Yesterday Dave and I had a great time outdoors doing something different. We decided to join a local event to learn about our alpine home we live in, here in Lake Tahoe, and how richly abundant it is with potent, magickal, and effective plant medicines. Since we spend tons of time in nature and especially out in the wild, we’ve been getting more and more into learning about foraging, edibles, and medicinal herbs and their benefits. Dave especially had gotten interested during our Magick Bus RV adventure, and had picked up a couple small booklets on foraging. He especially has loved learning how nearly every part of pine trees are edible and we’ve enjoyed munching on the citrusy pine needles, rich in vitamin C. So, the timing of a friend of ours here in Tahoe sharing about this event that took place yesterday was perfect and we signed up right away.
The event was called Bioregional Medicine: Medicinal Herbs of the Tahoe Sierra, which was taught and guided by Gina Woods. Gina is a clinical herbalist, ecologist, nutritionist, chef, educator, and proprietor of Woods Apothecary, which is a local wellness and botanical education center.
I found Gina to be extremely knowledgeable, her experiential class to be very thorough and informative, and her passion, love, and dedication to stewardship of our Earth, her commitment to sustainable development of ecological responsibility, leaving the smallest footprint possible, her devotion to the plants and plant medicine, and our local mountains, as well as her magickal insights and way of sharing to be both enjoyable and admirable.
I love how she helps people to connect to the Plant Spirits and to really create a relationship with them that will help you to connect more with the essence of yourself as a multi-dimensional and collective being.
She believes that when we connect more with the plants and the Earth, we will create a shift in our experience not only individually, but as a collective, bringing us back to natural harmony – something I share in feeling.
You can read more about Gina at the link I provided above, but if you don’t get a chance, I’m sharing some of that info here to provide some insight into her and her work.
Gina has over 20 years of experience as a holistic practitioner, clinical herbalist, Medicine maker, nutritionist, yoga and meditation instructor, massage therapist, birth worker, activist and various healing works, steeped in multicultural traditions. So she’s quite diverse in her offerings.
But yesterday was focused on plant medicine and truly connecting to the wild herbs and plants, as these really connect us to that part of us that we have forgotten, denied, suppressed, and/or fear.
While she does cultivate her own herbs and garden, she is very passionate about wild foraging and bringing some of the wild into your life through working with these plant medicines. I would have to agree, as there really is a potency to wild plants and this incredible frequency and connection that truly stimulates your very DNA in a way that brings you, too, back to your original nature and harmony.
In yesterday’s three-hour guided, outdoor experience, we learned about one ecosystem in a new area we haven’t explored yet, out in Meyers. (We’ll definitely be returning to do some foraging of our own, but also to hike the beautiful trail there to the waterfalls).
The event is one of three in a series that will explore three distinctly different ecosystems during the walks and guided experience.
You learn to positively identify and use the medicinal plants we find in our local bioregion, what each can be used for in terms of health, food, wellness, medicine, first aid, and magickal purposes.
It was a great group of 20 people who showed up (not including Gina), but including five children that joined as well.
Many of the participants have been working with herbs and plant medicine, so we got to hear some of their thoughts, as well as got insights from one of the people who showed up who is a botanist.
We learned about 20 different plant medicines she had planned for the day, plus a few extras she couldn’t help but talk about and add into our experience.
Dave and I split up our learning experience with him being the note taker and me photo documenting everything. This way we weren’t wasting time doubling up on tasks and worked well as a team. It will then provide us a good sheet of info for our own hiking/foraging with good photos of what each plant looks like so we know what we’re doing! 😉
We also got info on the best book to get for this area, which we’ll be doing so we can understand the plants of our area more and how to identify and work with them.
It was really enjoyable to sensually experience each of the plants we met more intimately. This included feeling them, visually taking their beauty in, listening to their energy/message, tasting their unique flavors, and smelling their fragrance.
I loved when Gina would get into the magickal and witchy stuff, enjoying her insights on how witches used things like Mugwort – I did end up taking some home and putting it under my pillow last night. 😉
I’m mostly just sharing photos of the experience, rather than every plant we learned about, so you can see what the day was like and perhaps if it speaks to you, you can find something local to you to join!