Pre-Symposium Intensives

Pre-Symposium Intensives, Friday, October 13, 2023

Our 2023 Pre-Symposium Intensives feature six three-hour classes offering in-depth information about unique topics presented by noted herbal practitioners and researchers. You will find descriptions of the individual Intensives below. Click on the speaker's name to access their bio.

Online Access to Pre-Symposium Intensives - Your First Year of Clinical Practice with Camille Freeman and Preserving the Herbal Legacy of Cannabis Culture with Jessica Baker, are available as livestreamed sessions and recordings. Register before October 13 to access live-streamed Pre-Symposium Intensives. Register after October 13 for recordings only. All Online registrants receive access to recordings for one year.

The cost for each Intensive is $50. Note that Pre-Symposium Intensives are not included with your Symposium registration fee and must be purchased separately.

Morning (8:30am-11:30am)

Pre-Symposium Intensive: The Future of Michael Moore's Legacy: A Deep Dive into Bioregional Herbalism and Constitutional Physiology
Morning (8:30am-11:30am)

An overview of the life and legacy of Michael R.S. Moore, founder of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, author, and the "Godfather of Western Herbalism." We will explore the contribution that his life’s work made to the creation of contemporary Western herbal tradition. 

Pre-Symposium Intensive: Your First Year of Clinical Practice
Morning (8:30am-11:30am)

In this discussion session, we’ll focus on setting realistic expectations for your first year of clinical practice, as well as strategies for supporting yourself, your clients, and your practice during this phase. The vulnerability, excitement, and anticipation many practitioners experience during this time will be acknowledged and honored. We will explore logistical questions, emotional and spiritual challenges that often arise, and tips/tools for navigating the transition to clinical work.

Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm)

Pre-Symposium Intensive: Healing Rituals of Curanderismo
Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm)
Curanderismo is not just the art of making herbal teas, tinctures, rubs, salves, and beneficial foods. It often deals with the psychological healing from traumas (sexual, war-induced, grief, and others) and rituals for hauntings and possession. Healing in the curanderismo tradition can come through prayers, nature rituals, colors, floral scents, and visualizations. Third-generation curandero and vivid storyteller Charles Garcia shares the wisdom of his journey through the realms of his healing tradition. White sage and culinary sage (and black and purple sage, if necessary) were used to cleanse homes and individuals of malevolent influences. Herbs for chronic illness such as rosemary, bright yellow flowers, or deep red roses were used to help a terminally ill person pass into the afterlife. Special guest Mimi Hernandez will assist in an exploration of the curandero's healing altar and herbs like rue and rose.
Pre-Symposium Intensive: Health Protocols Inspired by Our Ancestors
Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm)
Our ancestors and healers in Indigenous cultures consider body, mind, and spirit to co-create multi-dimensional protocols for people who came to them for help. As herbalists, we often know what herbal formulas are needed to restore balance, but when we look deeper at ourselves and our clients, we bring more synergy into our practice. 
We’ll explore the ancestral heritage of African-American herbalism, learn the importance of granny midwife folk recipes in history and for safer BIPOC births in the future, and how to use your ancestor’s recipes/folk preparations to add more beneficial herbs to your diet. Discussion will include herbs to support grief and other emotions. We will dive into botanical skincare, creating personal ceremonies of self-care using herb infused face oils, spiritual bathing, and more.
Pre-Symposium Intensive: Preserving the Herbal Legacy of Cannabis Culture
Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm)
This class will help dispel decades of propaganda and misinformation that has resulted from the prohibition and criminalization of highly useful cannabis. Misconceptions surrounding cannabis mean the spread of falsehoods that arose from the demonization of a plant and do a disservice to both the plant and our communities. It is the duty of those who work with cannabis as medicine to counter the falsities that prohibition started and that ad agencies perpetuate.
We will discuss the politicization of sativa and indica, and undue importance placed on THC levels. We will explore the myriad of uses of cannabis as medicine over the last several thousand years and question how we honor these traditions as we forge ahead into cannabis industrialization and how normalization of cannabis can benefit our society at large. Participants will learn about cannabis taxonomy and constituents, gain a deeper understanding of the longevity of cannabis, and be empowered to share the importance of cannabis education.


Pre-Symposium: Rocky Mountain Plant Walk
Afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm)

On this walk around the Snow Mountain Ranch, you'll learn about the plants found in this 8000-foot elevation landscape, including creeping Oregon grape root (Berberis repens), uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi), the many conifers that thrive here and more. We'll discuss botanical characteristics, beneficial preparations, and clinical uses for the plants we see.