Herbal Meditations and Magic for Thriving in a Neo-Colonial World

Guest student post by Avani Mody Sunrise: There is an incomparable beauty to sunrise. The time of the gods, as it is described in Ayurvedic traditions. As a child my father told me, walk barefoot on the earth and take in the green grass at sunrise, to strengthen my eyes. The combination of a luscious green and morning sunlight, calmed my eyes and mind. During my recent, formal herbal education, this advice remains in my psyche. The colors, beauty and feel of the plants, indeed calm my mind, and strengthen my vision… Read More

Remembering Who We Are: Chinese Botanical Guides

Third year Cecemmana student, Bekah, gets to know the plants of her grandmother’s village in Guangdong, China.

Indigenous Mind: Remembering Who We Are

Much of the vision of Ancestral Apothecary is inspired and informed by my experience in the Indigenous Mind Program.  As the founder of Ancestral Apothecary, I, Atava Garcia Swiecicki, received a graduate degree from  from Naropa University in the Indigenous Mind Program in 2003.  The Indigenous Mind Program focuses on reconnecting to one’s indigenous ancestors, no matter what their cultural or ethnic background.  The program was founded by Dr. Apela Colorado, who also is the founder of the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network. Heidi Corning, of White Tigress Ancestry, was also a student… Read More

Save the West Berkeley Shellmound!

Ancestral Apothecary stands in solidarity with the Ohlone people (the indigenous people of the Bay Area) in their fight to protect their sacred site from development.  Please join us in taking action now.

Healing Ancestral Trauma with Plant Medicine

When we ingest and make relationships with the plants that our ancestors lived with and worked with, we heal.  When we ingest the medicine they might have needed to heal, we heal them because we are our ancestors.

Cecemmana Student Post Series: Recognizing Plants

This year, as spring comes, I am recognizing plant friends everywhere. Small chickweed flowers surround a sidewalk tree on my street. The feathery leaves of California golden poppy, not yet in bloom, catch my eye by the side of a road. In a park, I spot the leaves of yarrow, also feathery, but in a different way from California poppy. Walking an urban park trail, I see what I think is cleavers, and touch it just to be sure. Another plant, woodruff, looks enough like cleavers to be mistaken for it by… Read More

Ancestral Apothecary featured on Bespoken Bones Podcast

We were honored to be invited to be interviewed for Pavani Moray’s Bespoken Bones Podcast, “ancestors on the crossroads of magic, sex and science.”  We talked about ancestral healing and plants as ancestors. Check out the episode with Atava Garcia Swiecicki, Ancestral Apothecary founder here: http://bespokenbones.com/episode-009-plants-are-our-ancestors/ Please also check out all the other great interviews as well: http://bespokenbones.com/  

Celebrating 2017 at Ancestral Apothecary

We are grateful to be wrapping up another amazing year at Ancestral Apothecary.  This year we offered almost a dozen classes and also graduated two groups of students from both our first and second years of Cecemmana.  Congratulations to all our graduates! One of the highlights of the 2017 was our trip to the American Herbalist Guild Symposium to receive our award for Diversity and Equity in Herbal Medicine.  I traveled to Silverton, Oregon with four of my Cecemmana students to accept the award.  We enjoyed mingling with herbalists from around the… Read More

My Solstice Hope

I am grateful to be part of a circle of healers dedicated to healing themselves, their communities, their ancestors and the earth. And this circle is growing and getting stronger.

Herbal Allies, An Introduction to Herbal Medicine, Fall 2018

This class will focus on building our relationship with our herbal allies. Each class will focus in-depth on one or more herbal medicines and we will learn how they work both physically and energetically . We will learn recipes and other ways to incorporate the plants into our lives.