Celebrating Cecemmana Year Three Graduation
This was a significant week here Ancestral Apothecary. On Wednesday December 12th, eleven students graduated from our third year of Cecemmana. Most of these students have been part of Cecemmana for the past three years. In this third and final year they received training in clinical herbalism. They were taught skills for working with clients as herbalists and began to see clients in our supervised herbal clinic. After they graduate many of them will go on to work in their communities as clinical herbalists.
What is a clinical herbalist?
I like to say that everyone who works with herbs in some way is an herbalist. Anyone can gain familiarity with plants and begin to make herbal remedies to care for themselves and their loved ones. These folks can be considered family or home herbalists.
A clinical herbalist typically receives much more instruction than a home herbalist and is trained to work professionally with clients. They received advanced education in anatomy, physiology, pathology, herbal materia medica, and medicine making. They are trained to work with a large range of issues from PMS to depression to cancer.
Our seeds are growing
Cecemmana is a word which in the Nahuatl language means to plant seeds. Our vision for Cecemmana was to plant seeds for the next generation of clinical herbalists here in the Bay. Our intention was to train a diverse group of students (mainly women of color) to be competent and professional clinical herbalists.
Our students often referred to themselves as semillas or seeds. I am pleased to say that all of our semillas have now grown up into beautiful plants and flowers. Each person who is graduating from Cecemmana will be carrying their own unique style of herbal medicine and healing into the world.
During our final evening together, we reflected on the past three years and shared many tears and laughter. We felt happy to have reached this moment, sad that Cecemmana is ending, and also excited about the next steps in our individual and collective herbal journey. We had a fabulous potluck which included many homemade desserts including Kara’s persimmon bars and Tracey’s famous vegan banana cream pie.
In honor of this important achievement, I made herbal crowns of passionflower, pericon, white sage, lavender, and lemon balm from my garden for each of our graduates As each graduate came to the front of the classroom to receive their diploma and gifts from the teachers, I placed the wreath on each graduate’s head and proclaimed “I now pronounce you to be an Herbalist!”
In the spirit of fun and celebration, we all dressed up for the occasion. Many of our graduates wore beautiful flower print dresses and we teachers also donned festive costumes. With their flower crowns and colorful dresses our graduates looked like they stepped out of a flower garden.
You’re invited to our Herb Ball!
At Ancestral Apothecary we are celebrated the achievement of our graduates and the fact that we now have eleven more clinical herbalists who will be practicing in the Bay, eight of them who are women of color. We plan to share this exciting accomplishment with the larger community with an event on March 2, 2019, which we are calling the Herb Ball. Save the date, so that you may join us as we introduce these newly minted herbalists to our community.