Devil's Club Plant Sit: Identification and Meditation
- WHEN: October 27, 2023
- TIME: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
- FEE: $75.00 USD
- INSTRUCTOR: Heather Bruno
- SETTING: In-Person
- LOCATION: Seattle, WA
(details & directions provided after enrollment)
One of the best ways to learn about a plant is from the plant itself. Let me create space for you to get to know one of our most revered and sacred plants in the PNW: Oplopanax horridum/horridus, better known as Devil’s Club. Don’t let the unfortunate name bestowed upon it by humans color your perspective of this truly magnificent, awe-inspiring, spine-tingling plant…it is a privilege to get to know it!
As a bioregional herbalist, I believe deeply in cultivating a sense of place, and that we need only look around us to find the plants that will nurture, heal, and sustain us mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. These are the plants we are in community with. Getting to know these plants intimately is an important part of remembering our connection to the earth, and feeling embraced within that connection.
Devil’s Club is a plant the can help us experience that connection. It is also a plant that must be approached with reverence, an open heart and a willingness to be vulnerable. That is what this class offers*.
As each body and spirit is unique and sacred, each person deserves the opportunity to develop their own special relationships with the plants they come in contact with. One of my goals as a teacher is to empower, respect and protect that experience for my students.
If you have taken classes with me, you will know that I am thoughtful about providing an opportunity for you to get to know each plant on your own before I start to teach you what I know about a plant or share my experiences. This way, you are not filtering your understanding of a plant through my teaching, but through the teaching of the plant itself. In other words, I refrain from acting as an intermediary between students and plants. And Devil’s Club is certainly a plant that will reveal its medicine with those who take the time to get to know it. I believe that this is a prerequisite to working with Devil’s Club, therefore, this class is designed for that purpose.
We are very fortunate to be neighbors with this sensitive and ecologically specific plant. It grows only in the PNW bioregion from N California, up through Oregon, Washington, parts of Idaho and Montana and north into Alberta, British Columbia, and Alaska. A small population can also be found in northern Michigan.
You will learn how to identify Devil’s Club using all your senses (including smell and taste) and gain knowledge of where and how it grows. This special class includes a plant sit, meditation and group discussion where you will have the opportunity to share and listen to what is revealed, ask questions and hear stories. We will also cover special precautions and sustainability issues. You will be provided with ideas for how to extend and deepen your learning, seeing how Devil’s Club changes through the seasons, and be invited to participate in a unique harvesting and medicine making intensive with Devil’s Club in the Spring.
* Please note: this class does not involve harvesting or medicine making – it is, however, a prerequisite for anyone wishing to participate in an upcoming Devil’s Club Harvest Intensive and Medicine Making Workshop in the Spring. Note also that I do not teach about Indigenous ways that this plant has historically been worked with or is currently worked with by Indigenous people, respectfully, those are not my stories to tell or my knowledge to share.
Be sure to register for the other Seattle-area Autumn Workshops:
What to bring:
- Notebook or sketchbook, pen and pencils
- Blanket or something to sit on (something that enables you to sit on the ground is preferable)
- Dress for the weather! Please wear clothing that covers your skin (long pants, closed shoes)
- Water, lunch, snacks, something warm to drink
- Hand warmers are nice
- Hat, umbrella, rain gear
A walking stick (or hiking poles) is recommended, as we may be walking on uneven ground. Participants should be prepared to hike up to 2-3 miles round-trip.