9-Month Herbal Training

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Cecemmana/Planting Seeds

Year One: Fundamentals of Herbal Medicine 2022

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TESTIMONIALS

“I have learned so much about myself, the world at large, and the plants that hold us all down through my experiences as a Cecemmana student. Getting to deepen our skills, knowledges, and perspectives as plant people in a container like this is a gift. I feel grounded by the rigorous work that was asked of us, and know that I have grown so much as a whole human.” – mika (they + she)

“my favorite part is how much this class has help ground me in a very caring, safe, inclusive, and supportive way. it has allowed me to deepen connection with the plants, the land, myself, my spirit, spirituality, and cultivate more resources to support my well being in a way that de-centers and de-prioritizes capitalism and other oppressive systems we’re surrounded/impacted by everyday. it was wonderful to journey through that together instead of feel so isolated from the world. it gave me to push and the courage I needed to excavate many parts of my family’s ancestral history that has been lost or taken from us. it was beautiful to learn about so many others’ ancestral healing ways as well.” – A

“This class definitely had me deepen the relationship I had with myself and the plants.  As a person of color I enjoyed learning how the indigenous people of this planet worked with the plants and how intertwined they were with nature. I loved learning how to intentionally make medicine and how even the energy you put in to making the medicine can make a difference. The teachers were also so amazing, knowledgeable and supportive in the process. They did their best to make sure everyone was heard and seen. I absolutely loved that. The students as well had so much knowledge and I enjoyed learning from them too. This class also showed me that it was ok to show my vulnerability and everyone will support you. I would totally recommend this class to anyone that is interested in plant medicine. ” – Kayata 

“I chose Cecemmana because as a queer person of color, it was important for me that my foundational studies in herbal/plant medicine be reflective of me and the world I want to live in and secure for future generations.  A whole new world has opened up for me, as if it had been waiting for me all along.”  – Pua

“Cecemmana is a brave space. This space has taught me the strength to know when to step back and when to have a voice. It’s taught me care in the form of community and in turn to care for myself. It’s taught me to be still. To cringe. To be okay not knowing. This is a space of magic, reverence, and power. I recommend this course to everyone.”-LG

“I can confidently say that joining Cecemmana was one of the best decisions of my life.  My life has been changed by the course and connections I’ve made with the plants, students, teachers and my ancestors.”  – Grethel

“Cecemmana was the highlight of my year. The Cecemmana program is a unique offering in the world of herbal medicine. I am so glad I participated in this program. When I was searching for herbal programs I knew I wanted something that would center the voices and knowledge of BIPOC and Ancestral Apothecary is dedicated to this. The teaching staff is knowledgeable and caring. Not only did I become more connected to plants and their medicine but I created important relationships with my own ancestral medicine and fellow plant people. ” – Asia

Cecemmana 2022

Year One: Fundamentals of Plant Medicine (Hybrid Program)

Cecemmana is a Nahuatl word that means to sprinkle and plant seeds on the earth. This program is dedicated to planting seeds in our diverse communities for future herbalists. This 250-hour training will provide students a solid foundation in the art, science & spirituality of herbal medicine from a BIPOC & QTBIPOC-centered perspective.

The focus of Cecemmana is to help students build a strong relationship with the plants; and to also support them to develop an intimate and healing relationship with their own bodies. We will cover the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of herbalism and healing. Class time will include lecture, class discussions, and medicine making. In-person time for Bay Area students will include herbal gardening, herb walks, medicine making and small group apprenticeship. Class projects include an herbal first aid kit and researching and presenting a project on ancestral medicine.

Cecemmana will give our students the skills to work with herbal medicine for themselves and their families (chosen/given). This is not a clinical herbalist training program. The American Herbalist Guild requires 1600 hours of training to become a registered professional herbalist. In this way, what we are offering is a first step for those who wish to achieve that. Our curriculum will provide a solid foundation for those who wish to continue their herbal education and train to be a clinical herbalist.

Weekly sessions will be held online on Tuesdays from 10am-1pm PST and on first Sundays from 10:30am-1:30pm PST. For those in the Bay Area, apprentice days and gardening time held in-person using safe social distancing protocol. For those online, apprentice days will be held online. Due to the pandemic, in-person sessions may need to be shifted to be online. We are committed to holding Cecemmana in whatever creative ways possible as we navigate the shifting landscape. 

2022 Core teachers : Abi Huff, Ayo Ngozi, Myrna Cabán Lezcano

Some of our past guest teachers (subject to change in 2022):

Deja Gould (Ohlone legacies) Emiliano Lemus (trans herbal health), Danielle Benjamin (ancestral astro herbalism), BaeLaurel (botanical illustration), Anjali Sunita (Ayurveda), Nam-Thu Tran (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Violet Witchhazel (trans herbal health), Elokin-Orton-Cheung (herbs for pets), Spirit Root Medicine People (Two spirit medicine)

CLASS SCHEDULE

Dates: April 19 – December 6, 2022

First Class: Tuesday, April 19 // 10:00am-2:00p PST/1:00-5:00pm ET (online)

Note: This first class on April 19 will be 1 hour longer than usual. The last class on December 6 will also be 1 hour longer and will go until 2pm/5pm.

Beginning Weekend Intensive: Sunday, April 24 // 10:30am-1:30p PST/1:30-4:30pm ET (online). This will be an additional day for us to connect, set intentions and orient ourselves around our journey.

Weekly Classes (3 hours a week)

Tuesdays, 10a – 1pm PST/1-4pm ET (online)

Monthly Classes (3 hours a month)

First Sundays of the month: 10:30am-1:30p PST/1:30-4:30pm ET (online)

Apprentice Time (3-6 hours a month, May-November)

1-2 live + recorded online options

1st Thursdays, 3-6pmPST / 6-9pm ET (online & recorded)

4th Sundays, 11am-2pm PST, in-person for Bay Area students

Students must complete a minimum of 3 hours a month to receive a certificate (optional).

Project & Practice Hours
Gardening & community service (20 hours)

Bay Area students will complete their gardening hours in an Oakland garden. Online students will complete their gardening & community service hours in their own towns.

Homework & Reading (about 2 hours a week)

Project Feedback & Support

Students will receive 3 hours a month of individualized project feedback. This will be a combination of email and office hours

Small Support Groups

We will be designing groups of 4-5 students every 3 months so students can have more time to connect, go deeper and support each other outside of weekly class time.

Summer Break (3 weeks)

July 19 – Aug 6

Fall Session Resumes: Sunday, August 7

CLASS TOPICS

Core class topics (subject to change)

  • People’s Hxstory of Herbal Medicine
  • Building and Growing Your Apothecary
  • Intro Energetics & Tastes
  • Intro to Spiritual Herbalism
  • Energetic, Physical & Spiritual Elements of the Body 
  • Honoring the Elements & Land as Medicine 
  • Designing Monographs & Materia Medica
  • Herbs for Trans & Gender Expansive Health
  • Deepening our Ancestral (Given & Chosen) Medicine Legacies
  • African Diaspora Medicine 
  • Intro to Herbalism Ethics 
  • Herbs to support: digestive, cardiovascular, generative, nervous, respiratory, lymphatic, endocrine, immunity, musculoskeletal, mental and emotional health 
  • Building Relationships with Plants
  • Food as Medicine 
  • Medicine making:  medicinal infusions & decoctions, oils, lung + pelvic steams, tinctures, syrups, oxymels, vinegars, flower essences, incenses, elixirs, herbal honeys, electuaries, sprays, liniments, compresses, herbal baths, herbal sweet treats  

Additional class topics (subject to change)

  • Ohlone Legacies
  • Two Spirit Medicine
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Ayurveda
  • Ancestral Astro Herbalism
  • Curanderismo 
  • Food as Medicine
  • Herbal Sweet Treats
  • Plant Allies for Oral Health

Assignments & Independent Practice

  • Weekly readings
  • Connecting & making medicine with the herbs you will receive monthly 
  • 3 hours of monthly apprentice time
  • Creating and submitting 2 herbal monographs per month
  • Creating & submitting documentation of a basic herbal first aid kit
  • Presenting an Ancestral Medicine Project in late October
  • Completing 3 hours a month of gardening and plant medicine community service. If you are in the Bay Area, you will complete these hours in an Oakland garden 
  • Missing no more than 9 classes with the ability to make up 3 sessions by watching class recordings and submitting a summary 
  • Engaging with other students online, outside of class time

Receiving a certificate of completion is optional.  If you choose to receive the certificate, you will need to complete all of the above

Cost & Payment

$3,060 + $225 materials fee + $25 app fee = $3,310

  • Non-refundable $1,000 deposit due March 14  ($1,030 if paying via PayPal or Venmo to cover automated fee). 
  • Final balance of $2,285 due April 11 ($2,353 if paying via PayPal or Venmo to cover automated fee). 

Payments can be summited via check, bank transfer, Zelle, credit card, PayPal or Venmo.   Payments made via PayPal & Venmo must include an additional 3% to cover fee

We are not doing payment plans at this time but hope to do so in the future. We are fundraising for our BIPOC Cecemmana Scholarship. We will also be offering tuition discount for two TA positions for those in the Bay.  We will be sharing the application for those positions with those accepted into the program. 

Scholarships

Please see our FAQ section for more info on scholarships

Photo of a monthly herbal packet by Norah

APPLICATION PROCESS

Application launch: Monday, December 27, 2021

1) Submit Application + $25 application fee (non-refundable) by Monday, February 7Acceptance will be on a rolling basis so we encourage you to apply early in the process

2) Attend an Info session or watch a recording (can also be done prior to applying). Note: many FAQs can also be found below.

2021 Info Session Recording

3) Look out for your acceptance notification email on or before February 21

4) Once accepted, submit your $1,000 desposit by Monday, March 14

5) Submit your balance of $2,285 by April 11

IMPORTANT 2022 DATES

  • Application launch: December 27 
  • Live Info Session:  Tuesday, January 25 at 10am PST // 1pm ET
  • Last Day to Apply = Monday, February 7 (admissions on rolling basis)
  • Notification of Acceptance = Monday, February 21
  • Non-refundable $1,000 first deposit due Monday, March 14 
  • Balance due = Tuesday, April 11
  • Classes Begin – Tuesday, April 19

INFO SESSIONS

The next info session will be on Tuesday, January 25th at 10am PST// 1pm ET and will be recorded and uploaded here

Below is the 2021 info session recording. Many elements of Cecemmana 2022 will be similar to Cecemmana 2021.

Watch it on YouTube HERE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does a hybrid program mean?

A hybrid program means we will be offering this program as an online program only for those who live outside of the Bay Area. For those living in the Bay Area, apprentice time will be offered in person. Due to the pandemic, in-person sessions may need to be shifted to be online. We are committed to holding Cecemmana in whatever creative ways possible as we navigate the shifting landscape. 

How many students will you be accepting into the program?

We will be accepting between 35-40 students and pull from our waitlist if accepted applicants decide to no longer enroll.

Will you be offering an evening version of this program? Will you be offering a shorter, plant medicine journey?

Yes! This will be a shorter program in the fall of 2022 that will happen in the late afternoon/evenings. This will be a pre-Cecemmana designed for beginners. Once we have the program fully designed and up and running, we will release the application. Stay tuned or sign up for our newsletter here for updates.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

We will be accepting students on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early. All applicants will receive notification by February 21st. If the class becomes full, we will add you to the waitlist in the order you submit your application.    

How do I apply for a BIPOC Cecemmana scholarship?

We have launched our Cecemmana BIPOC Scholarship Fundraiser! If you are interested in applying, please complete THIS APPLICATION by February 14th

In the past, we have given out an average $300-500 to students who apply for scholarships. We typically take all the raised funds, give 60% of them to Black identified raised and divide the remaining funds.

We also encourage students to do their own fundraising and to start early in the process.

What topics are covered in this program?

Please review info above on this page for a list of these topics. 

What are apprentice days like?

Apprentice days will be held online for all and in-person for Bay Area students. This is a time outside of weekly online classes to delve deeper into your plant medicine practice in smaller groups. Topics can range from making medicine under the new moon, to working with the elements, to medicine song singing. Due to the changing landscape of the pandemic, we may have to move some of the in-person apprentice days online.

Is this a clinical program?

No, Cecemmana is not a clinical herbalism program.  The American Herbalist Guild requires 1600 hours of training to become a certified professional herbalist.  In this way, what we are offering is a first step for those who wish to achieve that. Our curriculum will provide a solid foundation for those who wish to continue their herbal education and train to be a clinical herbalist.  

Will I receive a certificate?

Yes, you will receive a certificate from the school for 250 hours if you complete all of complete all of the assignments and attendance. This certificate is optional.

Can I apply the hours from this program towards another? 

The American Herbalist Guild requires 1600 hours of training to become a certified professional herbalist.  In this way, what we are offering is a first step for those who wish to achieve that. Our curriculum will provide a solid foundation for those who wish to continue their herbal education.  All herbal schools are different. We encourage you to check the policies of schools you may want to attend in the future.

Is my deposit refundable?

No, once your deposit has been made, it will not be refunded.

Will there be a waitlist?

Yes, there will be a waitlist. If the class becomes full, you will be added to our waitlist in the order you have submitted your application.

How will in-person gatherings be?

We hold the health and safety of our students, staff, and community with the highest regard. In person gatherings will be held outdoors, weather and air quality permitting, socially distanced, with everyone required to wear masks. The class will be separated into smaller groups.

What does the materials fee include?

The materials fee includes herbs and other medicine-making materials that will be provided monthly as well as for apprenticeship days.You will work with these herbs every month and share back with your cohort. The herbal packets will not include many additional items you will need for medicine making or for starting your home apothecary like oils, strainers, jars, etc.  

How long will the recordings of class videos be available?

They will be available for viewing only through December 31, 2022

How many absences can I have and still receive a certificate of completion?

A certificate of completion is completely optional. In order to receive one, you’ll need to miss no more than 9 classes. You will have ability to make up 3 sessions by watching class recordings and submitting a summary 

14 Comments on “9-Month Herbal Training

  1. Hello, Born and raised in Oakland ca, I am a tradition Mexican medicine practitioner in morgan hill ca. I am familiar with and use plants from traditionally used in Mexico, and would like to learn more about local medicinal plant. I have been studying under a curandera in Mexico for the past 4 years and travel there 2 times a year. I would like to know what kind of flexibility there is in your learning programs for an abcence as well as what class might be appropriate. My personal interest is in learning so that I might teach. Thank you, teresa

    Like

    • Hi Teresa,
      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I was away for much of December! We have several classes that cover herbal medicine. Either the Curandera’s Toolkit or Herbal Allies is a good start. The Toolkit is taught from a perspective of how plants are used in Curanderismo and Herbal Allies is more general. We also have a nine-month herbal training program that is called Cecemmana that begins in February. In all these classes we do teach about local plants as well as many other medicinal herbs.
      For Cecemmana, we ask that students attend 80% of the classes to get their certificates. For the other classes we encourage as much attendance as possible, but know that it is common for students to miss a few classes.
      We are having an Open House on Friday January 6th from 7-8:30, so please come by to learn more!
      Take care, Atava

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this. Can you please refer me to any similar training programs in the Los Angeles area? I would really love to gain the knowledge to heal and reconnect with my heritage. Thank you.

    Like

    • I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with what is available in LA. You might want to check out the list of herbal schools on the American Herbalist Guild website. (www.americanherbalistguild.com)

      Like

  3. Good Day Sir/Ma
    What is your prerequisite for someone from.Nigeria to attend your herbal school and graduate?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Tony

    Like

    • Hi Tony — thanks for your interest! We don’t have prerequisites for our year 1 Cecemmana program but we do have an application process. We’ll be offering the 9 month training again is 2020. If you have additional questions, you can email us at school@ancestralapothecary.com

      Like

  4. I would love to do the 9 month program, do you ever plan to offer it evening hours for those of us who cannot make it during the day.

    Like

    • We’re still working on the schedule for Cecemmana 2020 and we’re not sure if it’s going to be offered during the day or evenings. Email us at ancestralapothecaryassistant@gmail.com if you’d like to be on the list of interested folks for Cecemmana 2020 so you’ll be the first to know when we have the details settled.

      Like

  5. Can the cost be covered in installments or does it have to be paid all at once?

    Like

    • We don’t offer payment plans but we do offer scholarships for students of color. If you’re interested in being added to the list of folks interested, which we’ll send an email to when we have the details finalized, email ancestralapothecaryassistant@gmail.com.

      Like

      • Is this an online class…if not where is it located…Ames I’m interested in the scholarship as well for students of african or other ancestry

        Like

      • Thanks for your interest! It’s an in person class at our school located at 3798 Grand Ave. Oakland, CA. You can apply to the program at the link on this page. We’ve had an overwhelming amount of applicants for the 2020 program and, after receiving your application, we’ll reach out to you for an interview if there is space in the program. The scholarship application will be available to folks accepted into the program. You can email ancestralapothecaryassistant@gmail.com with any additional questions.

        Like

    • Thanks for reaching out! We have waitlists for both the Tuesday evening and Monday daytime class and registration is closed. You can email us at ancestralapothecaryassistant@gmail.com if you’d like to be on the list of folks interested in future Cecemmana classes.

      Like

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