Recently, I was asked to do a workshop on medicinal and edible herbs. We thought that 11 would come, judging by the event page response, and we dreamed of 20 coming, but almost 60 people came, so many that the tiny venue would not hold the group – some would have had to miss the workshop. So we went to a local park and held it there. And from that humble beginning I have been asked by 3 of those attending, to hold a workshop for them. A Church leader at a Church asked me to speak to his congregation. 2 others asked me to speak to the group that they are affiliated with. Then there is the festival that someone invited me to. And from this meeting, people have volunteered to go throughout the City of London, through all the trails, field etc. to map out where all the herbs are, to understand what areas of the City need to be populated with this plant or that, so future people in that area will be able to walk from their homes down a trail to find medicine for someone in their family that is ill. How beautiful is that? How loving is that? and it all comes from the simple act of telling a group of people how to heal themselves by using the plants found on this Earth (some believe, plants that God gave us).
I know that I have tapped into something, something big, just like I knew 6 months ahead, that a dump that we had been fighting against in Huron County, was going to be stopped, I know that there is something real here. This is not just about medicinal herbs, this has tapped into the fear that is rife in our society, about the very food that they put in their mouths, and more accurately, the fear about the tainted foods that the Corporate 1% has forced them to eat, with the GMO’s foods, and pesticides, the herbicides, the steroids and the hormones. The feeling is all coming out like the water trickling from a finger-hole in a dam, ready to eat away at the hole until it becomes so large that fingers and hands, and even machinery will not be able to stop the rush of emotions toward the solution.
The use of herbs was stolen from us many years ago, by the medical profession that strong-armed the humble herbal practitioners aside to make a place for their profession and their esteem. But it happened at the very time the rest of the World was changing. I remember, as a boy, the great debate that went on; the New York Times asked if God was dead, and many rushed in to read God’s epitaph, and in the very same breath advocate declared that science would solve all our problems. The steamroller moved over us, crushing any descending voices until today the use of herbs is so obscure that so very few know their use, that few even know the questions to ask to get us back to that knowledge. No one has even bothered to see the destruction that came spewing out of the mouth of our god-science, the nuclear bomb, chemical weapons, bacterial weaponry, GMO foods not fit to be called food, the uncertainty of whether a food is good for you or not, and even nature Herself has taken a swipe against man’s creation of medicine where bacteria are mutating around antibiotics. And it is thought by these great-thinkers in-their-own-minds, that massive deaths will occur to children with scraped knees and women in delivery, etc., etc, without any antibiotics to treat them.
But hidden in the background is the solution that always was, and is, and waiting to again be discovered, the World of herbs, waiting to again be discovered and used to heal.
I have used herbs for more than 50 years, after I got ringworm, a fungal disease on the skin, and when the country doctor could not cure it I needed something to heal it. Was I to live from my young life onward with a scab the size a baseball on my face because medical science failed me? I, a mere 12 year old sat down and thought, and I believe that with providence the solution came to me; “Cows have ringworm in the winter, but they don’t have it in the spring, they get rid of their ringworm in the spring, and they don’t have ringworm in the summer or fall, what is the difference?” Even at my young age I could understand that cattle ate hay in the winter and fresh grass the rest of the time, so the hay clearly was lacking something. So, I dug down under the snow, and got a handful of grass, discarded the dead winter grass and ate the green grass. 2 days later I chomped down another handful and by the end of the week the Ringworm was receding. So out of this experience 2 things came of it, 1. that I didn’t trust doctors any more, and 2. I came to the realization that herbs really cure.
It was not a big surprise because I lived across the road from 2 square miles of forest, and I had wandered around those forests in a child dilutionary state, thinking I was a little Native kid. I had already learned much of what the past Native People ate in the wild. I also knew the Native Peoples lived without a white doctor, thank you very much. So, while the World scrub their hands with hand sanitizers, I walk calmly through this World without the slightest fear of germs. Give me a germ, and I’ll kill it with garlic.
The World is primed to return to simple reason. Science has failed them, their doctors are failing them, and I know about herbs that will heal them. Where is the problem? I am one of the few that has learned about herbs, and practiced this lost knowledge.
And the truth shall set them free.
As I pick herbs I feel a great connection to the Earth and God. I feel the same respect and responsibility to the Giving Earth that the Aboriginal People developed to sustain the Earth that sustained them many thousands of years. As I teach people about herbs, and how to find them, and pick them, I also teach them to leave some behind, and not pick it all so that others will have it to pick in times to come, they will also get connected to the spirit of the Earth. Many of them will have their lives touched, their lives and even their philosophy of what it means to walk on this Earth will change. Many will become advocates for the Earth, much the same as Natives speak for the Earth, in the absence of Her tongue. And beautifully, in the act of learning, and stretching themselves into a different state of participating being, many will become activists.
I have spoken politics to thousands of people in my time, but few have gone on to become activists. This will change them like nothing I have ever done before, because they will not be just adding on a few new thoughts when their lives change.
Strangely, me teaching about medicinal, and edible herbs has turned out the most effective political action I have ever taken.