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Class Descriptions Session 1 • May 16-19, 2008

Descriptions 2008: Session 1Session 2Session 3

ChoQosh Auh'ho'oh
Cho’Qosh is a Native American Elder of the Chumash and Seneca Native Tribes. She was mentored by Chief Kickmovi of the Oraiki Hopi Nations and was asked to pass on the sacred stories of the Hopi Prophecy and to teach “Eleventh Hour Tools for the Spiritual Warriors.” For many years she lived off the land in the Canadian wilderness and learned the healing gifts of the plants for food and medicines. ChoQosh has also taught at U.C. Berkley, Cabrillo College, & Monterey Peninsula College. She lives in Santa Rosa, CA.

1. The Ancient Tsalagi Dance of Life: A Moving Meditation of Seven Points and Nine Rounds of Balancing and Empowerment  (all levels)

Attunement for Mind, Body and Spirit. Ancient Native American moving meditation embodying the power of the Four Directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky, “Giving and Receiving in Right Relation.” This practice is similar to Tai Chi and Chi Qong. It is seven points of Balancing and Empowerment. Takes one hour of continuous movement in slow motion. This remarkable experience comes from the ancient tradition of the Etowa Band of the Tsalagi/Cherokee. Released to the world by Dhyanni Ywahoo (Voice of the Ancestors-Shambala Press) as part of a prophecy that concerns us all. Wear very loose flexible clothing.

2. The Kitchen Witch’s Romp Through the Pantry or What an Herbalist Can Do When the Weather Is Too Rainy To Go Outside  (all levels)

It's all there in your fridge and cupboards! Life saving treatments, first aid wonders, and a grand assortment of hair and skin conditioners and divine beauty aids. Bring pen and paper and be prepared to learn and share what our Great GrandMothers always knew. This class promises to be a Good Brew!


Trinity Ava
The language of plants has inspired Trinity since childhood. With over 10 years experience teaching about traditional herbal medicine, she provides a synergy of Western herbalism, Ayurvedic principles and clinical experience to her teaching. Trinity works internationally to support organic farmers and wild crafters. She is currently the director of education for a small company, teaches at CSHS, Bastyr University and offers herbal business consulting.

1. The Business of Herbalism  (all levels)

You have an herbal business, are planning to start your one, or offer herbal consultations. This seminar is intended to walk you through the many phases of growing a business in the natural products industry or enhancing a smaller local business. Topics include; using your website to expand your herbal business, marketing to new customers, strategic planning of growth, DSHEA compliance and the FDA standards for legal structure and function claims, utilizing herbal associations such as AHPA (American Herbal Products Association).

2.Sustainable Herbalism—A Tour of India, a slideshow
(all levels)

Take a visual and sensory journey to India! We will discuss the current uses of Ayurvedic formulation strategies (the combining of herbs), view the growth of organic and fair trade agriculture, and experience some of the most beloved herbs from India; Tulsi (holy basil), Turmeric, Shatavri, Ashwagandha and many more!


Francoise Bourzat
Francoise has been a shamanic guide since 1990. She is also a mother, gardener, artist and beekeeper. For the last 15 years Francoise has been bringing women together in the wilderness to share her relationship with Nature. She has held gatherings in the forests of California and in the Negev desert of Israel. For the last 10 years she has also been taking groups to Mexico to work with native healers, and to share her knowledge and experience of the Sacred Plants.

1. Altar building/ Earth offering (all levels)

When we are present with Earth’s abundance and we tune in to her creative power, we find in ourselves unique ways to express our connection with Her. This expression brings nourishment to the soul and takes us closer to the Spirits of Nature. In this class, each participant will experience an immediate relationship with Nature; through touching, seeing, smelling and tasting Nature’s many gifts like twigs, flowers, stones, leaves are revealed and felt.

As part of this class, each woman will create a personal earth altar as an expression of her relationship with Gaia.

2. Group Altar Building all levels

We will expand on the previous class. In a quiet group setting, we will create together an altar, by gathering materials from the surroundings. This collective offering becomes an expression of harmony and collaboration amongst women and our Mother Earth. This class is especially meaningful for mothers and daughters. It is a sharing of a sacred ritual to the Great Mother.

3. Rattle Making/Sounding Her Sounds, Part 1  (all levels)

For thousands of years, throughout the world, rattles have been used to induce other states of consciousness, to create rhythms to sacred chants and dances. In this class we will create rattles using seaweeds, driftwood, seedpods, sand and different grains. We will use natural pigments to paint sacred patterns on them. Each woman will create her rattle to express her unique sounds and vibrations. We will also practice different ways to use our rattles.


Eden Jamila Clearbrook

1. Intensive: Weaving Peace Into the Fabric of Our Lives

2. The Vital and Essential Place of Tonic Herbs in Every Wisewoman's Medicine Chest: Starring Our Beloved Stingng Nettles, Mullien, Oats, Hawthorne Berries, Milkthistle, and Blue Elderberry Blossoms (Beginning/Intermediate)
In this class we will introduce these Essential Botanicals of the Pharmacopeia. They rank at the TOP of the LIST of what is viewed as MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS, YEAR AFTER YEAR, at the Garden of Eden Organic Herbal Apothecary in Point Reyes Station, CA. Eden will share her knowing of these PRECIOUS BOTANICALS, some WILD and others CULTIVATED.


Leslie Drew & Amber Crockett Young

Leslie Drew is a midwife and has four grown children. She lives with horses, goats, hens, roosters, dogs, and cats, and has been an avid gardener for over 35 years. She has always been interested in natural health, including natural foods, herbs, homeopathy, and all self-care. Her own KIDS (both goats and human) led her to the path of midwifery and ultimately to the Yoniverse!

Amber Crockett Young is a mama, a lover, a friend, an artist, a healer of friends and family and a life dancer. She is studying midwifery and the care of wymen and she has a life long love of herbs and the healing arts both seen and energetic.

1. INTENSIVE: Healing the Yoniverse with Ancient Technology & Modern Wisdom (all levels)

Natural Childbirth is in the face of technological takeover and control – this class will open with a short and humorous one-act play about birth. We will explore homebirth and modern technologically managed birth. We will speak to choosing caregivers, locations, statistics, drugs, herbs, nutrition, fears, myths and realities. In short, the Yoniverse.

2. Exploring Your Yoniverse (beginning/intermediate)

A safe and intimate exploration of our own yoniverse. We will learn how to self-insert a speculum and view our own cervix. Come with a hand mirror, if you have one, a flashlight, towel or blanket and a clean body. Class limited to 25 participants.


Samantha Ford, CMT, RMT, CHCT
Samantha is a Certified MAM (Mayan Abdominal Massage) Practitioner, Certified Self Care Instructor, Certified Herbal Consultant and Teacher, Certified Reiki Master Teacher, Infant Massage Instructor, and Certified Hospice Volunteer.

1. INTENSIVE: Support the Wombmyn in YOU! Embracing Breasts & Bellies (all levels)

This class is intended to address common symptoms of organ displacement, emotional blockage, and the benefits of lymphatic body brushing, breast massage, and Maya Abdominal Self Care massage. This workshop is intended to prepare the individual to support one SELF in healing and not meant for professional application. This class welcomes wombmyn of all ages—from the maiden to the crone—as this wisdom will benefit her throughout her lifetime.


Kris Freewoman
Kris is the founder and producer of the Rhythm Workout Instructor Training Program.  She was the Master Instructor Trainer for the Northern California ACT Aerobic Certification Training Program for several years. Her African dance fitness program has inspired instructors in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She is the co-producer of the exquisite Goddess Crafts Faire of Sebastopol.  Her wish is to illuminate the power and beauty in everyone woman through the tribal rhythms and movements of "Body Rhythm Goddess."

1. Body Rhythm Goddess, 1 (all levels)

Empower yourself as you connect with your own inner rhythms! Express yourself while enhancing your health through movement! Release tension and stress with Dance and Drumming. Join us for a fusion of African-style dance and rhythmic limbering that re-connects the body to its natural state of health and vitality. This class increases stamina and energy, strengthens the legs and includes core-conditioning. It is fun and exhilarating! Forget about perfection and reach for delight, go barefoot freely, breathe deeply near trees and celebrate your sacredness with Body Rhythm Goddess!

2. Body Rhythm Goddess, 2 (all levels)

This class will repeat


Liisa Korpela

1. Alchemical Herbalism  (all levels)

Green Teachers is a class where we learn about getting in touch with Plants as our teachers. We learn about dreaming, sensing and mediating with the Plants as the primary source for our relationship.

2. Walking Softly With Nature—Ethical Wild-crafting
(all levels)

We all want to harvest in the woods ethically. But what exactly does this mean? This class takes a wider view of what it actually means to be an ethical wild-crafter, the choices that we need to make, the techniques we need to walk in the woods, and how to know if we are successful at our endeavors.

3. Natural Beauty Care/ Spa Day by the river (all levels)

This is an opportunity to lavish our bodies and care for our skin from the plants of nature. An exploration of natural skin care, what to use and not use on your skin, and to experience the wonders of the results firsthand.


Elizabeth Lakin
Elizabeth’s studies in the healing arts have been rich and varied through the years. She began her journey attaining a B.S. in botany. She has since created a flower essence business, graduated from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, and studied Ayurvedic Medicine at the Dhyana Education and Rejuvenation Center. At present, she is brilliantly immersed in the study of homeopathy, in her fourth year at the Institute of Classical Homeopathy in San Francisco. Elizabeth lives in Occidental, CA.

1. INTENSIVE: A Bird’s Eye View of Epidemics Through the Window of Homoepathy  (all levels)

In this class we will go through how to take an acute case, do observations and explain the dynamics of how we view epidemics.

2. Unraveling the Mysteries of Homeopathy (beginning)

An interactive class on cutting through the mysteries and making the art understandable.


Kelly McRee
In 1995 Kelly began her study of natural dyeing at the University of Oregon. Since then she has been experimenting with dyes, teaching courses, and creating and selling plant-dyed goods. She currently works with an independent study charter school in Mt. Shasta. Her business,
Wild Roots, works with herbalists, healers, and ethnobotanists in Central America.

1. INTENSIVE: Plant Dyes (beginning/intermediate)

During this class we will brew dye baths with our plant sisters and each womyn will create a beautiful record of the results. We will experiment with dyeing different fibers and using various mordanting techniques to get a variety of colors from the same dye vat. Each womyn will take home a beautiful array of color samples and some plant-dyed fiber to inspire you to keep experimenting!

see below for mid-kid classes


Lily Mazzarella
Lily is a practicing clinical herbalist. She holds a master’s of science degree from Tai Sophia Institute in Maryland. She currently works as an herbalist at Sonoma County Indian Health Services and practices in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. She also has been doing clinical supervision at the California School of Herbal Studies, as well as teaching advanced courses. Lily lives in Sebastopol, CA.

1. Herbs for Memory and The Mind

2. Nurturing Libido

3. Understanding and Coping With Anxiety


Larissa Montfort
Larissa has been drumming since 1995 with a background in AfroCuban, West African, and Congolese rhythms. She performs locally with Mamayah, accompanies dance classes, and drums for women’s rituals and healing circles. She is currently in a three year drum masters program with Afia Walking Tree, teaching and performing with Spirit Drumz. She lives in Sebastopol, CA

1. Women and the Drum, 1 (all levels)

This class will include drum technique, songs, and the following rhythms:
Heatbeat- Ancestor’s prayer: L.Montfort 
Children’s Song: Afia Walking Tree
March on Freedom/Walking the Herbalist Way: Afia Walking Tree/ L. Montfort
Lamban: Traditional West African rhythm
Jesse Malombo: Congolese rhythm
Ye Ye: Afia Walking Tree
Strength and Courage: Afia Walking Tree

2. Women and the Drum, 2 (all levels)

This class will repeat part 1


Claire Ossenbeck
Claire has been a flower and plant person all her life. Her maternal ancestors grew flowers and made bouquets for the local village festivals in France, as far back as anyone can remember. She has always been both an artist and a gardener. She has been coming to the Symposium for years with her wonderful daughter, Cecilia.

1. Animal Totem and Plant Artwork (all levels)

We all have significant animals and/or plants that come into our lives or dreams to help lead us along our various paths.  They are strong messengers that offer us clues to understanding our challenges, gifts and opportunities. In this class we will choose a totem animal that speaks to us deeply and while focusing on the message, we will create a collage to keep as a reminder of this special creature's wisdom. There will be templates of many of our native animals and critters for your use, or you might want to make your own. Incorporate leafprints into your design to support the fauna. Come see what the creatures wish to share with us! Make a beautiful, lasting piece of artwork for your home, office or altar.

2. Creating Magical Garden Space {with a limited budget}
(all levels)

We will discuss and share simple ways to make an inviting, enjoyable space with one's own personal touch.  Among the subjects covered:  easy ways to create sacred space in our outdoor areas; cross-breeding plants to get wonderful and unique surprises; also sensible tips to ease the workload and promote success with our plants. All gardeners and would-be gardeners welcome.

3. The Luscious Meyer Lemon (all levels)

The Meyer Lemon is the queen of the citrus fruits.  With its refined flavor and winsome aroma, it adds a delicious and incomparable nuance to ordinary lemon recipes, both sweet and savory. In this class you'll learn to make your own yummy Lemon Curd and Preserved Lemons (a tasty and savory staple of Moroccan cooking). Also you'll learn how to make your own alternative to the high-priced Meyer Lemon Olive Oil available in culinary boutiques. When you come and taste all of these goodies, you will no doubt want to plant a meyer lemon tree of your own! 


Bridget Owen
Bridget Owen serves as Sweet Herb Medicinals’ chief herbalist. Her training has been diverse and extensive in the areas of herbal studies and humanities. Her experience and training provide her with a rich working knowledge of the natural and harmonious relationship between people and plants. For over 10 years, she has been rooted to her relationship with plants, people and the planet—learning and growing with the wonders of Nature. She believes herbs keep a grounded foundation allowing energetic branching into wide arenas of interest.

1. Flower Essences for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Children (beginning/intermediate)

Flower essences can be powerful medicine, and two of the best aspects in using flower essence remedies are anyone can easily take them and there are no side affects to their use. Following a brief introduction on how flower essences are made, what they are made of, and the many ways we can administer them, we will discuss the abundance of beneficial uses of Bach & Northern California flower essences for the childbearing years, including infants & children. Then, we will pair up to create a personalized flower essence for each to take home. This is a hands-on workshop that requires no pre-knowledge of f.e.'s.

2. Herbs & Ritual for Heavenly Hair, Scalp & Brain. (intermediate)

This class offers a wide range of herbal health care for keeping locks lovely, the scalp soft, and brain function at its peak. We will discuss how external as well as internal use of herbs can help maintain health & vitalty, improve memory & circulation as well as accentuate natural beauty for your whole self beginning with the upper region of your body. We will discuss ways to ritualize the importance of breath. There will be a lot of shared recipes for you to make at home and pointers for creating ritual in your home. This class is designed for a person with some herbal understanding/ background and some anatomy & physiology knowledge; content discussed covers use of herbal remedies & how the brain works.

3. Herb Walk


Ruth Schlesinger, M.S., L.Ac
Ruth is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who specializes in fertility, problems during pregnancy and the post-partum period and menopause. She especially enjoys working with someone from fertility challenges to pregnancy, supporting her at her birth if possible and working with her in the post-partum period.

1.Using Herbal Medicine and Charting to Optimize Fertility, Part 1 (beginning)

The class will start with an overview of physiologically what happens when we enter our fertility window and we will learn how to chart our cycle to be clear about when our fertility window opens. Learn about Chinese and western herbs to aid in preparing for pregnancy.

2. Using Herbal Medicine and Charting to Optimize Fertility, Part 2 (beginning)

We will continue

3. Using Chinese Herbs and Nutrition to Avoid and Dissolve Abdominal and Uterine Cysts and Fibroids,
Part 1 (beginning)

There are various formulae and methods as well as dietary choices that can help prevent and break up uterine masses. There will be an overview of various masses followed by discussion of herbal treatment and nutritional support.

4. Using Chinese Herbs and Nutrition to Avoid and Dissolve Abdominal and Uterine Cysts and Fibroids,
Part 2 (beginning)

We will continue


Michelle Vesser
Michelle’s love of plants, earth wisdom and food as medicine has naturally guided her into the world of herbalism and plant spirit medicine. Since 1986 she has been a Biointensive organic food grower in the U.S. and abroad. Michelle gardens and teaches at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. She lives in Occidental, CA.

1. Dr. Weston A. Price—The Charles Darwin of Nutrition: An Overview of this 1930’s Dentist and His Extraordinary Adventures Into Health and Healing Foods (all levels)

This is an introduction and overview of the work Weston Price and his wife did in the early 30’s looking into why we have tooth decay.  Because there were no controls in this country, he began traveling all over the world documenting people still living in traditional way, their health, their diets, and of course their teeth.  He also documented what happened to these same people after they were introduced to the western diet of white flour, sugar, and preserves.  Even more telling is what happened to the bodies and health the next generation.  It sheds light on the origins of degenerative diseases and what we can do to turn this around.

2. Meeting The Spirit and Medicine of Plants (all levels)

It is a great gift to take the time and really meet the spirit of a plant and ask to begin a relationship with them. The healing potential is instantly magnified. It is always amazing what gifts continue to manifest, as you meet and work with plant in this way.  Michelle will cover the concepts of Nature spirits, Divas, and Elementals and share her own experience with Plant Spirit Medicine. We will take time with the surrounding plants. There will also be opportunities to draw the plants we are working with if someone feels inclined.

3. There Is More To “Weeds” Than Meet The Eye (beginning)

This is geared toward beginning herbalists and gardeners alike. It is a way to become acquainted with those plants that are often referred to as “Weeds” in our gardens and neighborhoods. Many of these plants are our greatest ally’s in our medicine pouches and in the kitchen. Weeds in the past were also the means to know our land and soil as they act as indicators for us.  You can also utilize weeds as dynamic accumulators for the compost pile or to make herbal infusions for the garden. Michelle will bring a variety of weeds in glass jars and discuss their uses and magical/medicinal qualities.

Stargazer Li
Cheryl “Li” Walter, Ph. D. has been watching the stars, constellations, and planets for over seven years. She uses a telescope with an equatorial mount and clock drive to make planetary essences that combine the essences of planets, trees, and rocks. She is the creator of the Keeping Time Calendar Book blending Mayan Time Cycles with Astrology and Astronomy. She lives in Sebastopol, CA.

1. Stargazing With Li, 1 (all levels)

Come gaze at the stars sparkling in the night sky. Learn to find your way around the sky and identify the spring constellations and brightest stars, and hear the stories associated with them. Li uses a greenlaser pointer to trace the constellations that makes it easy for everyone to see exactly which stars we’re looking at. Bring a blanket or sleeping bag for warmth and comfort.

2. Stargazing With Li, 2 (all levels)

The class repeats.


High Crone Jill 

1. Crone Health: Loving Life After Menopause
The Spirit Side of Being a Crone, Part 1

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.

2. The Spirit Side of Being a Crone, Part 2

We will continue and we will discuss our plans for the Maiden's Rites of Passage and our own Crone's Honoring Ritual.

3. Honoring the Loss of an Unborn Child

Join us for a quiet honoring of the loss of an unborn child through miscarriage or abortion.



Terri Jensen
Terri is a co-founder and a co-organizer of the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium. She loves workin’ and playin’ with children and has done so in lots and lots of ways for more than 25 years. She runs a school garden in Sebastopol, CA where she lives.

1. TBA


Jennipher Lommen
A little more than ten years ago, Jennipher spent some time running an herb nursery in Virginia. It was then that she began playing with plant dye and other fiber arts. Now as a home school mom, she gets plenty of practice making lovely things with her three children and their friends.

1. Plant Dye Hankies

In this class, we will learn a little about some plants that yield color onto fiber and hold fast. We will talk briefly about how plant dye works, what mordants are, how to stay safe when working with plant dye and how different fibers will absorb plant dye differently. The majority of the class will consist of hands on work with at least three different plant dye pots. Everyone will get a silk hankie to dye and take away.

2. Herbal Eye Pillows

This class will require using needles and thread. Using plant-dyed silk hankies, wool felt and fragrant herbs, we will each make a little pillow that can be a gift or something to keep for personal relaxation. Class size limited to 20.

3. Simple Doll Making

The basic materials for these dolls are wool roving and silk. We will make these simple dolls without any sewing. We can then make use of many different herbal accessories and our creativity to embellish our dolls. Class size limited to 25.


Kelly McRee (see bio above)

1. Fairy-Tale Creatures for Mid-kids

Come and play with plant-dyed wool and fibers and create your own creature. What will you make?  Will it be an animal, a fairy, a gnome, a plant? Let your imagination help you decide!

2. Yarn Creations for Mid-kids

During this class we’ll play and create with plant-dyed yarn! Can you make a witch’s broom? Or a cat’s cradle? We’ll play a few games together and create something beautiful with yarn and found natural objects to take home! You might make a yarn painting, a wand, a medicine pouch, or a belt.


Sedona Ruiz
Sedona has always connected with movement as a spiritual practice. After a lifetime of studying various forms of dance, yoga and performance art she found Sacred Belly Dance to be her true passion. She performs all over the West Coast and is deeply honored to be one of the women sharing this Ancient art with the community. She also teaches this Sacred and Healing Dance to women of all ages in the Portland area.

1. Belly Dance for Mid Kids, ages 7-11

Shimmy, Shimmy Shake, Shake, Shake, Now Move Your Belly Like a Snake! We will use Belly Dance as our inspiration for this fun, creative movement class. But first we must look the part, so wear something you like, Sedona will provide sparkles, bindis and hip scarves.


Young Women

Terri Jensen (see bio above)

1. Dragon-Time for Newly Bleeding Young Women

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 chat, play a game, 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.


Sedona Ruiz (see bio above)

1. Belly Dance for Young Women, ages 12-19

For thousand of years young women have experienced the healing and transformative powers of Belly Dance. Now it’s your turn. In this class we will connect with the Sacred and Ancient roots of the dance along with learning fun isolations, steps and combos. Let’s gather with our sisters and SHAKE IT UP!!!!


Click the teachers name to see her class descriptions.