(learn about our 400 hour community herbalism training program here.)

Foundations of Herbalism: An Embodied Practice. February 8, 15, & 22.

Herbs for Mental Health: An Energetic Approach. March 7.

Medical Astrology Mini-Series. March 14 & 21.

All classes are held at our classroom in Marshall, NC. 115 Blannahassett Island, Room 209.

Foundations of herbalism:

an embodied practice

You already have the tools to practice herbal medicine. You just need to learn to use them. Your senses and your embodied experience can tell you how a plant affects the body, what conditions it supports and what symptoms it eases. You need only learn to pay attention to the patterns, to listen and observe. This knowledge is your birthright. When you learn to use your senses to work with plant medicines, you tap into the lived experience of your ancestors.

In this series of classes, we will discuss the foundations of herbal medicine. If you are a beginner, this series will allow you to build knowledge through direct experience of the plants as teachers. You will develop skills that form a solid basis for continued self-study. If you are a more advanced student in search of a cohesive foundational framework, this series will deepen your practice by providing a system for pairing plant energetics with patterns in the body.

Any of the three classes can be taken alone, but they are designed to build on each other. If you attend the full series you will leave with a solid set of skills and concepts that will guide and empower your work for as long as you practice herbalism.


Tastes and Energetics

February 8, 2020      11 am-3:30 pm

Instructor: Janet Kent

Tasting an herb connects us immediately and viscerally to the nature of a plant. We directly perceive its energetic personality, and begin to discern how it would act in the body. By tasting a variety of herbs, and starting from our own sensations and intuitions, the first class in the series develops this essential way of knowing. You will learn to recognize and differentiate between six different flavors of herbs, and three impressions that herbs can leave in the mouth. We will talk about what you can learn from the flavor of a plant: its energetics, chemistry, and physiological actions.
The class also establishes a foundational energetic framework. By tasting herbs and listening to our bodies we will learn to identify patterns of heat, cold, dryness, and moisture, and to see how the energetics of plants and bodies interact.


Vitalist Healing and Herbal Actions

February 15, 2020      11 am-3:30 pm

Instructor: Dave Meesters

All traditional systems of medicine share a belief in the body’s innate intelligence and ability to heal itself. This intelligent agent of healing and growth in the body is what we call the Vital Force. The healer’s role is to pay attention to the state of the vital force: How strong is it? Is it flowing well? Where is it blocked? Using herbs and other therapies, we can nourish the body’s vitality, direct it to organs that need it, and remove obstacles to healing. In this class we learn the principles of vitalist healing, and all the different ways that herbs can help the vital force do its work. An herb can be a stimulant, a relaxant, a diaphoretic, a vulnerary, an adaptogen… What properties do these terms describe, and how does an herbalist put those properties to use? Come learn the Terra Sylva framework for herbal actions within the vitalist paradigm.


The Six Tissue States

February 22, 2020      11 am-3:30 pm

Instructors: Dave Meesters & Janet Kent

How do you tell a dry cough from a tense cough?  And what herbs would you use for one but not the other? In the final class we take a deeper look at energetics in the body to refine a method for healing specific patterns of imbalance. We discuss what are called the six “tissue states”:  Excitation (Hot), Depression (Cold), Stagnation (Damp), Atrophy (Dry), Tension and Laxity. Using practical examples we learn to identify these energetic states as they show up in the various parts of the body, and the herbs, foods and therapies that help bring the body back into balance. An understanding of tissue states provides a comprehensive framework to match an individual’s specific condition to the herbal remedies that will bring them relief.

Each class costs $45 to attend, or $120 for the whole three-class series.

The classes will meet from 11am to 3:30pm (with a 20 minute break) at the Terra Sylva main classroom at 115 Blannahassett Island, Room 209, in Marshall, North Carolina.

Space is limited! Please register in advance by emailing us at terrasylvaschool@gmail.com

Herbs for Mental Health: An Energetic Approach

with janet kent

These are trying times. Despair, anger, dread, grief and anxiety are appropriate responses to living in the current era. However, knowing that one’s pain is justified does not make it more bearable. Too often we are laid low by our mental states, unable to experience joy or appreciate beauty. Fortunately, we are surrounded by herbal allies who can help us navigate this difficult terrain. When we choose the right herbs, we can feel immediate relief from troubling mental states. Choosing the right herbs entails recognizing the patterns of mental duress and picking the plant medicines that best ease those states. In this class we will go beyond both conventional medical diagnosis and typical herbal protocols by applying the Western Herbal energetic framework of Tissue States to mental health.  This class is appropriate for a wide range of students, from those who are just beginning to learn about the potential of plant medicine to experienced practitioners looking to for a more nuanced and holistic approach to mental health.

Saturday March 7, 11 am – 3:30 pm.  $45.

To register email terrasylvaschool@gmail.com

medical astrology mini-series

with ash sierra of ritual botanica

Humans have looked to the stars for seeking guidance and understanding long before written records can account. Most of our ancestors lived astrological knowledge; turning to the sky for pilgrimages and plantings, tracking & tides. We’ve been coevolving with the heavens since the beginning, it only makes sense an entire school of body-mind-spirit medicine was crafted around its presence. Tracing the exact origins of medical astrology is difficult because it transformed as cultures merged, however, there are references to this system before the turn of the millennium. Countless traditional cultures have evidence highlighting the importance of events taking place in the night above. Astrology was once second nature to healing practices in many areas of Europe. It informed everything from a persons disposition and cause of disease, to cure and to treatment dates. Most of the western medical astrology we know today was a vital part of health and healing from the Hellenistic period until it’s decline during the scientific revolution.

Much like other traditional systems of herbal medicine astrology is a complex practice that can be studied indefinitely. Unfortunately, it’s gained a bit of bad rap, becoming taboo in medicine, appearing as a weekly entertainment column for a chuckle. However, its assessment tools are not much different than other widely accepted schools of traditional medicine. Each component contains a piece of the puzzle, and there are components within components. Western astrology is a true piece of hermetic knowledge – As above so below.

Western astrology may be based on the twinkling heavens above but is actually grounded in Earth energy, in our planet’s relation to the life-giving sun, in seasonal knowledge, in the ways this is reflected in our being as it develops consciousness, manages mental and physical states. When we look at it through this lens it becomes much more intuitive and easy to grasp.

For many with European ancestors, medical astrology provides a constitutional system that has been in our blood for centuries to practice herbal medicine and other empowering wellness modalities. There are many medical astrology concepts that parallel those found in Ayurveda, TMC, vitalism, Unani-Tibb and other humoral approaches. The astrological system provides 3 modes, 4 humors, 12 temperaments; language for energetically discussing plants, actions and tissue states; and blueprint of the specific mind-body-soul constitution. As I said, it’s complex, and can get very specific and individualized for clinical assessment.

This class is an introduction to western medical astrology using the Placidus house system. While providing a general understanding of the basics of Astrology, we will spend time exploring what each element represents, how it in the body and how all the pieces combined inform this system of medicine.

This series is a foundational step in western medical astrology using the Placidus house system. History will briefly be discussed then we’ll dive into the core of this system over the course of 2 classes, looking at each piece individually and how it layers in our chart to create our astrological make-up. While providing a rooted understanding of Astrology in general, we will spend time exploring how each piece informs physical, spiritual and global health, as these cannot be separated.

Day 1: March 14, 11am-6pm

History, overview, elements, modes, the intrapersonal zodiac signs

Lunch 1 hour

the extrapersonal zodiac signs

Day 2: March 21, 11am-6pm

The celestial bodies (luminaries, planets, nodes)

Lunch 1 hour

Ascendant, houses, & next steps into piecing the chart interpretation together.

for more info and to register click here