What herbalism students have to say about upcoming teachers

Many classes at HAALo are taught by our highly-trained clinical herbalists who work behind the counter everyday. We also strive to bring national-level teachers to our small community. We can't usually bring the teachers here ahead of time for you to meet before committing to a class, so here are perspectives from students in our community of their experiences with these teachers. Most of these teachers have YouTube videos, blogs or books of their own if you want an inside glimpse, yet the most effective way to support these herbalists and further your learning is to sign up for their classes.

Let us know if you have any questions about our upcoming classes and teachers!


Jump to:  Kathi Keville  **  Matthew Wood  **  Marza Millar

Juliet Blankespoor

by Maya Cordes

Juliet and I met when we were both students in Michael Moore's program in Bisbee, Arizona. It was my first official herb school experience. Immediately it was clear that Juliet was herself a knowledgeable, accomplished botanist and herbalist. At the end of our program with Michael, Juliet and I embarked on a two-month traveling apothecary tour from southern Arizona to British Colombia through the Rockies and back down the Western coast to Arizona again.

This tour with Juliet was the perfect way to deepen all that I had learned from my time in Michael's school. Her knowledge of plants, their habitat, their use, their botany, harvesting them, and using them, was incredible and invaluable to me. I would classify Juliet as one of those people who is a walking encyclopedia, not only about plants, but about the human body and physiology as well. She could read one paragraph about a topic and incorporate that paragraph immediately into her understanding of that topic, whereas it takes me many times reading something to grasp it. Her mind is sharp, and her ability to translate that knowledge to another is one of Juliet's most fabulous qualities as a teacher (there are many!). Juliet also has an amazing sense of humor and I love being able to laugh with her as I learn from her.

I was not surprised when she returned to Asheville after our tour and opened her own school. However, I continue to be amazed at her ability to create a learning environment that is vibrant and accessible and literally a learning laboratory. I was fortunate enough to see her home school when she first purchased it and to visit it repeatedly as she continued to create an environment that was open to her students and apprentices that was a living example. She turned an ordinary property into a beautiful, natural landscape.

Following Juliet on social media has provided me with an opportunity to continue to learn from her. She is generous with her knowledge and I truly appreciate that she will always consider herself a student, and her deep hunger to understand and assimilate more. Sometimes we would be on a hike and I would want to exercise, but hikes with a botanist have nothing to do with exercising! We would miss so many plants! She taught me patience and appreciation for the plant kingdom, and to slow down and be curious about "everyone" I am passing on the trail.

Juliet has 3 classes planned in Nevada City (click on titles for specifics & preregistration):

Kathi Keville

by Rachel Rose Teferet

When I first moved to Nevada City, I turned on the radio and heard Kathi Keville's Garden Forum show on KVMR. The more she talked, the more excited I became! I was in the middle of an online herb course at the time, but I was quickly becoming bored with it; I knew I was ready for more, but wasn't sure where to turn. Hearing Kathi talk on the radio, I knew that this was it!

I called right away and saved my spot in her apprenticeship program. Over the course of the late spring and summer, our apprenticeship group met for one weekend every month, but it didn't feel like "school" at all! Kathi provided us tons of hands on experience with the herbs: eating, tasting, touching, and identifying the plants in their natural habitats on our regular field trips. We also had plenty of "lab" experience, making salves, tinctures, and even distilling our own hydrosols and essential oils!

What I love best about Kathi's classes is that they are taught in a multi-sensory way, engaging the whole person. I found that this helped me not only to retain the most information, but it kept the whole experience dynamic and FUN!

I went on to take all of Kathi's body systems classes—my favorite body systems classes two or three times—learning in detail how the body systems (nervous system, digestive system, etc) function and which herbal formulas and lifestyle changes best support them. The best part of every class: a multi-course lunch made exclusively with foods and herbs that support the system of the week—including a fabulous healthy dessert:)

I have also taken Kathi's aromatherapy classes, including Aromatherapy II, where we took an in-depth look at using essential oils for health and healing—and how to use the oils safely. As always, detailed information and teaching is balanced with plenty of hands-on learning (and sniffing!), and after each class, we came home with a stack of goodies: creams and lotions we had made, essential oil spritzers, and hydrosols that we distilled ourselves during class. There is so much great information (and fun!) packed into an Aromatherapy weekend, that I have taken Aromatherapy 1 twice. Not only is Kathi an expert, but she is a fabulous engaging teacher, and you can tell she is having fun as well. I would highly recommend her classes to anyone ready to take their herbal and aromatherapy knowledge to the next level.

Kathi's Annual Aromatherapy Seminar happens this month. Contact her directly for more information.

Matthew Wood

by Monica Tomasi

Matthew Wood has been an active practitioner of Traditional Western Herbalism, drawing on European, Anglo-American and Native American perspectives in his teachings since 1982. I first met Matthew last year when I attended the symposium, Traditions in Western Herbalism, in Arizona and was taken by his teachings of Animal Totem Herbal Medicine. I then decided to study with him because of his approach to understanding the medicinal plant in which both tradition and modern science are used. His understanding of homeopathy, the Doctors of Signatures and his more esoteric teachings have also inspired me. Matthew is not only one of the greatest herbal teachers and healers of our time, but he is also both relatable and has a whole host of interesting stories to keep one captivated in the subject of herbalism. My favorite book that he has written is "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" because of the wonderful storytelling, which can really help commit to memory the healing benefits of herbs.

One could expect to gain a rich understanding of a spiritual view of nature, while learning through storytelling of the plant’s natural history. I experienced a retraining of how I observe and connect with plants by tapping into understanding their innate personality. Observation and understanding a plant’s appearance, taste and environment in which it grows, is the Rosetta Stone of learning the language of the plants and their medicinal properties.

See you in class! —Herb Nerd Monica

Marza Millar

by Cassandra Bartenstein

It is a true blessing to learn from Marza Millar. Her current class offering is a 9-month course in shamanic herbalism. In this class, she shares the deep roots of her lineage, the Yavapai, while intertwining the knowledge she’s received from Hopi, Hawaiian, Incan and Celtic teachings into the course. Marza has no need for notes. Knowledge pours out of her as she tells the story of her people, the ancient ways, and her methods of producing vibrational medicine.

What I’ve found particularly refreshing and effective is the dynamic nature of each class. One weekend, we will receive lecture and create medicine at her lab, Etheric Light Essentials, and the next we will be adventuring to sacred locations such as the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. In her class, I have learned to work with plants to adjust my vibrational field and realign my spirit among a variety of other important components involved in shamanic healing. We’ve made a variety of medicines from vibrational mother tinctures to lip balm. Each product we create is decided upon by each individual’s needs. This creates a beautiful and personal hands-on experience that encourages building relationships with the plants. My cabinet is already full of medicine and we’re only half way through the course!

Marza’s teaching style has encouraged the class to become a community. We’ve become a family traveling along the path Marza has dedicated herself to.

After years of classes with other teachers, I have found that Marza’s teachings permeate my mind, body, and soul with an efficacy beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. The combination of lectures, experiences, and activities has made this not simply a class, but a way to walk through life. I highly encourage anyone interested in vibrational healing to take a class with Marza Millar. Not only is she extremely knowledgeable but also her methods of teaching and sense of humor make every class with her an absolute joy. She has worked with the last of many healers and communities whose ways are dying. Marza holds knowledge that so easily could have been lost.

It is knowledge that our ancestors spent generations understanding and her teachings are truly a rare gift that gives me hope for a brighter future. Thank you, Marza, and thank you, HAALo.

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