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2014 Class Schedule

Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers
with Matthew Wood and Unchatwa
in Fairfax, CA
Seven Weekends:
May 31–June 1, June 28–29, July 26–27, Aug. 23–24, Sept. 27–28, Oct. 25–26, Nov. 22–23, 2014

Matthew Wood writes:

This is a first time and unique class for me. Almost thirty years after writing and publishing Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers (1987), I will be teaching a class on the use of the seven herbs for self–development and therapy. In order to facilitate this I will be teaming up with Unchatwa, an old friend from upstate New York, now living in Oakland, with his wife Kate Skelly. Unchatwa has been studying and meditating with the seven herbs for over three years.

The seven guideposts are seven steps on the spiritual path which came to me during meditation and reading the book of Genesis (both in English and Hebrew) almost twenty–five years ago. Each also corresponds to a “law” or principle of healing, as taught in homeopathy, naturopathy, etc. The three main laws of healing are: (1) the law of action and reaction (similars, contraries), (2) the law of direction of cure, (3) the law of the healing crisis, followed by the four principles of therapeutic acumen: (4) therapeutic peregrination, (5) therapeutic seership, (6) therapeutic grabbing hold, (7) therapeutic understanding, authority, and responsibility. The seven guideposts are: (1) accepting dual nature, (2) following through (on your inspirations), (3) integrity in crisis, or the justification/value of the soul, (4) spiritual letting go, (5) spiritual seership, and (6) spiritual grabbing hold and (7) spiritual understanding, or the mantle of authority and responsibility. The first three are the “bread” of spiritual life while the second four are the “wine” or subtleness. We will discuss the corresponding Genesis stories: (1) Adam and Eve, (2) Cain and Abel, (3) Noah and the Ark, (4) Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, (5) Isaac and Rebecca, (6) Jacob and Esau, and (7) Joseph.

The second element of our teachings involves the seven herbs. The concept of seven sacred herbs is found in a number of cultures, including Native American traditions on this continent. The seven herbs that stepped forward here, many years ago, represent the seven guideposts. We will study and journey with these seven plants (Easter Lily, Yerba Santa, Iris, Sagebrush or Wormwood, Cat’s Ears, Black Cohosh, and Lady’s Slipper, and in some cases discuss their cousins and analogs. We will also discuss California Bay Laurel, a powerful shamanic herb native to the area. Time permitting, we may be able to visit some of these plants in flower (or not).

A third element will involve general shamanic teachings related to the seven guideposts or seven herbs, such as the “three selves” of the shamans (conscious self, animal self, and dream self), warriorship (described in Genesis as tzaddikah, straight–arrow–ness), the animal medicines (“our energies,” as the poet/shaman William Blake said) and their corresponding medicine plants.

Unchatwa writes:

What an honor for me to be asked to co–teach this class with Matthew. His vision and wisdom have been transformative in my personal life and my medicine practice. The Seven Herbs spoke to me from my first reading and has become a foundational practice in my work focusing on mental and emotional health as well as addiction recovery. Through daily use and notation, meditation and journeying practice following the lunar cycles of waxing and waning I have experienced these effects first hand. I am truly blessed by this opportunity. Aho.

In addition to our two major teachers, Matthew and Unchatwa, we hope also to have cameo (or longer appearances) by two individuals, one of whom helped develop the seven herbs (Peter Young), and the other, David Milgram, DC, also helped and has used them therapeutically for twenty–five years.

We invite you to join us in this journey with the Seven Herbs.

Contact: Kate Skelly 518–522–1420

Seven Herbs Seven Month Apprenticeship $1700.00
Early Bird Pricing before April 15 $1400
Early Bird Pricing before May 15th $1500

Required Reading: SEVEN HERBS Plants as Teachers by Matthew Wood

Payment Options

The Forgotten Energetics of Traditional Western Herbalism
Advanced training for herbalists
with Guest Instructor: Matthew Wood, RH (AHG)

This 5 weekend series will include:
Introduction of the Five Tissue States, Demonstrations of Traditional Diagnostic Skills, Application of Herbs for Balance and Support

September 6 & 7, October 25 & 26, December 6 & 7, 2014, January 17 & 18, February 21 & 22, 2015

Matthew Wood has been an active practitioner of traditional Western Herbalism since 1982. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage.

He is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild and earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales).

Register on line at
Call for more information 540-937-4283
Email Teresa Boadwine at
Download class flyer (PDF)
Total tuition paid in full is $1625 for all five weekends. Early bird special $1500 (if paid by check)
Housing is separate unless camping. Lunches are included.

Warriorship & Shamanic Plant and Animal Medicine
Wolf Conservation Center, So. Salem, NY
September 26 – 27, 2014

Join Sacred Warrior founder, Vanessa Chakour and internationally renowned herbalist, Matthew Wood for a journey into our deepest selves.

Plants teach us that "Nature is alive," and intelligent. The green world personifies the life force; the individual plants teach us the alphabet or Language of Nature. Animals teach us about our "energies" or the visceral powers within us. The two interact with each other and with us to teach us about Nature, ourselves, and our spiritual potential. During this workshop we will learn about medicine animals and medicine plants and how to learn about and from them.

The workshop will include personal exploration through movement, meditation, creative exploration and dream work designed to move beyond the ego to reveal the innate strength of our instinctual and intuitive selves. In order to dive fearlessly into the mysteries of shamanic medicine, we must activate and awaken our multi–dimensional sensors and strength to confront the obstacles standing in the way of our transformation. We will share practices to access our power and embrace our sensitivity so we may recall our deep connection to, and communication with nature.

During our time together we'll share herbal infusions, wild food and camp outside, amongst the 22 wolves and many wild medicinals at the Conservation Center. 2–4 person tents are provided to share or you are welcome to bring your own. This event is co–sponsored by the Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism

Arrive: 11am Friday, September 26th
Depart: 5pm Saturday, September 27th
The Wolf Conservation Center in So. Salem, NY (just one hour outside NYC. Easy transportation via Metro North)
Rate: $300

Payment options:
Deposit: $150
Early Registration: $285
Couple and family rates available. Ages 15 and up. Email
Online deposit and registration:

Space is limited. Secure your space with a deposit as soon as possible. Due to demand, deposits are non–refundable but with notice, can be used toward a future Sacred Warrior workshop or retreat. Your participation will support the Wolf Conservation Center's vital work protecting wolves, educating the public about their essential role toward healthy ecosystem, and reintroducing endangered wolves into the wild.

We will share a potluck dinner Friday evening and provide a healthy & delicious breakfast and lunch with food that is as local and organic and wild as possible.

More details and suggested preparation will be sent upon registration
Online deposit and registration:

Shamanic Herbalism: Animal and Plant Medicines, and Plant Attunements with Matthew Wood and Vanessa Chakour
September 28, 2014, 10am–5pm
at the ABC Sanctuary in the East Village

A comprehensive overview of the shamanic approach to herbal medicine, in which we learn to interpret Nature’s Language through the doctrine of signatures, the “spirit signatures” (when a plant looks like or is used by an animal), the major animal medicines (bear, wolf, turtle, cat family, deer, rabbit, eagle, crane, spider, snake, alligator, underwater panther, etc.) and some of the major plant medicines associated with them. We will break up lecture time with plant attunement sessions through movement, meditation and creative exploration.

10am–5pm at the ABC Sanctuary in the East Village
Space is limited
Cost: $130
Can be paid in two payments of $65 (balance due the day of class)
Early registration: $120

This event is co-sponsored by Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism
Herbs are provided by The Herb Shoppe on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn

Online deposit and registration:

Forgotten Energetics of Traditional Western Herbalism:
The Six Tissue States in Relation to the Organ Systems
A Six Weekend Intensive for Intermediate and Advanced Students
with Matthew Wood MSc (Herbal Medicine), Registered Herbalist (AHG)
October 2014 – April 2015

In this class we will learn to understand the 'personality' and specific uses of herbal remedies. Every plant has a central, unifying intelligence which expresses through it's chemistry, uses, appearance, and taste. The Six Tissue States, an energetic system of Western Herbalism was largely forgotten by the late twentieth century. It is eminently useful and provides the logic behind so much that we do in modern herbal medicine. Matthew will be teaching specific indications for herbal application, the energetics of Greek medicine and nineteenth century botanical physicians, in relationship to the major organ systems. He will discuss this method and system over six weekends, giving plants, cases, and diagnostic tips for illustrations. A basic knowledge of western herbalism is recommended as this class will be geared toward intermediate and advanced students.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn from an internationally–known teacher of herbalism.

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982 and is a renowned inspirational lecturer and author of several herb books including The Book of Herbal Wisdom and The Earthwise Herbal. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. Matthew lives in Wisconsin and we are so delighted and honored to have him teach here at Gathering Thyme.

COST: $1,500. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space with the remainder due prior to the event. If necessary, payment plans are available on a limited basis and must be discussed prior to enrollment. (NOTE: Each individual weekend is also available at $300/weekend. Call Cheryl at 415-524-8693 for more information).
DATES: Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm: October 4-5, November 15-16. 2015 Dates: January 24-25, February 7-8, March 7-8 and April 4-5.
CONTACT: For more information about this event, contact Cheryl at Gathering Thyme or 415-524-8693.
WHERE: Gathering Thyme • 226 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. • San Anselmo, CA 94960
Need Directions?

Karyn Sanders & Matt Wood Event
at Dancing Yarrow Retreat in beautiful Buffalo County Wisconsin on the Buffalo River, October 17, 2014

Dancing Yarrow Retreat
S193 County Road BB Mondovi, Wisconsin 54755

The Three Selves of the Shamans with Matt Wood
October 17, 2014, 5–8 pm, Cost $35.00

Shamanism is, above and beyond anything else,a spiritual path, and this path makes use of and develops all parts of a human being — human, animal, and dreamer. From our humanity we get our first self, the ego, the conscious mind, a tyrannical guard but necessary part of our assembly. From our animal self we get our senses and instincts. Without the animal self we would have no sight or sensorium in the physical body. When we at last dream of our true animal self (bear, deer, wolf, elephant, etc.) we move those senses to the dream plane and awaken our dream self, the non material spiritual element within us. These are the three indispensable selves of the shamans.

This class helps prepare us for learning about animal medicine powers from Karyn Sanders, who I count as one of my teachers and who I recommend always as an important source of plant wisdom.

Energetic healing from an indigenous perspective with Karyn Sanders
Saturday October 18th, 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.
$125, includes an organic meal from the farm.
Join us in looking at healing from an indigenous perspective. We will learn about the energetics of healing in the physical, emotional, and spiritual worlds. Everything is energy and she will show you how to work with plants in this way.

Following the Saturday class Matt will have an herb walk,
"Looking for the Doctrine of Signatures on an herb walk" with Matt Wood

Working with animal medicines with Karyn Sanders
Sunday October 19th, 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

$125, includes an organic meal from the farm.
In this class we will learn about how plants carry certain animal spirits with them. We will learn how to use these animal medicines in healing and learn about the plants that have these animal spirits.

If you attend both classes you get a $25 discount at $225.

Contact or call them at 715-926-5020 for lodging info right on the farm.
Dancing Yarrow Retreat, S193 County Road BB Mondovi, Wisconsin 54755

***30 person capacity. Classes are filling up fast! Get your spot reserved today!

“By magically changing our lives, our green friends restore physical health, psychological happiness, and spiritual purpose. A little miracle occurs and the magical level clicks in, in fact, whenever an herb cures in a real and radical way. This is a sign that something great and new has come in from a different world to enrich and develop our lives to their fullest and most beautiful potential.”
—Matthew Wood