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Teaching Like an Herbalist + Herbal Student Life


herbalist processing herbs in herb school; photo by gina marie casey

Teaching Like an Herbalist +

Herbal Student Life

Being an herbal teacher has been one of my greatest joys since I started down this path. I remember when my herb school teacher asked me to lead my first ever public class, and I was shocked, scared, and a little excited. Not knowing what to expect, I accepted knowing that it just felt right. Much to my surprise, from the moment I stepped into the classroom, I knew that I had just found part of my herbal path. Fast forward to today, and I'm about to embark on teaching my first 9-month herbal apprenticeship training, guiding budding herbalists as they find their way on the herbal path, once again, just knowing - this feels right.



What Makes Herbal School Different

Teachers are impactful people, and if you've ever had a good (or bad one) in school, you know exactly what I mean. I've always been a fan of traditional school, but when I found herbal school it was like I had discovered something different, something new and enchanting, inviting and inspiring, a place where dreams came to be born, and competition withered away. Unlike the rigorous and competitive academic settings of my past, herb school was all about finding the unique beauty within, the sparks that made each of us different, yet all fully connected through the art of this ancient tradition of learning and being as herbal healers.


I felt like I had finally landed at Hogwarts. A whimsical place that I had only ever dreamed could be possible, and yet, it was very much real and it fully changed my life.


What Is Herbal School All About

So what makes an herbal school different? An experiential and hands-on learning journey, herb school is unlike any other form of education there is. What does it mean to teach and to learn like an herbalist? See my most impactful moments below:

  1. We Learn With Our Minds and Hands: Learning like an herbalist is all about not only learning about plants, but using them too. As my mentor always says, experience is the best teacher. We take the plants we study and we get to know them on a level much deeper than any book can teach. The power of the two combined, is transformative.

  2. We Are Sensitive People: Half of an herbalist's job is being sensitive and responsive to the people they are working with, and as a teacher, this is no different. Teaching like an herbalist is about fostering the sensitivity within, because despite what you've been told, It's our greatest power when it comes to healing work. As a student, you get the chance to finally be safe enough to lean into this soft yet powerful way of being in the world.

  3. We Use Our Sense: Yes, there will be lessons and books, but there will also be smelling, tasting, creating, and feeling - in herbalism we teach with out senses and guide our students to do the same. When we fully experience a plant, in all it's facets we develop a deeper relationship to it, and a way to identify it that comes from a sense of deep knowing.

  4. Time Honored Traditions + Traditional Learning Systems: In herbalism, and especially in an apprenticeship, we follow the traditional way of teaching, where we pass on verbally the lessons of our teachers and our teachers teachers. This very old and ancestral way of sharing knowledge over time has been passed down across the centuries, and is the original and most sacred way to learn this craft.

  5. Community: Traditional school systems want you to compete against one another and prove who's best, and in herbalism, we see that every person has their own unique gift to share, and everyone is there to help you find it. We are stronger together, and weaker when divided. Together everyone studies and learns, and the allies you make in herb school will help support you in your work for years to come.

  6. We Use Modern Research + Traditional Knowledge Traditional healing schools value the importance of history and knowledge passed across time while simultaneously using modern studies alongside the lessons of biology, ecology, botany, and chemistry to help understand the complexities that are herbalism. This integrative approach is powerful and holistic.

Not The Only Way But A Beautiful Way

Teaching and studying like and herbalist has taught me how to connect, inspire, and share. It may not be the only way to learn, but it is the way, at least for me, that feels the most like home.



Feeling Inspired?

Explore The Herbal Path 9-Month Herbal Apprenticeship to learn more about how to study herbalism in an ancient and traditional way. Want to learn more? Join me for the upcoming Back To School Night on August 21st to see and feel what being an herbal student and teacher is all about.


Click Below to RSVP for Back To School Night!

flier for back to school night, an informative info night about the herbal path program

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