Each year, we include several in-depth, 3.5-4 hour classes that offer participants the opportunity to study specific topics more comprehensively and to work more closely with individual teachers. These intensives often offer hands-on experiences and there are various options to suit a multitude of herbal interests and learning styles. A few of the Intensives are offered on Friday morning before the Symposium begins as Pre-Conference Intensives.
Click here to register for the conference and to sign up for these incredible intensives.
If you’ve already registered and have an account, you can use this link to log back in and add an intensive.
Friday Pre-Conference Intensives 8:00am-12:00pm
Healing Our Collective Wounds and Restoring Our Souls with Sherri Mitchell
This workshop will take participants on a journey into Indigenous mythology and cosmology, as a means of healing our collective wounds and reconnecting with spiritual source. In this process, we will learn that there is a safe space for us to occupy together, whole and intact. Then, we can begin the process of healing our divisions, so that we can claim a new future for all living beings.
Epigenetics and Methylation: The Influence of our Ancestors with Phyllis D. Light
Let’s wrap our brains around this concept for a moment: Epigenetic tags on our DNA do not change our underlying genes but those tags can be inherited. Wow! That means the traumas experienced by our parents and grandparents, their nutritional level, any environmental toxic exposures, and any lifestyle issues that created epigenetic tags on their DNA were potentially inherited by us. That also means that any of those mentioned factors can be inherited by our offspring; we can pass on those tags. Methylation and the release of neurotransmitters affects which tags we lay down and pass on. Research has found that methylation and it’s effect on epigenetics plays a role in autoimmune diseases, cancer, mental health issues, and sometimes....even why we make the decisions we make in life. Join Phyllis for a discussion and understanding of epigenetics and ways that herbs, foods, and lifestyle choices can affect methylation, release tags, and change, not only our lives, but those of our children and grandchildren. We can change this!!!!!!
Herbal First Aid for the Practicing Herbalist with 7Song
This class is to enhance practical skills for the practicing herbalist to work in first aid settings. It is drawn from working at first aid clinics, camps and events for the past 25 years. It will cover common, useful herbs, preparations and supplies for many different first aid situations such as injuries, wounds and infections. This class is for intermediate to advanced herbalists who already have clinical skills.
Experience the Healing Power of Sacred Space with Maya Shetreat, MD
Sacred space is way of stepping outside of time to achieve safety, peace, beauty, healing and magic. This space can exist in many forms and in many places. It’s a way to create a safe space that you can bring with you anywhere. It can act as powerful medicine for sensitive people, including those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, autoimmunity, neurological issues, and even cancer. And it is a healing modality for communities and for nature. In this intensive, Dr. Maya will share some of her transformational work using sacred space. Together we will then build individual and communal sacred space in our minds, bodies, and in nature using flowers, seeds, stones and other elements of the earth. Please feel free to bring beautiful bits of earth to contribute to the communal space. Come prepared for transformation!
Five Element Animal Types with Cats, Dogs & Horses with Cheryl Schwartz, D.V.M.
Genetic and environmental influences direct your animal friend's health and well being. Learn to recognize, support and balance the animal's unique constitutional type with herbs and diet for optimal health and socialization. All Levels
Giving and Taking Traditional Haitian Flower Baths with Jacquelin Guiteau
Giving a fresh flower bath is an integral part of the Caribbean healing culture. Depending on the situation, a flower bath is a necessary prerequisite, before the herbal treatment can begin.. It is done to heal severely sick people,, after long diseases, in case of continuous disturbing emotions, to dissolve ties with past relationships (death, divorce, etc.), to clear negative energy, for good luck, as well as to maintain health and attract good things towards you. This hands-on class will guide you through the process of preparation, invocation, and the actual bathing step by step. Participants who want to take a full bath should wear a bathing suit to class.
Propagating & Growing our Native Medicinals with Ed Fletcher
I will discuss some of the propagation techniques I have utilized over many years of experience and share some secrets also. Then we will get our hands dirty and I'll demonstrate, so bring your gloves and pots to take some plants home with you.
Friday Intensives 2:30pm-6:00pm
Ayurveda's Algorithm: Nature's Code with Shaaranya Geetanjali Chakraborty
Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old medical system, offers a precise logical algorithm to guide food and lifestyle choices based on an individual’s specific constitution and current state of health. This class will help you appreciate Ayurveda’s logical thought process by designing your own customized diet.
Botany Intensive with Marc Williams
Goals of this class include the acquisition of significant info regarding the most prevalent plant families used for food and medicine. Participants will gain the ability to identify some of the most choice useful individual plants species while learn about the biggest invasive problem plants and what some of their uses might be. Students also will achieve awareness of resources available to further study the incredible world of wild foods and learn to understand the connection between different plant families and their potential cultivation and challenges Cultivation & Conservation Track
Tonic herbalism through the eyes of the cell with Guido Masé
Herbalism's "tonics" are unique in medicine. Explore the biochemical dance that takes place in every cell of our bodies to help DNA become a living organism, and how four types of molecules from plants and mushrooms fit in. We'll cover alkyl-phenols, polyphenols, triterpenes, and isothiocyanates as regulators of gene expression. We'll discover that plants have been shaping our epigenetic landscape since before we were human - and that what we call "tonics" coordinate pervasive and foundational processes inside us all.
Saturday Intensives 9:00am-12:30pm
Materia Medica of Cannabis with Tammi Sweet
Have you been wanting to understand the uses of Cannabis? Have you heard it can cure almost everything (it IS helpful in many situations and it can’t cure everything.)? What’s the deal with CBD oil? What’s the difference between hemp and cannabis? Well please come with these questions and more to the workshop on the Materia Medica of Cannabis.
We will begin our discussion of Cannabis with a little history and botany and growing considerations of the plant. Since this beloved plant cannot cure everything, proper uses including preparation and dose considerations will also be covered. We will spend considerable time on the latest science regarding the mechanism of action within the body so we can understand WHY certain strains are beneficial and why certain strains can exacerbate the problem. We will answer question about CBD oil, what it is good for and when you actually need THC. Finally, we will discuss “right relationship” with this master plant and brainstorm ways to assist clients in creating ways to honor this sacred and healing plant.
The information from this workshop will make you a better-informed consumer when you enter the world of medical cannabis.
Ozain Herbalism System "A Wholistic African Approach to Client Assessment & Evaluation" with Angelique "Sobande" Greer
Ozain herbalism is a spiritual and philosophical science born from the idea that oneness with the Creative Essence brings about a wholeness in the human spirit. Seekers or aspirants of the system of Ozain seek to bring themselves into alignment with their relationship to the divine cause of life. As with all ancient systems of medicine, this system of herbology teaches students to condition the body in it's entirety so that disease will not attack it. The word Ozain means "Divine Orisha of Plants." Students will get a small glimpse into the beautiful world of African Plant Herbology and how it connects to our physical and spiritual world.
Saturday Intensives 2:00pm-5:30pm
Cook, Cure, and Conjure with Yeye Luisah Teish
This workshop identifies several herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruit that are important in the traditions of the African diaspora. It includes examples of recipes,formulas, and offering plates for the ancestors and the Orishas.
Intensive: The ' ABC's of Veterinary Botanical Medicine' with Cynthia Lankenau
This intensive will cover the basics for the veterinarian how to start an herbal practice, and for the human herbalist, the important differences to be aware of in animals. Beginner
Structural Pain Management with Thomas Easley
In order to excel at creating an effective herbal pain-relieving formula, it is important to understand how pain is created in the body, and how to match classes of herbs to patterns of pain physiology. Chronic pain frequently arises from issues of the structural system, necessitating a comprehensive assessment of this system as well as a therapeutic model to plug herbs into. Understanding the reasons, root causes, and mechanisms of pain in the body lead us to choosing herbs unique to each person and situation.
In this intensive, I will present a model of assessment for structural system pain and use real examples from my practice to exemplify how to build effective herbal formulas for different pain presentations. Included classifications will be systemic anti-inflammatories, topical anti-inflammatories, topical analgesics, central acting analgesics, antispasmodics, hypnotic analgesics, vulneraries, and more. In addition, we will touch on non-herbal treatments such as body work and stretching, that can be beneficial for each type of pain presentation.
Saturday Playshop Intensive 4:00pm-7:00pm
Intensive: Hair Medicine: Potions + Rituals for Herbal Hair Care with Kate Clearlight
What if caring for your hair was a magical daily self-care ritual, rather than a just a routine? As a literal extension from the head, our hair (no matter the length) holds ancestral memories and can serve as a portal into one’s identity and innate wild nature. Applying herbal potions to the hair and scalp can be a powerful way to set intentions, commune with the plants, and carry their medicine with you throughout the day. Join us in this hands-on workshop honoring some of the most beloved herbal hair allies. Together we will formulate and try a variety of different potions, explore ceremonial practices to care for the hair, and cover recipes for floral hair rinses, dry shampoo, serums, styling spray, hair masks, and essences for magical locks. We will close the class with a special hair potion ceremony.
Sunday Intensive 9:00am-12:30pm
Discovering our Wild Plants ~ Edible and Medicinal Uses; A Wild Plant Walk with Rosemary Gladstar
Join Rosemary for a stroll through meadow and forest, learning common wild edible and medicinal plants and enjoying the green energy infusing through all. Rosemary will share stories, medicinal and edible uses, and identification features of many of the plants that are found growing wild throughout New England. This will be a leisurely stroll and is geared towards beginner and intermediate students of herbalism. Bring songs and offerings…we’ll leave them for the wild ones. If it looks like rain, be sure to bring a rain jacket! (all levels)
Plants and the Mythic Imagination with Dr. Sharon Blackie
In this intensive class, we’ll work with the old story of ‘The Wild Swans’, in which a young woman must weave a shirt made from nettles plucked with her bare hands, in order to transform her ensorcelled brothers from swans back into men. We’ll speak about plants as agents of transformation in the old stories, and talk about the ways in which fairy tales require us to negotiate with the wild – both inner and outer. We’ll delve deeply into the folklore of nettles, and explore the ways in which we can work with plants and with the mythic imagination to bring ourselves more fully into relationship with the anima mundi, the soul of the world.