormones of plants, and as such they have very potent effects on our bodies. This week-end will focus on their use medicinally (on our summer land weekend we will actually set up our still and produce an essential oil); we will talk about terpenes (the chemical name for their important constituents), how to safely use them, reliable suppliers etc. Due to a lot of misinformation out there this incredibly important therapy merits special attention.
December: Flower Essence Weekend: This is a beautiful and important summation of the importance of alchemy. Homeopathy, which focuses on the energetics of plants on the astral (emotional/spiritual) body is represented in this very special offshoot of herbalism. In this weekend we will look at how to use flower essences for ills that really are grounded in the personality and spirituality. (For example Seasonal Affective Disorder). We will be making flower essences throughout the weekends on the land, but now we will focus on how to use them to enhance healing and personal growth. Particular attention will be paid to constitutional types.
Weekends on the land:
We will be doing a blend of activities based upon the plants that are harvestable. Activities include: identifying plants and learning about which plants are available in each season; harvesting and medicine making (both from standard practices and alchemical practices); journeying shamanically with the plants; how to make flower essences and essential oils; gardening and growing practices for sustainable growing and plant “rescues”; practices for connecting to the plant spirits and to the seasonal shifts we all experience; the beauty of living and connecting with each other!
While I encourage students to camp in our beautiful campground under the oaks of Glastonbury (we have a screen house and bathhouse that are both handicapped accessible, and lovely campsites complete with a group fire pit and sweat lodge), I recognize that camping might be challenging for some individuals. Nearby in Culver are numerous bed and breakfast, and two hotels. For those who need it we will provide a list. We encourage you to book accommodations early on as Culver is a major resort destination and can book up early during the summertime. Slightly farther away (20 minutes) is Knox, which also has inexpensive hotel accommodations that are generally always available. Campers must provide their own tents and sleeping materials; we will make sure the campground is stocked with hand soap, toilet paper and trash facilities. Students should arrive Friday evenings, as formal class will begin promptly on Saturday morning at 8am. Families with kids and spouses are welcome to attend, but please no pets!
The weekend will end by 3 pm Sunday so people can get back to the city. We are 2 hours from Chicago’s North side unless you leave during rush hour.
The three city weekends will be at the Chicago Center for Psychophysical Healing at 1622 West Devon. All weekends will be in both Zoom or live format, and recordings will be available during the week after they take place.