Classes Session 3 • September 1-4, 2023
Click on the + sign to see the class description. Click on the teacher photo or name to go to her bio page.
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.
After getting out of your vehicles, come and enjoy the beautiful welcome from the amazing green beings who open their home to us. Learn a bit of their magical attributes which they so sweetly offer us. Ground yourself in the peace and beauty of Black Oak Ranch.
We will cover an overview of the circulatory system (anatomy and physiology), then discuss how herbal actions and individual herbs optimize circulation and heart function, enhance blood vessel integrity, modulate blood pressure, and enhance venous return. Then we'll weave in herbal formulas and strategies for treating common circulatory conditions with any additional time.
We will continue. See part 1 for full description.
In this class we will delve into herbal actions, individual herbs, and formulas that aid in treating urinary tract infections, incontinence, interstitial cystitis, and kidney stones.
We will continue. See part 1 for full description.
Last fall, during both Symposium sessions, we dove into the world of writing as a personal healing tool. This spring, we’re taking it to the next level with one-on-one, lottery style, help sessions with Dakota. Twenty chances to win! Sign up early and often at the wellness tent. Bring your stories. Dakota can help you bring them to life for personal use, or for inclusion in the Women Gone Wild ~ Women Gone Wise, Anthology of Transformation.
Also, if you just have a story you’d like to share for another special project (details at Symposium), you don’t even have to write it! Dakota will write it from your recorded, interviewed narrative.
Stories need not be true, experienced personally, or developed—they need only be meaningful to you. Cultural women’s myths, legends and ancestral stories are welcome.
This is a lottery you can’t lose! If your name isn’t drawn, or you don’t have time during symposium, call Dakota to set up some other time: 906–250–3771.
Embodied Elementals ~ The Ritual of Self-Care & Tea class focuses on how we bring the elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water & Earth into our daily lives, using the elemental language of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine and centuries of knowledge to embody the elements to nurture our whole being. This class will be offered twice.
Chest & Breast Care
My main objective is to teach you about what your breasts are communicating. How many times have you found a lump and immediately think it means only one thing, cancer? If it is, early detection is everything. In more cases than not, it is a lymph node communicating with us, telling us something is not in balance. If your breasts are not getting enough blood flow they will be cold and tight (icy river water), if they are not receiving enough hydration, they can be fibrous and depleted (dry river bed). If inflammation is present, it is not uncommon to find a cyst (forest fire) and when there is excess fluid trapped in the breasts (dams in the river) it needs to be drained.
In Ayurveda, the lymphatic system is called “Rasa” the river of life. When healthy, The lymph river flows effortlessly to meet the bloodstream at the center of our heart space. This innate flow is considered our highest potential of vitality. Our immune system and lymphatic system are one in the same. The immune system and our hormones utilize the lymphatic river to get where they need to go to support our whole body's health. When we get symptoms of pain, fatigue, and skin changes, it is our body's way of telling us we are out of balance. By opening up the flow of our lymphatic system, we allow those built-up imbalances to be processed and removed or assimilated into the body as needed.
This class is designed to teach you how to explore, map, and understand the terrain of your breast tissue. We will cover:
- Lymphatic Immune Systems 101
- What our lymphatic river looks like and consists of
- How to assess the lymphatic system through touch
- Massage techniques and investigation of our rivers
- Use of the Chinese Gua Sha
- How to investigate and track your lymph symptoms
- Signs of a cancerous lumps verses finding a hard lymphatic node
- Remedies, nutrition and techniques for each individual
- Includes: handouts and protocols
Education is everything. Together we will be facing our fears without shame or judgment, empowering ourselves through touch and care, and discovering the tools and remedies that work for us as individuals.
Creating a Safe, Sacred Container
Womb Space. Rooted Energy. Anatomical Placement
- No shame environment
- Normalizing through Touch & Care
- Facing fears is empowering
- Education is everything
- Individuality is the key to a healthy life
Together we will be facing fear of the unknown while investigating our womb space with love, care, and curiosity. We will investigate our tissues and find solutions and remedies that work for us. As we re-awaken this deeply intuitive aspect of our bodies, and learn how to truly listen to what our tissues are telling us about our health, we will co-create a compassionate and safe space for everyone to explore their bodies and move through whatever may arise.
The uterus is explored through the abdominal tissues, internal examination is not needed to find it or support it. We will be showing you how to identify if the uterus is out of alignment and how to gently bring it back into alignment. The uterus is our body's internal compass, returning the uterus to its natural position can not only bring relief from painful menses, but can bring a deeper sense of embodiment and personal power. How amazing that in just 5 minutes the uterus can be massaged and returned home by gravity itself.
I will be teaching:
- How to locate the uterus anatomically
- How to use gravity to flow it back home to the central womb
- How to hold space for uterus bearing bodies
- 3 live demos
- Practice hands-on care
In this workshop, EagleSong looks at wholistic and conventional ways to address the experience of two viral infections that can affect anyone, shingles and the common herpes simplex virus responsible for cold sores and genital eruptions. At 72, EagleSong spent seven weeks dancing with shingles. In the spirit of the wise woman, she learned much with this formidable adversary about the nervous system, viruses, herbs and herself.
Shingles, caused by the Varicella zoster virus is commonly thought to affect elders, but in fact, can affect anyone who has had chickenpox. This common viral infection of the nerves erupts in painful blisters and lesions and can be accompanied by deep aching pain. Here are some suggestions that may support you, your family and community if/when herpes arrives at your door!
* Prevention strategies
* Pre-symptom signs to know
* How to ease the duration of an outbreak
* Herbs for soothing and healing the lesions
* Post herpes/shingles recovery
* Immune and nervous system support with foods, herbs and other whole health practices
Join herbalist EagleSong Gardener, as she travels to the base of the Popocatepetl volcano outside of Puebla, Mexico, a region where the Mexican Hawthorn, Crataegus mexicana grows.
A pre-Hispanic plant native to Mexico and Central America, Tejocote is enjoyed many ways; in Ponche’, a delicious fruit punch central to the winter holiday season, mermeladas, helado, pulque, candies and baked goods.
Tejocote is a traditional winter food in Mexico and Central America with an ancient heritage deeply connected with earth as seen in the practice of Milpa. You'll hear Milpa, an indigenous form of integrated horticulture come alive as EagleSong weaves stories traversing the hills of Puebla and Oaxaca on horseback where tejocote and other fruit trees along with maize, beans, squash and many "weeds" weave people, plants and the earth together in an ancient rhythm…
The Moisteners: Linden, Marshmallow, Asparagus, Oats, Violet and Comfrey + 1 Mystery Plant are slippery, slimy and soothing…Let’s talk about the demulcent and emollient properties of these juicy plants and how they relieve dryness, soften hardness, hydrate tissue, nourish and promote cell growth in our bodies. Juicy herbs are ever so useful for a woman’s ever changing body and bodily processes…Guaranteed to be a fun, messy, hands-on experience stimulating your mind and pleasing your body!
Water is life. Humans are born through water and are 50-65% water. Roughly, the same as the earth. Menstruum is a powerful word…we’ll talk about that!Fascinated by new theories about water, what it is and how it works, EagleSong Gardener came to enjoy the journey of bringing herbs to life through water as a daily practice. Internally with teas, nourishing infusions, decoctions, vinegars broths, and soups. Externally with baths, washes, compresses and fomentations. Water extracted herbs are oft forgotten even though they can bring optimal nourishment, pain relief, immune tonification, pleasure, and so much more to daily living. Why wait until you’re sick when you can use herbs every day?
In this 4 hour intensive, we’ll learn about the essentials for energetic wellness and integrity. Bringing light and practice of ancient traditional methods to meet and support our contemporary paradigm and necessities. This will be a hands on course covering the following:
- Tradition and roots of limpias (cleanses)
- Curanderismo and vegetalismo
- Plants for psychic detox and transformation
- Medicine and magic of grief
- Methods and techniques of herbal cleansing protocols
- Healing the wounds of consumption
- Cord cutting
- Mental Hygiene
- Speech hygiene
- Soul hygiene
- Grounding rituals
- Energetic management- values and boundaries
Join us on an exploratory journey into our deep roots. In this introductory intensive, we’ll dive into the dynamic realm of our sacred agreements that have brought us forth to existence. We’ll assess our living relationships with our ancestral lineages and lands while holding our soul’s medicine and the mystical ways plants weaves them all together. We’ll learn about our herbal kin that assist and teach us how we can access our ancient memories, our wisdom and medicines to heal our lives, our families and our communities. Join us as we discuss:
•Plants for opening the portals of time
•the embodied story of lineage- (genes and soul imprints)
•inner child as immediate ancestor
•preparing the container; setting the boundaries
•learning the language of spirit
•Ancient Wise Ones and other ancestral allies
•Re*membering- ancestral healing by soul retrieval
•Culture/ traditions/lands and inherited ways of being
•contracts with the land spirits of the ancestors
•medicine and liabilities of the blood line
•learning the language of the body as the healing map
•Weaving past and future though the holy now
•dreaming the future whole- our role in creating the world of tomorrow
•renegotiations of scared agreements
•future self initiation into the counsel
•Visionary botanicals- plants for raising consciousness and accessing higher perspective
•Connecting with future dreams and visions of the future ancestors
•The seeds we are planting as guardians of the garden
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.
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’ll start with a round-robin reading on Metaformic Theory from Judy Grahn’s dissertation (pages 8-20: Are Goddesses Metaformic Constructs? An Application of Metaformic Theory to Menarche Celebrations and Goddess Rituals of Kerala and Contagious States in South India). We’ll follow that with a discussion to unpack Metaformic theory. We’ll close with an ending circle asking How does this enhance or apply to the work we do? To our parenting? To our life?
Come, let’s eat, drink and learn together! All are welcome to this course that introduces Jewish cultural plant uses. We’ll experience food as medicine, tasting and learning, focusing on dill, parsley, onion and garlic, as we make a vegetarian matzo ball soup together. Then we’ll make a ‘glessele tea’, learning why Maimonides (12th century Jewish sage) so prized ‘chamomile water’, as well as a modern understanding of best preparation.
While actively getting healthier together, we’ll learn lots, starting with a foundational overview of the global nature of the Jewish diaspora and its medicines. Generous time allotted for questions and discussion. We’ll explore the idea of ethnobotany itself, learn some of many sources for further exploration, and a bibliography will be provided. Please bring your containers for eating and drinking.
As we continue our journey, we encounter the concept of accepting the bitter along with the sweet, and finding the sweet amidst the bitter, throughout Jewish texts across time/space. One physical manifestation of this idea is the oxymel, a mixture of vinegar and honey, infused with medicinal herbs.
In this hands-on class we’ll learn about a handful of herbs used in Jewish ethnobotany, and then, each according to her need, we will select herbs and try two simple methods of making oxymels. Once we’ve made those medicines, we’ll get a taste of a few traditional syrups, along with recipes, lore, and general schmoozing. Note, be prepared to care for your oxymels in (provided) small glass jars for two weeks before beginning to use.
If you are a lover of plants, and feel a deep connection with nature, you have no doubt stumbled upon a plant that gave you a sense of remembrance. Or maybe you felt the plant speak to you. In this class, we’ll gain insight on ways to connect with plants through an intuitive and natural way - the way of knowing. In this class, we will explore the ways in which plants can, and do, communicate, and how to deepen that intuitive connection.
The heart is one of the most, if not the most, vital organ in our bodies. In this class we will gain knowledge on herbal plant allies that will help in opening and strengthening the heart. Metaphorically and physically. Join us as we are also guided in internal open heart exercises.
Ayurvedic herbalism includes a unique perspective on how herbs interact and stimulate the tissues, organs & systems of the body. Understanding herbal energetics allow us to deepen our understanding of the herbs and how to choose the right herb for all types of formulations. Understanding herbal energetics goes a step beyond knowing plant actions by including predominate elements, taste, and digestive effect. We will cover some the energetics of some common foods, herbs, and plants.
In this class we’ll learn the herbal allies and methodologies that support releasing the womb and postpartum care involved in healing. Including the whole-body holistic view of supporting the heart and mind, to preparing the womb for release and follow up care. We’ll look at various ways to integrate support, covering the range medicalized procedures to spontaneous releases. We will discuss various ways to support including flower essences, teas, compresses and vaginal steams.
We will continue. See part 1 for full description.
This is a fun class to learn and explore all the how’s and why’s of V-Steaming, bring all your questions and curiosities! We’ll cover the history of this lovely self-care practice that can be found all over the world. We will move through the Five Blood Mysteries of Woman and the herbs to support each phase with vaginal steaming.
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, Scarlet Sage, and the Berkeley Herbal Center. In this two part class, we will focus on learning about the medicinal plants, foods, preparations 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. Clothing is required for this class.
In part 1:
● We will experience herbal combinations that were commonly used by African Americans.
● We will learn about common ailments and herbal remedies that were prevalent and used at the time.
At this Open Forum class we will be sharing about the value and methods of connecting with your ancestral traditions. In the United States, much has been lost in the melting pot, leaving many feeling disconnected from their ancestral roots. Since people have co-evolved with plant communities, there is great value in understanding where our ancestors are from and digging into learning about those traditions. This can lead us towards groundedness and away from cultural misappropriation. We will also clarify what the meaning of misappropriation is and its relevance to culture and herbal practice. These two cultural plant workers will briefly share their journey and facilitate participants starting their own. Please bring something to write with and on.
Join Xylia, herbalist, educator, transition doula, & harm reductionist with Carrie Hamilton, substance use coordinator & counselor for Homeless Prenatal Program, in a communal conversation on herbs, substance use & harm reduction. Herbalism & Harm Reduction have a symbiotic sisterhood that supports education, de-stigmatization, & meeting the individual where they are at. These are key aspects in keeping our communities safe & reducing overdose. We will be discussing ways to support through the Harm Reduction principles & the herbal allies we can use to support the vitality of our community. The space is open for us as an herbal community to hold conversation & support one another in building a safer & more compassionate space for those of us & our loved ones who use substances.
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.
Curious about poi spinning? Have you ever seen fire dancing? Poi spinning is good introduction to flow arts. Join poi-teacher Loreta Flemingaite to learn and master the fundamental moves and transitions of poi! Move your body while enriching your mind!
Poi spinning is a beautiful art. If you ever wanted to try this, then this is your chance. Or maybe you already know some of the moves and want to improve it, this is a class for you too. We will cover the basics, turns, transitions, stalls and other techniques. We will have some sets of poi to play with.
Mass media and main stream culture often give the impression that women and girls can’t protect themselves. This is not true! It’s our basic nature to be able to do so and we can learn how to be the most effective. In this class we’ll learn basic principles and practices to keep ourselves safe in emergency situations. We’ll practice getting support if we’ve gone through a scary situation, so our challenges can be transformed into wisdom resources and community healing. Let’s prepare for what may come our way and grow our courage together!
Here’s an invitation to try on ways to be emotionally strong and compassionate, both with ourselves and others. We’ll explore Aikido energy moves and the emerging science of Positive Neuro-plasticity. Come learn simple practices that can make a big difference right away. Candid, confidential conversation will deepen the relevance of what we’re learning. Take this unique opportunity to be with other young women in safe, creative circle. Our supportive Symposium community is the ideal environment for growing into our most radiant, life-affirming power.
We will start with a brief overview of Metaformic Theory: how menstruation created the world. Then we’ll drum and do some body art activities, playing in the realm of our ancient ancestresses and how they used rhythm and ritual to build an abstract world of symbols and communication. We’ll make rhythmic sounds and use them as rudimentary communication, and we’ll draw on our bodies, using our skin as our billboards.
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.
Hey Midkids! Come join Diem Amore and her grandmother Copperwoman and create with various sizes, shapes and colors of beads. We will make a necklace, bracelet, barrette or whatever we dream up with the materials provided. There will be fishing line, magnetic clasps and crimps to finish off our creations.
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.
Let's have some fun putting our hands in soft wet earth. We will make all sorts for wondrous things, like animals, people, bowls, wherever our imagination takes us. We will have tools and learn simple techniques to help us make our creations.
Curious about poi spinning? Have you ever seen fire dancing? Poi spinning is good introduction to flow arts. If you ever wanted to try it, this is a class for you. Or if you already know some moves, you can learn more tricks. Come and learn a short dance that we can perform during talent show .We will have sets of poi to play with.
Express your awesome powers in movement: shining like a star, sitting like a mountain, rolling like a river, floating like a butterfly, leaping like an antelope and more..! Aikido is the martial art of following nature’s way.
Let’s play with fun hands-on moves from the martial art of Aikido, following the ways of Nature. We’ll explore how to strengthen your Center and return to Center when you feel off. Learn surprising ways the energy of an attack can be transformed into Connection. Join the energy of Nature and feel it’s power moving you.
We will start out our weekend getting to know each other with some fun games that will include awareness, sneaking, running, hiding, and listening.You are welcome to come for the whole time, or drop in and out as you want, however we may move to different terrain after the first few games.
Who could live without string or rope? Cordage making is a fun and ancient skill from around the world. We'll learn and practice different methods of twisting string from various natural fibers, and we can take home what we. make. If there's time and interest, we may also learn some knot tying or make some beads for our cordage.
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
loving compassion meditation
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!
1. Beginning Basket Weaving - Katrina Weaver
2. Energetic Hygiene: Retrieving Vibrancy and Integrity of the Soul all levels - Francisca Santibanez
3. Lymphatic Breast Health all levels - DeAnna Batdorff
4. Plantcestral Medicine: Plant Wisdom for Healing Our Lines and Our Lives all levels - Francisca Santibanez