Conference notesSaturday, September 3rd 2011 @ 3:23 PM
Hello to all ye herbalists and plant lovers. My daughter Gabrielle and I recently returned from the 24th annual New England Women's Herbal Conference. This year it was in a new location at a 90 year old girls camp at Newfound Lake. Camp Wicosuta in Hebron is in my backyard, so this year I went for the first time. Being an energy healer I had yet to study the plants, but over the last few years they have been whispering to me. So off we go to a wonderful, informative, exciting and FUN event. Thank you Rosemary Gladstar for holding the space and creating this incredible, edible gathering of women healers and artists for nearly a quarter of a century.
Of course synchronicity began with setting up the tent and having two old friends, who I didn't know were coming, set up right next to us. We were camped just below the campfire circle. This sacred fire, drum and dance circle was powerful as the women drummed, danced and sang the full moon to the star filled sky on Saturday night. We were later lulled to sleep by the drumming, singing and the mysterious playing of a new instrument called a Hang (pronounced hung). Beauty all around us.
Congrats go to some of our members for participating in the conference. Melissa Morrison delivered a funny and animated story about oak trees, acorns, wasps and relationship. She also taught two classes one on utilizing super-foods, herbs and nutrition to build the body and immune system after intensive treatments for disease. The second one was titled Integrative Therapies for Cancer.
Holly Hayward was teaching about the immune system and preventing disease. She also created a workshop about Botanical & Nutritional Compounds for Cancer Treatment protocols. All of the teachers are highly knowledgeable and experienced. The classes were geared toward seasoned herbalists and there were many classes for beginners like myself, such as the plant walk and Ten Favorite Herbs for Family Health.
Also as part of the gathering Joanne Vollmer was available and giving Maya Abdominal Massage and aromatherapy treatments at the massage oasis area. Carolyn Kelley and In-Joy Organics was in the vendor building with her specialty food, herb, and healing products. Ellen Fine of the Leah Collective was seen enjoying the classes and learning more about alternatives to pesticide products to help educate folks through her foundation. Throughout the event I spotted a few Dacres friends from seasons past, and was happy to catch up with them and remember their smiling faces. You never know who you might see at the New England Women's Herbal Conference.
Audrey Pellegrino and crew of Cornucopia Catering Service prepared all the meals. Audrey sourced her delicious meals from local and organic farmers. We are so fortunate to have available resources in the area. It was yummy, appealing to the eyes, plentiful and met the needs of vegan, vegetarian and meat eaters alike. THANK YOU Audrey and staff, it was so good! I highly recommend her service.
The evening speakers are well known on the national scene and included Brooke Medicine Eagle and Dr. Tireaona Low Dog. It was not to be missed as they both brought us up to date on the continuing integration of herbal and natural healing practices with western medicine and how this relationship will continue to shift toward acceptance of low cost, non-invasive and effective, wise way practices.
Brooke Medicine Eagle is a legendary Earth wisdom teacher, singer, visionary, and catalyst for wholeness. Brooke is dedicated to bringing forth the ancient truths concerning how to live a fully human life in good relationship with the Circle of Life. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, Dr. Lowdog is one of the country’s leading experts on botanical medicine and integrative approaches to health. Tieraona was named by Time magazine as an “Innovator in Alternative Medicine for 2001” and was the recipient of the Martina de la Cruz Medal in 1998 for her work with indigenous people.
To encourage the continuation of the education remembered through the plants there was a Young Woman's Circle (Circle Within a Circle) which introduced young women ages 13 to 17 to each other, the plants, the sweat lodge and the red temple. My daughter Gabrielle was introduced to it this year and she loved making and applying the henna tattoo and natural perfume. There was Kids camp was available so mothers didn't need to leave toddlers to age 12 at home.
The beauty of the location was supreme and the weather cooperated the entire time with warm temperatures and clear skies. The Goddess and the Flora granted us a magical weekend of learning, community and fun. I am already dreaming about next year. Hope to see you there too.