Shifting the Paradigm – 

Pattern Language of Plant Medicine

Energetic Herbalism: Understanding Pattern Language & Plant Intelligence
 We are living in a fast-paced world where there is a great need for shifting the paradigm. The plant world can help us do that very well, by integrating local, wild and native plants that grow all around us into our lives. Their form of communication is the chemistry – the nutrients that move and circulate through the plant. This is what shifts an individual when the individual takes the right plant at the right moment in time. The energetic system of herbal medicine and energetics is pretty much universal throughout the world’s great systems of herbal medicine. Whether you’re talking about Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani-Tibb, Campo from Japan, Jammu from Indonesia, Cherokee Medicine, whatever tradition we’re talking about, there’s usually a system of energetics and this is how you match the herb to the person. Hippocrates said more than 2000 years ago, it’s more important to know the person that has the disease than the disease the person has. He was right. And so, what you get with a lot of American herbal medicine up until relatively recently, is “this herb’s good for a headache”, “this herb’s good for depression”.One … Read more

Spiritual Ecology, Rewilding & Permaculture

What is Spiritual Ecology in Action? Spiritual Ecology…is about sticking our hands in the soil – feeling into the roots of social and environmental issues – cultivating a deeper relationship with life that reflects the interconnectedness of all life. The Four Principles of Spiritual Ecology: Interconnectedness Reverence for Nature Stewardship Service How can these principles be rooted in our lives and what are the opportunities and challenges taking these principles into the environmental, social and spiritual movements? What are Rewilding and Permaculture? Rewilding is an ecological awareness idea that is gradually gaining momentum within environmental circles, and it bears significant comparison with some of permaculture’s guiding principles. Permaculture emphasizes the preservation of natural ecosystems and making efforts to repair ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity. Rewilding also proposes people taking a proactive approach to assist natural ecosystems to retain their former diversity and abundance – which have been curtailed by human encroachment on the land. Wilderness management as it is currently practiced seeks to somehow contain or suppress natural processes or managing the environment for the benefit of a single species, rewinding proposes letting nature re-find its own balance – in many ways letting the land turned back … Read more

The Regenerative Power of Native Plants

Bioregional herbalism originates from the concept that a truly wholistic style of regenerative medicine needs to draw on accessible natural resources within an individual’s local area. This means that the herbs you take do not make extra stress of resources in terms of manufacture and transportation. Many traditional herbal educators and practitioners believe that any health imbalance is best treated within the same environment where the illness originated. Bioregional herbalism is ecological herbalism at its core. I consider this an essential element in supporting the paradigm shift towards a regenerative future. This is a novel notion since we are used to seeing national and even international studies recommending a specific herb as the cure-all for a specific disease, even if that herb grows best only in a narrow corner of the globe. Bioregional herbalism encourages people to learn which herbal healing resources grow naturally in their specific area and to draw on those resources. One example of this, if you had a fungal infection popular herbalism you may decide to reach for Tea Tree Oil that comes from Australia. What resources does it take to bottle that herb and transport it to me? Now wisdom tells us that the people … Read more

Becoming a Community Herbalist

Just as the flowers grow from the earth, so the remedy grows in the hands of the physician. The remedy is nothing but a seed that must develop into that which is destined to be. ~Paracelsus The Path of the Herbalist Community herbalists are deeply immersed in the plant community. They know which native or local wild plants can help and which ones are to be avoided. A community herbalist uses more of a folk or traditional approach, which means a deeper heartfelt approach and an emphasis on the interconnection between the plants, the individual, and the movement of the five elements in the environment. A community herbalist is predominantly concerned in the people, the plants, the natural landscape. This speaks of a healing path with heart. Community herbalists look more at the energetics of herbs – whether they’re warming you or cooling you down, whether they’re moistening or drying you. Traditionally, the community herbalist was the shaman, someone in tune not only with the plants and body, but also with the energies of the bodies, places and plants. Their healing practices involved considerably more than the traditional, allopathic “treat the symptom” approach. Personally and professionally, my viewpoint of healing has always been … Read more

The Living Centre: Permaculture in Canada

Spirit of the Earth, The Living Centre & Living Arts Institute, founded in 1983, is an eco-spiritual education sanctuary in the countryside near London, Ontario. The centre includes forest gardens, herb and vegetable g ardens, orchards, and an edible medicine trail that are all grown veganically. The Living Centre is also the first place in North America to offer courses in veganic forest gardening and plant-based permaculture design. The founders have a far-reaching vision of sustainability, natural beauty and responsibility to future generations, and have worked toward creating a centre that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Founder Shantree Kacera, D.N., Ph.D., the grandson of an herbalist and an avid gardener since his childhood, purchased the land as a young man in a desire to return to nature. Shantree began to grow garlic using vegan, organic techniques, and at one point was the largest distributor of organic garlic in Ontario and Quebec. After losing the majority of the garlic one year, due to faulty storage by a distributor, Shantree saw the precarious nature of monoculture, that one factor can wipe out a year’s harvest. He began to see the value of imitating nature, creating biodiverse systems for food production … Read more

Shifting the Paradigm – 

Pattern Language of Plant Medicine

Energetic Herbalism: Understanding Pattern Language & Plant Intelligence We are living in a fast paced world where there is a great need for shifting the paradigm. The plant world can help us do that very well, by integrating local, wild and native plants that grow all around us into our lives. Their form of communication is the chemistry – the nutrients that move and circulate through the plant. This is what shifts an individual when the individual takes the right plant at the right moment in time. The energetic system of herbal medicine and energetics is pretty much universal throughout the world’s great systems of herbal medicine. Whether you’re talking about Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani-Tibb, Campo from Japan, Jamu from Indonesia, Cherokee Medicine, whatever tradition we’re talking about, there’s usually a system of energetics and this is how you match the herb to the person. 
Hippocrates said more than 2000 years ago, it’s more important to know the person that has the disease than the disease the person has. He was right. And so, what you get with a lot of American herbal medicine up until relatively recently, is “this herb’s good for a headache”, “this herb’s good for … Read more

The Regenerative Power of Native Plants

Bioregional herbalism originates from the concept that a truly wholistic style of regenerative medicine needs to draw on accessible natural resources within an individual’s local area. This means that the herbs you take do not make extra stress of resources in terms of manufacture and transportation. Many traditional herbal educators and practitioners believe that any health imbalance is best treated within the same environment where the illness originated. Bioregional herbalism is ecological herbalism at its core. I consider this an essential element in supporting the paradigm shift towards a regenerative future. This is a novel notion since we are used to seeing national and even international studies recommending a specific herb as the cure-all for a specific disease, even if that herb grows best only in a narrow corner of the globe. Bioregional herbalism encourages people to learn which herbal healing resources grow naturally in their specific area and to draw on those resources. One example of this, if you had a fungal infection popular herbalism you may decide to reach for Tea Tree Oil that comes from Australia. What resources does it take to bottle that herb and transport it to me? Now wisdom tells us that the people … Read more