... and become vast enough to hold all the immensity of the paradoxes that it contains.
Should you accept this invitation, there is no return ticket.
You will be claimed by the primordial flame that flows into you from the sun at the center of the earth and fuels the stars that greet you each morning and bid you happy dreaming each night.
In short, you will be ready for the times.
And the times...the times they have been hard.
Sometimes it seems like civilization might be ending.
We have wildness within us that knows after great destruction comes the next even greater cycle of creation--
One where we remember what it is to be truly human again…
...How to read the language of God in every stone, root, and twist of tree bark…
...How to hear the guidance of angels in every sigh, sob, and giggle from a dear friend…
...How to slip between worlds with a movement of a wrist and a loosening of the eyes.
This is your birthright.
It's time to claim it.
Doctrine of Signatures as Original Language; Plant Families Method of Identification; Basic Botanical Parts; Myth, Story, Patterns, and Power of Symbol
Heart Space Awareness and Connection, Wide Angle Vision, Grounding and Centering Practices, Energy Cultivation
Meditative Techniques to Hold Space; Folk Diagnostics (Facial, Tongue, Pulse); Specific Indications for Plant Allies; Working with Birth Charts, Intuitive Tools, Channeling, and Divination
Ethical Harvesting Techniques, Harvesting Ritual and Ceremony/Harvesting as Initiation
Science and Craft of Medicine Preparation, Medicine Making as Prayer and Alchemical Ritual, Medicine Making as Art
Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Bagua, Dance, and Breathwork--adjusted for every body; Somatic Practices to Compliment and Potentize Herbal Medicine Work; Somatic Practices to Deepen Dream and Journeywork
Dream and Journey Herb Rituals; Consistent Dreamwork and Journeywork practice and cultivation throughout retreat.
Storytelling, painting, poetry, drawing, and singing; Creative Expression as Medicine ...both given and received.
Folk Rituals, Ancient Ceremonial Practices, and original compositions
Nightly Bonfire Dances and Dream Herb Rituals; Daily meditative herb harvesting for morning teas; Ritual and Meditative Work in the Labyrinth and Stone Circle, and lots of opportunities to explore, swim, and enjoy the magic of the land.
Bring your own camping equipment and enjoy the bliss of sleeping under the glory of the stars and above the power of the earth and river.
Includes all meals and snacks (omnivore and vegetarian options provided). Towels provided. Hot showers and power available in camp.
Join other plant witches in the beautiful bunkhouse in a cozy bed while still being surrounded by the melodious nightsounds and rushing river. Blankets, linens, and pillows provided.
Includes all meals and snacks (omnivore and vegetarian options provided). Hot showers in bathhouse nearby.
Have a little extra privacy and comfort in one of our seven available private rooms with double beds. Blankets, pillows, and linens provided.
Includes all meals and snacks (omnivore and vegetarian options provided). Hot showers nearby in bathhouse.
Travel: We recommend that you utilize the Amtrak service out of Cumberland, Maryland if you are able. We will be arranging transport for those who wish to utilize this
If flying, please fly into the Pittsburgh International Airport on Thursday morning if you wish to arrange a ride onto the land with our shuttle.
Schedule: We will begin programming at 4:30pm on Thursday the 8th and conclude programming at 1pm on the 11th. You are welcome to come a day early and stay a day late at no extra charge. With advance notice meal service can be provided. You are, of course, welcome to arrive late and leave early if need be. Please just let us know ahead of time.
Crystal is an accomplished clinical and folk herbalist, intuitive channel, poet, and skilled yoga teacher with two decades of dedicated practice.
She has been learning from the plants and spirits of the land since she was a child and from elders around the globe for over a decade.
She has learned to listen to the spirits of the plants through isolation for weeks in the Amazon, through exposure to the elements on hilltops without food or water for days at a time, and through long solitary walks of hundreds of miles.
She is happy to say that she has learned that while these practices are valuable...they are not necessary.
She is honored to be able to guide you all this week to help you along your journey with these medicines with a little more grace than she has afforded herself.
Caroline earned a BFA in Painting following a lifelong passion for artistic expression with a minor in Spanish Studies. She next became certified as an ESL instructor, teaching English to foreign diplomats in the heart of Washington DC.
After living several years in the Indian subcontinent and inspired by the wisdom still present in many of the world’s natural medicines, she began her studies at Maryland University of Integrative Health (then Tai Sophia) in Therapeutic Herbalism and received her Master of Science degree.
In addition to her coursework she completed a 2 Year Dispensary Internship which covered all aspects of running an herbal dispensary (apothecary) to GMP standards and a Microscopy Internship in Quality Control at Traditional Medicinals Tea Company in California.
I have been studying ancient Vedic and Taoist alchemy since the age of 7. My mastery in Tai Chi and Taoist mystic practices has given me the alignment to work as a lecturer within Universities and in integrated medicine.
My master, though I have many, is Glenn Hairston of the Pittsburgh Narcotics division. My specialty with him was specialist defensive tactics.
My school of Taoist practices in Tai Chi has been the undisputed champions in Sensing Hands for the past 14 years in Pittsburgh, Florida, and New York.
I have a few things to share that may enhance your life's purpose.
My work spans over 30 years of diligent practice and application.
Matthew Kenney is a practicing traditional astrologer, a trained philosopher, and a translator of Ancient Greek and Sanskrit. He has been a dedicated practitioner of astrological magic, meditation, Hatha yoga, and Daoist circle walking for many years.
As an academic and a scholar, he utilizes intellectual rigor to restore the worldview and astrological prowess of the ancient world and apply it to the modern day. As a spiritual practitioner and dedicated hermeticist, Matthew uses these techniques to guide his clients on their paths towards wholeness and spiritual flourishing.
Matthew runs the blog ancientastrology.org, where he provides weekly forecasts based around the motions of the moon through the zodiac and offers natal, horary, and electional readings to people in need.
Andrew is a practicing herbalist and
gardener, a steward of the plants and the soul.
He has spent a decade foraging and farming, exploring human connections with food as medicine, and poetry as self discovery from a young age.
His path has led him to the intersections of alchemy where he continues to work to uncover the foundations of healing inherent in our relationships with our dreams, each other, and all of nature as the means to reestablish harmony between life and death.
A practitioner of hatha yoga and taoist tai chi: he has been edified by indigenous spiritualities, the propounders of the middle path, and the teachings of ancient alchemy.
His work is oriented toward helping others to open to their innate capacity to heal on the collective journey of remembering interdependence, belonging, balance, and the roots of our disconnection.
Katlyn Rose nurtures a lifelong (and beyond) relationship with plants and the natural world around her. She has spent the majority of her childhood and adulthood hiking and connecting to mother Gaia. She began her immersion in the realm of folk herbalism ten years ago, under the mentorship of a naturopath she worked for.
After a childhood of illnesses from being born prematurely, plants offered an avenue of healing for herself that western medicine simply could not. Alongside her work collecting plants and making medicines in the western world, Katlyn has been working closely with ayahuasca and other amazonian Master teacher plants, further healing herself and sharing that wisdom found within her own healing with others by facilitating ceremonies alongside curanderos in Peru.
Katlyn also has a passion for energy healing and has been teaching Reiki for seven years throughout the Americas. Katlyn wholeheartedly believes that it was imperative for her to go through a childhood riddled with illness and trauma to be able to gain the skills necessary to share with others in similar situations.
We are looking for poetry, striking prose, and artwork that explores the concept of the Doctrine of Signatures or otherwise works with the Hermetic motto As Above; so Below. As within; so without as a means of building a more profound relationship with the the natural world.
The Doctrine of Signatures will form the foundation of all of our studies at Root and Flame.
We will be relying on the Doctrine as a means of identifying and "getting to know" plants. But more importantly we will be learning to utilize it as a means of unveiling and gaining fluency in the original language of creation...the Ur Tongue.
Once we begin to think in this language we can discover a plant's medicinal properties and connect with their personalities on a truly embodied level.
Once we are able to converse in this language, we can continue a conversation with a plant or nature spirit in the dreamtime seamlessly...whether sleeping or awake.
This kind of fluid conversation is an invaluable tool in all forms of healing and spiritual work.
We will be learning to use this language to interpret dreams, to speak and hear with lucidity in liminal spaces, to create powerful spells and pieces of artwork, and to empower our healing practices and ability to hold space for clients.
Winners and Runners Up Will Receive:
We will announce the winners on September 23rd. Deadline for admission is September 13th.
The land is ready to hold you in this work—to show you how to dig deeper like the black bear who walks the hills about us; how to store the warmth of the late summer sun in your heart like the song birds who sing up the sun every morning now matter how frigid; how to shine through even the most penetrating shadow like the stars that remind us how long the light of our immortal souls will guide those who come after us.