• Concow, CA

Buckeye Gathering - Bealtaine

John's Class Offerings for the Week

 

Lake Concow, CA

May 1 - May 4


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I'll be headed up to Buckeye again this year offering several classes during the first week, then staying to teach for the Pathways segment. Click HERE to check out what we'll be doing during this 5-day intensive into the path of herbalism.

During the first week I lead several half-day classes to give participants a feel for what I'll be offering during the 5-day intensive of Pathways. I'll also be adding in some new elements this year which I'm really excited for! Check out the class selection below...

 

My Class Offerings at Buckeye Bealtaine

Cultivating the Feeling Sense: An Introduction to Bioregional Herbalism

Ogham: The Ancient Language of the Trees (the wisdom our ancestors are urging us to rediscover)

Animal & Spirit: Finding our way Home through Natural Movement

Acorn Pit Bake: Leaching and Baking with Acorns

*class descriptions below


Register for the Buckeye Gathering HERE


Cultivating the Feeling Sense: An Introduction to Bioregional Herbalism

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At the core of becoming a bioregional herbalist is developing a relationship with this place, this land, we call home. Through our various senses we take in information, we are made to receive these impressions. How often do we take note? pay attention? trust our intuitive mind's intelligence and insight? Developing a discriminating eye through the faculty of discernment takes practice... and often proper guidance. Join me for a walk around camp to explore these possibilities and discuss the core principles and concepts of becoming a bioregional herbalist.

 

Ogham: The Ancient Language of the Trees (the wisdom our ancestors are urging us to rediscover)

 page from the Book of Ballymote written in county Mayo Ireland, 14th century

page from the Book of Ballymote written in county Mayo Ireland, 14th century

Buried deep within our past is a profound wisdom. The so-called Celtic peoples of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, and England all once shared elements of an ancient language. What was this language? What we now call Irish is possibly the oldest language of them all, but was not believed to be written down until under 2,000 years ago, after the initial Roman invasion. Supposedly, around this time, one of the earliest forms of Ogham emerged as a etching on large standing stones to mark the lives of noble men or to claim a territory. But is that really how old Ogham language is? Is that all Ogham was about?

It's believed that the Book of Ballymote (from the 14th century) was simply a transcription of a much earlier writing (and the ancient Irish, or people of Éirren, had a long tradition of wisdom teachings being passed down by oral history). Not to mention, there is an abundance of ogham inscribed in rocks throughout North America (from the Southwest to the Northeast) which has been dated at 1500-2500 years or more.  

Ogham is comprised of twenty standard characters and five diphthongs. These characters each represent a tree, or plant, and in ancient Irish the word for letter and tree ("fid") are interchangeable. Thus, through the sound of the individual tree, the meaning is revealed. A deeply complex and ancient wisdom is embedded in its framework.

Hopefully, that gives you a taste of the rich tapestry of knowledge embedded within this ancient system of writing which, in one particular form, incorporates the teachings and wisdom of the trees. This will be our topic of discussion and exploration for this introductory class on ogham and the ancient lifeways of a once noble and benevolent society. 


Register for the Buckeye Gathering HERE


 

Animal & Spirit: Finding our way Home through Natural Movement

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Our bodies are made to move. Through our physical form we encounter the natural world around us through movement, taking in new information from the texture of the earth and how and where we touch it. This sacred information is part of a feedback loop which is ultimately processed through the heart, our primary organ of intelligence. Once we learn to receive our sensory input move through us in this way, movement becomes a sacred experience which protects, regenerates, and inspires all aspects of who we are. Learning to amalgamated these different parts of ourselves, once rediscovered and reawakened, is the process of "coming home." Then we are at home in any situation. 

In this class we'll explore what it means to come home through natural movement across the earth. We'll explore unusual yet practical ways of moving our bodies to develop strength and a deeper sense of who we are whole reconnecting to the wisdom of the earth which is continually present for us. We'll also explore some of the subtler aspects of life energy through the art of chi gung to reawaken our capacity for self-healing and renewal.

   

Acorn Pit Bake: Leaching and Baking with Acorns

 acorn bread with cattail flour

acorn bread with cattail flour

Interested in acorns but feeling intimidated about what to do with them, or how to make them edible? In this workshop, we'll go through the steps of processing acorns for food, and bake a delicious acorn bread in the hot coals to culminate the class.

As we’ll also be in an oak grove, we'll take time to reflect on the nature of these majestic trees which feature prominently in all cultures of the northern hemisphere. Afterwards, we'll fully process acorns to prepare them for cooking. All participants will get hands-on experience with processing acorns, and everyone will leave with the knowledge and experience to properly process all acorns for food. 

 California black oak acorns (Quercus kelloggii)

California black oak acorns (Quercus kelloggii)

The virtues, history, and ethnobotany of oaks and acorns is vast and diverse. We'll begin our workshop with some time with the oak trees as John guides us on a walk through the history of oaks in the ancient world highlighting why oaks were so important and highly revered by our ancestors of the northern hemisphere on how the druids honored, and were named for the oaks they venerated.

There are so many ways to utilize acorn flour in your everyday home cooking, and John will provide a variety of suggestions for you to begin exploring at home.

 

Tickets for the Buckeye Gathering are SOLD OUT