I’ve been taking an online introduction to herbalism. I’ve attempted this through other online schools before, only to drop out because the approaches were wacky. This one worked really well for me. It’s called EARTH, and it is part of a series of classes offered by Carolyn Elliott. For this class, Annie Fox and Crystal Woodling were our instructors.
Today, on the Equinox, we received our last lesson. I tore into it and pored over it. And I had to keep the phrase in mind: “Don’t be sad that it’s over. Be glad that it happened.”
I could take the time to edit what I posted in gratitude to the class’s Facebook group, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to do a direct copy and paste, and look for some key photos from the stuff I did throughout the class.
Because I thought you’d like to see me happy, for once.
Here is said FB group post:
At the risk of sounding like a bumbling idiot or a hopeless fangirl, I’m going to post this LONG brain dump here, anyway.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you Annie, Crystal, and Carolyn.
(I don’t know if anyone here knows me well enough, but I’m not one to gush with gratitude unless I absolutely mean it. So know that this is genuine.)
You all put this information into a way in which I feel I could truly grasp a firm foundation of plant medicine, and, more broadly, a different way of thinking. I knew I was in for something when the beginning of our EARTH lessons, it was said that we could learn a lot from plants in the way that they just exist. They simply ARE. And from their existence comes great medicine. That in and of itself is a tremendous lesson.
Then came the lessons learned from the plants themselves. I hadn’t realized how deep that wisdom would run until I was knee-deep in marshmallow cooling and healing so that Tulsi and Calendula could warm and brighten so that Dandelion could do some spring cleaning. And those are summaries that just scratch the surface.
Fun fact: I have been intrigued with alchemy for at least 20 years, but, until the past couple of years, it was a rather shallow infatuation. I looked at original sources, pored over books and websites with symbols and interpretations, joined (and left) a Yahoo alchemy group. There seemed to be something missing, and the information as well as many takes on them seemed stale and not quite fitting for life as I understood it.
INFLUENCE was the beginning to change that. The alchemy lesson made so much sense to me and the info presented in EARTH just took it up a few notches. I know this last lesson pointed out that the info presented is just the beginning, but I am oh-so-grateful that it is giving me the kind of foundation, understanding, and outlook with which I can go forward.
I began to tear up when I was working through the lesson and got to Rubedo, particularly this:
“We can know when we have accomplished the aims of Rubedo when we feel fully genuine and alive. When we feel a profound and vital connection to the processes of nature. When fully coagulated and incarnated, we feel a deep, palpable sense of love and joy that pervades our work, as well as a respect for the cycles of birth and death.”
OMGYAAAS THIS THIS THIS! I have friends who have rolled their eyes at me when I expressed frustration about not figuring out how I fit into this world, that I don’t feel like I found a real purpose, that I seem to be missing some sense of joy in life, and so many of them respond with things like “Purpose isn’t real,” or “Life can’t all be wondrous rainbow-farting unicorns.” Yeah, I get it…life isn’t fair, and we all need to chomp down our share of shit sandwiches, but…there should be some genuine hope? Joy? Purpose? Synchronous harmony buzzing through life? I’ve seen a person or two embody this before these classes and I’ve seen so many more since then. It gives me hope.
And ending with this:
“We encourage each of you to carry this tradition forward with your unique beauty and genius, trust in your intuition, listen to your body, and pay close attention to the language of the plants. We are the alchemists now.”
I’m really going to miss the new lessons in this class, but I am so, so thankful for having experienced it.
Much gratitude to you all.