Plant Spirit Medicine for Children
Earth Speaks offers children an in-depth exploration of the natural world around them through the use of all six of their senses. Children especially have a strong connection to their intuition, allowing them to be much more sensitive to energy. It is this ability we will hone and branch out from to learn herbalism to form a deep bond with the natural world around them. Throughout this course your child will learn how to identify, create, and provide wellness with many of the medicinal and edible plants in our region. In addition, they will discover and expand upon all of the magical qualities and abilities inherent to themselves that make them the beautiful, unique beings they are.
Spring Session: April 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29; May 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 31; June 3, 7, 10, 14
Summer Session: June 24, 28; July 1, 5, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29; August 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23
Fall Session: September 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30; October 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 28; November 1, 4, 8
In this course your child will learn about:
- Deepening connection with natural world
- Strengthening and honing energy communication skills
- Field botany & plant identification
- Wild food identification
- Developing a local, bioregional materia medica
- Ethical wildcrafting and harvesting practices
- Systems of the body and herbal energetics
- Whole body healing with the plants
- Energetic healing with plants
- Self care and personal transformation
- Medicine Formulating & Making (teas, vinegar tinctures, poultices, liniments, honeys, oxymels, etc.)
- Building a home apothecary
During each outdoor class we will focus on one plant that is seasonally available and at its peak medicinally. In this way, the children will have the time to explore and discover each herb in-depth in its natural habitat, learning at a pace that does not feel rushed or harried. Several locations around Cape Ann have been chosen for the variety of plant life offered, including Stage Fort Park, Ravenswood, and Goosecove Reservoir in Gloucester, MA, Seaview Farms in Rockport, MA, as well as the trail head at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and less often the backyard garden.
We will cover the botany of the plant—family, genus, species, and field ID characteristics, giving children the confidence and knowledge to identify the herbs on their own. Once they have been introduced to the plant, the children will have quiet, focused, individual time with the herb to explore through the use of all six of their senses. They will have a field journal where they will record the information they've learned from each plant, including a labeled drawing with identifying factors for each herb. By the end of the Spring session, each child's field journal will be an in-depth materia medica of 20 regional plant species. If your child goes on to attend the Summer or Fall sessions, the plants learned in those can be added to the journal as well, giving them a materia medica of 56 local herbs.
Discussion time will occur after the children have concluded their individual learning with the plant of the day. Each child, who is comfortable to do so, will share his or her experience with the plant and all the knowledge gained. By sharing we help to validate the information others gathered and gain a greater understanding of the plant in the process. Once we have finished discussion time, we will move on to learning more scientific information, as well as anecdotal evidence from other herbalists, past and present.
Herbal remedies will be processed in the field, which means the children will learn how to harvest in a respectful, ecologically sensitive way with extreme mindfulness being the name of the harvesting game! Part of creating a deep bond with the natural world is learning how to work in harmony with nature—utilizing the plants that are there to help, but not in a way that destroys ecosystems or endangers the lives of the other plants and animals that depend on these plants for survival. Because of this, the children will also be learning what roles each plant plays in its particular habitat.
The children will learn how to make flower essences, vinegar tinctures, honeys, poultices, wraps, and liniments. In addition to learning how to heal with plants physically, the children will also learn how to heal with them energetically. Plants have over 90% the same DNA as humans and weather the same germ and virus storms we do, so they are excellent at supporting and helping us to heal physically. This, however, is not the only area of healing in which they excel. Plants are amazing at healing the subtle bodies—those of mind, emotion, and soul. Learning how to speak the language of energy, and plants in particular, will allow the children to connect with anything, allowing them to gain a wealth of knowledge, as well as help the planet, animals, themselves, and others in profound ways.
Some plants we will meet and learn from: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), Plantain (Plantago spp), Red Clover (Trifolium pretense), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Burdock (Arcticum lapsis), Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus), Celandine (Chelidonium majus), Nettles (Urtica dioica), Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), Motherwort (Leonaris cardiaca), Chickweed (Stellaric media), Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea), Cleavers (Galium aparine), Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), Blackberries (Rubus occidentalis), Mullein (Verbascum thapsis), Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Saint John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Horsetail (Equisetum), Wild Rose (Rosa rugosa), Usnea (Usnea barbata), White Pine (Pinus strobus), Seaside Goldenrod (Salidago sempervirens), Goldenrod (Salidago spp), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Violet (Viola spp), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana).
My mission is to contribute to the healing of the planet and the people on her by helping the people deepen their relationship with the land. Through connection, we can heal. In ancient times, humankind worked hand in hand with the plants and animals of the Earth. They knew what to harvest, when, and how. They knew how to live with Gaia and in return she supported all life on and within her. Along the way humankind has forgotten how to live with the planet. Instead, we have been taking, using, depleting, and destroying resources, ecosystems, all life, and now our planet. This can be remedied. We can build a relationship with Gaia again. We can strengthen the bond that has never been broken, only forgotten. And we can live in harmony with the natural world, nurturing and being nurtured. Through these sessions or an apprenticeship, your child can start fostering their relationship with the land, learning from it, growing with it, and healing.
I have always been drawn to teaching children, even as a young child myself. Teaching and guidance come as naturally to me as my intuition. My extensive background and degree in early childhood education, along with my training as a clinical herbalist and energy healer, as well as my lifelong learner mentality, give me the knowledge and experience necessary to help guide children along their path to strengthening their own intuition and energy communication skills, which will thereby help them to learn and build a solid knowledge of plant medicine.