Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sacred Gaia Herbal Apprenticeship

Honoring the Wild Wisdom of Nature, within and without 



Have you been craving a spirit-centered relationship with the Earth? Do you want to grow your practical, sacred, and intuitive skills as an herbalist, healer, Shaman? Is your soul calling out to Gaia…and is Gaia calling to your soul? This 12-month Certificate course is open to any individual who feels drawn to cultivating a deep, reciprocal, and joyful relationship with the Green World.

Woven naturally through the Year Wheel, we will:

  • Explore the ways that the season's patterns influence our own journeys.
  • Discover the primary body systems through multiple healing traditions, including Wise Woman, Western herbalism, Native wisdom, Ayurveda, and others.
  • Build our own medicine chests of tinctures, syrups, powders, flower essences, teas, and salves
  • Prepare nourishing foods and drinks including mead, lacto-fermented foods, teas, spices, and wild edibles
  • Assemble a comprehensive materia medica and herbarium of wild and local herbs.
  • Create ritual tools including a pendulum, herbal wisdom oracle deck, Sacred perfume, smudge sticks and medicine pouch.
  • Hone your plant identification and wildcrafting skills
  • Develop your intuition through dowsing, plant communication, sacred journeying
  • Explore archetypal patterns and plant and animal totems
  • Create sacred space and individual and group rituals including building altars, vision boards, creative journaling, and celebrating lunar stages, Solstices and Equinoxes.
Apprenticeship Includes:
  • On-going assignments
  • Skype and phone check-ins
  • Working in Jessica’s in home apothecary

Are you ready to unlock your own Inner Wild Wisdom?

Apprenticeship meets in and around Williston, Vermont on: Sept 26-27, October 24-25, November 15th, November 25th (Skype Circle), December 19-20th, January 23-24th, February 20-21, March19-20, April 9-10, May 21-22, June 4-5, July 16-17, Aug 1-2

Cost: $1200. To hold your space, a deposit of half the tuition is required by Sept 16th unless otherwise agreed, and payment plans are available to those who require them. I offer this program at a low cost with the goal of making this wisdom available to more people. In return, I ask that participants agree to share some of what they learn with others, that the cycle of wellness spreads. This knowledge is our birthright. It is high time we claim it and pass it on.

To apply, email Jessica at or call (802) 578-7931.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

WANTED: Wise Woman's Assistant Position Filled

This is a magical opportunity for an aspiring herbalist, healer, wise woman (or man), or green witch who is seeking a unique work-study position. Flexible, part time hours with opportunity to work toward apprenticeship. Job duties include:

-typing/preparing notes
-compiling recipes
-organizing/inventorying herbs, essential oils, etc.
-blending, labeling, and packaging teas, perfumes, bitters, tinctures, etc.
-designing and creating packaging, labels, etc.
-building wholesale accounts and making deliveries
-writing and posting social media updates
-tending wood path, raised beds, and Sacred Grove (requires clearing/cutting brush, shoveling dirt, snow, compost, etc. Must be able to kneel, trek over uneven paths, use shovels, pruners, etc.)
-wildcrafting, drying, preparing herbs for home use (yours and mine)
-making kombucha, sour kraut, spice blends, extracts, syrups, oxymels, and other real foods
-assisting with vending at shows
-assisting with ceremonies, rituals, and classes (this might look like making sure we have the prepared materials, notes, decorations, etc, assisting with setting up altar, food/teas, greeting guests, organizing as we go, cleaning up afterwards, and tending to a very exhausted and/or elated Wise Woman and priestess post-event)
-talking to (but mostly listening to) plants, mushrooms, etc.
-cleaning, preparing work space, washing dishes, cleaning….did I say cleaning?!

The perfect assistant will be:
-Organized and structured - can you create order out of chaos? The right assistant will thrive on mythic tasks such as separating and organizing unruly piles of herbs into neatly drying baskets or carefully weighed bags.
-Focused yet cheerfully spontaneous - do you both enjoy venturing off the scheduled beaten path to explore something new, and also have the ability to call your (and my) attention back to the original task at hand? Do you take pleasure in Getting Stuff Done AND stopping to smell (and sing to) the roses?
-Accountable - This position requires clear communication and dedication. If you say you’ll show up, show up. If something feels awkward, bring it up. Let me rely on you to be present and grounded when I need to fly, and you can rely on me to be nurturing and supportive as you grow.
-Curious - Can you learn as you go? This is not a structured, apprenticeship, but rather an incredible opportunity to work along-side a skilled, knowledgeable, loving, and usually distracted Wise Woman… time will be given to make sure you understand the concepts behind the tasks, the mechanisms of herbal interactions, etc., but much of your learning will take place through conversations as we work together, recipes and articles we unearth and you catalog, and skills I teach you as they’re needed.
-Self-directed -Can you see tasks that need doing and do them? Are you able to receive direction and run with it independently, but not afraid to ask questions? 
-Creative - Do you just know the world is bigger, brighter, and more magical than most of us can see? Are you willing to expand your awareness and learn to connect with Gaia in ways others might think impossible? Do you love playing with nature, blending new recipes?
-Patient and easy-going - the wise woman in question is often temperamental, usually scattered, and filled with more ADD energy than you can shake a smudge stick at. This is NOT an easy combination to deal with! She is also kind-hearted, generous, and an incredible teacher. Flexibility and clear communication are essential.

Benefits include:
-Access to a wide variety of herbs, spices, essential oils, and an ever-changing collection of really delicious bitters and herbal cocktails
-Attendance at all classes, group ceremonies, Wisdom Circles, and other events.
-Herbal skill building - you will learn how to identify, gather, and prepare herbal foods, remedies, and medicines, including teas, tinctures, oils, smoking blends, etc., what different herbs are useful for and how to intuitively blend them
-Wild/whole food skills - you will learn how to identify, forage, grow, and prepare delicious and healthy foods from nature, including spices, kombucha, sour kraut, natural sodas, bitters, etc.
-Inspiration and support - You will quickly start building your own home apothecary, bar, and kitchen witch foods, making medicines for your friends and families, and healing yourself!
-Personal mentorship and support - You are on a sacred life journey, and part of my job is to act as a guide and mentor, supporting you as you grow and develop your own unique skills and passions! I will teach you, laugh and sing with you, but I will also challenge you to grow and learn in ways that will not always be easy - and it will be up to you to do the work.
-Sacred skill building - I will teach you how to dowse, feel energy in the Earth, communicate with plants and mushrooms, practice sacred journeying and meditation, and many other intuitive, magical, and practical skills. You will come out of this more witchy, grounded, wild, and whole than you ever thought possible, and the blessings you learn will be with you for life. It won’t always be easy, but it will be fun, exciting, and intensely rewarding.

If your soul has been calling out for a chance to live your own fairy tale, then Sister, you may have just manifested yourself a job!

To apply, email and tell me a little bit about yourself, what draws you to the position, and why you believe you are the assistant I’m summoning. Please include a resume and phone number. If called for an interview, you will need to provide 3 letters of reference. Position open until right candidate is found.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We've Moved to Williston, Vermont!

It's true! Vermont is where I began my herbal studies, and I've held a warm spot in my heart for the Green Mountains ever since.

So it's no real surprise that this Winter I finally moved back (husband, cat, sacred sage plant and all)! Of course, the apothecary came too, bundled into rubbermaid bins and glass jars, and somehow nothing spilled or broke, and so we're all here, green folks, two-leggeds, and one very loud four-legged, too, all happily living nine minutes down the road from the same cabin I started this blog from all those years ago.

With seven acres of ferny woods to play in, we're all eagerly awaiting the final frost so we can see who our green neighbors will be! The pine, spruce, birch, and maple are all host to a variety of mushrooms, from turkey tail to tinder conk, and we've crossed paths with owls, deer, coyotes, fisher, ermine, and chipmunk.

As I hiked up the hill to gather pine needles and mushrooms to help fight off a rager of a spring cold, I marveled at the magic that once again brings my own Hero's Journey to the place where I started from, changed but the same, to continue the work I love - teaching, blending Sacred Perfumes, and counseling people on their Sacred Life Journeys. 
Life is good - and the warm weather is almost here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Autumn reflections

Wow… what a year this has been!
The 2014 Sacred Herbalism Apprenticeship ended this month, with a beautiful bonfire ceremony of transformation and prayer, and in a very real way it feels like the end of the year for Blackbird's Daughter Botanicals.
It's a real blessing to feel the energy turning inward in preparation for the coming winter. I know I'm not alone in feeling like the warm weather comes with an endless "to-do" list. From Farmer's Markets and classes to plant gathering and medicine making, the days seemed endlessly full. Add to that a wedding (yes - I got married!), and I can safely say this was the busiest year I've had in long time!
I am so grateful to all of the beautiful beings who participated and guided, dug and gathered, taught and grew and shared with us throughout the past three seasons. And I am especially proud of our graduates, Mitzi and Kensi, who made this the most personal, intimate, and brave group yet. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication to stick with a program this energetically, emotionally, and intellectually intense for eight months straight, and they did it!

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