Plants and nature bring me great joy. Sometimes along the way all this delightful stuff I’ve learned helps brighten others’ days too, and to me that is worth all the while.  Herbalism was not a word or concept to me until my 20’s. The conceptualization that the wilderness around me was intelligent, symbiotic, full of ever-giving living beings with a place in this world, did not happen all at once for me. I didn’t begin by learning the meaning of herbalism, nor that particular word. I unknowingly stumbled along a path that would lead me to my passion of lifelong learning. I started making connections with the plants around me, meditating, contemplating kindness, observing the awareness we sentient beings share and the connectivity of each breath. The space for awareness grew within me and I began noticing my footprint.

Artemisia vulgaris stood out to me and I started dream work with her. One particular day, something stirred within me. My heart opened and I had a feeling so strongly deeply rooted within my chest. I knew that if I did not do what my heart was calling, then I would not become the man I am to be when I die. It was not something I could understand on the level of the mind. A knowing without knowing. Knowing ‘what’ without knowing ‘how’, so I follow my curious sense of joy. This led me to expand to other plants in nature.

I then reached out to humans to observe their experiences with these plants and to learn how to learn about these plants. I find it interesting that the more I learn about plants the more I learn about life, humans and myself. My learning began to grow when I found Herbalist Betty Norton on Vancouver Island. in 2014 moved to the island and started my first year apprenticeship program with her. The following year I completed the Science and Art of Herbalism by Rosemary Gladstar.  I then completed a 3-year, 1049-hour, Master Herbalist diploma program by Wild Rose College of Herbal Medicine with Terry, Yarrow, and Angela Willard. I met with herbalist Carole Guyette in the giant redwood forests to embark on a sacred redwood ceremony to honour the magnificent redwood forests that still stand today. I completed three years of shamanic ceremonies with Marylyn Keffer and Gael Carter. Then I travelled to the Catskills mountains to do an experiential plant spirit medicine retreat with Eliot Cowan and the Blue Deer Centre. I went to Oregon and completed a 6-month 425-hour course studying clinical herbalism, yoga and bioregional Ayurveda at the Hawthorn institute by Tyler Wauters.

I felt the need for something grounding, to bring it all together, to learn about TCM and clinical herbalism. That leads me to where I am today. With great, great gratitude and excitement I’m studying the beautifully orchestrated and clarifying professional herbalist course by Michael Tierra O.M.D., R.H. and Lesley Tierra, L.Ac., R.H. I started with East West about two years ago. I really enjoy this course. I am learning so much from the TCM perspectives and the correlations between Western and Ayurvedic herbs. On my journey as an herbalist this course has really stepped up my understanding and game. I am very grateful for the experience to study this great work. Thank you Michael Tierra and Lesley Tierra and all the others who help to support this vision of helping people learn and grow together for a better world! 

Money has not come with a silver spoon. I, like others, have worked hard for money to make a living and pay for an education. I do this by building things. I’m a carpenter, homebuilder, woodworker, hardscaping, rockworking, and garden building. I like to think of my work as supporting people’s visions, helping people construct their dreams into physicality. This helps me get through the conflicting feelings I have about the lumber industry I buy my wood from, and the deforestation and violence against plants happening around the world. I would love to make a living as an herbalist. I’m still learning what that means to me. I just went through the paperwork to start a business: “Quintessence Naturals”!  We’re currently working with natural products and handmade bar soaps.  One day I’d like to write a book about plants, and start hours towards my clinical herbalist certification.

I love gardening and helping plants grow. I’m the guy that buys the discounted dying plants at the store and gives them a good home. Feeding the birds, watching animals and nature, wildcrafting, medicine making, collecting spring water, dreaming, jumping in rivers, oceans, and I’m an avid learner.

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