🌑✨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

  • _rain_gatherer_10 months ago

    This is so wonderful! Would love to have you over in my garden before the summer is up. I don’t grow herbs but I’m proud of the little green area and perhaps you could give me some tips so my lil plants have an even better chance to do well.

  • curvytigertails10 months ago

    Thank you for your values and commitment to BIPOC communities! I often feel so alone in my local herbal community, most of the times at classes, workshops, conference I look around and I am the only woman of color. I wish there was more diversity and inclusion. I love this post and that herbalists like you are voicing loud and clear.

  • skyworldapothecary10 months ago

    Nya:węh!! You're so awesome. We WILL meet one day!! ♡♡♡

  • fiadh.bhean10 months ago

    So grateful for this yes yes yes 👌 wondering if you know of any zines or zine projects about decolonizing herbalism on Turtle Island? ❤❤

  • acorn_holistic10 months ago

    Thanks for encouraging us settler herb people to dig deeper, do better, seek connections, and for making some practical suggestions. ❤

  • eli_flint_10 months ago

    This is important. Thank you for writing this. Do you have much knowledge on the cultural appropriation of using white sage in herbalism? I've tried to educate myself online reading articles by POC & indigenous people about how white people shouldn't use white sage, & I don't (I use rosemary and lavender instead, which grow wild here in the UK) but I notice a lot of white people in this community seem unaware of the issues around being white and using white sage? Can u talk on this if you know anything please!!! Xxx ❤️

  • renegadehoneyherbs10 months ago

    Thanks, Kiitos Tara. So well said! I wish there was a share button for Instagram! May I share it to FB?

  • forest.hag10 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

  • cintothemists10 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. 🙏

  • worldadorningtraveler9 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_prodigy9 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 🙏

  • thegreatcosmicjoke26 days ago

    Out of pure curiosity, what herbal tradition should white herbalists practice?