Opening and Closing Times

NCWHS opens at 12:00pm on Friday, for registration and camp set-up.
NCWHS closes at 2:00pm Monday, Please respect opening and closing times.


When you arrive please check-in at the Registration Table. Here you will receive your wrist band, the Schedule of Events, and you will sign-up for your Community Work shift. If you pre-ordered a Proceedings of the Symposium book you will receive it here. T-shirts and Proceedings Books will also be available for sale at the Registration Table.

Black Oak Ranch

NCWHS will be held at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California, in Mendocino County, about 150 miles north of San Francisco (see directions to the right). This ranch is home to Camp Winnarainbow, a theater arts and circus summer camp for children. The area that is available for our use is well shaded and has two creeks in which to play. The main meeting area is surrounded by eighteen tipis, some of which are available for sleeping ten, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to health department regulations the drinking water at Black Oak is chlorinated. Water filters are available in the tipi circle and near the Wellness Center for everyone's use.


There are 12-14 tipis available for sleeping up to 10, on a first come-first serve basis. If you would like to move into a tipi, find one with an open sleeping mat and claim it as yours for the weekend. Bedding is needed. The tipis are centrally located and are neither quiet nor private. You are also welcome to bring your own tent and set it up pretty much anywhere other than in our communal areas. Vehicle camping is also permitted. Inform the Greeter in the parking area when you arrive and she will direct you to the vehicle camping area. There is a nice trail through the woods into the back of camp from the vehicle camping area.

Community Work

All participants will be asked to volunteer two hours of time to help ensure smooth running of all aspects of the Symposium. These hours may be spent in the kitchen, serving food, in child care, or in the First Aid/Wellness Center. We can offer the Symposium at a reasonable fee only because of our mutual cooperation and work. Thank-you for your full participation. There will be a sign-up board at registration when you arrive.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

If you cancel: If you cancel before May 1st for the Spring Sessions and August 1st for Fall Session, we will refund your full registration minus a $25.00 processing fee. If you need to cancel after this date, you will need to find your own replacement and work out the finances directly with her. No refunds, transfers or credits are available after these dates.

All requests for refunds must be in writing (email is sufficient). No exceptions.  

If we cancel: NCWHS has full intentions of holding each Session rain or shine. However, in the event that we are forced to cancel before May 10th for Spring Sessions or before August 10th for Fall session, we will refund as much of the registration fee as possible, to be determined at that time. If it becomes necessary for us to cancel after these dates we may be unable to refund any of the registration fee.


Nine gourmet vegetarian meals will be served, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Monday. Delicious herbal teas will also be prepared each morning and evening by Julie Rothman of Flower Power Teas. No coffee will be served with meals. Hot water will be available at all times.

Coffee, Chai, and Golden Milk will be available for purchase at the Coffee Cart in the mornings, near the kitchen area.

No snack foods will be provided, bring your own if desired.


Hot showers are always available, hot water is limited. If you use the showers please be conservative with water use and use only bio-degradable soap and shampoo. Only Fragrance-Free soaps and shampoos permitted.
No glass in the shower houses for any reason.

Trash & Recyclables

Please don't leave us yours! If you pack it in, pack it out. Any trash or recyclables left at the Symposium must be hauled out by one of us in the back of our pick-up trucks - and we have plenty to haul out already! So, please, don't leave us more. This also includes moon-time products. If you use disposable products, come prepared to carry them off -site for your own disposal.


Please be aware that there is poor reception at the symposium site. If you need to pay a balance for your registration, please bring cash or a check. You might also want to bring cash for Marketplace as paypal and venmo won't work there.

If you need to charge your device while at the symposium, we suggest that you bring a battery back-up in consideration of the cost of charging everyone's devices. Thank you.

Childcare and Mid Kid Classes

A beautiful Waldorf-inspired childcare is available for potty-trained children during workshop times. Please bring your child to childcare with this form, shoes, bottom clothing (pants or shorts), and a water bottle. Snacks will be provided but feel free to bring your child's favorite snacks also.

All children must be registered to attend NCWHS, regardless of childcare needs.
Mid Kids: Some very special classes will be offered through-out the weekend just for Mid Kids, people ages 7-11.

Wellness Center

First Aid * Bodywork Circle * Crone Corner
This is a warm and nurturing area for herbal first aid, bodywork, and many forms of healing work. It is also home to Crone Corner, where the Wise Ones gather. All are welcome to use this space to offer or receive any form of healing exchange. High Crone Jill will coordinate Crone Corner.


On Sunday afternoon registered participants will be invited to trade or sell their hand-made products. For the afternoon we will shop, sell, trade. chat, visit, tell stories, share music... like the Marketplaces of old. This is a special thyme to honor our own and each other's art and handwork. Only registered participant's handmade items are permitted. Seller's fee is on a donation basis and is greatly appreciated; 10% of sales is recommended. If you have not already done so, please let us know if you will be bringing items for the Marketplace. Note: If you are going to shop, bring CASH as phone reception is insufficient for online transactions.


Since Black Oak has only a small herb garden, Tina Goat of Crimson-Sage Nursery will kindly provide many potted medicinal plants to create an Insta-Garden for our educational benefit. On the last day most of these plants will be available for sale or trade. If you have any potted medicinal plants to add to our Insta-Garden, please bring them along. Be sure to label everything with both the plant's name and your own.

Sophia's Heritage Bookstore

Check out our pick of the best in herbal literature at this 'no-host' self-serve bookstore. Browse at your leisure and leave payment in the can if you would like to purchase something.

Open Forum

We are all teachers! This is a thyme set aside for anyone to offer a workshop, class or discussion group on any topic of interest. There will be a sign-up sheet on the Rainbow Bridge. Open Forum is Sunday from 2:00-3:30 p.m.


Help the Scholarship fund! During the Symposium we will raffle lots of cool donated items to raise money for our Scholarship fund. If you have any great items that you would like to donate, please bring them with you and place them on the raffle table near the Organizer's tipi. All quality items are gratefully accepted. Raffle tickets will be for sale at the Symposium for $1.00. On behalf of all the Scholarship recipients, Thank-you!

Special Workshops and Events

Intensives: Several four-hour Intensives will be offered through-out the weekend, each devoted to one subject of study.


There will also be plenty of Cronetime through-out the weekend. We welcome all Crones' participation in these special Crone Circles and encourage the wearing of bells, so that everyone will know a Wise Crone approaches! Crones, bring something to place on the Crone altar and ceremonial clothing for the Ceremony if you wish.


On Sunday evening we will welcome our newly menstruating maidens into the Circle of Women with a very special Maiden's Rites of Passage Ceremony. Following this we will honor our own Wise Crones in an Honoring the Crones Ceremony. Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in both Ceremonies. Wear fun Ceremonial clothing and for this festive and magical evening.

Get dressed up Grrlz! It's Partytime!

What to Bring

We will camp together among ancient native oaks and firs. Be prepared for weather of all types including warm or hot days and cool nights, or rain.


unless you plan to sleep in a tipi, your vehicle, or you would like to sleep out under the stars
Warm sleeping gear
Personal eating supplies, such as:
plate, bowl, cup, silverware, chopsticks, etc. (NCWHS does not provide these)
Clothes for hot and cold weather
it can be hot in the day and cold at night
Personal items
Water bottle
Note-taking supplies
Sun protection
Time piece such as a sun dial, watch, or small clock
Rain gear


Musical instruments
we hardly see this as optional, though 🙂
Blanket for sitting on the ground
Folding camp chair
Ceremonial clothing for the Sunday evening rituals
we don't really see this as optional either.....
Playful clothing
uh, not too optional either, don't ya think?
Snacks - none are provided
nope not optional either, eh?
Items for the Venus altar
nor this either, actually....
Money or trading items to spend at Marketplace or at Sophia's Heritage Bookstore
and not this either!

CASH for Coffee Cart and Marketplace ~ (no reception for paying with phone!)
that's right, we charge for caffeine

Label Everything: Remember, this is camp. Things can get easily mixed up among so many lively campers!

Do Not Bring

Pets, drugs, alcohol, candles or burning flames of any kind (fire danger is high).
None of these items are permitted anywhere at the Symposium, including the parking areas.

Please Note: Black Oak has requested that we do not use Dr. Bronner's soap anywhere in camp because of the damage caused to the wood finish at the sinks and showers. Thank-you for respecting this.


Check back for info on ride sharing.

Our Schedule

12:00 p.m. Camp Opens
4:00-5:30 p.m. Class Session 1
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Opening Circle
9:00 p.m. Star Gazing

7:00 a.m. Yoga & Morning Movement
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 a.m. Intensive Workshop 1
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class Session 2
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class Session 3
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Open Forum
2:00-3:30 p.m. Children's Talent Show
4:00-5:30 p.m. Class Session 4
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Talent Show 'round the campfire
9:00 p.m. Star Gazing

7:00 a.m. Yoga & Morning Movement
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 a.m. Intensive Workshop 2
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class Session 5
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class Session 6
1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00-4:30 p.m. Marketplace
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Maiden's Rites of Passage Ceremony
7:30 p.m. Crone's Honoring Ceremony
8:30 p.m.-midnight Drumming & Dancing
'round the campfire

7:00 a.m. Yoga & Morning Movement
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 a.m. Intensive Workshop 3
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class Session 7
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class Session 8
1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:00 p.m. Closing Circle

4:00 p.m. NCWHS Closed

Five to six classes take place during each Class session. One to two Intensives may take place during each Intensive session.

Women of Color Rising

Sisters Honoring Sisters 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 led by Holly Calica of Nueva Luna Wellness. And, that work continues. Just as we—as women—have been intentional about creating space for ourselves to come together and heal, in 2023, we came together again to create intentional space for women of color within the Symposium, a safe space within a safe space.

We are excited to continue to deepen our awareness of how we all can best support racial and ethnic diversity and belonging for all members of our community for this year and in the subsequent years to come.

A  deep bow of Gratitude to Aya de Leon, Shereel Washington, Naomi Stein, and Susannah Mackintosh for creating and leading us in this effort.

In our efforts to be more welcoming to women from diverse cultural backgrounds we will do the following.

Session 2 & 3

Have Courageous Conversations around Race, Ethnicity, and Belonging at NCWHS during our Open Forum to which all are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Have classes that are culturally specific and led by Women of Color

Support Women of Color gathering in supportive spaces on the grounds as a way to network and provide support to other Women of Color that are attending

All Sessions

We will hold a class geared for white women titled: Hey White People Let’s Talk About Race.