Join Me at the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference

Dear Friends,

The Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference is a magical gathering of women and girls of all ages. For a whole weekend (and longer, if you wish to attend the amazing pre-conference workshops) you can explore the wonderful, welcoming world of the plants and their medicine, and receive the medicine of one another with laughter, dancing, delicious food and nourishing infusions, heart-connecting song, and women’s wisdom —  all in a beautiful forest and shore location on Vashon Island. The Conference takes place on Sept. 20~22, 2019.

As a nature instructor, I happen to work at this location every week, and let me assure you, this 400 acre location (Camp Sealth) is a place where magic happens. Perhaps Eagle sings overhead, or Otter lets you glimpse him heading to the beach, or Deer bask in the moonlight. Perhaps the trees lean in to whisper a message especially for you. Perhaps you find a wishing stone, a listening stone, or feel the mist rising off the Salish Sea to welcome you into your ocean nature.  This enchantment and more opens to those who come together with intention, loving hearts, curiosity, playfulness, generosity, and gratitude. And that is what the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference brings together from start to finish.

Here are the workshops I’m teaching:

Jane Valencia with the small dragon, Wings

Hildegard of Bingen’s Herbal Energetics for the Family Herbalist

The medicine of Hildegard of Bingen,12th century German physician, visionary, abbess, author, and saint, relied on an understanding of our bodies as gardens, and the work of healing as tending a garden In this introduction to a practical, compassionate, nature-based healing practice, we’ll adventure in the basics of herbal energetics to better support our family members and ourselves.

Tree Secrets: A Walk into a Pacific Northwest Ogham

In the early medieval Irish Ogham, or “tree alphabet,” each letter embodies a particular tree or plant  spirit. In this Celtic-infused workshop we’ll pass time in the company of trees, both those named in the Ogham and our native trees. We’ll explore firsthand their energy, teachings, folklore, and medicine uses by way of our senses and connection, and begin creating our own Pacific Northwest ogham. If the trees are willing, we’ll even craft ogham sticks. Expect sweet enchantment and deep wild wisdom!

As an herbalist and practitioner of what she calls “Deer Medicine Ways,” Jane Valencia loves welcoming women and girls into the magic of the green world that surrounds us. Through forest and garden learning adventures, writings, and illustration, she helps the herbal curious to get down and dirty getting to know the plants and their healing ways and to discover what the plants reveal about our truest nature. An instructor with the Vashon Wilderness Program, Jane is the creator/ mentor of VWP’s herbal girls camps. Sacred plant medicine and traditional Western herbalism are her well-spring. Jane is author-illustrator of Paloma and Wings: a Kids Herbal Comic.

Find out more about about Jane’s herbal and healing ways offerings, including writings on her blog, please visit: SingingDeerHealing.com

Go here to find out more about the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference.

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I hope to see you there!

cross-posted on SingingDeerHealing.com

Herba Magica: Ripe Salmonberry

Plants offer us a doorway into a very different sense of time and into the wonder that interweaves our world and is right outside. This plant, Salmonberry, is a particular friend and ally to those of us in the Pacific Northwest, coaxing us to head off-trail to taste wildness. What invariably happens is that one taste leads to the next and to the next, and soon we are in the greenwood, ignoring tangles, getting leaves in our hair, little jabs in our hands and arms, and delighting in sour-sweet abundance, even gorging on it, our child nature shouting, “Yeah!!!!!”

Which plants coax you to taste? Which ones lead you off-trail and into playful nature? Which awaken the green and giving wild within you? How does that quality of wild express itself in your life? Please share in the comment box below!

Herba Magica - Ripe Salmonberry Photo and Info
Herba Magica: Ripe Salmonberry by Jane Valencia

Radio Show 4/17/16 Program Notes

Spring is dazzling right now. We continue our celebration of this bright, blossoming season with a green field of music that ranges from fun, lovely, to bold, and ancient in an exotic way.

I always have more than I can say about each piece than can fit into a one-hour show! The program notes are where you can find out a little bit more about the musicians and music. Also, this is a good place to look if you want to find contact info for any of the artists or events I mention.

The show is available on demand. Enjoy!

Forest Halls Celtic – live radio show – Episode 2: 4/17/16

Format: Artist – “Track Title” – (Album/source)
Gadbaw & Krimmel – “Across the Western Ocean” – (Live at the Black Rose Acoustic Society)
Colorado-based Celtic duo Beth Gadbaw and Margot Krimmel play music inspired by Celtic and American traditions, and is enhanced by the artists’ originality and creativity. I love Margot’s harp playing on this track: rhythmic and innovative!

Next weekend this duo will be performing in Tacoma and on Fox Island with the excellent Tacoma choir, Cora Voce. Cora Voce is a Tacoma-based ensemble of about 40 singers dedicated to sharing and performing high-quality choral music.

Gadbaw and Krimmel will perform with Cora Voce a W. B. Yeats poem, “The Second Coming” set to music they’ve written expressly for the choir. This will be the premiere of the piece. They’ll also play their original, ‘Innisfree’ (another Yeats poem set to music), with the choir, plus a duo set. They’ll play two concerts, one on Saturday evening in Tacoma and a Sunday Matinee on Fox Island.  Visit: http://coravoce.org/performance.htm for more details.

Huizinga & Coulter (Liquid Gold) – “The Quarter Inch Wick(Kathleen Keane)/One Night In Bethlehem (trad. Ireland)” – (From a Concert Tour)
Edwin and William have been touring together for three years. This season they are performing together all over the United States as Liquid Gold, and as part of Tom Foley’s A Celtic Christmas. Canadian-born violinist Edwin Huizinga has established himself as one of North America’s most versatile violinists. Grammy award winning guitarist William Coulter has been performing and recording traditional and classical music for over 25 years. We heard him last show on the track by Orison.

They are performing on the island.

Liquid Gold – Edwin Huizing & William Coulter
April 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Havurah Opening act is our very own Kat Eggleston. Tickets at Vashon Bookstore

Niamh Parsons – “The Water is Wide” – (Blackbirds and Thrushes)
Niamh Parsons is a singer of contemporary and traditional Irish music, and is herself Irish. This is a favorite traditional folk song of Scottish origin, based on lyrics that partly date to the 1600s.

Gadbaw & Krimmel – “The White Bird (W. B. Yeats poem)” – (Live at the Black Rose Acoustic Society)
“The White Birds” is a Yeats poem that Gadbaw and Krimmel have set to music. This poem is one of several by Yeats ignited by his turbulant relationship of unrequited love with Maud Gonne, an English-born Irish revolutionary and suffragette. Walking along a cliffside near a seaside village, Yeats proposed to Maud for the first time (he proposed to her four times over several years). She during that walk expressed a wish to become a seagull. This poem is Yeats’ take on what she meant by that wish, and his own yearning that they could escape the landscape that interferes with them apart by heading out as white birds to the “Danaan Shore,” a land of myth and blessing.
Silly Wizard – “If I Was a Blackbird” – (Wild and Beautiful)
This song features the warm and gorgeous vocals of Andy M. Stewart. As eloquently expressed in his obituary, “Andy M Stewart was a Scots singer and songwriter who was at the forefront of a resurgent contemporary Scottish folk scene in the 1970s as the voice of the Edinburgh-formed group Silly Wizard. A well-spoken raconteur on the live stage, whose ability to introduce his songs informatively and with genuine humour enhanced the experience of hearing them, Stewart wrote music and lyrics which are – particularly in the case of his ballads – rich and still freshly emotive.”

The obituary also pointed out that Andy M. Stewart was “A skilled banjo player who used his middle initial to distinguish himself from the elder Scots singer who shared his name.”

What a loss to our Celtic music community! But his lively and passionate spirit as expressed in his gorgeous and rollicking songs muisc certainly does live on.

Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis – Traditional Gaelic Melody/Tommy’s Tarbukas – (The Road North)
Alasdair Fraser is a Scottish fiddler living in California. Leads three notable Scottish fiddle camps and directs the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas are performing in Port Townsend tonight! Visit his website for details.

The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers have concerts with our Director, Alasdair Fraser, coming up on the weekend of April 22. Perhaps some of your listeners would be interested, if they live anywhere near one of the venues. Here’s a graphic of our poster for the concerts, with information on it. There’s also information about the concerts on their web site sfscottishfiddlers.org. Yountville, Sacramento, Livermore.

Airmid’s Herbal Cloak: Dandelion Lore / Music: Jane Valencia – “St. Brigit’s Hymn” (RoseGarden)
Music is Derived from the third “Bridget Cruise” air by Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738)
Last show Airmid’s herbal cloak was scattered to the four winds. This show we begin reassembling the healing wisdom by plucking a Dandelion … More information about Dandelion’s healing magic will be included in a separate post.

Here’s a snippet of lore to welcome you into Dandelion.

Some names for Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale):

In Gaelic: am bearnan Bridhe (“Notched plant of Bride/Bridget”), or Bearnan bride (bearn = notch-in leaf and brigh = sap: thus, “sappy leaf”)
Welsh: Dant-y-Llew (“Tooth of the Lion”)
Scots names/Local Names: pissa bed, milk gowan, devil’s milk plant, and more

In Glencoe, it was recorded that those with ulcers ate Dandelion leaf sandwiches to help cure their plight.

Young leaves are tasty in salad. Use them like spinach! You can make Dandelion wine with the flowers, as well as Dandelion fritters – a favorite recipe with my family each spring.

Tips for correctly identifying Dandelion, plus a slightly different recipe for Dandelion fritters (+variations) can be found here.

A great plunge into the nutrition and medicine of Dandelion can be found here.  Dandelion is  surely one of the herbs that Airmid had collected in her cloak!.

Valerie Rose – “The Gardener” – (Petals of Stone)
An Irish fiddler & singer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Valerie plays in several Irish/Celtic bands Valerie’s solo CD, Petals of Stone,  exploredsedgier territory, successfully mixing Irish and English traditional ballads with hard-rock instrumentation. This song is an example! One of her reviewers said:

“Rose’s pure, sweet voice should please fans of Annie Haslam, Maddy Prior, or Sandy Denny [of Fairport Convention].”

I would also include that her style is reminiscent too of Jacqui McShee of Pentangle. What do you think? Enjoy!

Violaine Mayor – “Tud Kembre” – (Gens Cambrina)
Violaine Mayor  is a Breton wire-harp player, adapting historical techniques to traditional Breton music. This tune has very much of a Breton dance feel, then segues into vocals in a plainchant style.

Patsy Seddon & Barnaby Brown – Deus Auribus (from BBC’s History of Scotland)
Patsy Seddon and Barnaby Brown performing Psalm 44 in Iona forBBC’s History of Scotland.

Patsy Seddon is a harper, vocalist, and fiddler who is known for her playing in the Scottish harp duo Sileas and the all-woman folk band, The Poozies. Barnaby Brown leads the revival of the northern triplepipe, the precursor of the bagpipe in Britain and Ireland.  The triplepipe is basically a bagpipe without a bag, and is played with the two chanters and a drone in the mouth, so you need to use circular breathing. and is basically a bagpipe without the bag. The bag part of the pipes came arrived in Britain in the 13th century.

The northern triplepipe tradition of Britain and Ireland died out in the late Middle Ages.