Plants as Kin: Reweaving our Relationships with Caitlin McMullen
Herbalism is a practice, a study, a worldview, a way of being with infinite pathways to follow and forge. What connects all of us within herbalism is our feeling of being drawn toward the plants. Whether we came to herbalism as a means of improving our physical health, as an avenue for providing community care, or because of a felt kinship with plants and the desire to deepen it, we all come together over plants. In our current world of increasingly online living, pandemics making in-person learning with other humans problematic, and a cultural uplifting of traditional science above any other way of seeking and knowing the truth, it is very easy to have a practice of herbalism that is centered on learning data about herbs from books and online teachers and consolidating in our minds what others have learned and written about herbs. This is a perfectly good and useful study of herbs and herbalism, but it situates plants as objects of study and leaves out our direct experience. Plants are living beings, and we can connect with them meaningfully, engage in relationship and reciprocity with them. This does not replace the learning we do in a scientifically based way but complements it. Some may not feel the pull toward direct relationship with plants, and that is okay. But for those who do, knowing how to begin isn’t always easy, and it can be helpful to learn in community with others and to learn tools and practices in real-time.
25 in stock
This class will focus on establishing or deepening our own embodied experience and will lead you through direct communication with plants. There will be an element of guided exercise or meditation. It will not be a lecture. It will be participatory. You will need a plant you can work with during the class, so a houseplant or potted plant would work well, or if you can access the internet and an outdoor plant in a safe, private place, that would also work. Come with a sense of curiosity and willingness to set aside what you think you know, and access your direct, embodied connection with the plants.
- To lay down a framework for understanding direct connection/relationship with plants within a scientifically focused culture
- To provide a container for experimenting with a perhaps underused sense
- To usher students into a deeply present embodied mode of being
- To lead students through plant communication exercises
- To provide an opportunity for discussion of experiences within the class
Caitlin McMullen is an herbalist living in Sarasota, FL. She has been a student of plants since childhood, with an interest in herbalism beginning in college. She has completed Community Herbalist training with the Florida School of Holistic Living and studied with many teachers from around the country. She has a background in movement arts such as gymnastics, Tai Chi, and contemporary and improvisational dance, and these inform her approach to herbalism as an embodied practice. Caitlin tends the land where she and her partner and children live, nurturing both cultivated and wild herbs, living in accordance with the seasons as much as possible. She practices bioregional herbalism as a path of personal and community wellness and a means of interconnection with all our human and more than human communities.