Local Lifestyle

Herb-lovers reading group forms, kicks off April 16

A reading and study group for people interested in herbal lore, medicinal herbs and herbal properties will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, April 16 at Cacapon State Park lodge under the direction of local herbalist Iris Kirsch. The group is free and open to the public.

The first meeting on April 16 will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the lounge area of the park lodge and will center around Energetics/Elemental theory.

Many traditions, including those of people indigenous to Appalachia as well as the European Eclectics, Himalayan Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (just to name a few), recognize essential, elemental properties in herbs, foods, actions and emotions.

“This may sound strange, but many of us can agree that cinnamon, garlic, whiskey, sunshine, dancing and anger are all healing. In the vocabulary of energetics, they all contain elemental fire,” said Kirsch. “This is obviously a huge topic, and we will barely get to scratch the surface, but over the next few months we will be able to return to the idea of energetics again and again, deepening our understanding each time.”

Join the group as they explore many facets of herbalism, from energetics to growing herbs to nourishing wholeness.

Meetings will be held in the lodge at Cacapon State Park. Enter through the main doors and turn right. Go past the gift shop and find the group in the cozy chair area. Monthly meetings will be held every third Tuesday until September. Meeting dates will be May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20 and September 17.

The group will read any text exploring energetics and herbs.

Here are some suggestions:

–Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions

–Integrating Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine, by Kat Maier, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2021

–Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide, by Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, 1985

Have lots of time to read? Try The Web that has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted Kaptchuk, McGraw Hill, 1983.

Have no time to read? You can watch Kat Maier talk with Rosemary Gladstar on Youtube about this very topic.

No time to read? No problem! The group welcomes members’ curiosity, insights and lived experience.

Need to bring children? No problem! As long as they’re able to sit (or squirm, or fidget) quietly, they’re more than welcome. We will bring coloring/drawing supplies.

Need to bring your Dad? No problem! We welcome participants of all ages, whether you can drive yourself here or not.

Iris Kirsch is a local herbalist and herb grower who is as passionate about reading and gathering people together as she is about plant magic. Along with her loving family, she grows healing plants and crafts them into fun, nourishing potions right outside of Cacapon State Park at Warm Springs Herbal, 9696 Valley Rd.  Her roadside apothecary will reopen this summer, with a variety of events and experiences.

Have questions? Call Iris at 304-969-5699 or email Iris@insideoutwholeness.net.