Natural Earth Medicine: Next Generation
That's a wrap!
Oh, we had a crazy, lovely weekend…
As the MC for Estuary Learning’s ‘Natural Earth Medicine: Next Generation’, I witnessed an incredible day of heart-warming welcome, connection and reconnection through the sharing of knowledge from our ancient past, kept alive through the philosophy of Estuary Learning Inc. and bought to life on Saturday 18 February at the Q-Building along the Honeysuckle Precinct on the Newcastle foreshore.
It greatly warmed my heart to witness thought-provoking new ideas spread like ‘Love Bugs’ throughout the audience, offering new hope for the future. I saw exciting businesses supporting Estuary Learning with their herbal earth medicine wares at the “trade show”. My heart beat in tune with the rhythmic drumming from the amazing group of drummers. I saw huge smiles, a few tears and lots of hugs!
After three years of pandemic lockdowns, zoom meetings and keeping our distance, we were definitely overdue for a hug, or twenty! I don't think we realised how much we missed the human connection! It’s the conversations that are so important:
a quick chat with a woman wearing a mask revealed a painful history of ill health; eating lunch with one of the vendors humanised the company and made me keen to support them; and the leisurely chat at the casual Friday and Saturday night dinners created new friends to visit in far off places such as Tasmania, the Sunshine Coast and rural Victoria. It’s in conversations that we get to connect and share our humanity. It reminded me that along with herbs, healing touch, and spiritual guidance it is listening that is our medicine, and this is something we are very good at.
As well as connection, our event was about drawing on Estuary Learning’s deep well of expertise and knowledge in ancient earth medicine to protect it, share it, utilise it and keep it alive for future generations of healers AND children. It is these ancient wisdoms, traditions and practices that have enabled us to survive since human habitation. We are deeply blessed to be messengers of the ancient teachings and take great joy in co-creating with the next generation of emerging elders and healers who prefer natures path.
Our event presents a timely reminder that there are many natural, scientifically evidenced and historically proven ways to optimise health, wellbeing, and capacity. In a world with ever-growing dependence on pharmaceuticals, rapid increases in unfavourable statistics and concerns on every dimension of existence from education, through health, finances and the political tensions from across the globe. In my professional opinion, in following what the ancients have always modelled with success is the way forward and I am extremely honoured to be sharing this momentous step forward with you all.
Our event showed Estuary Learning’s deep commitment to prepare a new generation of herbalists, naturopaths, nutritionists, Bowen therapists, homeopaths, kinesiologists, massage therapists, aromatherapists, and all the other beautiful healing modalities, for what lies ahead.
The founders of Estuary Learning came together five years ago with a commitment to protect earth medicine and now there is a growing membership dedicated to protecting plant medicine, spirit medicine, the beauty and simplicity of drop doses, locally grown herbs, culinary herbs, native plants, and the profound wisdom of First Nation people.
Our day began with an ‘Acknowledgment of Country,’ by Aunty Jenny Bailey, a proud Awabakal woman, which lead into our opening ceremony featuring drum, rhythm and song by five of our members; Lis Conlon, Deanne Apostalou, Ally Sanchez, Simone Hollier and Jessika Schaad. The evocative words “put your roots down, put your feet on the ground, you can hear what she says when you’re listening” had everyone up on their feet.
Science may reign supreme right now, but as Christina Gerakiteys showed us in her keynote, science and spirituality are heading on a path to intersect, each serving the other. Spirituality gives science what it currently lacks - the language of individuality, subtlety, energy and spirit. And science gives spirituality what it currently lacks - technology and innovation. I look forward to watching that unfold.
During the event, Sally Kingsford-Smith beautifully demonstrated the role of women in this quest. Her presentation discussed the role women play in healing, and how our deep ancestral knowing is carried with us, regardless of whether we are practitioners or not.
Following Sally, Jessyca Bosscha reminded us of the importance of self-care for us as healers – something most of us struggle with. I particularly loved hearing Alyson Maier and Tessa Woolett's discussion on mugwort, that mysterious and magical herb that even Hermione Granger and Harry Potter know about!
Herbalist, Nancy Evelyn, also added her wisdom to the very dynamic discussion. I came home determined to grow it, drink it as a tea and study it more deeply. It's way more magical than just its constituents and offers much more than its officially sanctioned, TGA-approved clinical application.
Pat Collins, our very own herbal medicine first-aid database, showed us how to use the humble onion for chest and other infections. Garlic and chilli were also discussed. These flavourful ingredients make not only delicious condiments, but as we now know, excellent first aid for everyday ailments.
Due to a busy MC schedule, I missed the presentation by Karen Borchard on polarity therapy with essential oils but did get to see the lady she was demonstrating on get up from the massage table clearly transformed!
I managed to pop in while our illustrious president, Nancy Evelyn, shared her deep, wise-woman knowledge on the use of the pendulum. It now have a lot of new ideas swinging around in my head.
After lunch, our beautiful Caroline Parker hosted two panel discussions: Natural Medicine for a Small Planet, and Natural Medicine for the Next Generation. They were very dynamic and thought-provoking, so much so there was no hint of the predictable after-lunch slumber that usually threatens to hit. What I did gain was the incredibly rich and valuable clinical experience and holistic perspective of wise, medicine women who’ve been in practice for decades.
The day was acknowledged with sponsorship from some of the leading companies in the natural medicines industry including Mudbrick Herb Cottage, Vital.ly and Herbal Extract Company and amazing support from The Institute of
Biochemic Medicine (Ultra Therapeutics Pty Ltd), Skin Doona and many other interested members of our community and professional bodies. The support of the hard-working organisational committee and the ever-flowing, ever-growing members of the Estuary is always a gift. The day culminated with a moving address by Nancy Evelyn which brought many of us to tears.
It was a day for Estuary Learning to shine and showcase what we bring to the world, a world some say is broken, so we can, in a thousand tiny ways, make the difference we were born to make. We certainly achieved that. We witnessed a proven way forward that we know works.