catalystcommunityherbals 🌑✨ECLIPSE REALITY CHECK: white herbalists living on stolen Indigenous lands, we need to be learning how to reduce the harm we cause. We live in + benefit from a society built on land theft, cultural genocide, slavery, imprisonment + oppression of Indigenous People, Black People + People of Colour. Being an herbalist doesn't exempt us from these legacies of violence. It doesn't exempt us from our responsibility to destroy these systems of violence.
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The #susanweed thing is part of a bigger problem. I've been in community practice as an herbalist for 15 yrs + I can say that most white herbalists I know of base their work in stolen knowledge from traditions they hold no ancestral or cultural connections to. Most white herbalists work with herbs they hold no ancestral or cultural links to, herbs that are part of living medicine traditions. Many white herbalists are "ethically wildcrafting" Indigenous medicines without permission from Indigenous communities to do so. Most white herbalist teachers profit from teaching how to continue this violence + theft. All of this while BIPOC folks get treated like shit.
💥How the actual fuck is this ok in any way?!💥💥💥
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I get frequent, consistent feedback that my work is inspiring so I wrote this in hopes of inspiring white folks to think critically abt reducing the harm we cause. For transparency + as examples, here's some basic ways I try to reduce harm: 🌿I build relationships, listen to + support what BIPOC folks are saying bcuz they're the experts; Everything on this list comes from what I've learned in this way. 🌿I don't wildcraft. Instead, I grow the herbs I work with + stick with herbs from my people's traditions. If a client 'needs' a wildcrafted herb, I refer them to an Indigenous run biz. 🌿I decline invites to teach at herb conferences that uphold white supremacy (basically all of them) + I ask that BIPOC teachers be invited instead. 🌿I donate herbs to BIPOC-led fundraisers, protests + healing justice events; I have free/at-cost remedies for BIPOC folks on request; I reach out so folks know what's on offer. 🌿I start convos with white herbalists abt how we cause harms + ways to change that. ✨✨✨

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🌑✨ECLIPSE REALITY CHECK: white herbalists living on stolen Indigenous lands, we need to be learning how to reduce the harm we cause. We live in + benefit from a society built on land theft, cultural genocide, slavery, imprisonment + oppression of Indigenous People, Black People + People of Colour. Being an herbalist doesn't exempt us from these legacies of violence. It doesn't exempt us from our responsibility to destroy these systems of violence. . . The #susanweed thing is part of a bigger problem. I've been in community practice as an herbalist for 15 yrs + I can say that most white herbalists I know of base their work in stolen knowledge from traditions they hold no ancestral or cultural connections to. Most white herbalists work with herbs they hold no ancestral or cultural links to, herbs that are part of living medicine traditions. Many white herbalists are "ethically wildcrafting" Indigenous medicines without permission from Indigenous communities to do so. Most white herbalist teachers profit from teaching how to continue this violence + theft. All of this while BIPOC folks get treated like shit. 💥How the actual fuck is this ok in any way?!💥💥💥 . . I get frequent, consistent feedback that my work is inspiring so I wrote this in hopes of inspiring white folks to think critically abt reducing the harm we cause. For transparency + as examples, here's some basic ways I try to reduce harm: 🌿I build relationships, listen to + support what BIPOC folks are saying bcuz they're the experts; Everything on this list comes from what I've learned in this way. 🌿I don't wildcraft. Instead, I grow the herbs I work with + stick with herbs from my people's traditions. If a client 'needs' a wildcrafted herb, I refer them to an Indigenous run biz. 🌿I decline invites to teach at herb conferences that uphold white supremacy (basically all of them) + I ask that BIPOC teachers be invited instead. 🌿I donate herbs to BIPOC-led fundraisers, protests + healing justice events; I have free/at-cost remedies for BIPOC folks on request; I reach out so folks know what's on offer. 🌿I start convos with white herbalists abt how we cause harms + ways to change that. ✨✨✨

Comments (68)

renegadehoneyherbs

renegadehoneyherbs, 2 months ago

@catalystcommunityherbals Ok, thanks. that’s kinda technologically challenging for me 😂😂

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@renegadehoneyherbs I hear that! Also the rural low-to-no internet service can rly impede internet based communications, eh? I can rarely even get FB to load, which is why I rarely post on FB! Don't know why insta works most of the time but I'm glad at least something does 😂

forest.hag

forest.hag, 2 months ago

yesss, thx for connecting the dots between the susun weed convo and dominant herbal culture. all these white so-called "elders" and gurus of western herbalism-- their time is up, i feel that shift for sure. *and* we young(er) white folks have so much work to do to support the shift in power towards BIPOC healers.. grateful for these convos <3

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@forest.hag Exactly, yes, thanks for naming all of that! 💥🌱💥

_rain_gatherer_

_rain_gatherer_, 2 months ago

@catalystcommunityherbals I don’t have your number can I PM you ?

thecannadoula

thecannadoula, 2 months ago

Ooooooo I love this convo, whenever and wherever it happens! 🙌☕thanks for boosting it @olfactoryhuesherbal!!

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@_rain_gatherer_ of course! I just may not see it as quick but that def works 💕

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@thecannadoula Thanks for saying + I agree! 🌿🌸💕

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@angelitairene Racism, theft + appropriation are literally what "western" herbalism is made of. It's not leaking in, it's been there the entire time as part of colonization. I wish you well on yr journey of discovering the sad truth ✨

cintothemists

cintothemists, 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing all this, it feels good to be finally finding herbalists that work and think this way and speak out about it. I will be following your examples (beyond what I already try to do with growing my own herbs and sticking to plants my ancestors were familiar with) and encouraging others in my local community to do so. Finding indigenous suppliers for everything else is a great idea. 🙏

worldadorningtraveler

worldadorningtraveler, 2 months ago

I had not thought about wildcrafting on Indigenous lands (this whole continent!) without permission as problematic, but this gives me some real food for thought and things to look at in myself. Thank you for speaking to us, to me.

unicorn_prodigy

unicorn_prodigy, 2 months ago

I was inspired by the bravery of Susan Weed's victims and came out publically against my abuser in the Herbal Community, Sean Donahue. The herbal world is in SPLINTERS right now because so many of the "elders" DO NOT have these conversations and herbalism and healing are worlds where we must absolutely have these conversations. Matthew Wood declaring unapolagetically that he calls himself and Margi Flint saying "I don't see color" is very revealing. After my call out I felt so shaken by the hypocrisy in the world that I love the most, I took "herbalist" off my profile title because I didn't want to be associated. I have felt called to become a "community apothecarist" that works with free and at cost medicine for BIPOC and the Pueblo and First Nations people that the Spanish colonialists ripped off my land. Thank you for writing this conversation and affirming for me WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT that I continue, because creating a new herbal culture that considers is SO NECESSARY right now, and there are so few herbalists that even acknowledge it. Thank you 🙏

unicorn_prodigy

unicorn_prodigy, 2 months ago

@unicorn_prodigy Matthew Wood calls himself a "shaman"*

catalystcommunityherbals

catalystcommunityherbals, 2 months ago

@unicorn_prodigy Hey, thanks for everything you shared here, what yr saying is so important. Much respect for naming your abuser, I've been there in my own life + it can be rly fckn scary. // "western herbalism" is like a burning trash pile of stolen traditions + white complacency; I'm glad all the convos around this are happening + I'm excited to see how things will continue to transform. Keep speaking up, what you have to share is so important 💕

unicorn_prodigy

unicorn_prodigy, 2 months ago

@sacred_seeds_collective thank you very much for taking the time to include these direct examples for people to learn from. I see you, I believe your story, and as a herbalist with my own native ancestry as well as that of colonial settlers I WANT TO HELP MAKE SURE THIS TRAUMA NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN 🔥 💔 if I can ever be of assistance to you, I will be here. ✨

unicorn_prodigy

unicorn_prodigy, 2 months ago

@catalystcommunityherbals such a good metaphor! BURN IT DOWN 🔥 Well at least it's already burning, we just have to make sure all of that thievery and complacency gets burned out before we reintegrate the ashes into REAL decolonised medicine! Spagyrics! 😂

anna.spoon

anna.spoon, 2 months ago

@sacred_seeds_collective I’d really like to know more about how I can assist or be an ally in regards to these issues. Herbs have been a part of my life since I was a kid but I want to be mindful and and teach others to be mindful when it comes to these relationships. If anyone wants to start a conversation with me I’ll welcome these perspectives. 🙏