Workshops

10th Annual
Midwest Women's Herbal Conference
"Healing the Earth, the People, and the Plants"
May 7, 8 & 9, 2021 •  Virtual
Note: If you're already registered, links to the workshops will arrive a day or two before your event or the Conference. 
Presenters
Herbal education and personal growth workshops, dance and body movement opportunities, singing, and virtual nature walks presented by wise women from around the world.
Pre-conference Workshops
1  1/2 Day or 3 hour long preconference workshops preceding the main conference. 
Register

Registration for the Virtual 10th Anniversary Midwest Women's Herbal Conference is NOW OPEN!

Conference Workshops

Conference Workshops

Finnish Plants and Their Uses | Henriette Kress, AHG


The Finnish herbal traditions include teas, local plants, and lots of foraging. Almost all families still go out to forage for nettles in spring and for berries and mushrooms in fall. It's therefore quite easy to get people to pick their own plants. Poultices and salves have traditionally been used extensively, tinctures and syrups not so much. Henriette talk about the uses of interesting herbs like stinging nettle, potentilla, rose, angelica, plantain, alder cones, elecampane ... and fly agaric.




Strengthening Your Immune System - Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics | Robin Rose Bennett


We face a crisis of antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases due to the overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture. Fortunately, there are a variety of teas, tinctures, topical salves, and foods that can be used to prevent and alleviate illness through strengthening our immune systems. There are also antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral herbs that can be safely and effectively used to help us heal when illness or infection is already present. Join me to learn how herbal allies, from astragalus to zingiber, can help us regain and maintain our health.




Knowing the Plants Around Us | Robyn Klein


Robyn has been teaching plant identification since 2004 and currently teaches at Montana State University in Bozeman. Her gardens are full of unusual plants from Russia and China. Rather than harvest from the wild, Robyn encourages everyone to grow their medicines, trade them, and learn those herbs that can act as substitutes. She learned her skills from Dr. Christopher Hobbs and Sevensong, both excellent teachers of plant identification.




Holy Smoke | Heather Nic An Fhleisdeir


Once a way to administer herbs that got hijacked by tobacco barons and we lost the thread, explore the use of smoking herbs for healing, transformation and social applications. Suitable for lay people and experienced practitioners, join us in the history of remembering, and the chemistry of reclaiming and reviving the practice.




Shamanic Drum Journey for Healing Plant Medicine | Sue Van Hook


Join Sue Van Hook, naturalist and healer, for drum journeys to the lower world to seek the plant medicine for this moment in your life. We'll journey to meet your plant and again to learn it's message for you. Synchronicities appear when willing participants share their journey experiences with the group. No prior experience is necessary to join.




Chinese Medicine in Your Kitchen | Jiling Lin


Explore the five phases of Chinese medicine and their correlating five seasons. Learn traditional Chinese food energetics, including the five flavors, nature/ temperature, and meridians. Understand Chinese dietary principles for eating and living through the five seasons, with optimal foods, herbs, and cooking practices.




Mushrooms for Health & Healing in Clinical Practice | Cornelia Cho


Medicinal Mushrooms in Clinical Practice - Medicinal Mushrooms are our healing allies, producing complex molecules often compatible with human physiology. Lion’s Mane Hericium mushroom produces nerve growth compounds able to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate nerve cell growth. Another mushroom is now curing chemical addictions, helping treatment-resistant depression and more. We will discuss clinical research, case studies, precautions and DIY cutting-edge mushroom methodologies.




Applying Permaculture Principles in Everyday Life | Anandi Premlall


After reviewing the 12 principles of permaculture, we will explore ways to apply them to everyday life. Through interactive activities and discussion, this workshop will offer strategies for a life filled with ease and beauty. Everyone will leave inspired and with a personal map for creatively incorporating permaculture into daily life.




Keynote: The Greatest Story Never Told; Indigneous Habit Expansion in the Americas | Lyla June


Contrary to popular belief, there is ample evidence of extensive land management on the part of indigenous peoples from Alaska to patagonia. From rhizome gardens in the pacific northwest, to grass lands stewardship by the great plains nation,. to chestnut edens in the kentucky mountains, to poly culture fruit forests of the mayan civilizations, to pehuen nut cultivation in the andes mountain range, to clam garden construction along bountiful coastlines, indigenous peoples enhanced the food and medicinal plant bearing capacity of every region in the Americas. Drawing from her doctoral research, Lyla June will discuss the nature of these food systems, why their stories were never told, and how humanity can bring them back.




Beloved Herbs: Vitex, Viburnums, and Rose | Heather Irvine


Vitex is often applauded as a hormonal panacea but it is less understood as it is often applied. Learn more from historical to technical. Viburnum is a clever little helper and can say more about how crampbark and black haw work, as well as the history of use, current use, and we will get clearer on the identification of these and look-alikes. Finally we will finish with the lore of the beloved rose! comforting rose!




The Nine Principles of Celtic Spirituality | Ellen Evert Hopman


What are the basic principles of Celtic Spirituality? How do these principles apply to Celtic Christianity and Celtic Paganism? How is Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism different from more modern paths such as Wicca? In this class we will examine evidence from the historical Celts and their cosmology, traditional practices, poetry, Celtic triads and aphorisms, and Brehon Law. Study Druidism with Ellen Evert Hopman on line at www.tribeoftheoak.com




Slow Flow Yoga for Every Body | Mary Bue


Join Mary Bue e-RYT 500 for 45 minutes of slow, luxurious movement to energize, invite focus & concentration, and prepare the body for a day of learning. We will link breath and movement in a gentle-to-moderate flowing sequence with time for longer stretches. We will weave the wisdom of our plant allies into each session. Gentle modifications will also be offered, and you'll be serenaded by Mary's music during the final resting posture. All bodies are welcome, and especially beginners!




Women's Food & Herbal Traditions of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Tribe | Misty Cook


The people from the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Tribe have always used medicines derived from natural plants for health and healing that has helped sustain the tribe through their culturral ways. The knowlege was only passed down through oral traditions until now. This workshop will explore the history of tribal foods and medicines that grow with the seasons.




Clinical Pearls | Margi Flint


The importance of sharing positive words with our clients sends them home with hope. What are some of the comments we share which build this hope? Knowing which facial indicators determine a person's strong constitution, vital energy they were born with, brows, nose, mouth and earlobe indicators pointing to inherent strength can stimulate the mind, heart, spirit to embrace challenges. Watch the light build in their eyes! Leaving your office knowing which markers to observe for healthy changes, what foods to shift to or away from, and hearing glowing affirmation for the choices a person has made which get "a thousand points" can be the turning point. Empower without overwhelming.




Cannabis Myths & Facts | Tammi Sweet


Cannabis is reemerging as a potent and important medicine for a broad range of conditions. The trick is, which ones? Don’t believe the hype that it’s good for ALL conditions. It’s not. Join me as we venture down some rabbit holes of solid fact-based information on the efficacy of high THC and high CBD cannabis for chronic pain, sleep issues, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and chronic inflammation including neuroinflammation. We will also spend time discussing basic dosing, medicine-making and the sourcing of quality flowers.




Keynote: Plant Allies and Backyard Friends that Touch the Soul | Rosemary Gladstar


Join Rosemary Gladstar for an evening of story telling, poetry, and song as she introduces us to her favorite plant allies and backyard weeds. Time to let the brain rest, put down your notes, take a deep breath, and enjoy this beautiful slide presentation of Rosemary’s favorite herbal allies, both people and plants. Meet some of Rosemary’s elders, the herbalists who had a profound influence on American Herbalism as we know it today, and the plant allies who guided us on our journeys. There will be a little time left for ‘Plant Witnessing’ so if you have a particular plant story, one of those ‘aha’ moments where the plants changed your life, be prepared to share it.




Foundations of Ayurvedic Medicine | Sonya Sankaran


This class will cover fundamentals of the 5,000-year-old Indian tradition of Ayurveda (ayur=life; veda=wisdom), which includes using herbs, nutrition, cleansing, bodywork and more to balance the mind, body and spirit. Together, we will go on a multi-sensory exploration of the healing properties of Indian seasonal herbs and spices. Sonya will teach you how to integrate Ayurvedic practices into your lifestyle that optimize your energy, promote good sleep and support your path toward spiritual awakening.




Singing The Plant Spirits: Shamanic Healing with the Spirits of Plants | Caitlin Matthews


Caitlín will speak about her work as a shamanic healer and the role of song as prayer, and plant spirits in healing. Drawing upon case-histories we have had in healing work, together we will explore the nature of plant spirits and how we can co-operate with them in a non-herbal way.




Weaving Story Medicine: The Healing Cloak of the Ancients | Susun Weed


Humans are storied. Our stories create meaning, continuity, and health (or disease). A story shared heals the teller and the listener. Come weave the great old story of women and plants with Susun Weed, who promises to spin a few yarns for you.




Keynote: A Dialogue with Vandana Shiva: Food, Health, and Ecofeminism | Vandana Shiva


Join us for this dialogue between Dr Vandana Shiva and conference founder Linda Conroy, MSS, MSLP. We will talk about the role that food plays in our health and the health of the planet, and explore the concept of ecofeminism and how women can stay resilient in these turbulent times. This impactful dialogue will incorporate questions submitted prior to the event by registrants and is sure to be an event to remember.




Using Energetics in Herbal Formulation & Therapeutics: Vitalism for the Practicing Herbalist | Lisa Ganora


Traditional Western Herbalism, like Ayurveda or Chinese medicine, has a long-established system of energetics that takes into account the relationship of a plant's characteristics and actions with the individual human temperament (constitution). Although many of us first learn to work with herbs in a practical way, we can refine and empower our art and craft when we understand how to include herbal energetics. Learn about how to simple and formulate with familiar herbs, using an awareness of the temperature continuum (warming-to-cooling), the moisture continuum (drying-to-hydrating), the temporal continuum (diffusive-to-permanent), and other energetics such as trophorestoration and vital stimulation. We'll discuss the basic principles of Vitalist herbalism including removing obstacles to cure and providing the intelligence of Nature with the tools required to facilitate the free flow of Life Energy.




Teen Spiral - Empowerment Circle and Botanical Self Care


In the Teen Empowerment Circle, we will first get to know one another with an opening circle. We will then discuss what we learned in Lyla June's keynote. We will talk about the major issues and threats facing the environment and humanity and brainstorm solutions to making this world a better place. We will dream big together and offer each other support and encouragement. This session will include meditation, self reflection, journaling, discussion, dreaming, and visioning. Botanical Self Care: Learn a myriad of self care techniques which include meditation, salt baths, herbal remedies, and gentle movements. We will discuss the moon cycle and how to track it, herbs that can help during menstruation, as well as herbs that can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote a healthy night's sleep.




Mommy and Me Plant Walk


Join us in the garden for a plant walk that will focus on plants that Children Can Easily Identify! Genevieve and her daughter Cedar (5) wiill take you on a backyard plant walk. We will identify plants most commonly found outside one's door (such as plantain, violet, and dandelion) and demonstrate how children can be involved, and discuss the plants' helpful properties. Cooking and craft ideas will be shared.




Hidden Journeys: Exploring the Plant/Human Relationship | Isla Burgess


Hidden Journeys: Plants are sentient and aware lifeforms capable of self expression. How do we access that expression? This goes beyond the actions that a plant is said to have, we explore the deeper, often hidden, more ‘whole’ understanding of the plant/human relationship.




Affrilachian Healing: Women of Color Healers of the South | Lucretia VanDyke


Carrying on a legacy of Women of color in the healing arts movement of the south is Lucretia’s life work and passion. Throughout history, people of color have played important roles in the world of healing arts and healthcare. We will talk about their work, folk medicine, history in health and wellness, and the plants they loved. From the granny midwife, herbalist, abolitionist, to food for the soul, to the medicine women who healed, join Lucretia in speaking their names to understand their journey and the importance of their contribution to community health and wellness. Together you’ll create a unique mocktail inspired by her granny’s sweet tea, journey from ancient Egypt to the Southern Appalachian mountains, and experience a plant spirit meditation (be sure to bring your favorite tincture for that!).




Traditional and Diasporic African Dance | T. "Ayo" Alston


This workshop will explore traditional and diasporic movements of African dance and music. We will move through basic technique fundamentals, building sequence while sweating hard and having fun. Release some tension and come dance with me to feel even sweeter on this Midwest Herbal Conference Saturday. This class is invigorating and stimulating to the body, mind and soul. Let’s Dance!




Saturday night Drum and Dance Party | T. "Ayo" Alston


Come and join us for midwest herbal conference 10 year anniversary virtual drum and dance party celebration led by T Ayo. Bring your body, your instruments and your open heart to this virtual space where we will engage in follow the leader to some African tunes with Ayo. We will then finish out the night with music that YOU have selected that we will all be free to move our bodies play some instruments or just bask in the loving, artsy virtual ambience.





Keynotes

Keynote: A Dialogue with Vandana Shiva: Food, Health, and Ecofeminism | Vandana Shiva


Join us for this dialogue between Dr Vandana Shiva and conference founder Linda Conroy, MSS, MSLP. We will talk about the role that food plays in our health and the health of the planet, and explore the concept of ecofeminism and how women can stay resilient in these turbulent times. This impactful dialogue will incorporate questions submitted prior to the event by registrants and is sure to be an event to remember.




Keynote: Plant Allies and Backyard Friends that Touch the Soul | Rosemary Gladstar


Join Rosemary Gladstar for an evening of story telling, poetry, and song as she introduces us to her favorite plant allies and backyard weeds. Time to let the brain rest, put down your notes, take a deep breath, and enjoy this beautiful slide presentation of Rosemary’s favorite herbal allies, both people and plants. Meet some of Rosemary’s elders, the herbalists who had a profound influence on American Herbalism as we know it today, and the plant allies who guided us on our journeys. There will be a little time left for ‘Plant Witnessing’ so if you have a particular plant story, one of those ‘aha’ moments where the plants changed your life, be prepared to share it.




Keynote: The Greatest Story Never Told; Indigneous Habit Expansion in the Americas | Lyla June


Contrary to popular belief, there is ample evidence of extensive land management on the part of indigenous peoples from Alaska to patagonia. From rhizome gardens in the pacific northwest, to grass lands stewardship by the great plains nation,. to chestnut edens in the kentucky mountains, to poly culture fruit forests of the mayan civilizations, to pehuen nut cultivation in the andes mountain range, to clam garden construction along bountiful coastlines, indigenous peoples enhanced the food and medicinal plant bearing capacity of every region in the Americas. Drawing from her doctoral research, Lyla June will discuss the nature of these food systems, why their stories were never told, and how humanity can bring them back.





Preconference Workshops

Pre-Conference Clinical Immersion Workshop : Herbs, Ritual, and Sacred Ceremony | Robin Rose Bennett


Do you long to find ritual practices to help you become more centered in your authentic self, and for ways to be in communion with all that is sacred as you go about your daily life? You are not alone! Meaningful ritual is vital to our healing and to our sense of connection. In this immersion we’ll dive into an experiential ritual or two and we'll delve into an exploration of essential facets of crafting your own rituals and ceremonies: developing relationship with the four elements and seven directions, creating a safe container for group and solo work, the use of symbol and metaphor, and common medicinal, magical plants will guide us every step of the way. Building in Spirit is sacred and energy is as real as the chair you are sitting in or the roof over your head. You can learn to work with ritual to guide your own spiritual journey, uncovering every more freedom and joy. Ceremonies can help us engage in spiritual activism in our world to very real effect, and also enhance our community celebrations! Learn to tune in to the invisible world in a grounded way, and you will feel connected to the magic alive in every moment.




Pre-Conference Workshop : Living and Dying: A Wise Woman Approach | Rebekah Dawn


We will all have the opportunity to support a loved one in their dying process. We will certainly have to navigate the terrain of dying ourselves. We will address many of the common experiences and challenges of this developmental experience. The aim of this workshop is to share the wise woman’s simple and practical tools of plant and story. These tools not only have the powerful potential to ease our dying but also are the keys for living on purpose.




Pre-Conference Workshop : Celtic Tree Medicine & Lore | Ellen Evert Hopman


Tree Divination Using the Ancient Celtic Ogham Alphabet The Irish Ogham tree alphabet pre-dates the Latin alphabet. Instead of letters like A-B-C-D the alphabet uses tree names like Birch, Rowan, Elder, Oak, etc. Each letter of the alphabet is couched in symbolism and lore. Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of A DRUID’S HERBAL OF SACRED TREE MEDICINE, TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC and other volumes that explore ancient Celtic tree lore and tree herbalism. In this workshop you will learn the basics of the Ogham letters and the spiritual, medicinal and cultural lore around them, make a small divination deck, and practice using the trees to do readings for yourself and others. Visit Ellen and find her books on line at www.elleneverthopman.com




Pre-Conference Workshop: Wise Woman Support for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding | MaryLou Singleton


If you are an aspiring or practicing birth worker or a woman interested in nurturing herself and the women of her community, this class is for you. Never in human history have women received more professional support for birth and breastfeeding, and never in human history have women had a harder time birthing and breastfeeding. As our culture moves further into the scientific paradigm where a reductionist explanation can be found for every aspect of the human condition, it is unsurprising that fewer and fewer people feel healthy and whole. The solution to this predicament is not more technology, more science or more expertise. We need a return to embracing the healing power of community, nutrition, friendship, and deep relationship with nature. In this three-hour intensive we will touch on the following topics: Pregnancy and birth as templates for the human creative process. Preparing the body for pregnancy Conscious conception. Welcoming surprise house guests: embracing unintended pregnancy. Supporting pregnancy with herbs. Preparing for birth. Herbal support for birth and immediate postpartum. Nourishing the breastfeeding mother.





Pre Conference Workshops
Choose from:
  1. Herbs, Ritual, Sacred Ceremony
  2. Celtic Tree Medicine & Lore
  3. Living and Dying: A Wise Woman Approach
  4. Wise Woman Support for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

 

Wednesday, May 5 – Friday, May 7

Immersions take place the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of/prior to the main, Midwest Women’s Herbal conference. Immersions are an incredible opportunity to work with an instructor in small groups, on a specific topic. We hope you will join us!

Spring 2021 Conference Schedule

(subject to change)

Wednesday, May 5

6-8 pm | Herbs, Ritual, and Sacred Ceremony w/ Robin Rose Bennett

Thursday, May 6

10 am-5pm | Herbs, Ritual, and Sacred Ceremony w/ Robin Rose Bennett

1 pm-4 pm | Celtic Tree Medicine & Lore w/ Ellen Evert Hopman

Friday, May 7

8-8:45 am | Yoga/Meditation

9 am-12 pm | Living and Dying: A Wise Woman Approach w/ Rebekah Dawn & Kari Kircher

9 am-12 pm | Wise Woman Support for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding w/ MaryLou Singleton

1-1:45 pm | Opening Ceremony 

2-3:30 pm | Workshop 1

4-5:30 pm | Workshop 2

6:30-7 pm | Intro to Keynote

7-8:30 pm | Keynote 1

Saturday, May 8

8-8:45 am | Yoga/Meditation

9-10:30 am | Workshop 3

11 am-12:30 pm | Workshop 4

12:30-1:30 pm | Marketplace

2-3:30 pm | Workshop 5

4-5:30 pm | Workshop 6

6:30-7 pm | Intro to Keynote

7-8:30 pm | Keynote 2

8:30-9:30 pm | Evening Celebration facilitated by Judith Laxer

 
Sunday, May 9

8-8:45 am | Yoga/Meditation

9-10:30 am | Workshop 7

11 am-12:30 pm | Workshop 8

12:30-1:30 pm | Marketplace

2-3:30 pm | Workshop 9

3:30-4 pm | Closing Ceremony facilitated by Judith Laxer

Teen Spiral

We will gather together in this Time out of Time, a circle within the protective shelter of the Midwest Women's Conference, to Celebrate the unique beauty of being Young Women! Sharing our hopes and dreams we may arrive as strangers but we will leave as sisters.