Nov 112014

Announcing The Most Amazing New Conference Site:
A Veritable Fairy Castle Atop a Sky Island Wildland!

In the past few weeks, the two of us have spent over 300 hours painstakingly researching potential conference sites throughout the West.  Finding our required combination of sufficient classrooms, comfy lodging, free camping, wilderness surroundings, and closeness to an airport is amazingly difficult, and needless to say we can’t stand the idea of holding a plant event in a city, stodgy conference center or generic hotel.  There was much to love about our previous venues, but there has never been an herbal conference at a place like our new event site!

Traditions in Western Herbalism

50 Unique Classes! • 1.7 hrs. From Airport! • Dance Concert • Masquerade Ball • Native Plant Walks
Famous Margaritas & S.W. Brews! • Pool, Hot Tub, Natural Wonders! • Youth Village, Kid Classes, & Cooperative Childcare




Trippy Desert   Imagine, for a moment, the way it feels flying or driving into the stark Chihuahua Desert just north of Old Mexico, with otherworldly Yucca emerging triumphant from crimson soil and into an impossibly blue sky. Vast stretches of what looks like snow turn out to be the famed White Sands, reaching for miles into the lava rock formations of the Tularosa Basin.  white sands 3" 72dpiYou barely have time to take in the sight of the desert’s many powerful medicinal plants, before the road veers and begins climbing up the sides of golden cliffs gleaming in the setting sun like some fantastic Tolkein-esque parapets.  Within minutes you have moved into Juniper and Oak story, winding past rustic Apple orchards and then lush green Ponderosa Pines before topping out among giant swaying Spruce, Fir, and white-barked Aspen.


Otero Wildflowers 3" 72dpiOne more turn in the road, and the tiny town of Cloudcroft makes its appearance: charming lodges and bread & breakfasts, a saloon and cafes housed in buildings built in the 1800s when a narrow gauge railway brought awestruck tourists to this Southwestern Shangri-La.   Namesake clouds often cling to the peaks of this Sky-Island, a term describing those rare peaks stretching dramatically from desert to alpine.  Looking at your feet, you may be excited about the proliferation of high elevation herbs or the totally unique species of mosses, and gazing out over the tree tops you can’t help but be struck silent by the view of the deserts and hills seemingly so far down and so far away.




The Lodge from up high 3" 72dpiView from Lodge vertical 3" 72dpiFrom this “croft of clouds,” you proceed a final hundred yards up to what can best be described as a fairy castle, a magical looking adobe structure at the apex of this special mountain.  Originally constructed in the 1890s and rebuilt in 1911, the fabled Lodge is awash with history, furnished in original Victorian and Edwardian funk, and once a meeting place for the ballsy revolutionary Pancho Villa as well as 1930s getaway for quirky early movie stars like Clark Gable and Judy Garland. who mischievously carved their names in the wall of the old fashioned observation tower.  Portraits throughout celebrate its most famous lodger, Rebecca, the red headed ghost of a long vanished employee, reported many times to be still wandering the maroon-carpeted halls of this truly incredible building.

Classes will be held in 5 lovely classrooms.  One of these is in the oldest structure in the village, a hardwood floored meeting hall that will also be home to our Friday Masquerade Ball and Saturday night dance concert.  Those fortunate enough to reserve lodging there, will enjoy the aura of earthy vintage elegance, the outdoor pool and hot tub.  Rebecca bass relief 3" 72dpiOthers of you will find plenty of affordable rooms within walking distance in Cloudcroft, along with dozens of gorgeous campgrounds for setting up a tent or RV close by.  Thursday at 3pm we will launch this 2015 event with guided plant identification walks on area trails, and a multi-hued waterfall beckons only a dozen miles away.  Join us – and Rebecca – at another event of a lifetime!


“Resurrecting the spirit of Western Herbalism!“ -Paul Bergner

More Amazing Teachers Than Ever!:

Phyllis Light • Guido Mase’ • David Hoffmann • Howie Brounstein • Juliet Blankespoor • 7Song • Kiva Rose • Lisa Ganora • Jim McDonald • Phyllis Hogan • Sean Donahue • Larken Bunce • Kiki Geary • John Slattery • Shana Lipner Grover • Charles “Doc” Garcia • Lori Pino • Wendy Hounsel • Emily Ho • Katja Swift • Ryn Madura • Sam Coffman • Julie Caldwell • Thomas Easley • Julie James • Dara Saville •  Stephany Hoffelt • Julie James • Asia Suler • Rebecca Altman  • Ramona Rubin • Emily Stock • Amanda Mayther • Lauren Stauber • Asa Henderson • Jiling Lin • & Jesse Wolf Hardin

The Information Needed To Be An Herbalist
…Along With The Fun & Celebration An Herbalist Needs!

“I’m feeling so fulfilled, inspired, activated, blessed, and enriched by this radically meaningful weekend with healers and plant medicine workers in the magical forest.  The classes warmed my heart, stimulated my brain, and nourished my soul as well as helped me to articulate, define, and take pride in why I work with plants and see plants as teachers. This was the best weekend of my life!
–Chloe Groom (Rainbow Bliss Botanicals)


Wolf at Falls vertical 3" 72dpiMedicine of The People

The 2015 conference will continue Plant Healer’s tradition of serving not only the professionally oriented person seeking to learn new techniques and advanced info, but but also the informal or beginner herbalist, the unaffiliated and the outlier, the street medic and herbal activists who give their time to helping the disadvantaged and the homeless, the teenaged plant enthusiast, and the herbalist who treats only her own family.  Plant Healer events continue to serve as a home even to folks who normally avoid conferences, and as a nexus – drawing together the diverse folk herbal tribe, seeding new networks that can help not only our practice but our planet to thrive.

“An outstanding herbal conference, creating a network across the country that unites us all in this grassroots movement… helping to heal the world in our small and great ways.”
–Rosemary Gladstar

Youth Village, Childcare & Kid Classes

This year we’re welcoming the creation of a Youth Village at the “Pavilion,” featuring cooperative childcare with participating parents, as well as a half dozen classes especially for the young.   If you have school age children, consider taking them out for this fun experience, getting them their start in an herbal education.  And if you’d like to help make the Village happen by networking with other parents beforehand, teaching a kid class, or participating in the childcare program, please email Asa at:

“My son has grown up with the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, and this year’s event cements for me the vital importance of the conference to his development as a planetary citizen.”
–Asa Henderson

Friday Masquerade Ball,
Saturday Night Dance Concert, & Healer’s Market

There is nothing like evenings of socializing, entertainment, music and dance after full days of classes.  Thursday night is Tribal Tea Time in the Healer’s Market, where you can peruse quality herbal products, speak to the directors of herbal schools, and meet and greet friends old and new at any time.  The nearby historic “Pavilion” cabin serves not only as a classroom but also our concert hall, featuring a Plant Magic AudioVisual Show & Plants & Faeries Masquerade Ball on Friday evening, and our rockin’ annual dance concert Saturday night.

“Definitely the most inspiring herbal conference I’ve been to.  I loved being among herbalists who were talking about magic, intuition, and emotional healing and at the same time speaking to the political and social conditions we’re living under and how we hope herbalism can play a role in changing that.  It really was a transformative experience.”
–Monica Brown

Kiva on bridge by falls 4"-72dpiEvent Updates & Free Herbal Articles

Subscribe to Plant Healer’s totally free Herbaria Newsletter, an average 35 color pages, sent out 10 times per year.  Herbaria includes inspiring info-packed articles by some of your favorite herbalist writers, original new pieces as well as excerpts from past and upcoming issues of the quarterly Plant Healer Magazine, and of course the latest updates and developments regarding the 2015 Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference.  If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up now by going to our website and filling in your name and email address in the column at far left:

“Truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in a conference setting.  If you can only make it to one herb conference next year, this should be the one!  Profound, inspiring, multi-cultural, grass roots, and sooooo much fun!”
-Julie Caldwell, (Humboldt Herbals)


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