Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thoughts on the Master's House OR Rumination on BIPOC Liberation from/within(?) the "Modern Western Herbalism" Movement

So, I just read an interesting article called Herbalism as a Tool for Social Justice.
And I started to think about how I'm glad it was written but how I felt something was lacking. I sat in reflection and came to the conclusion that I think where I stand right now, personally, is---

how can marginalized indigenous black and brown communities reconnect with our healing traditions (which all involve plant medicine) to work toward our liberation. And without the paternalism of our white allies who have been socialized in many ways to believe that they know what is better for us than us or that they can do it better than us. Also that their knowledge and ways of learning and understanding are superior.

How can we (BIPOC) be centered in the healing histories we are constantly exposed. How do we address that the majority of written/documented histories and research are written by those who value this written method over oral tradition? And I don't mean BIPOC didn't have written traditions, because we did. There's certain information that we don't write about because we have a responsibility as healers and medicine keepers to our communities and the medicine. And let's talk about the intentional killing of our knowledge keepers by colonizers and how once, we didn't have to worry about this sacred information being "lost" or stolen and watered down.

Anyway- good questions to think about answering are: how can our white allies work toward our liberation without

  • having us educate them
  • telling us how they think we should go about liberating ourselves or furthering their movement(s)
  • telling us we should be nicer to them or more appreciative that they are "at least trying" and that we should be giving them some kind of special recognition for going out of their way to learn about the ways in which BIPOC are oppressed.

And even when "anti-oppressive/anti-racist" white allies stop doing these things, how can we talk to them candidly about how they are still perpetuating racism, prejudice and discrimination by continuing to consciously and unconsciously uphold white supremacy, centering their colonized history, teachings and beliefs while using them as a model and standard for comparison while expecting kudos for including a few phrases about our traditions even as our knowledge is packaged as coming from a monolithic community (The Native Americans used this plant for....)

And sometimes the knowledge gained is thrown back at BIPOC and held over our head, becoming a weapon because we don't have the resources to travel to the places we're from, to study our traditions. We have to filter what is given to us from the white folks who can afford to learn from our people...our healers...our medicine makers. We have to sift through racist, white supremacist, discriminative views. We have to listen to the dominant narrative about how Europeans might not have invented plant medicine, but they perfected it. We have to listen to white folks- scholars and travelers- who put their nose in the air because they know more about our people than we do, know more about our medicine than we do. And some of us are broken open by this. Brought to our knees and we defect from your movements. Modern western herbalism and western holistic healing movements.


Anyway-
Anti-oppressive white medicine makers, here are my questions for you:


What good is liberation from chains when you're/we're still in prison? What good are the master's tools in our (BIPOC) hands when wanting to dismantle this peculiar house that's been built?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Invest in the BIPOC Communiversity



Hello Medicine Makers of All Varieties!

As of this weekend YOU, the community, have contributed enough for 7 seats in our BIPOC communiversity of the Herbal Freedom School. In this video I talk a bit more about the knowledge and medicine we'll be sharing in the 12-week program.







Invest and help us fund as many seats as possible!  You can do so here: https://www.youcaring.com/schoolofliberationhealingandmedicine-755869

And to become a monthly sustainer of our School you can do so here:
https://www.patreon.com/liberationhealing

Thank you to all who have contributed thus far, may your generosity return to you.

Healing, Liberation and Joy,

Toi

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring Announcement!

Happy Spring!


The School of Liberation Healing and Medicine has got some exciting news. This season we're creating a space where we folks of color can unapologetically be ourselves and share our medicine and healing.

The BIPOC* (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communiversity version of the Herbal Freedom School program is here! It's a community-supported 12-week program where seats are made available by the community's/communities' investment.

So how does this BIPOC Herbal Freedom School Communiversity work? 

The community invests, seats are funded. BIPOC apply and are accepted lottery style and each person is asked to invest $11.11 toward their seat. Some folks will be able to purchase their seat at the full cost to further support the communiversity and also guarantee a seat. There are a couple partial scholarships available.

BIPOC community please invest in this sacred healing space. And white accomplices, you've asked how you can help and now is the time to recruit among yourselves to support this life-sustaining healing mission.

Help us meet our first goal of $2,500 for 10 community seats by April 15th and help us raise double that for 20 community seats by May 1st.


You can read more about it and invest here:

https://www.youcaring.com/schoolofliberationhealingandmedicine-755869

If you are BIPOC-identified and would like to apply, you can do so here: https://goo.gl/forms/HxbA083dGJOL8EIA2

Looking forward to co-creating this sacred healing space with you!



Liberation, Healing, and Joy,

Toi

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Moon Announcements

Hello Medicine Makers of all varieties!


A few important announcements:
1. The on-going self-paced version of Part 2 of the Herbal Freedom School begins in less than 2 weeks on March 6th. We'll connect with our ancestral healing traditions, discuss the importance of ceremony in our medicine making and medicine making as resistance. Then, we'll talk about individual, collective and historical trauma and strategize different ways to heal together.
There are only 10 seats available so apply now!
**Email herbalfreedomschool [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested in one of the 2 partial scholarships.


2. I’ve recently created facebook groups for BIPOC-identified folks for the Queering Herbalism page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1208833482527978/
- BIPOC-identified folks who have taken the Herbal Freedom School program:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/586656141533797/
- and BIPOC-identified folks interested in the School of Liberation Healing and Medicine and its various programs and projects (Herbal Freedom School, Queering Herbalism, QTBIPOC Healing Legacies, Liberation Library, etc.).
https://www.facebook.com/groups/218236898644173/
3. We need your support. Support our School as we create new programs, course companions, zine series and a Liberation Library archive of POC-centered healing traditions and information. You can do so in a number of ways:
patreon.com/liberationhealing
- cash.me/$toi
- Paypal: queeringherbalism [at] gmail [dot] com

More exciting news to come soon about our all community-supported Herbal Freedom School and private group lessons (Freedom Sessions) in late Spring/Summer.

Healing, Liberation, and Transformation,
Toi

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Resist! Join Part 1 of the Herbal Freedom School this February



[photo of a fierce black non-binary person wearing a straw hat with a raised machete in the mountains of Puerto Rico. Taken by Miyo at the QTPOC land project: Finca Flamboyánt]

In these times it's all about resistance, revolution and transformation and knowing you and your ancestors' medicine IS revolutionary. Come get liberated with us at the Herbal Freedom School.
Join our self-paced 6-week, pro-queer, trans, NB, GNC and POC-centered online knowledge share where you'll learn about liberatory medicine, decolonial health and healing and connect with traditional, ancestral healing traditions while connecting with your own medicine.
Register for the self-paced session now. There are only 10 seats and 2 partial scholarships for POC.
Register any time before 2/13. Begin as early as Friday 2/3.
Submit your application here:
https://goo.gl/forms/HxbA083dGJOL8EIA2
*Stay tuned for more info about registration for the self-paced version of Part 2 beginning in March.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Support my journey to study ancestral medicine of the Afro-Caribbean/ QTPOC Land Project

Hello Fam! Hello communities!

Exciting news. I’m going to be studying ancestral medicine of the Afro-Caribbean and helping with a QTPOC land project in Puerto Rico from January –March 2017. While there I’ll continue to develop and design the School of Liberation Healing and Medicine and its Herbal Freedom School and Queering Herbalism/Queering Healing programs. In hopes of your support, until January 1st I will be selling 3 discounted collections of writings and compilations.

Warrior Healer Collection- (3 books/zines) Queering Herbalism 3rd edition, Herbal Freedom School volumes 1 and 2 (2nd edition) - $20  (save $10)

Liberatory Medicine Collection- (5 books) QH, HFS 1&2, Partnering with Plants, Liberatory Medicine Making/Liberatory Sustainability $35  (save $15)

Ultimate Liberation Healing collection- (7 books) QH, Queering Herbalism Encyclopedia Special Editions (Africa and African Diasporic edition, Women* Healers Feminine Healing Energy and Resistance), PWP, HFS 1&2, Liberatory Sustainability $65  (save $40)


Get them for yourself, gift them to others and stock up before January 1st.
And if you’ve already got these books,  you can still support by:
1) being a monthly sustainer of this work through Patreon at patreon.com/liberationhealing
OR
2) Donating through Paypal to the email queeringherbalism [at] gmail.com or at Square Cash.  


With your support I will be able to continue study and collaboration with elder and herbalist María Benedetti and other amazing folks doing healing work and provide support throughout my stay at the QTPOC land project Finca Flamboyánt.


Will you help me further this ancestral vision?


Liberation, Healing and Joy,

Toi

Monday, November 28, 2016

Join the Herbal Freedom School Fall Session


Hello folks!

Herbal Freedom School Fall Session will be offered again from November 29th- December 29th.
There's no application necessary for this session and it's self-paced through the last week of December with on-going enrollment.

Were you in the program for the very first Summer Session? You're invited to continue deepening on your liberatory medicine journey by taking the Fall Session for 50% off. Those who've been in the program before will see more exercises, new readings, and a few new videos.
Email herbalfreedomschool@gmail.com for details.

Interested in one of the limited partial scholarships available? Email for info.
Register by 11/30 and get $15 off. Email for code.
Register soon, there are only 15 seats available.

Register here:
https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9QXJ