29th & 30th Sept '18

Linda Black Elk

Ethnobotanist, Lecturer, Activist & Director at Standing Rock Medical Clinic

Being A Good Relative To The Plant Nations

In the Western world, “family” often refers to the connection between people who are bonded by blood. For many Indigenous peoples, however, these relationships are universal and we do not discriminate between lifeforms. We are literally related to the Plant Nations, and it is these relationships that sustain us and provide sacred protocols for us to follow. Now, these critical connections are under threat. How can we be good relatives in a world that often forgets to honor its first Mother? In this talk Linda will share her Lakota medicine teachings about our connection to the plants.

Linda Black Elk (Catawba Nation) is an ethnobotanist specializing in teaching about culturally important plants and their uses as food and medicine. Linda works to build curriculum and ways of thinking that will promote and protect food sovereignty, traditional plant knowledge, and environmental quality as an extension of the fight against hydraulic fracturing and the fossil fuels industry. She has written for numerous publications, and is the author of “Watoto Unyutapi”, a field guide to edible wild plants of the Dakota people. Linda is the mother to three Hunkpapa Lakota boys and is a lecturer at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota. Linda also serves as the Director of Traditional Medicine at the Mni Wiconi Clinic, which is a fully integrative clinic focusing on decolonized medicine at the Standing Rock Reservation.

Anthar Kharana

Colombian Medicine Man, Tobaquero

Hayo: The First Woman On Earth

In this talk Colombian medicine man and musician Anthar Kharana will share the stories and ancient uses of one of the most sacred plant of the Andes, Erythroxylum Coca or coca leaves, known traditionally as Hayo. Anthar will unveil and widen the world understanding of this sacred plant which is considered by many only as a plant that heals altitude sickness and as a great source or nutrients for the physical body, or as something that you just chew. There is so much wisdom and sacradness that this plant holds for the people of Colombia and the Andes and in this talk some of it will be shared with the aim of showing the seismic difference between a sacred medicine and a very dangerous world wide drug.

Anthar Kharana is a medicine man, musician and international sound healer from Colombia. He comes from a long linage of musicians in his family and is also a guardian of traditions and medicines of the Americas. He is guided by wise Elders from his Homeland from an early age, carrying their words alongside his work worldwide. As a Sundancer, Chanupa (Sacred Pipe) and Inipi or Sweat Lodge guardian, Anthar is one of the Sons of the alliance of the Eagle and Condor Nation, a New Nation united by the agreement of the Elders of the North and South America to become One.

Barbara Griggs

Journalist & Author of Green Pharmacy

The Garden Health Service

A well known Dutch herbalist used to claim that you could grow all the herbs you needed for health in your own backyard. Traditionally, this is what mankind has been doing for millennia: in a 60,000-year- old Neanderthal grave, the pollens found scattered in the soil surrounding the bones have been identified as those of common medicinal plants still growing in the area today.

Some of these herbs served a double purpose: the decorative orange marigold to be found in many a cottage garden supplies a remarkably effective antimicrobial. Others are now regarded as weeds: but nettles, dandelions and plantains are among the most powerful herbal medicines we know. Then there are the culinary herbs - indispensable for cooks but also yet another range of extraordinary remedies: mint and parsley for the digestive system, oregano to protect the respiratory system, rosemary “for remembrance”.

Today we import medicinal herbs from the world over - a true planetary pharmacopoeia, learned from a number of ancient systems of medicine. And we would find it hard to do without such treasures as turmeric, ashwagandha, echinacea, ginkgo, ginseng, arnica, goldenseal, licorice, aloe vera. But we could still cater for many of our basic health problems with a handful of plants grown in our own back garden, or harvested from nearby woods, fields, and hedgerows. Call it the GHS, or Garden Health Service: a very low-cost and effective alternative to the NHS. 

Barbara Griggs has been researching and writing about herbs, health, nutrition and natural medicine for over 35 years. The many books she has published include Green Pharmacy: A History of Western Herbal Medicine ( 1981, 1997), widely regarded as the definitive work on the subject; The Food Factor (1986), a history of nutrition; and The Green Witch: a Modern Woman’s Herbal (1993).

As Health Editor of the magazine Country Living for 19 years from its launch in 1986, Barbara wrote regularly on natural medicine in all its many forms, from Ayurveda through flower remedies and iridology to healing and Alexander technique.

She has often appeared on radio and TV, and has lectured on herbal medicine at international conferences in the UK. the USA and Australia. In 2005 the Council of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists bestowed on her a lifetime Honorary Membership, “in recognition of a long and distinguished career in the service of herbal Medicine.” 

Pam Montgomery

Plant Spirit Healer, Author

Plant Communication: Plants To Keep Us Sane During Insane Times


What can the plants teach us about the times we are living in? How can the plants help us navigate the turbulent waters that we find ourselves in? During this session we will learn about key plant allies we can work co-creatively with for energetic hygiene and staying centred and adapting during changing times. This is a must-attend session for both healers and non-healers with key information about how we can manage the seen and unseen forces with the help of the plants. 

Pam Montgomery is well known as one of the leading plant spirit healers in the world today. She received training from Empire State College in Alternative Health Education. She is the originator of Green Terrestrial Herbal Products of Vermont and was one of the founding members of the Northeast Herbal Association where she served as their president for four years. For a decade, Pam was on the Executive Council of the Board of Directors of United Plant Savers, an organization dedicated to preservation of our native medicinal plants. Pam has organized the Green Nations Gathering, Spirit Healing Conference and the Healing With Flowers Conference.
Pam is the author of ‘Plant Spirit Healing; A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness’ and ‘Partner Earth; A Spiritual Ecology’ published by Inner Traditions and a contributing author in ‘Planting the Future’.

Pam is an international educator of plant spirit healing and spiritual activism. She serves on the Vision Council of the Organization of Nature Evolutionaries helping to connect the heart of humanity with the heart of nature.

Will Lawson

Biomimicry UK & Innovation Lab

How Biomimicry Can Help Change Our Relationship To the Plant Kingdom & The Planet

For almost 4 billion years life has been evolving to survive on Earth, managing challenges and opportunity alike. As a result, the hard learnt lessons to our own survival are within species we see all around us.  Since our arrival, we have spent the vast majority of our existence as a part of this natural system, able to see the effect of our actions and interactions with other species. Biomimics recognise this and actively seek to reconnect with our natural system, as we once did, to discover answers to our own human challenges. 


By reconnecting with nature, it becomes clear, we are not the first species to build, capture energy, clean water, manage waste or, attempt any of our worldly challenges. So, through the lens of biomimicry and with the help of modern day technology, we have an opportunity to mimic and innovate with lessons from nature, more than ever before. But not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the entire natural system.


Plants and fungi play an integral role in our natural systems, collectively and in isolation. The potential for learning in these organisms alone, almost seems endless. 

Will has had a strong affiliation with the natural world, both personally and professionally for many years. He spent his 20’s working in conservation and as game ranger in Southern Africa. This deepened his understanding and appreciation for the natural world on land and in the ocean.  It was during this time his passion for biomimicry started and where he helping to establish Biomimicry throughout the country from schools to government. His belief in what we can gain as a species from nature-inspired innovation continues back here in the UK. In the last 5 years, having returned to his indigenous home in the UK, Will works as a free-lance director in wildlife television, spending 2017 stationed in Antarctica filming Emperor penguins.

Kaye Brennan & Kay Haw

Lead Campaigner & Conservation Advisor, Woodland Trust

Trees, Woods and People – From Outrage To Separation To Now

It’s taken 800 years for us to acknowledge the debt we owe to trees, and to establish a new accord between us and them. Over centuries, undemanding, they have cared for and protected us – but as a society we have lost our connection, become disinterested in their value and complacent about their needs. We rage against global deforestation… but fail to notice our own. But the leaves are turning, and hope comes in the Tree Charter – which has inspired a social movement sparked from the embers of devastation and apathy, using nature’s gifts of trees to teach, house and heal us all. The Tree Charter was developed to articulate our very modern relationship with some of the planet’s oldest inhabitants. Now all we need to do is bring it to life…


In this session, learn about the charter and its development into 10 guiding principles, and (re)discover your connection to our living history.

Kaye & Kay will be leading a guided meditation with the trees.

Kaye is a seasoned rabble-rouser and community leader, Kaye has lead the Trust in defending ancient woodland and special trees for ten years. Spurred on by the conviction that the very least we can do is give trees a hug, Kaye campaigns because all trees and woods deserve our respect, support and investment - she knows we can make a real difference to the way they are valued and understood if we speak up, and stand up together.

Seven years ago, Kay wed herself to trees and forests, and is inspired daily by these amazing elements of life. As a passionate lover of nature, Kay is driven to honour and celebrate Gaia and everything she provides to us. As one of the Trust’s key advisers, she has particular expertise in woodland’s energies and the complex, intertwining relationships precious habitats can have with different species.

Ram Chatlani

Eastern Arts Teacher & Meditator

The Nature Of Higher Mind & Connecting Through Plants

In this session Ram will elucidate the nature of the mind, what the challenge is of arriving at the potential of higher mind and how we can work with plants to communicate with higher intelligence to support harmonious function, debunk concepts and keep us alert to re-conditioning. 


He will look at three essential functions of a human being and their correspondences with plant life as well as the individual challenge and global challenge from the perspective of plant consciousness, touching on when the Buddha used a plant: Mahakasyapa and the floral origins of Zen.


We are at a time now when we need to find real success in healing self and others: plant consciousness is a means to a truly efficient resolution, both individually and globally. 

Born of Indian and Armenian heritage, Ram has trained extensively in many styles of Yoga since the age of 8 and thereafter practiced and studied Raja Yoga,  Theravada, Dzogchen, Zen, Tao meditation, Tai chi, ba gua and qigong. He has taught elite martial artists ba gua [eight trigrams circle walking] as well as qigong and pranayama and spent the last 20 years running retreats and workshops of up to three weeks duration in all the above subjects. Wrote and moderated a six year training course “the hundred days” with worldwide participants between 2006-2012. He currently lives in a forest in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

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