2021 Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference Schedule

Scroll down for workshop descriptions

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 Medicine Ceremony, led by Mandi Sanders and Ali Pinion after dinner.

Check-in starts at 3pm

Moonrise

Yoga

Experiential Plant Medicine Circle 

(Mandi Sanders & Ali Pinion)

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. 

Friday Check-in Starts at 12pm

The Backwoods Herbalist: 

Country Medicine

(Phyllis Light)

Honoring the Herbal Medicines of Your Elders (Lisa Bedner)

Elder Herbalism

(Leslie Williams)

Your Granny's

Kitchen 

(Joanna Mann)

A Walk Among the Wildlings Plant

Walk (Leah Larabell)

Special Event: 

Wisdom Keepers Opening Ceremony & Drum Circle

Our Friday evening after-diner festivities include an herbal tea reception, a special opening event with music and ceremony, plus our annual fire and drum circle. We'll have drums to share! 

Saturday | April 17, 2021

Saturday's schedule is filled with classes, hands on workshops, and special gatherings all leading up to our much anticipated Tea & Tell Fireside Storytelling Circle with our Elders. 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. 

Reconnecting to the Rhythms of Life

(Joan Cowden)

Southeastern Clay Medicine

(Leslie Williams)

The Wisdom of Smudge and Prayer Ties (Lisa Bedner)

Making Do: Herbal Excellence in the Face of Strained Supply (Joan Cowden)

Plants as Wisdom Keepers Walk

(Phyllis Light)

Choosing Safe Skincare Products (Earcine Evans)

Tea & Tell with the Wisdom Keepers 

Traditional Fireside Storytelling Gathering featuring our Elder Herbalists and Teachers

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.

Ancient Wisdom from our Wooden Ancestors 

(Leah Larabell)

The Wisdom Keeper Within Writing Circle

The Wise Woman Way 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.

 

Elder Herbalism

Presenter: Leslie Williams

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: As we age, our relationship with herbal medicine shifts. Dosage, sensitivities, skin permeability, digestion and metabolism all change and as herbalists we need to adapt and adjust to these changes - as well as knowing herbs for addressing specific conditions more common in elderly folks. Including foot care, bruising, anemia, muscle loss, lowered immune system and general arthritic conditions.

 

Experiential Plant 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.

 

Honoring the Herbal Medicines of Your Elders

Presenter: Lisa Bedner

Day of Workshop: Friday

Description: Find your herbal path! We will explore European, Chinese, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, and Native American paths and wisdom. We will explore similarities and differences, what makes each unique, and how you know what’s right for you. Lisa will answer questions, such as “can you mix and match herbs from different traditions?” as well as questions that students may have during the workshop.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Southeastern Clay Medicine and Herbs

Presenter: Leslie Williams

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: We have clay. Clay has a long history of medicinal use around the world and here. We will sample varieties of clay - local, wildcrafted red clay, the white and grey clays of northern Florida, French green, bentonite, kaolin and more. We will combine herbs and herbal oils for topical use, first aid and for addressing chronic conditions as well. Mineral content, variation and internal use are also key.

 

Tea & Tell with the Wisdom Keepers

Presenters: Earcine Evans, Joan Cowden, Leslie Williams, Lisa Bedner, Phyllis Light and more

Day of Event: Saturday

Description: Storytelling is more than just a favored past time; stories are the way wisdom and traditions are both honored and passed down from generation to generation. Storytelling is a beautiful and sacred part of the Wise Woman Way, which is, in itself, an ancient, and mostly oral, tradition. Women have gathered since the beginning of time to share stories… in Moon Lodges, in ceremony, in the garden and in the kitchen, at births and blessings, and in today’s Red Tent circles. While storytelling in general is a treat, nothing compares to settling in with a warm cup of tea by the fire and listening to the stories of your own Elders. It may sound simple, but this intimate experience will no doubt touch your heart and spirit, fill you with hope, and perhaps even result in a few laughs. You will leave feeling nourished, inspired, and connected.

 

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 Smudge and Prayer Ties

Presenter: Lisa Bedner

Day of Workshop: Saturday

Description: In this class we will discuss the historical and traditional uses of both Smudge and Prayer Ties. Lisa will weave storytelling into the class as she helps students learn about choosing the herbs for Smudging and other things to consider. This is a hands-on workshop! You will get to create your own and bring them home with you.

 

The Wisdom Keeper Within Writing Circle

Presenter: Michelle Rigling

Day of Workshop: Sunday

Description: In this introspective meditation and writing circle, we will take time to intuitively connect with the Wise Woman who resides within us all and rediscover the wisdom we each hold inside ourselves. We’ll savor the spring weather, connect with the elements, and reflect on the season of new beginnings. No meditation or writing experience is needed. All you need is a notebook.

 

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.

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