2021 Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference Schedule

Scroll down for workshop descriptions and presenters

Thursday | April 15, 2021

Choose to arrive Thursday and start your retreat early! Enjoy extra time to explore, relax and settle in. Head out on a hiking trail, such as the Woodmont trail pictured here, or spend some time reading or napping by the lake. Ease into the evening with Moonrise Yoga, enjoy dinner, and then join us for a very special Experiential Plant Spirit Ceremony, led by Mandi Sanders and Ali Pinion after dinner.

*Times are Eastern*

3:00pm-6:30pm  Check-in

4:30pm-5:30pm  Yoga in the Meadow

5:30pm-6:30pm Dinner Served

7:00pm-9:30pm Plant Spirit Medicine Ceremony

Friday | April 16, 2021

For those arriving on Thursday, there will be special classes Friday morning before Friday check-in begins. Friday there will be multiple classes and hands on workshops to choose from as well as open trails for hiking and exploring and the marketplace for shopping.

*Times are Eastern* 

8:00am-9:00am Breakfast Served

9:30am-11:30am A Walk Among the Wildlings

12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch Served

12:00pm-7:00pm Check-in for Friday Arrivals

1:30pm-3:00pm Early Afternoon Workshops

The Backwoods Herbalist: Country Medicine

Wisdom of the Woods Plant Walk

3:30pm-5:30pm Late Afternoon Workshops

Your Granny's Kitchen 

Materia Medica and the Four Directions

5:45pm Dinner Served

7:00pm-8:00pm Marketplace Mingle

8:00pm-10:30pm Opening Ceremony & Drum Circle

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Saturday | April 17, 2021

Saturday's schedule is filled with classes, hands on workshops, and special gatherings all leading up to a special storytelling event. The marketplace will be open for shopping and the lake and forest await you if some solitude or nature time is what you're looking for. 

*Times are Eastern*

7:45am-9:00am Breakfast Served

9:30am-11:30am Morning Workshops

Herbal Infusions 101

Plants as Wisdom Keepers Walk

Reconnecting to the Rhythms of Life

12:00pm Lunch Served

2:00pm-4:00pm Midday Market & Free Time

4:00pm-5:30pm Afternoon Workshops

Herbal Skincare and Your Right to Know

Making Do: Herbal Excellence...

Yoga in the Meadow

5:45pm Dinner Served

7:30pm-9:30pm The Wisdom of the Body

Exploring the Mind/Body Connection through Storytelling, Movement, and Discussion with Phyllis Light

8:30pm-11:00pm Moonrise Fire Circle and Stargazing in Moonlight Meadow (unguided)

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Sunday | April 18, 2021

Savor the last few hours of your retreat weekend with a slow morning or enjoy a reflective workshop before joining us for the closing ceremony. We'll share special announcements about summer and fall gatherings and show our gratitude and appreciate to our own Wisdom Keepers and Elders for sharing their knowledge and time with us.

*All times are Eastern*

7:45am Breakfast Served

9:00am-10:30am Morning Workshops

Ancient Wisdom from our Wooden Ancestors

Sacred Beekeeping: Learning from the Wisdom of the Bee

11:00am Closing Ceremony

Workshop Descriptions

A-Z by Title - Workshops subject to change

Walk Among the Wildlings Plant Walk

Presenter: Leah Larabell

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: Come and enjoy a walk-about to meet and greet some wild family.  The Wildlings.  Some are called weeds, some invasives, some natives and the names go on and on. In this class, we will call them the wildlings and look toward their great lessons for us in our return to the wild.  We will walk and practice plant speaking while acknowledging each plant’s name, personality, medicine, food and ecological roles. We will chat with them like the wise elders that they are and work toward building our own plant person relationships in ways only possible when standing beside them with open hearts and minds. Lets go wild!

 

Ancient Wisdom from our Wooden Ancestors

Presenter: Leah Larabell

Day of Workshop: Sunday

Description: Walk briefly, then stand still.  Stand beside those that have stood for hundreds of years in this same spot.  Looking, listening, feeling, sharing; our Wooden Ancestors have much to teach us.  In this class, we will discuss trees and the importance of the forest as a whole.  We will learn how to read each tree’s presence to get better insight into its personality.  Every tree is like a friend waiting to be there anytime you need in their own special way.  Once we tap into who they are, we know who to go to at the appropriate time.  We will discuss tree personality, medicine, food, ecological role and folklore.  These beings have been on this earth for 370 million years and humans have for only 6 million.  They have much to teach us if we will simply take the time to listen.  In this class, Leah will give some facts about each tree being, but more importantly, she will teach you how to create your own relationship with these patient teachers. 

 

Choosing Safe Skincare Products for your Skin and Overall Health, Focusing on Your Right to Know!

Presenter: Earcine Evans

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: Twenty-six seconds is all it takes for the chemicals in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream. Many of us believe that the FDA or the CDC maybe the controlling and approving the ingredients in our every day personal care products, but the truth is far from the belief…  personal care products are a part of the cosmetics industry which has been self regulated since World War II . While there is an oversight board, It is populated with members than profit from the very products that are under scrutiny. As more and more research about the impact of parabens and other ingredients in common personal care products becomes available, we believe it is important to reiterate our deep commitment to informed, educated consumers.

 

Experiential Plant Spirit Medicine Circle

Presenter: Mandi Sanders and Ali Pinion

Day of Ceremony: Thursday

Description: Step into the world of plant spirit medicine through a guided experience with bioregional medicine offerings. Through the sacred remembering, we will step into a new awareness of connection with these divine beings and all life. We will explore the ins and outs of plant spirit medicine not just with information to feed the head, but with an experiential & ceremonial learning that awakens the heart.

Herbal Infusions 101: Start Your Day the Wise Woman Way

Presenter: Denisea Mann

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: An infusion is a large amount of herb brewed for a long time. In this class we will learn how to make herbal infusions that support and nourish our bodies as well as contribute to our overall wellness. We will learn which herbs to use and that are helpful for energy, stress, menopause, support adrenal glands, kidneys, libido, nerve building, nourishing brain, bones, sleep and more! The herbs we will be learning about are rich in protein, minerals, vitamins & trace minerals.  Denisea will show us how to make herbal infusions step-by-step at home and there will be also be samples for us to try as well!  

 

Herbal Skincare: Choosing Safe Products for your Skin and Overall Health, Focusing on Your Right to Know!

Presenter: Earcine Evans

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: Twenty-six seconds is all it takes for the chemicals in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream. Many of us believe that the FDA or the CDC maybe the controlling and approving the ingredients in our every day personal care products, but the truth is far from the belief…  personal care products are a part of the cosmetics industry which has been self regulated since World War II . While there is an oversight board, It is populated with members than profit from the very products that are under scrutiny. As more and more research about the impact of parabens and other ingredients in common personal care products becomes available, we believe it is important to reiterate our deep commitment to informed, educated consumers.

 

Making Do: Herbal Excellence in the Face of Strained Supply

Presenter: Joan Cowden

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: As demand on the systems that provide us with herbs are strained by increasing disease cycles, higher purchasing volume, and indiscriminate foragers, herbalists may be concerned that they cannot provide effectively for themselves or their clients. This class goes to the roots of herbalism: The garden and the kitchen; to remember that plants that heal are already nearby. Joan will discuss potent substitution options using common herbal combinations for their clinical actions and energetic properties, including demulcents, expectorants, relaxing diaphoretics, and more.

 

Materia Medica of the Four Directions

Presenter: Joan Cowden

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: This workshop, created by Paul Bergner RH (AHG) and taught with his express permission*, uses a Four-Directions model to explore a dimensional approach to learning herbs and herbalism. In this time when herbal information is free-flowing and not always accurate, it can be a challenge to filter incoming information. This presentation will cover learning from science, your experience, your intuition, and the elders, with an emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of each direction.

Plants as Wisdom Keepers Plant Walk

Presenter: Phyllis Light

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: Join Phyllis Light and head out to identify and learn about the spring plant life that abounds at Camp Woodmont. Plants themselves are Wisdom Keepers and a plant walk with Phyllis Light is quite a treat! From storytelling to the sharing of ancient wisdom and modern remedies, Phyllis will share lots of information from identification and wildcrafting tips to how to connect with the wisdom of these green allies.

 

Reconnecting to the Rhythms of Life

Presenter: Joan Cowden

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: Our Elders and Ancestors were attuned to the cycles of nature in ways that benefited their cultures and vitality. The routines of modern life have pushed our society to disconnect from those rhythms, causing distress in body, mind and spirit. Joan will discuss the body's diurnal cycle, it's relationship to digestive, stress & sleep hormones, and herbs to support re-establishing that rhythm. She will then follow through the Lunar, and Solar (Seasonal) cycles of life, detailing the uses of an almanac, simple ceremony, and herbs to facilitate reconnection to these powerful rhythms.

 

Sacred Bee Keeping: Learning from the Wisdom of the Bee

Presenter: Ali Pinion

Day of Workshop: Sunday

Description: In this course, we will discuss bee-centric styles of beekeeping from different types of beehives to how to respectfully and sustainably work with their medicines. By exploring ways of working with the alchemy of the sacred honey bee, we can bring healing to our communities through bee venom therapy and sound healing to honey, propolis, pollen, and wax. We will address ways of building relationships with pollinators by learning the right questions to ask when sustainably sourcing products of the hive, and how to make our homes, gardens, and land more welcoming to all pollinators. Through studying what our ancestors knew about the honey bee, we can learn about our connectedness to everyone and everything on this planet, while healing our relationship to the land, ourselves and our communities.

 

The Backwoods Herbalist: Country Medicine

Presenter: Phyllis Light

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: We considered calling this class “Down the Road Herbalism”, “Medicine from the Hills and Hollers’, and “Traditions of the Country Folk”. This class is all about the traditions and remedies of Southern Appalachian Grannies and ordinary Wise Women. Back in the day, many women made their own herbal concoctions and home remedies, yet they were not formally trained in any specific tradition or approach. Let’s talk about them! We’ll discuss “People’s Medicine”- working with what you’ve got growing in your yard or on your street to take care of yourself and your family. Phyllis will share stories of Appalachian Folk Medicine and her own ancestors as well as inspire you to remember the Wise Women in your own family. This will be a really fun class filled with stories, simple remedies, folklore, and ways to connect to and work with plants and herbs in your own yard or garden.

The Wisdom of the Body: Exploring the Mind/Body Connection

Presenters: Phyllis Light

Day of Event: Saturday

Description: Do you have the gall(bladder) to stand and speak your mind? Have you ever felt like you’ve been kicked in the gut due to shock or trauma? Has love ever taken your breath away? Has emotional pain ever taken your voice? Ever felt weak in the knees? Our thoughts and emotions play a major role in our physical and emotional health and this is reflected within our bodies. Emotions, trauma, and stress trigger a release of neurotransmitters that affect blood chemistry, heart rate and the activity of every cell and organ in the body. Join Phyllis for an exploration of the mind/body connection with an emphasis on organ systems and how they are affected by our thoughts. In this class, we’ll explore the mind/body/spirit connection and ways to help our body heal including spirit doses of herbs, rituals, the language we use for self-talk, changing our attitudes and beliefs, and other mind/body techniques. To quote Candace Pert, Ph.D., “Since emotions run every system in the body, don’t underestimate their power to treat and heal.”

 

Wisdom of the Woods Plant Walk

Presenter: Susan Edwards

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: This is a time for participants to wander in nature together on a guided plant walk focused on the plants all around us in the beautiful land that holds the conference site, the plant spirits and beings that are at the conferences alongside us.  This walk is appropriate for beginners and beyond. We all learn something new together while venturing in the woods meeting the small herbs near our feet and looking up at the wise knowing trees above our heads.  We will discuss various tree and herb medicines and their history of uses and how many are using them today. We will discuss various preparations for the plants we come across and learn helpful identification features of the plants. There is so much medicine all around us and learning the plant spirits and being out in nature helps us connect better and feeds our own spirit and that of the collective.  This knowledge is truly in our bones and it’s part of our own natural rhythm and body healing to be among and learn from the plant world.

Your Granny’s Kitchen: Connecting to Ancestors through Traditional Food Ways

Presenter: Joanna Mann

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: “And so… the Great Forgiving Goddess mulches, cooks, boils, and churns, composting patriarchy into a fine, fertile soil.” -Diana Tigerlily

Sufficiency is protest against participation in the system.  Our ancestor’s claimed their rights as sovereign beings daily through gardening, preserving, composting, and caring for their neighbors.  In this class we will connect to our ancestors by engaging in almost forgotten traditional food preservation techniques including water bath canning, pressure canning, fermentation, making farmer’s cheese and root cellaring.  I will also provide some of my favorite traditional Southern recipes.