By Atava Garcia Swiecicki, MA, RH (AHG) Remembering our Herbal Ancestors One of the most important aspects of Cecemmana, our nine-month herbal training program, is the Ancestral Medicine Project. For this assignment, each student researches and presents about one aspect of healing that comes from their ancestral lineage. For example, their project may be about herbs, foods, music, mythology or cultural ceremonies. For their presentations, my students have shared rituals, recipes, songs, folk tales and personal stories. The class presentations reflect the diverse cultural backgrounds of my students. They have shared ancestral… Read More
European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a time-honored folk remedy for good health. Elderberries have traditionally been made into wine, brandy and cordials. Folks made their elderberry medicine in the late summer and sipped it throughout the winter. Recently, science has discovered that elderberries protect the cell wall against viral attack. That means they can help to protect your body against any virus, including H1N1. A species of Elderberry, sambucus mexicana, is native to California. I planted an elderberry tree in my yard four years ago. This year my tree is giving me… Read More
Over ten years ago, I developed the first version of Herbal Allies with a class called Plants as Spiritual Allies. Modern herbalism often focuses on the physical healing qualities of plants and I wanted to create an herbal class that gave space to learning the emotional and spiritual healing properties of plants. From an indigenous science perspective, plants are not only alive, but they also have spirit and intelligence. As modern people, we have much to learn from our plant relatives. The first step for many of us is learning how to… Read More
Download our Fall 2016 Schedule of Classes: fall schedule of classes 2016 AA front
On Sunday, our Cecemmana herbal students had a great training with Shareena and Leslie from the People’s Community Medics of Oakland. Many times in brown and black neighborhoods there is a delay in the arrival of EMT’s after injury or violence in the community. Shareena and Leslie founded this organization as a response to the 2009 murder of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale Bart Station in Oakland, whose medical care was delayed 20 minutes due to racist infrastructure in the police force. These women train community members to be first responders… Read More
Cecemmana, our nine month herbal training program meets during the first weekend of each month. This past weekend started with an herb walk led by Kara Sigler at Briones. Our students learned how to identify local plants and wildflowers. There was also plenty of time to sit and meditate with the plants. Sticky money flower is a local wildflower. As a flower essence it can be used to clear fear we hold in our second chakra, specifially fear around intimacy and sexuality.
Atava Garcia Swiecicki, founder of Ancestral Apothecary, has been invited to speak as part of the Ancestral Telesummit. She’s talking Thursday, March 30 at 1 pm PDT on “Reconnecting with Indigenous Mind for Ancestral Healing.” Click here to visit the Ancestral Telesummit page for more information!
We are excited to start the new year off with a brand new custom-made herbal apothecary for our office. It’s ready just in time to help us launch our nine month Cecemmana Herbal Program! Many thanks to Maia Bodreaux for the design and construction and 12 Starrz Briggs for helping paint and put on the finishing touches to make it look fabulous. Cecemmana starts on February 6th and the class is full. However, we still have room in our upcoming classes Herbal Allies and the Curandera’s Toolkit. We are happy… Read More
Coming up soon, in January of 2016, we will be holding our third curanderismo workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. This is a very special opportunity to be immersed in the medicina tradicional, the traditional medicine of Mexico. This workshop is led by esteemed Mexican curandera, and author of Nuestra Medicina, Estela Roman, and Atava Garcia Swiecicki from Ancestral Apothecary. We will also spend time with well loved elder curandera and midwife Dona Enriqueta Contreras. We have a few spaces left for our workshop, so please contact us for an application.
Thank you to everyone who helped to support our fundraising efforts through Kiva Zip. Kiva Zip offers 0% loans which are funded by community. We successfully reached our goal of raising $10,000 to support the growth of the Ancestral Apothecary school. We highly recommend that you check out Kiva Zip and help support other small businesses to achieve their dreams! A little loan can make a big difference!