Friday, September 21, 2018

Birthing Herbs Workshop

On October 18 from 5-9 pm I will be presenting a Birthing Herbs Workshop.

I have been using medicinal herbs for over forty years, and I would like to introduce some of my best herbal friends to you and encourage you to make your own. If you're interested in using more herbal remedies either for yourself, for your families, or with your clients, this is the place to start learning about how to approach these powerful plants. I presented this workshop at the Birth and Beyond workshop a few years ago, and everyone enjoyed it.

Herbs and Beyond!

burdock medicinal herb

Here are some questions we will have a look at:

What do herbs do?
How do we harvest herbs?
How to process herbs
Which herb should you use?

Here is a taste of my technique, and an introduction to my favourite herb, St Johns Wort or Hypericum perforatum. I was first introduced to this lovely but common plant by a peasant woman in rural Italy. She told me it was good for small abrasions, back in the day when I had four small boys running around. It's a lovely, versatile, powerful friend.

In this Birthing Herbs Workshop we will mostly be learning about how to approach the world of medicinal herbs and how to start using them with the respect and familiarity they deserve. What is your relationship to herbal plants? Do you love plants? How do you relate to lavender? will be some of the weirder questions we will ask each other.

We will meet on Thursday Oct 18th at 5pm at Caffe della Pace. Cost is $25 per person.

This workshop is open to all.

Nike and Fearlessness

Fearlessness, Nike, and victory are just names, and what's in a name? I have a couple of names, as did Toni Morrison, and my story is as accidental but full of emotion as hers. Actually, I named myself a few times over my 62 years but one name that has stuck has been Niki, short for Nicola, based on the word Nike, which as everyone knows is a popular running shoe with some odd political opinions.

According to (and most Classics scholars), Nike was the goddess of victory in Greek mythology, depicted as having wings, hence her alternative name "Winged Goddess". She would fly above the battlefields and champion the winners. She may be the daughter of Ares, who was the god of war. A tough chick. Being a Goddess, she didn't worry too much about getting old.

Getting Old

Turning sixty can be a big deal for people. In our society, we can feel like our lives are over. Younger people don't respect us. Our jobs may have become useless or boring. We can gaze upon a flat future full of medication, mediation, monotony. Our dogs die. Our kids leave town, and come back hardly ever.

Ya, well, that wasn't me. I turned 62 this past summer and I still have some kick in me. I'm channeling when I was fourteen and hiking in the Rockies on my own. If all else fails, I can always go back to being a doula and charging an exorbitant amount to provide people with the kind of compassion their mums or their aunties would've given them in a better day and age. I can head up to my mountain hideaway and live off mushrooms and wild strawberries. Or I could move to Rome and do private prenatal classes in English. Then again, I could just stay here in the 'burbs and live off my pension. Either way, one has to capture that fearlessness in life that gives you a charge, that element of surprise that can light a fire under your butt.

My Great Aunt Tillie lost her fiance in the Great War, and never married. She and her brother lived out their lives in Hackney, in a small flat. She was an armchair revolutionary. "To the barricades!" she would yell with her fist in the air.

Can you be a fearless charioteer in your own life? What is something you've done this week that makes you proud, that lights that fire? I'd love to hear from y'all! #fearless #Nike