The Green Path of Plant Knowledge: Illuminating Ourselves, Illuminating the Beings of the Forest
The School of Forest Medicine provides many ways for you to deepen your relationships with the plants of the Pacific Northwest and to find your way on the Green Path of Plant Knowledge. Our classes and courses interweave direct spiritual experience with practical, hands-on participatory work. We offer you the opportunity to find and connect with your Plant Allies and to remember your living bond with the elemental forces of nature. Through meditation, ritual, and song you will learn to work with the spirits of the plants and with the spirits and ancestors of this land, learning to be a vessel of healing and a messenger for the Teachings of the Forest.
We call upon these divine beings to remind us how to find our way here on earth and to guide us on our long term, multigenerational goal of establishing a center of learning and healing in the forests of Cascadia where we can remember how to live harmoniously with all beings. By working to restore authentic initiatory rites we will offer ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren the opportunity to live in an intact culture—fully attuned to the cultural and spiritual matrix of the earth, recognizing who we are, and knowing what we are here to do.
Classes and courses range from long-term initiatory journeys to evening Plant Teacher Circle meditations. Please read on for a complete description of our offerings.
Plant Teacher Circles and Forest Medicine Ceremonies
In addition to their physical healing properties, all plants possess a particular spiritual insight and wisdom. We have been meeting on a weekly basis for several years, sitting in meditation with Pacific Northwest native plants in an effort to explore these physical and psycho-spiritual healing properties. By coming together with this intention, we create a container that amplifies the plant’s effects and allows us to have a direct experience of the sometimes profound insights, teachings, and healings that they have to offer. These weekly meetings are a great way to learn how to develop and deepen your relationships with plants and to sharpen your skills of inner perception.
FOREST MEDICINE CEREMONY: On the First Tuesday of the month we work with a plant in a ceremonial context, calling in the directions, singing, and putting into practice the teachings of the plants. These ceremonies take us through the cycle of the seasons, helping align us with the rhythms of life. Hosted by Scott Kloos
FOREST MEDICINE SONG CIRCLE: Everyone, whether you consider yourself a singer or not, is welcome on the Second Tuesday to join us in song. Singing together, supported by the medicine of the healing plant energies, we can all deepen our relationship with our own song. We’ll have songbooks to share. Your own medicine songs are welcome too! Hosted by Saliha Abrams
PLANT TEACHER MEDITATION: Plants yearn to communicate with humans. Listening to them is vital to the healing of humans and of the earth. Join us on the Third and Fourth Tuesdays as we sit in meditation with a Northwest Native Plant to explore its healing wisdom. Hosted by Karina Brown (3rd Tue.) and Amy Terepka (4th Tue.)
Every Tuesday night 6-8:30pm. Click here for more info.
Plant Teacher Immersion Course: Remembrance—Finding Your Plant Allies
On this Odyssey that traverses the vibrant landscapes of the Cascadia Bioregion, the plants will be our guides and their songs will be our vehicles as we weave our spirits with the forces of nature, restoring the connections between the human and spiritual realms through song, ritual, and prayer.
This program is a transformative, initiatory experience that reawakens and strengthens the experience of deep plant/ human relationships. Each month we explore a different landscape; immersing ourselves in the healing power and teachings of the plants through plant-based ceremonies in the forest. Each day we commune with our native Plant Teachers, learning about them as we learn about ourselves and each other, participating in rituals that open new channels of divine expression and healing potential. These once-a-month trips range in length from 3-8 days. Click here for more info.
Immersion Two: Emergence—Firming Relationships with your Plant Allies
Having traveled through the spirited tunnels of remembrance you are now prepared to firm your relationships with the Beings of the Forest. You have completed the initial gestation of clearing, opening, and growing connections with the elements of nature. Brilliantly stepping through the fires of your initiation, you have given birth to a new self. Together our memory has awakened to drink in the wisdom, healing, and songs of the Plant Spirits who guide us on our path.
This course is open to those who have completed the Immersion Course. Click here for more info.
Weekend Plant Teacher Immersions
We go to the forest because that is where we come from. It is here in the wild places that we can remember how to live in harmony with each other, the planet, and ourselves. The forest is a great repository of wisdom that remains alive and intact. The “teachings” of the forest don’t always come in words but alter us on an energetic level and allow us to receive the imprint, the blueprint of life that is our birthright as children of this creation.
Loosely inspired by the dieta tradition of the Amazon jungle but informed by years of dedicated plant communion here in the forests of Cascadia, these weekend immersions will offer plant medicine people the opportunity to forge and strengthen the bonds with these deep plant teacher guides and allies. On each of these three trips for 2013, we will call on a different plant being to offer us its teachings and powers of healing. Click here for more info.
Redcedar Thuja plicata…March 8-10
Devil’s Club (Ashusha) Oplopanax horridum…April 12-14
Dogwood (Esqueci) Cornus nutttallii…May 3-5
Wildcrafting and Medicine Making Apprenticeship
This apprenticeship is being offered to those with a deep passion for wildcrafting and medicine making. Those accepted will have the opportunity to learn the secrets of making medicine imbued with the Spirit of the Forest.
This course will involve time in the field wildcrafting and working in the Cascadia Folk Medicine lab. In addition to learning and practicing the fundamentals of Medicine Making and Ethical and Mutually Beneficial Wildcrafting, students will deepen their understanding of all aspects of making high-quality herbal extracts. Ultimately Cascadia Folk Medicine will become a cooperatively owned business, and we will plant many seeds to sprout into spiritually focused medicine making companies all over the country. Click here for more info.
81 Herbs of Cascadia: Exploring the Spiritual and Energetic Properties of our Northwest Materia Medica within the Context of Classical Chinese Herbalism
In this nine month exploration of eighty-one of the foundational medicinal plants of the Pacific Northwest, we will unite the perennial wisdom of Classical Chinese Herbalism with information that we receive directly from the plants themselves. We will experience their flavors, energetics, and elemental motions, and as we open ourselves to receive their songs, visions, and individual healing properties, we will work towards creating a truly local and globally sustainable pharmacopoeia that is aligned with the values of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing and the healing mystics of ancient times. Click here for more info.