Classes Session 1 • September 2-5, 2022
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Do you sometimes find yourself too tired for sexual intimacy or wondering why your desire is so low? In this class we will explore four common realms of erotic desire and aphrodisiac practices and plants that support our erotic nature.
For many of us, our relationships are the most important part of life. We often find that the more intimate the relationship the more triggered we can become and the harder conversations are often left unresolved. In this class we will sip soothing tea to support our nerves as we practice the easy to learn steps of relationship repair conversation.
Seed saving is a practice in resiliency and independent food culture. In this class we will immerse ourselves in the hands-on process of cleaning seed. We will go over the different techniques for harvesting, saving, cleaning and long-term storing (seed banking) of seeds and discuss the radical importance of this sacred act. We will talk about how to identify seeds on plants, cross-pollination/seed purity, breeding techniques and mostly enjoy the process of sitting in circle and doing the work together. We'll have multiple types of seeds/varieties including medicinal herbals, flowers, and veggies to work on and each participant will walk away with a seed bank starter set.
When you think of the world “Disabled,” what comes to mind: a woman in a wheelchair, a man who is mute, or a crippled child? And yet this word has a longstanding tradition of misinterpretation and alienation. Let’s take a deep dive into the political and cultural history of this word and the people who live in it. We will also dissect the concept of ablelism and learn how we can identify it in ourselves and the world. Finally we will embark on exercises to experience a life with disability.
Digestive health and emotional well-being are deeply intertwined. In this class, we’ll overview the brain-gut-microbial axis and how it impacts both the digestion of food and of emotion. Then we’ll dive into herbal allies and other tools for rebalancing the digestive nervous system.
Our stress responses, and specifically our limbic systems, are designed to help us detect and escape danger. Yet, if these pathways are chronically activated due to prolonged stress or injury, we can get stuck in a state of hyper-vigilance, which influences our thinking and behavior and negatively impacts our physiology. In this two part class, we’ll review the impacts of chronic stress and limbic hyper-arousal, and then we’ll gather tools for building resilience. We’ll explore mind-body practices, along with herbal and nutritional strategies to re-wire chronic stress responses and nourish the nervous system.
We all have stories - lots of them. They could be meaningful moments of clarity where we surprised ourselves and upped our game, we might not quite understand their significance yet, or they might be whomping us still, but there is always a gift for us in every life event.
Learn to use writing —with awareness and acceptance—as a tool to tease out these experiences to enact, develop, or share your own transformation.
Sisters Dakota She’haman and Kerin Sloane will be compiling an anthology of works, called Women Gone Wild, Women Gone Wise, for those who wish to bring their story all the way to publication—or, just keep it to yourself. The process itself is powerfully healing, and that is the real treasure.
The lymphatic system is called Rasa in Sanskrit, meaning the river of life. Keeping this river flowing allows our tissues to receive nourishment, which is the secret to being and looking healthy. Our lymph fluids allow hormones to get from one endocrine gland to another and play an important role in our reproductive health. The lymphatic system is also called the Immune system, which we all know is important for fighting foreign invaders and staying healthy. There will be demonstrations on how to map the lymphatic system in your body with an emphasis on breast health. There will be time for Q &A about our breasts and immunity, massage assessments for experiential learning & what tools can support change and prevent diseases. Students will leave having a clear understanding of the lymph system and how to keep it and their breasts healthy.
There is strength in a river that is flowing.
*Breast Checks will be offered throughout the weekend by lottery in the Wellness Tent. If you are interested put your name in the lottery basket by Saturday lunchtime.
In this class we talk about how to work with scars, softening, and helping to repair skin and deeper tissue.
Are you ready for an adventure that ignites courage, brings the deep-peace of heartfelt connection and nourishes spirit's home? You're invited to join EagleSong Gardener on an adventurous local/world tour of the Crataegus genus. You'll meet hawthorn, 'sovereign of boundaries', in her incredible distribution around the planet. And, learn how to ﬁnd haw in your own bio-region. You'll discover how 3 different cultures improve daily life by engaging hawthorn energy and how you can use the generative genius of hawthorn safely, wisely and effectively in your own home. After this class, you'll want to ﬁnd the nearest Hawthorn and bring the generative medicine of hawthorn into your daily life…
Willow, Linden and Cottonwood are wise to fire. Learning how and where they grow will help you become wise in meeting inflammation head-on in your body and life. Trees are remarkable bio-engineers of habitat. Your body is a complex habitat that you can cultivate for well-being. Using compounds these trees make for creating health and wholeness wherever they grow, connects you with earth. Bio-flavonoid rich, antiinflammatory, pain relieving, immune enhancing, easily accessible and easily transformed into simple effective remedies, these 3 trees are plant allies to cultivate, know and use. You will learn to make & use 3 simple, effective herbal preparations from these trees.
Imagine your home garden as your habitat, a place that actively cultivates your wellbeing as you tend it. By choosing plants and practices that support you, life on the planet, and bring joy, you begin cultivating medicine of place. Strong earth medicine. With more opportunities to work from home, and more challenges procuring fresh, well-grown herbs, there has never been a better time to bring your medicine home. Dedicated to getting people back in the garden for health and enjoyment, EagleSong shows you how to engage nature as an ally. Using her No-Dig garden approach and the BOCA No-TurnCompost System, at 71, she still maintains RavenCroft Garden, the 30-year research and teaching garden surrounding her home. "When I was younger, I liked to dig. Now...not so much. Though, I find I still like to eat and have the occasional need for a remedy."
Hydration is the process of replacing water in the body. We will look at the pathophysiology, principles, concepts and risk factors, discuss the benefits and explore the various methods and strategies for proper hydration in this class. We will further learn all about the dangers of dehydration, looking into the various symptoms that can occur, and why and how your body or brain can’t function optimally when lacking adequate hydration. Prepare to learn all the scientific terms like hyponatremia, osmoregulation, and hyperkalemia! We’ll also sample and discuss the MASHH Clinics’ Oral Rehydration Blend that they have been designing and working on for the past decade right here at NCWHS!
Parenting today is a journey into the unknown, the likes of which no previous generation has ever experienced. Gaia, our life force mama, is in the midst of upheaval as the climate rapidly changes. Our children’s lives will inevitably be very different from our own. How do we prepare our young ones for the changes to come, while also facing and coping with our own fear, despair and guilt over climate change and biodiversity loss? How do we guide them to steward the world they have been given, to be agents of positive change and sustainable community in the years to come? How do we help them fall in love with the world when we know there will be so much for them to grieve?
Join Jenni on a journey in which we will call on the spirit of the land and our ancestors to guide us, as we express and explore our grief and anxiety about the climate our children will inherit, and envision paths towards righteous action, for our children and all living beings.
This is an opportunity to process and share some of our thoughts and feelings from part 1. We will use journaling, expressive arts and talking prompts to connect with our sisters and hold space for the emotions that get stirred up as we look squarely at what it means to us to parent in the era of climate change. This class can also be attended separately, but will likely be most effective if it follows part 1.
Did you know your kidneys filter 47 gallons of blood per day? phew! Learn more about these amazing organs that purify your fluids, manage blood pressure and bone density and store your vital essence. Herbs and foods that reduce stone formation, toxic build-up and infection will be discussed, along with the seasonal rhythm for kidney care.
All healing requires the heart, its wisdom and connection with all life. This class will explore the physical and energetic role of the heart in healing whatever ails us and our earth mother. Movement practices, deep listening, tending emotional energy, plus supportive herbs and flowers are all part of cultivating our powerful heart center.
Sometimes what we think of as a minor hit on the head can affect our health in mysterious ways. The shifting sands of connective tissue around the brain can impact other systems of the body. We will explore herbs, foods and natural healing techniques for treating concussions, heat stress and the impact of falls to the body and brain.
We will make traditional Appalachian style baskets, also known as the egg basket. We will use locally harvested materials, as well as hemp twine and seagrass. Locally grown materials will include, bay laurel, golden willow, red osha dogwood, watsonia grass, New Zealand flax and bark. We will discuss native plants used for weaving, as well as tropical plant fibers. We will discuss and explore the many weaving plants, along with their native origin. We will also discuss the preparation for weaving with each fiber. We will discuss what you can plant in your own garden, to cultivate and harvest your own weaving wonders. Please bring clippers or scissors if possible. Class is limited to 20 women.
Bring your playful drumming spirit to this all level drum class. We will review basic drum technique and learn rhythms and songs from West Africa. Bring your hand or stick drums and percussion instruments such as shakers and bells. There will be a few extra drums to share. Let's drum up some magic.
This class gives us sacred space to come together and share our collective wisdom on holistic healing from post-viral illnesses such as long Covid. In the first part, Lila will reflect on what she has been learning, practically and spiritually, since contracting Covid in China at the start of the pandemic, and then developing this debilitating life-changing illness. She will share her experiences using a range of holistic modalities for long covid, including Western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Qi Gong energy healing, meditation, Iyenga restorative yoga, somatic exercise, homeopathy, green smoothies, acupressure mats, and yoga Nidra, among others. We will close part one with a short guided healing meditation. In part two, we will open the circle for discussion and sharing among everyone to share stories, resources, wisdom, and solidarity in healing body and soul from these pandemic times!
In part two, we will open the circle for discussion and sharing among everyone to share stories, resources, wisdom, and solidarity in healing body and soul from these pandemic times!
See part 1 for full description.
Do you have an advanced care directive that will guide loved ones and medical staff in knowing what you want, and don’t want, should you not be able to speak for yourself? If not, this class will give you the tools, information, and support to help you create a legal document of your wishes, values, and instructions at the end of life….
We will use the California Advanced Health Care Directive and The Five Wishes forms as a template to create your personal document.
The traditional Death Cafés are held all over the world. They give participants an opportunity to come together, drink tea, eat cake and openly talk about death. This format increases awareness about death in order to help folks make the most of the life they have left.
The NCWHS Death Café is not a class, it is a conversation. We can ask questions, find answers, share stories, explore fears, and celebrate knowledge, with love!!!!
We will explore the concerns and fears of dying, alongside the many openings and new possibilities regarding death. It is time to reclaim our traditional rites of taking care of our loved ones at home before and after death. In part 1 we will discuss many aspects of death and dying. In part two we will use a role play experience, and ritually tend to one of our loved ones together.
In part 2 we will use a role play experience and ritually tend to one of our loved ones together. See part 1 for full description.
It is an essential part of working with herbs to take time to meet the spirit of a plant. We will ask to come into a deeper relationship and discover their qualities and gifts. We will be invited to first meet each plant internally, taking in its essence with one of the elements: fire- tincture, water -infusion, air - oil, earth - pesto, space - smoke. After taking time with this internal meeting, the plant will be brought to the center of our circle for us to see it and take the time to listen and take in its fullness.
Making your own herbal skin care can be easeful and joyful, money-saving, and reduces exposure to chemicals found in commercial products. It’s also a great way to practice your herbal medicine making skills, gain more familiarity with the healing properties of common garden herbs, and indulge in loving self-care.
Learn techniques for making herbal oils, scrubs, masques customized to your own needs. Herbal hair care will also be discussed.
This class will include discussion, hands-on demonstrations, handouts with recipes, as well as some time participating in herbal self-care treatments.
Please bring a towel/sarong for self-care treatments.
It’s easy to make your own creams at home. We will review key ingredients, such as how to pick oils, hydrosols, essential oils and more. We will also learn how to incorporate our favorite fresh or dried herbs into our own formulations and how to avoid common pitfalls that lead to moldy or poor quality creams.
Learn traditional drumming and dances from Ghana, West Africa.
Shelly will talk and give a slideshow sharing her unique perspective as a mountaineer. She will briefly orient us on the historical use of mountain climbing as a spiritual practice in cultures throughout the world. Her slideshow will narrate parts of her yearlong expedition intentionally circumnavigating Earth, climbing sacred peaks and places of power. With stories of adventure and mistakes, she builds on the ethic of experiencing mountains as teachers and guides. She will share her experience of mountaineering as a spiritual/vision practice, and discuss how you too might explore and connect with Mother Earth in this way. Come share some adventures with this visionary mountaineer.
Black North American Herbalism is part of an extended class taught by Shereel at Land of Verse a.k.a School of Traditional Healing Arts Apprentice Herbal Program.
In this two part class, we will focus on learning about the medicinal plants, foods, processes and methods Africans utilized during the time of enslavement. There will be a brief historic overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the agricultural technology that Africans brought to the North American continent.
In part 1-
- We will taste traditional hot infusions and tinctures formulations that were used by early African Americans.
- We will learn of the common ailments that were prevalent and treated at the time.
We will continue. See part 1 for full description.
In part 2 -
- We will assess how to treat those ailments with what we know now.
- And we will make a pot of greens in honor of African American food ways to partake in as we learn & share together. The instructor will provide all the ingredients. Just bring your appetite!
In this class we will learn basic Hawaiian dance steps, timing, and rhythm that is the foundation in all hula lineages. We will also learn Hawaiian terminology. The following is an example of the basic steps typically covered and explored to further understand body mechanics, rhythm and timing.
- Kaholo - to move fast. The “vamp” hula step, more common in modern hula than in ancient hula, consists of four counts.
- Ka`o - crowd to go together
- `Ami - hinge, joint; to turn on hinges. A hula step with hip revolutions. Three types are `ami kahela,`ami kuku, and `ami `oniu
- `Uwehe - to open, uncover, reveal, untie, to pry open
- Hela - to spread, as the arms but as a hula step, to spread the feet
This class (papa hula) will be accompanied by Traditional & Modern Hawaiian music. Please come dressed in comfortable work-out clothes and bare feet. Mahalo!
Give yourself an hour to drop inward, lay on the earth and experience the restorative and healing medicine of the sound current, as you are bathed in a variety of instruments and song. Bring a blanket and pillow or simply come as you are.
Come join us for an evening under the late spring constellations. Guided by a green laser wand, you’ll learn to find your way around the night sky and the names of the stars and constellations, while hearing folklore from different times and cultures. We’ll meet the bright shining stars of the Twins, the Lion, Virgo, the Scorpion, and more… You will also be dosed with Essence Elixirs!
Join Xochiketzalli as she explores the world of ancestral medicine, brujeria, & Latinx Wicheria. The class will begin in circle, with song and then move into an exploration of brujeria. Show up a little early if you would like to help build the center altar. In this all level class, Xochi will explain the difference between the practice of brujeria and curanderismo and how Witcheria is a self guided, intuitive practice for everyone. This class is all about womxn's empowerment and discovery of each of our gifts we come into this world with. Together learn how to make agua florida/flower water in sacred prayer and ritual and then take this medicina home. The class will end in song/canto sagrado and sacred prayers/spells cast on the winds.
Explore the Mayan Cosmovisión, Divination, & Wisdom of the Maya People with Ajq'ij Xochiketzalli. The class will begin with the call of the atekokolli/conch, lighting of copalli & candles, and invocation of Deities Ixpipkok & Ixmukane. In circle, Xochi will share in plática about Mayan Cosmology and the Cholq'ij Mayan Calendar, going in depth about this 260 day lunar calendar system and how it's the foundation of indigenous time keeping. Each participant will be asked to share their birth date at the beginning of the class and by the end Xochi will figure out everyone's daysign in the Cholq'i Calendar. You will leave the class with a basic write up of your personal mayan astrology. This wisdom helps one better understand their dones/gifts, why they are here, and their cosmic mission.
In part 1 join Nana Xochiketzalli in a platica/Heart to Heart discussion on the magical world of healing with Curanderismo. Curanderismo is a Latinx ancestral practice of healing arts and red medicine. Part 1 of this class will include an introduction to the practice that was passed down to Xochiketzalli by her Maestras, Madrina, & Ancestors. She will open up the space in prayer with copalli & drum and then go over cultural protocols, ancestral traditions, and the different aires/ailments treated in Curanderismo.
Part 2 will be a more hands-on class for the intermediate & for womxn with serious interest in the healing arts. Xochiketzalli will go more in depth about Limpias, the path of the healer, sharing about the different medicine tools and sacreds used in Curanderismo, and also go over how to use different herbs in Curanderismo. She will then demonstrate and share how to do your own self barrida. (This is not training to become a healer, it is a simple guidance on healing yourself with herbs). Participation in part 1 is required to participate in part 2.
Join Nana Xochiketzalli in an Opening Ceremony on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the center fire. A traditional Mayan fire ceremony is run by initiated Aj'Qijab (time keepers/Spiritual Guides) and is an ofrenda/offering to the Gods/Deities. The Fire Ceremony gives life and energy to all those who take part, and we nourish our own lives by feeding Mother Earth. Together we’ll light a fire made not from wood, but instead from candles, chocolates, flowers, tobacco, herbs, sugar, & cinnamon. These offerings are a way of giving food and vital life force to Mother Earth. It acts as an exchange for all we take, and while we feed Mother Earth with this ofrenda, all participants also nourish themselves. This quick ceremony will call in the ancestors, consecrate the space, and cleanse our hearts n souls as the Symposium begins.
Crones, come share lunch with other Wise Crones. We will discuss loving life after menopause, finding joy, appreciation, and health in our Crone years. We will also discuss our part in the Maiden’s Rites of Passage Ceremony and our own Crone’s Honoring Ritual.
This is time to reflect and share our experiences of Cronehood and our love for our Wise Crone ways and bodies. Past menopause and into memorypause, we will tell our stories. A time to make a ritual Crone Broom will follow.
Crones, come share another lunch with other Wise Crones. We will continue our plans for the Maiden’s Rites of Passage and our own Crone’s Honoring Ritual.
Join us for a quiet honoring of the loss of an unborn child through miscarriage or abortion.
Welcome maidens, to the Circle of Women! Join us in celebrating the beauty and strength of this phase of your life, the time of your bloods. We will explore ideas and feelings, hear stories, make things to care for ourselves and prepare for the Maiden’s Rites of Passage Ceremony to be held Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. Any young woman who would like to go through the Maiden Ceremony must attend this class.
Have you ever thought about the POWER of a seed? What about the power we have as people, collecting and spreading those seeds? In this class, we'll talk about how amazing seeds are, while we make Seed Bombs - an icky, sticky, dirty project that is as fun as it is important. Come have a good time with us, and be ready to play in the dirt and clay. We'll make Seed Bombs that we can take home to spread around.
Avast ye maties and welcome to Pirateology. Put on your eyepatches and your scarfs and join Captain Redwood, as we learn shanties, knot tying, and how to be a pirate. Finally, we will sail the seven herbal seas and find buried treasure by the house of the Pirate Queen. So, board the ship, hoist the jolly roger and set sail with the Captain.
We will weave small round traditional Hawaiian style baskets. We will discuss local and tropical fibers used for basket weaving. We will use the following materials: Round reed, watsonia grass, banana paper, redwood bark, hemp twine, philodendron leaf, new Zealand flax, and seagrass. Please bring clippers or scissors if possible. Class is limited to 13 mid-kids.
This is a super fun hands-on project for children who enjoy wood working. We will hand saw wood pieces, hammer them together, staple screen to the bottom, and add hooks and chains to hang them from a branch. If there is time, we will be paint them to add color to our creations. The birds will be so thankful for them as the seasons begin to change!
Dried gourds turn into a beautiful rattle to play by the fire at symposium or wherever your heart song is called. We will go on a walk to find just the right size stick to use as a handle for the gourd you choose. We will then fill the gourd with beautiful dried colored corn. If time allows we will have earth paints to add designs and color to your rattle.
Number of children in class will depend on the number of gourds available.
This is a 2 part class.
We will go on a walk to collect different leaves of various shapes and sizes to add with dried flowers on a piece of cloth that we will make into a beautifully dyed cape that we could wear to our Maiden Ceremony!
After the cloth sits all night, we will magically change the color and then sew them into capes.
The leaves and flowers create such beautiful imprints and colors that are so unique. In our capes we will get to take home some of the beauty from this amazing land to have with us always.
* Please commit to both part 1 & 2, the bundles need time to steam and sit overnight for the best outcome.
Come relax and knit. Finger knitting is a way anyone can learn to knit using our hands. We’ll make beautiful knitted crowns and then sew embellishments on them to make them our very own. They are beautiful to wear with our capes!
Melita's interactive music classes are full of sing-alongs and dance-alongs, instrument jam sessions, stories and felt boards, puppet friends, kids' yoga and mindfulness exercises, and engaging musical games.
Classes are targeted to children ages 3-6, but appropriate for younger and older kids as well. Classes encourage language development, body and spatial awareness, creative expression, listening skills, relaxation and calming of the nervous system, social dynamics, rhyme and rhythm. And most of all, they're lots of fun!
Each child will need an accompanied grown-up.
Early Morning Classes
Wear loose clothes and bring a yoga mat if you have one.
The ancient practice of Vipassana, or Insight, meditation is one of observing—and coming into balance with—life as it is. This technique results in a foundational restructuring of the mind, by learning to perceive subtle and profound expressions of natural law (universal truth) through one’s own direct experience.
Long-term practitioners report:
Relief from destructive mental habit patterns
A general sense of happiness and well-being.
Release from addiction.
Higher productive capacity
A greater understanding of one’s own path and purpose
Developing mental concentration through observation of breath related sensation
Expanding practice by observing sensation throughout the body
loving compassion meditation
Lymphatic Breast Health all levels - DeAnna Batdorff
Our Erotic Nature And The Plant Allies That Support Us all levels - Amber Young
Seed Saving all levels - Ami Wruck
Women of Color Rising: Intentional Space for Women Of Color at NCWHS
Since 1991, NCWHS has been creating space to celebrate womanhood through reclaiming women’s sacred wisdom, ritual, and herbal knowledge predominantly in the Western European traditions. From the beginning, NCWHS has included women from many different traditions, although the majority attending have generally been of European heritage. In 2019, we began an open conversation about race, and that work continues. Just as we—as women—have created intentional space for ourselves to come together and heal, in 2023, we will be creating intentional space for women of color within the Symposium, a safe space within a safe space, and are excited to deepen our awareness of how we all can best support racial and ethnic diversity, inclusion and belonging for all members of our community.
A deep bow of Gratitude to Aya de Leon, Shereel Washington, Naomi Stein, and Susannah Mackintosh for creating and leading us in this.
Anti-Jewish sentiment and hate crimes are at an all time high in the U.S. NCWHS is a safe space for all women and will be creating a safe space within the safe space for all Jewish women to come together for Shabbat and Havdalah rituals, as well as classes to learn and share cultural plant knowledge. Jewish women of all levels of knowledge and connection to the community are warmly welcome to all events. Any woman wanting to learn more about Jewish cultures are welcome to join us for the classes and the Havdalah rituals on Saturday nights (Shabbat will be specifically for Jewish women to meet and connect).
In our efforts to be more welcoming and inclusive to women from diverse backgrounds this year we will doing the following.
At Session 2
We will have designated space for women of color (WOC).
Throughout the weekend, WOC can opt-in to a WOC only camping area and a WOC eating area.
WOC are also invited to come in early, on Thursday May 25, to ground together on the land before Symposium opens (WOC please email us if you'd like to do this at: email@example.com).
We will also have a panel/workshop titled: Sprouting Liberation: Courageous Conversations around Race, Ethnicity, and Belonging at NCWHS to which all are welcome and encouraged to attend!
At Both Session 1 and Session 2
There will be a ritual and sharing space for Jewish women during Shabbat and Havdalah on Saturday afternoon.