I just received in the mail the copy of Plant Healer Annual and its companion copy of artwork that I won in a contest held by Herbal Roots Zine. I am probably more excited about this prize than I am about the books given to me for Christmas (which I will get to in another post). Why? I think editor Jesse Wolf Hardin explains the magazine as well as the reason I love it in a short paragraph from his opening article “Plant Healers: A Resurgence of the Grass Roots Spirit in Western Folk Herbalism”
“Finally we are not afraid to make Plant Healer an honest representation of our wild and varied community, just a bit edgy, containing in its garden folds not just backwoods hippie vibe but the dark humor of New York free clinic and intensity of San Francisco guerrilla herbalism, the controversial frontiers of new science and extreme depths of personal experience and resultant reflection, an aesthetic diversity that is not just typical ‘alternative’ but also radical chic and botany geek, cowgirl and punk. A magazine with attitude as well a magazine that cares.”
When I first started studying herbalism and my friends and family learned about it, I heard the words 'hippie' and 'tree-hugger' bandied about but was a little worried because if you could see me 8 years ago at age 16 when I first started getting into herbs and yoga, aromatherapy and the green movement, I most certainly did not fit the portrait of a hippie.
I was what most people refer to as a Goth or, in some lesser cases, a Punk or Emo-kid. I died my hair black and purple when I could, considered getting various piercings, and did until I realized I naturally rejected them, and dressed predominantly in black.
So I was worried that maybe herbalism wasn’t really my thing. No one could take some goth kid seriously when they were expecting some thin, ethereal, earthy, hippie toting valerian root and nettles. So I backed off. It wasn’t until college, when my allergies to all things artificial and paraben-filled got the better of me that I decided to move ahead with my desires to dig deep into the world of herbalism and natural healing.
That was when I found Plant Healer and people like Kiva Rose and Rosemary Gladstar, Rosalee dela Foret and Aviva Romm. I fell in love with this world they were writing about, doing seminars about, and even in youtube videos about. I decided, hey, maybe a goth kid really cold get into this.
So…I digress…back to the books
The Art of Plant Healer Magazine Vol. 1
I love this book of art but I think my husband loves it even more. He and I poured over the artwork, pointing out our favorites and even a few that we would love to have as posters in our home.
The ones that we agreed on that we loved the most are the cover art, “Mother of the Tree” and a picture of a woman on a three-eyed horse called “In the Garden by Madeline von Foester as well as the poster in the Diversity in Herbalism series that says “I Shit You Not…not every Herbalist is a Hippie…by any stretch” with a picture of a very attractive tattooed chick. The last one, for obvious reasons, is a poster I would have hanging in the room my family and I have set aside just for my herbalism stuff and small library.
Plant Healer Annual Vol. 1
This book is HUGE! I mean it! HUGE! For only being four issues of Plant Healer in here, it’s HUGE!
I’ve been lugging this book around with me all day, reading and re-reading articles, making notes and I’m not even through the first segment!
There are articles from Rosemary Gladstar, Paul Bergner, Darcey Blue French, and so many more. I am very excited to be reading articles by some of my favorite experts in the field. It’s so inspiring to read these recipes and stories, adventures and lessons. I soak it all up like a sponge and go on a search for more.
Not only have I found inspiration for my herbalism studies in this book but also in other areas of my life including my studies in witchcraft and activism in the polyamory movement (even though there isn't an article about either of these things in the book).
I guess I just want to end off this little blog post with a big Huge THANK YOU to Plant Healer Annual and Herbal Roots Ezine for all this inspiration. It’s such a blessing!
Love and Light,