Thanks to our enthusiastic community, this year's Herbal "Aprendship" has already been filled. However, I still invite you to fill out the application at the bottom if you would like to be added to our waiting list.
Many many thanks for your interest.
. . . .
It is with great excitement, that I announce Yerba Nomadica's Herbal Aprendeship : Witches & Radicles - a comprehensive 9 month herbal class series that facilitates a deep relationship and understanding with self, the plants, and what it means to deeply "heal."
This is a brand new in-person offering, that meets once a month for a full day of experiential learning, held on occupied Tohono O'Odham land, also called Tucson, Arizona, in addition to personal projects and home-work to keep folks engaged and inspired between gatherings.
- Challenging the Dominant Narratives of Health & Healing
- Body Systems & First Aid
- Medicine Making
- Herbal Energetics
- Stewardship of the Wild
- Flower Essences
- Seasonal Patterns & Living within the Natural Cycles
- Botany & Plant Identification
- Boundary Work
- Medicine of Place
- Developing Personal Ritual
- Constitutional Medicine
- Working with the Elements
- Radical Self Care & Perspectives on Nourishment
- Dream Work...and more.
I N T E N T I O N
Yerba Nomadica's Herbal Aprendeship is conceptualized of a want to share knowledge of herbal uses and histories of plant medicines in a way that decentralizes the patriarchal colonizer mentality that still persists in popular western herbalism, and seeks to offer an alternative to the conventional models of academic instruction. Instead, we will be creating a container for learning and experiencing the plants in a way that celebrates the development of each participant to craft their own personalized and unique relationship with the practice of herbalism. We will introduce concepts from various schools of botanical medicine, magical traditions, and science to weave a tapestry of natural healing that encourages intuitive, personal, and hands on learning with various forms of plant medicine.
Our 2018 theme, "Witches & Radicles," refers to a focus on voices that have too often been DE-emphasized or buried in attempt to demonize & erase them from our healing lineages. The year's theme also indicates how we will be observing the many ways in which the processes and patterns of nature teach us about our own personal (and collective) healing & resilience.
A "Radicle" occurs at the beginning of a seedling's germination process, the embryonic root of the plant that will anchor the it into the soil as it grows. I find this process of awakening and grounding into the earth, building stability, resilience, and connection to be an appropriate metaphor for beginning the study of herbal and traditional medicine. Not to be one to pass up some good word play when the opportunity provides itself, it also alludes to the radical act of empowering oneself with the possibility that healing one's physical, emotional and spiritual body is possible - and that we have more of a say in that process than many in our society would have us believe.
The series is intended to build a solid base of understanding in how to make and use herbal medicines for yourself, family and friends - but more importantly, it asks participants to co-create a deep relationship with their own process of healing and to the natural world around them.
D E S C R I P T I O N
The Aprendeship will offer a strong basic competency in herbal medicine for self, family, and community that can serve as a foundation to build on for years to come. We will develop skills and techniques that participants can put into practice from day one - from medicine making and nourishing traditions, to identifying and addressing imbalances in the body/mind/spirit.
All material is introduced within the framework of the wheel of the year and the physical, elemental, emotional correspondences that accompany the changing seasons. The 9 month structure of the classes allows participants to observe and utilize the material presented in themselves, their community, and in nature - in real time (ie fall remedies, bodily imbalances, and stages of plant development will be presented as we move through the fall season).
By the completion of the course, participants will have a comprehensive foundation in many different ways to work with herbs on the physical and non-physical level for personal and collective healing. Through class time knowledge shares and take home projects, folks will learn to craft seasonally appropriate herbal remedies at home for preventative use and acute situations, ways to listen to and read the body for imbalances and needs, and how to create a reciprocal herbal practice that honors the wild and views plant allies as our relations rather than simply tools to utilize with indiscretion... in addition to much more.
b u t . . . A P R E N D E S H I P ?
No, it's not a misspelling.
"[Carla's] reverence for the non-human beings residing in the desert was apparent as well as her respect for the ancestral lineage of the land. Inherent in her teachings was a deep sense of reciprocity; a space where one can experience the healing properties of plants in a way that both honors their sentience and resists their commodification. Carla is a thoughtful and thorough teacher whose focus on the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of healing gives her students the tools to get to the heart of the matter."-Renée Camila, Nicaraguan-American clinical energetic herbalist and founder of Sisters of the West
Aprendeship is a an example of what some scholars refer to as "transwording" (a practice that yielded the very name under which I conduct my own herbal practice, Nomadica). Transwording is used by some multi-lingual or multicultural individuals by combining languages to invent new words (ie Spanglish). This new language serves to represent the same liminal space that the identities of the folks who create them often occupy.
While other offerings similar in length or structure call their programs "Apprenticeships," my personal idea of an apprenticeship is a process of on the job learning, often doing menial work for months or years under the tutelage of a more experienced practitioner, while gradually gaining access to their long acquired knowledge and skill.
Because the above approach doesn't resemble the style in which information will be shared in the 9 mo. series, I settled on the Spanish word "Aprende" to replace "Apprentice"...a word that shares the same etymological root of learning and understanding and yet, to me, holds a slightly different connotation that doesn't imply the same system of training employed by traditional crafts and trades. It also removes the implication of the apprentice/master dynamic - a title which I do not desire to attach to my role in this capacity or any other.
W H A T T H I S C O U R S E I S N O T
This is NOT a clinical herbal program.
We will not be focusing on how to work with clients, but rather, ways that we can use natural and traditional medicine as a part of a balanced life and an embodied healing practice that may extend to our families and close community. The material, though extensive, is largely intended for folks towards the beginning of their herbal journey or folks looking to supplement their existing knowledge with the particular perspective offered.
I will NOT be teaching indigenous knowledge that is not mine to share.
Any ancestral context offered will either be from my own Jewish Chicana background, widely distributed & often standardized healing practices (like Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda), or information that I have received explicit permission from my own teachers to share. What we will do is make connections between the ways that many earth based traditions overlap in a manner that defies cultural divides, and ground our learning experience in the natural world and it cycles.
We may, at times, introduce indigenous voices in ways that allow them to speak for themselves - either through supplemental reading or guest speakers (when possible).
We will NOT be learning to harvest wild plants.
While I feel that the importance of having a knowledge and a relationship with the plants that grow around us is invaluable, I do not practice or encourage removing plants from the wild - both out of respect for the plants themselves as well as the indigenous peoples who continue to have their ancestral lands and medicines desecrated by a culture of colonization. I do, however, passionately support getting to know our local plants in their natural habitats and, as much as possible, cultivating these plants at our homes, in our neighborhoods, in community gardens, etc.
We will be visiting wild spaces during our time together, and will be learning how to walk with respect among our plant, animal and mineral allies, as well as discussing how to help propagate in the wild rather than taking from it. For information about endangered and at risk plants, visit United Plant Savers.
S C H E D U L E
Carla moves along her path with effervescent grace and humility. No hierarchy exists within her sphere as educator, rather, she creates a sacred circle for each person, plant and otherwise to be both teacher and student...Her medicine comes in the form of ritual - through daily work with the plants and all of us who need them, and also through spreading the seeds of revolution by discussing the harder topics of our times. Her perspective on natural medicine is not to be missed; it is a teaching of how to empower yourself on your personal journey with the guidance of plant friends. Carla is a desert flower oasis in this world, truly. I'm honored to be her student." - Meg Houston, Community Herbalist
Monthly gatherings will be held one Saturday a month, from 10am-5pm, beginning in March 2018.
2018 Dates: March 10th, April 14th, May 12th, June 9th, July 14th, AUGUST: NO CLASS, Sept 8th, Oct 13th, Nov 10th, Dec 8th, Closing Ceremony (optional): Dec 9th
*Gatherings will mostly take place in Tucson, Arizona, in the majestic and unparalleled Sonoran Desert, though exact locations may vary. We will also occasionally spend time in public parks or other outdoor spaces. Carpooling arrangements to these locations will be available and bus routes to urban locations will be provided.
P A Y M E N T O P T I O N S
THE FULL COST of this series is $810 (after January 19th)
A discounted "Early Bird" price of $756 will be available until January 19th (a full dollar off per hour of study).
It is important to me to make my offering as accessible as possible. This price includes medicine making supplies and herbs for in-class use, some additional medicines to take home to continue work between monthly gatherings, reservations of classroom spaces, occasional compensation for guest teachers, and many hours of my personal time and energy in loving dedication to the development of a full and enriching experience for all participants.
PAYMENT PLANS (available upon request):
The prices below reflect the cost minus the initial $100 deposit. *see "Application Process" below.
- 4 installments of $177.50 (if early bird: $164.00) to be paid at predetermined dates.
(Payment plans will require an additional signed agreement between myself and the participant that will outline more detailed specifics. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any additional questions about these options).
WORK TRADE : 25% off total price
This year there will be ONE designated need-based work trade position available. Priority will be given to women & femmes, queer, trans, BIPOC based on the historical lack of access to educational spaces, among other discrepancies of equal opportunities.
The work trade person will be expected to take on extra responsibilities in and outside of class that may include coming in early to help set up classroom, staying late to clean classroom, assisting during class, work in the garden, etc.
We hope to be able to offer one full scholarship this year, dependent on donations and fundraising efforts on the part of Yerba Nomadica and my community. As with the with the Work Trade option, priority will be given to women & femmes, queer, trans, BIPOC before considering other applicants.
A P P L I C A T I O N P R O C E S S
The first step for all would-be participants is to fill out the online application form below.
Once accepted, a $100 deposit is required to hold your space, and it is also at that time that payment options may be agreed upon.
& remember, SPACES ARE LIMITED!
*I ask that you please read all information above before applying for the Yerba Nomadica 2018 Aprendeship so that you can determine whether this offering is right for you! Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page (coming soon!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
F R I N G E B E N I F E T S
Carla was one of my first teachers at the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine. She was one of the first to offer energetic support for spiritual and emotional strength. It seems to be through the years, those kinds of teaching which are laying with me most. Her knowledge and passion for herbalism, community, and beyond is strikingly influential. She is fierce and yet carefully honest, protective, and encouraging, a true educator. I continue to learn from her, over 5 years later! - Brandi Jo Perkins, Energetic Herbalist & founder of Ritual Union
By becoming an inaugural participant of our 9 month offering, you will automatically receive access to any new materials added to the Aprendeship the following year (which may be in the form of notes, reading materials, class projects, recipes, worksheets, etc).
As a life-long learner, I am constantly exploring new and inspiring areas of study relating to healing traditions and new perspectives on the healing process.
It is inevitable, then, that each year's curriculum will lean more heavily on whatever new/re-discovery has got me excited at the moment. I love this about my practice, that it is ever evolving, growing, stretching to new places that I couldn't have imagined previously. My teaching style also reflects this: one year I may be particularly moved by lunar rituals for healing and magic, while the next year I may be infatuated with somatic therapies for ancestral traumas. Most exciting of all - there are possibilities and perspectives out there that I can't even conceive of yet that will unquestionably color future offerings. The meat and potatoes (so to say) of our Herbal Aprendeship from year to year will remain, but the spices may vary somewhat.
A D D I T I O N A L P E R K S I N C L U D E
-Discounts on other classes taught by or hosted by me throughout the year (which may include local herbalists or those visiting from other regions) on a wide range of related subjects.
-Discounts on products and services from cooperating practitioners of the herbal and healing arts (which may include massage, tarot, herbal products, etc).
Facilitating accessible connections is an important way to support the work and livelihood of traditional medicine practitioners as well as the individual and collective health of our local community. It is an honor to work in tandem with other herbalists and healing arts practitioners to grow our web of support and resources.
Thank you for your support of community herbalism! We hope our 2018 Herbal Aprendeship : Witches & Radicles is the right next step in your healing journey!