AN APPRENTICESHIP IN HERBAL MEDICINE & EARTH RITUALS
WITH ROBIN ROSE BENNETT
(12 Sessions) Wednesdays, February 16 – May 18, 2022 | (No class on March 30th & April 27th)
7:00 – 9:00 pm EST
This is deep training, an apprenticeship in attuning to the spirit of nature, and thus, to your authentic Self with the help of common plants. We will learn effective remedies for familiar complaints ranging from belly aches to anxiety and Robin Rose Bennett will share favorite recipes that feature commonly available herbs.
The primary aim and focus of this training is to help us restore our kinship with the Earth with the help of herbal medicine and simple yet profound rituals. We will experience the phases of the moon and their importance and effect on us and the plants, as we all move from the dark of winter into the light of spring. We will cultivate the health of our whole selves- mind, body, heart, and soul. This work is essential as we are living in evolutionary times. Healing ourselves leads to healing our families and communities, and to the possibility of healing our world.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.
THE SERIES INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING CLASSES:
February 16th – Welcome. Delve into the heart of healing with plants. Herbal Medicine is peoples’ medicine. Plants are healers, generous teachers, our elders. We’ll explore how plants help us deepen our connection to the Earth and help us attune to the cycles of the moon. During our opening evening, we’ll have a Full Moon Ritual with Artemisia vulgaris.
This plant offers to un-tame us and helps us remember our night dreams, as well as the dreams of our hearts. Robin Rose will share artemisia ritual recipes for tea and hand, foot, or body baths, as well as several recipes for smoke mixtures featuring this amazing plant. (Students will be invited to drink the tea, and/or blend one of the recipes to smoke during our ritual.)
February 23 – Healing through Nourishment – This evening we’ll focus on ways to nourish and support the ground of our being – our overall immunity – in order to be as well as possible, while also learning how to lessen the intensity of illness with variations on recipes such as Robin’s “personal sustainability blend” of red clover (Trifolium spp.), nettles (Urtica spp.), and oat straw (Avena sativa). We’ll talk about the best ways to use lung strengthening herbs such as white pine (Pinus spp.) and mullein (Verbascum spp.), and about building a healthy immune system with vegetable and/or bone soups containing garlic and onions, roots such as burdock (Arctium spp.), ginger (Zingiber o.), Astragalus spp., dried and fresh mushrooms such as Chagas (Inonotus obliquus) and shiitakes (Lentinula edodes), and a variety of seaweeds.
March 2 – Rituals and Ritual Herbs —This night is the dark of the moon or the “new” moon, and we’ll conclude our evening with a new moon ritual and meditation. First, we’ll explore why humans have always engaged in ritual and why it is so important to restore authentic ritual practices at this time. We will delve into important aspects of creating potent, meaningful rituals alone and in the community. We’ll work with the elements to create sacred space, use symbols and metaphors, craft altars, and discuss divination and timing as we explore many possibilities for spontaneous, daily, and cyclical or seasonal rituals and ceremonies. We will be exploring/experiencing a number of magical herbs, continuing our exploration of mugwort/cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris and other artemisias), and Grandmother cedar (Thuja occidentale), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Agrimony (Agrimonia spp.), and Marigold (Calendula officinalis), among others.
March 9 – The Cardio-vascular System– We are in the midst of a huge shift, a time of death and rebirth as we are moving from the age of separation into the age of unity, and we will continue to experience shocks and losses along the way. Our dear hearts need all the nourishment we can provide for them. Heart disease runs rampant, as does despair and numbness. We’ll explore heart-healing foods including red and blue berries, along with herbs such as hawthorn (Cratageus spp.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus spp.) that help maintain and restore the health of the heart itself. Herbs can help tone veins, strengthen arteries, and reduce plaque, as well as support the kidneys which are key in maintaining healthy blood pressure. We’ll look at ways to nourish our joy and the relevance of that to heart health. Joy is medicine.
March 16 – Herbal Medicine for the Skin– the Integument system – Topical and internal herbs for the health and beauty of the skin. We’ll explore a range of approaches from herbal scrubs with oatmeal and steams with elder blossoms (Sambucus spp.) to clear the skin, to herbal infusions such as rose blossoms (Rosa spp.) or plantain (Plantago spp.) leaves that can help our skin from the inside out. Anti-fungal and anti-viral herbs such as basil (Occimum spp.) marigold (Calendula) can clear skin infections like ringworm; soothing herbs such as chickweed (Stellaria spp.) can be drunk and applied for rashes. Herbs excel at providing medicine for this amazing covering that is nearly waterproof and acutely sensitive to pleasure, pain, and temperature changes. Our skin is also a vital part of our innate immune system, and this beautiful covering can help us get clearer about where we end and others begin and vice versa!
March 23 – A Spring Equinox Ritual and Spring Tonic Herbs – Awakening the vital life force; nettles, red clover, dandelions roots, leaves and flowers (Taraxacum spp.), violet leaves and flowers (Viola spp.) and wild foods such as garlic mustard (Alaria p.) and plantain are all ready to give themselves to us generously. In spring the energy of the Earth is rising, and herbs can help us rise to meet and greet the light that is growing longer now! Movement, food rich in nutrients, time outdoors, and of course, herbal infusions and flowers in our food can all help awaken our vitality. We’ll conclude with a spring equinox ritual and invite ourselves to play!
April 6 – Digestive Health, optimum nourishment for the health of the digestive system. We’ll explore this system from ingestion through assimilation to elimination. Common herbs that help the liver and gallbladders such as dandelion and burdock will be discussed, along with soothing herbs such as marshmallow root (Althaea sp.) and slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra). There is no diet that is right for everyone, but we’ll look at the benefits of a rainbow diet that offers specific nutrients in every color of fruit and vegetable! Robin will share herbal recipes and culinary spices to help with the health of the teeth and gums and to soothe upset stomachs or nausea, and ease common complaints like constipation, diarrhea, gas, cramping, and acid reflux. The digestive system is the primary physical portal that connects the outside world to our insides and is connected to how we take in life, and how we release that which doesn’t serve us.
April 13 – Immune System – Learn how to strengthen the immune system and heal infections with the use of herbs. We’ll explore a range of herbs – from the powerful benefits of all species of basil provide to the immune-enhancing qualities of garlic and Echinacea spp., to immune-modulating herbs such as Astragalus that build immunity and yet are safe for people with auto-immune conditions. We’ll explore the differences between innate and acquired immunity as we explore the watery brilliance of our lymphatic circulatory system. Recipes such as Robin’s “ginger-thyme (Thymus v.) euphoria elixir” offer profound lung and bronchial healing along with spiritual upliftment, and will be shared in class, with students invited to make it at the same time. “Your immune systems are comprised of all parts of the eco-system you know as yourself, and include not only every part of you, from your conscious and subconscious thoughts to your physical body systems but also how you live and function in relationship with the larger ecosystems that surround you.”* (Excerpted from The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett)
April 20 – Nervous System, Part I – Learn natural ways to stabilize your nervous system with herbal oils, tinctures, infusions, and baths – full-body, foot, and even hand baths can be immensely helpful. The nervous system holds the key to our overall health. Neurons live everywhere in our bodies and affect all of our systems: cardiovascular, immune, digestive, respiratory, urinary, musculoskeletal, and sexual/reproductive. Learn to use herbs to strengthen the resilience of whatever system(s) need(s) your attention. Caring for yourself with loving-kindness is a radical act, and herbs such as oat straw, lavender (Lavendula spp.), basil, St John’s wort (Hypericum spp.), and more help address anxiety, pain, nerve damage, inflammation, headaches, insomnia, lethargy, and more.
May 4 – Nervous System, Part II– In this evening we’ll continue our discussion of how to use herbs and ritual practices to support the health of your nervous system. We’ll look to the gifts of roses, California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), motherwort (Leonurus c.), skullcap (Scutellaria spp.), lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora), and more to help us when healing from shocks to the system, despair, betrayal, heartache, and more.
May 11– Herbal First Aid, on the road and at home – In this evening we’ll explore what to do when things go wrong; when someone falls, cuts themselves, swells up after a bug bite, hyperventilates, freaks out, and more. Which herbs are indispensable? What do you want in your first aid kit at home or while traveling? What’s growing in your backyard that might prevent an infection from a splinter or a wasp sting, or from stepping on a piece of glass?
Herbs such as yarrow (Achillea milfoil), St John’s wort, echinacea, plantain, and more are multi-talented healers. We will delve into different ways to use these and other herbs internally and topically to help prevent further complications from accidents and to achieve amazing healing results.
May 18 – An Herbal Full Moon Celebration– This evening we’ll celebrate! We’ll all bring rose preparations to the party and share what we’ve made as we gather “under” the full moon to sing, dance, and honor all the good work that you’ve done to date, in reconnecting yourself with the Earth and helping yourself and others with herbal medicine. Robin will answer questions and lead a full moon meditation where you may reflect on where you’ve come from, where you are presently, and where you wish to go next, aided by the illuminating light of the beautiful full moon.
Note: This program will now be offered online. It will be recorded and shared with registrants after each online program for three months (90 days).
ABOUT THIS PROGRAM
In this course, open to beginners as well as seasoned practitioners who may wish to explore this spiritual way of working with herbs, you will learn much about healing yourself as well as about herbal medicine. Restoring our sense of kinship with the Earth is the thread that spins together our work. Respect for the plants is non-negotiable. It leads to ever-deepening self-knowledge and self-respect. We will incorporate music, meditation with plants, and ritual into our evenings together.
Robin Rose will be reviewing medicine-making from soup to syrup to powders, and you will be able to join along with her in making the preparations or getting them started. There will be recommended reading, and suggested assignments. You will have opportunities to compare notes with other students during break-out sessions.
You will learn basics about the workings of several key body systems and how to support them. By the end of the course, you will have been introduced to accessible ways to make and safely use a variety of effective herbal preparations – medicinal teas and infusions, healing tinctures, herbal infused oils and vinegars, ointments, poultices, compresses, and baths.
We will work with the cycles of the moon and the seasons just as the plants do as we move from the dark of winter into the light of spring. Incorporating herbal medicine into your daily life truly changes your life for the better.
This training will provide you with a solid foundation, whether you choose to continue with your herbal studies or wish to incorporate herbal medicine into other healing modalities you practice.
“Robin is an exceptional teacher. Her extensive knowledge of the gifts that plants have to offer, combined with her love of Mother Earth, and her commitment to making this planet a better place to live all come together in her teaching. It is a joy to spend time in her classroom, whether in person or virtually.”
$850 – 22SAPR2FP
$950 – 22SAPR3PP
*Non-refundable initial payment of $350 is due upon registration. 3 additional payments of $200 are due on March 7, March 28 and April 18. Call for payment plan info: 212.219.2527.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS COURSE
Supplies list for the class: There will be assigned readings from Robin Rose Bennett’s books Healing Magic and the Gift of Healing Herbs. It is recommended to purchase the books, both available in paperback or ebook format.
We will be using simple and accessible herbs and kitchen supplies, each class will have suggested items given by the instructor. The supplies will be around $10 – $20 per session and will be optional.
Recording Specifications: This program will be recorded, each session will be available for a review for a duration of 3 months (90 days).