Most modern approaches to magical herbalism focus on using herbs in spellcraft or ritual to achieve a particular result. Animist Plant Magic recognizes that plants are living, intelligent beings rather than means to an end. Come explore what it means to work with a plant as a magical partner.
All winter, the Earth is pregnant with life. And as the days grow longer, the quickening begins. The ancient Irish festival of Imbolc marks the midpoint of the dark half of the year and the approach of new life. In Ireland, wildflowers are beginning to bloom. But what does it mean to celebrate Imbolc in a place where the snows are still thick on the ground? Tonight, we will immerse ourselves in the medicine and magic of this season of promise.
Breath is a river that connects us with the ocean of life. It allows us to draw in joy and connection, to move through grief and pain, and to send blessings out into the world. In this class, we will delve into the role our plant kin can play in helping us breathe through our emotions.
"Herbal energetics" sound complex and esoteric. But while energetics can indeed provide profound insight into the nature of a particular plant, all that is necessary to gain that insight is to use your senses! In this class, Seán will provide a simple, intuitive framework for understanding herbal energetics that will make sense to anyone who has ever cooked a meal.
Listening to a tree is a very old way of learning the magic of the world. In this first class of the New Year, Seán will share some simple practices for building and nourishing a connection with one tree in your world, and some of the ways building that kind of relationship can help to shift your experience of being alive in this world. All that is required is a beating heart and a willingness to listen.
In this class, we will explore the similarities and differences between COVID, RSV, and the Flu, discuss strategies for keeping yourself and your family safe during this "tripledemic", talk about herbs that can help mitigate symptoms of these infections, and look at the effects viral infections like these can have on the brain and the heart and ways of addressing these impacts.
For thousands of years, people have marked the dawn that follows the darkest night as a time of hope and renewal. Join Seán for an exploration of the myth and magic of the Winter Solstice, and the plants whose medicine bring brightness to the season.
In England, Wales, Scandinavia, and parts of Scotland, tales are told of an Otherworldly Hunter and his spectral hounds who rides through the night sky in the dark of the year, guiding the souls of the dead along the Milky Way and into the Otherworld. Join Seán for an exploration of the nature, meaning, and role of the Wild Hunt in its many forms.
The late Barbara Ehrenreich wrote, "To this day, and no doubt for good reasons, suffering remains the almost exclusive preoccupation of professional psychology. Journals in the field have published forty-five thousand articles in the last thirty years on depression, but only four hundred on joy."
We herbalists, too, speak more often about alleviating anxiety and depression than about nourishing joy. Come learn about "cordials," "joy tonics," and other herbs that gladden the heart including Borage, Lemon Balm, Angelica, Albizzia, and Damiana.
In Irish tradition, the King weds the land at Samhain, devoting his life to the land and the people, and tying his fate to theirs. Join Seán for an exploration of the lore of sacred kingship in the Irish tradition, and the relationship between the king and the health of the land.
In ancient Ireland, the role of the poet went beyond crafting words that stir the soul. The poet was one who ventured into the wilderness to connect with the Otherworld on behalf of the Tuatha, the tribe, through the cultivation of imbas, the "poetic frenzy" described as a "fire in the head." The poetry that emerged from this process revealed truths about the past, present, and future and had the power to change lives and worlds. In this class, Seán will share his own approach to reanimating this tradition, and the role that visionary plant (and fungal) allies play in helping him cultivate the fire in the head.