A Living Library
Libraries have always held a special kind of magic for me. Worn wooden tables and the caramel scent of ancient paper. The swirl of soft dust and quiet imagination in afternoon light. Each book stack like a multicolored canyon of mystery. A landscape formed by the desire to explore beyond the island of what you currently know.
When I was growing up visiting the library was one of my most cherished adventures. The library building itself was relatively new, with all the hallmarks of funky 70’s architecture strange shaped windows and orange colored throw pillows. But, to me, stepping into those halls always felt like entering a cathedral.
There is a hush in such places, like the quiet down of snow. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the door. A peace that weaves in-between the contented beep of books being checked out and the soft tap of keyboards.
I think it has always been the hush that I love the most. Quietude creates so much space to wonder. And now I know, anywhere there is a hush, there is a library to be found. In the woods and fields. In the stillness of meditation. The mandala of the flowers. There, the unfolding of knowledge calmly awaits us.
Sometimes an idea comes in so strongly it creates a quiet, and we are invited into a new cathedral of learning in our lives. For me, there was one particular hush that drove me into a whole new era. The quiet, repeating, yearning to learn how harvest wild salads, and dig tap roots, and hear the stories of the passionflowers. It was the bone deep ache to learn about the medicine of the earth that brought me into the sanctum of the herbal world and its vast acreage of libraries.
Over the past two years I’ve been helping the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine to bring a deep library of herbal knowledge to the online world. We traveled all over the country to film master herbalists, hiked up and down forested slopes, and shot countless hours of footage in wide open spaces. We wanted to create the kind of library that would ignite the quiet learner, those of us who love the hush, to become an apprentice to the natural world.
And now that library is ready to open its doors.
The Herbal Immersion Program goes live on April 16th and I couldn’t be more delighted. This has turned into the most in-depth online guide to growing, harvesting, cultivating and making medicine from the plants around you. The Chestnut school was where I first learned the art of herbalism, and so I feel honored to be sharing this opportunity with you.
If you’re feeling the quiet yearning to step into such learning, to study green medicine and expand as never before check out the Herbal Immersion Program and the Online Herbal Medicine Making Course.
Follow that hush, and see what comes.
In the meantime, I’ve collected a library of my all-time favorite herbal resources for you to dive into at your own pace. Blogs, podcasts, articles and indexes for you to bookmark, and come back to, anytime you need to reenter the hush of new worlds.
THE LIVING LIBRARY
a collection of herbal books + blogs + beginnings
The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook – James Green
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – Rosemary Gladstar
The Secret Teachings of Plants – Stephen Harrod Buhner
Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook – Dina Falconi
Plant Spirit Medicine – Eliot Cowan
Wonder Botanica – Rebecca Altman
La Abeja Herbs – Sophia Rose
Blog Castanea – Juliet Blankespoor
Unlearn and Rewild – Ayana Young
Natural MD Radio – Aviva Romm
Herb Mentor Radio – LearningHerbs
// websites + references
Herbcraft – Jim McDonald
Bear Medicine Herbals – Kiva Rose
Botany Everyday – Marc Williams
A Modern Herbal – Maude Greives
Southwest School of Botanical Medicine – Michael Moore