Join Yaya Erin Rivera Merriman of Active Culture Family and Bridge Temple at Elder Farm in Descanso, CA (San Diego County) for a year long plant spirit medicine apprenticeship and Green Magic initiatory intensive in which we will gather monthly online as well as in person once per season to ritually observe the 4 Cross Quarter Earth Celebrations and dive deeply into the mysteries of the green realm as a path of devotional service.
This program has been conceived as an intimate opportunity for a small group of devoted students of The Mystery to gain the necessary communication and relationship skills to support each other and others in making an evolutionary leap toward radical embodiment of truth and service to the sacred. Together we will embark on a healing journey through the wheel of the year with the seasons, the elements, sacred plant medicines, Goddesses and other nature spirits from around the world (and our own back yards!) as our teachers and guides.
Our cross cultural curriculum aims to create an opportunity for us to gather together in council and share skills and perspectives at the intersection of the paths of the Green Witch, Medicine Woman, Priestess, Shaman, Yogini and other female bodied, non-conforming wisdom keeper. We come together in this way to deepen our understanding of the women's natural initiatory process so that we may understand our own nature and surrender into our own spiritual maturation, eventually becoming sources of strength and inspiration for others seeking the courage to do the same. Our study aims to nurture a deep abiding tenderness and respect for the beauty, variety and necessity of the great wisdom lineages of planet earth while simultaneously assisting us in uncovering our own roots, our own vocabulary, and our own direct relationship to the natural world. Medicine Mandala Apprentices learn to listen to their bodies and the earth, becoming their own compass and most wise and compassionate guide to experiencing creative fulfillment and ecstatic stewardship.
We walk in such a way that acknowledges that we are and have always been journeying with plants alongside us as master teachers, friends, and guides to personal, community, and planetary healing. One of our main intentions for gathering is to explore the ways that our relationships with our green family can help us to remember who we are and live from a deeper, more authentic place. We were not meant to do this alone! When we look to cultures of the past who lived a village way of life, and wonder how they navigated the complex social dynamics of intimate communal living, we often forget the equally complex cosmologies and palpable connection to spirit guidance that were regularly engaged through seasonal ceremonies. Superficial inquiry into these cultures often minimizes or discounts the pivotal role that plant medicine played in shaping the identity, best practices, flavors and textures of any intact culture. We may look to the past for guidance while ultimately acknowledging that we live very different lives than our ancestors, and are charged with the enormous task of composting all manner of outdated belief systems, healing and resetting our nervous systems, and creating a new and ancient culture of compassion and stewardship. We can not do this without the guidance of our wise plant elders. To this end, each gathering will include a seasonally themed plant medicine ceremony . Although we deeply honor all teacher plants, we have noticed that when we say "medicine" here on the west coast, many people assume we are speaking about Ayahuasca, which although deeply respected, is not aligned with our vision for sustainability, so will not be included in our program.
In our seasonally themed medicine ceremonies, apprentices will receive an introduction or refresher course in the fundamentals of the Wise Woman Tradition of Herbal Medicine through our unique lens that cross-references our training in The Wise Woman Tradition of Herbal Medicine with our study of classical Tantra in the Shakta, Kaula, and Sri Vidya Traditions. Through our intentional juxtaposition of teachers, together we explore the correlations between western folk herbalism and the Tantric Traditions. We will work with both intuitive and lineage based practices that prepare the body to receive, contain, and responsibly share increasingly potent magic as a path of service, arriving at a deep understanding of both the rigors and blessings of walking a non-dual path.
• Goddess studies, where we will explore the contemporary relevance of Goddess energy, teaching stories, and iconography as timeless, timely maps to the trans-personal nature of the women's initiatory process.
• Illness as Ally. Childbirth, illness, and death are all times when our illusions of linear time breakdown and we are offered initiation into intimacy of non linear reality. These are often confusing experiences for those offered entrance into these other ways of knowing, made less frightening when we receive timely guidance in the form of connecting with the great wisdom lineages of earth.
• Honoring of non-linear ways of seeing and being. From the chakras to the medicine wheel to the pagan wheel of the year, real time is understood as a circle and a spiral and all the worlds living traditions find their unique identity through their study of sacred wheels as maps to embracing and participating with the truth of our cyclical existence.
• Introduction to elemental and seasonal Magic
•Blood mysteries, intuitive movement, Solar and Lunar Magic
• Preventative medicine through working daily with nourishing, toning herbs
• An introduction to medicine making including botany, plant identification, and ethical wild-crafting
•Multidimensional friendship and partnership with plants through plant spirit medicine
• Traditional nutrition, intestinal integrity and the gut/ brain connection, including support for those wishing to enter into a complete gut healing protocol and engage their food as medicine. Our program provides opportunity for apprentices to map the connection between their diet and their mental, emotional, and sexual health. Together we experience first hand the deep pleasure of nutrient dense foods.
During our in person training weekends, we will share sisterhood* and study, camping accommodations, daily classroom time learning new skills, tools, and practices, and nightly opportunities for healing and seasonal celebration. We will enjoy a diet of healing ancestral foods while being fed and educated by nourishing, meditative, and ecstatic plant medicines, song, movement, and the companionship of like-hearted women.
•Herbal Medicine Making and Food as Medicine Practice
• Homesteading and land stewardship conversations with Carrie Lou Arnold