Becoming a herbalist Blog

Solidarity Apothecary 2019 Goals

I’m an absolute sucker for goal setting (for any astrology nerds, I have four planets in capricorn, ha!). For years I have been learning herbalism in such an informal way, which has been super powerful. I have followed my curiousity, looked up recipes and plants when trying to recover from health challenges and spent way more time on the land then with my nose in a book.

But the time has come to massively invest in my learning pathway and study herbalism systematically so that I can better serve others. Therefore, here are my goals for 2019:

Daily commitments:

  • Make medicine every day (even something small)
  • Eat wild plants every day
  • Observe the field every day (where I hope to one-day start a field-scale community herb farm)
  • Do a ‘sit spot’ every day with a plant and journal my reflections
  • Document what I do by tracking it in my journal, blogging and taking photographs

Solidarity Apothecary project goals:

  • Organise regular medicine making sessions in Somerset for the Herbalists without Borders UK Solidarity Medicine Making campaign
  • Re-develop the medicine garden where I live for increasing varieties and quantities of medicinal plants
  • Construct an outdoor kitchen and medicine making space near the herb garden that has space for medicine making in groups, as well as increased storage
  • Launch an Instagram account to help promote the apothecary
  • Facilitate herbal workshops at the Earth First Summer Gathering and London Tattoo Circus any other relevant events and gatherings. Also teach basic medicine making at the queer ecology course and permaculture design course this summer
  • Save up for a van for my future mobile clinic
  • Create my plants and prison zine and publish by June 2019
  • Put a call out for a herbal allies for state repression zine by the end of 2019
  • Organise for tote bags and badges to be printed to help generate funds for the project
  • Publish my Overcoming Burnout book by April 2019
  • Respond to herbal call-outs for solidarity and try my best to amplify projects that need support. Aim to organise fundraisers in my local area.

Develop my knowledge of health and herbal medicine by:

  • Completing all reading and assignments with my Plant Medicine School apprenticeship, also have a successful summer school
  • Working intimately with 12 plants through the year
  • Completing these distance learning courses by the end of 2019:
    • Herbal Safety short course with NAIHM
    • Systemic Inflammation, Food Intolerance, and Autoimmunity CPD course with NAIHM
  • Continuing to listen to audio sessions from Materia Medica Monthly and herbal podcasts
  • Self-educating about energetics

Develop my knowledge and practical skills in herbal first aid and acute care by:

  • Undertaking a three-day first aid at work training in January
  • Joining the Infection and Wound management course with the Herbal Medics Academy online in March
  • Self-educating by reading texts, developing a herbal first aid kit and volunteering in situations where I can put my skills in practice
  • Save up to complete the FREC 3 (First Response Emergency Care) course in either 2019 or 2020

Develop my knowledge and understanding of intersectional herbalism and healthcare by:

  • Printing and reading all the queer herbalism materials available
  • Finishing reading the book called The Remedy, about queer and trans healthcare
  • Complete Otter Lieffe’s course in Trans Competency for Holistic Therapists by the end of 2019
  • Self-educating about dismantling white herbalism, unlearning my own whiteness and complicity in systems of oppression and trying every day to do better and be more dangerous in solidarity with others (dangerous in the best ways possible)
  • Self-educating about disability justice frameworks
  • Self-educating about health autonomy ideas and struggles
  • Self-educating about decolonising herbalism especially learning about the role of botanists and herbalists who were part of the British Empire’s legacy of violence
  • Continue learning about trauma recovery. Have a TRE (trauma releasing exercise) session to see if its useful
  • Self-educating about harm reduction and radical sobriety

Develop my botany, medicinal ecology and plant identification skills by:

  • Completing the unfinished parts of the Identiplant course which I started last year by the end of August 2019
  • Visiting as many herbal-related projects as possible to see their growing systems. Including visiting Holtwood Herbs in Devon and Chelsea Physic Garden in London
  • Support the design and development of a medicine garden at the Red Brick Building Community Garden
  • Self-educating about climate change, mutual aid disaster relief and herbal medicine
  • Self-educating about at-risk plant medicines in the UK and internationally

Improve my plant medicine making skills by:

  • Completing the handcrafted healing oils course material by March 2019
  • Making a diversity and large quantity of herbal oils throughout the year
  • Actively improve my skills and confidence in making: herbal oils, glycerites, blends (as I have mostly worked with simples e.g. One herb at a time), creams and lotions, herbal salts and herbal body care products generally

Increase my knowledge of plant folklore and traditional witchcraft plant traditions by:

  • Completing the Tarot Apothecary course by the end of 2019
  • Completing the Lunar Apothecary course by the end of March 2019
  • Self-educating about medical astrology
  • Self-educating about historical herbal medicine traditions in England and Wales where my ancestors are from

My Reading List – beyond the apprenticeship reading list to help me achieve the above goals (approx one book per month):

  • The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care
  • Herbal First Aid
  • Care work: Dreaming disability justice
  • The following disability justice resourcess:
  • Braiding sweetgrass
  • Queering Herbalism – have read this several times but want to go even more in depth & work through the various links systematically
  • Excluded by Julia Serano
  • Culpepper’s Complete Herbal
  • Herbal Clinician
  • Health Care Revolt
  • Wortcunning – A Folk Medicine Herbal

Wish me luck!

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