2019 Guest Speakers
Aba Oyedi is a Traditional Midwife and and currently maintains a home birth practice serving women in the City of Philadelphia and surrounding regions. Her practice is rooted in the philosophy that birth is a social event and, as such, should be honored for its capacity to empower women, families, and communities. In response to increasing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in the United States, particularly the gross disparities that exist in outcomes for women of color, Aba established Urban Bush Midwifery as an initiative to provide access to traditional healing and wellness modalities for women and families who have been disenfranchised and under served.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Aba is a licensed, registered nurse and completed her midwifery studies at Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgeton, Maine after having obtained an undergraduate degree in nursing at Thomas Jefferson University. She is honored to have honed her clinical skills and knowledge base through service at such high-volume practices as The Birth Center, now known as Lifecycle in Bryn Mawr Pa., and Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, Texas on the international border between the United States and Mexico. In addition Aba has had the pleasure of working with practices such as Motherland Midwifery, and Inner Circle Midwifery in Philadelphia, and Midwifery Care Associates serving Central and Southern New Jersey. She has been attending home birth since 2011 and is excited to continue to serve women and families both at home and abroad.
Workshop: Sage Woman Wisdom
Description: A comprehensive look at the phenomenon of Menopause, why it is significant and how we can embrace this magical time of our lives. Starting with the "Grandmother Effect" we consider those habits that will allow a most graceful approach into realizing our greatest potential.
Amanda is a community herbalist, the mother of three amazing children, the creator of Rootwork Herbals and a plant lover from way back who has been working and playing with herbal medicine for 20 years. She tends plants and people growing gardens, handcrafting remedies, offering consultations and teaching. Her approach to herbalism is based in the folkways, on building intimate relationships with the plants that grow nearby in order to bring herbal medicine and home healthcare back to the people. In doing this, she sees herbalism as a means to rebel against oppressive systems, which undermine health. Above all, Amanda is a lover of plants and a lover of people and is passionate about bringing them together in a down to earth, joyful and accessible way that promotes personal and planetary healing.
Workshop: Reclaiming Plant Relationships
Description:Building intimate relationships with plants is foundational to creating a practice of herbalism that is just and mutually beneficial to plants, people, land and self. communication is crucial to deepening any relationship and remembering how to communicate directly with the plants offers us a decolonized and sensual way of knowing. in this class we will look at simple ways to reclaim our relationship with plants through observation, energetics, listening and feeling. we will also re-imagine ways in which our relationship with plants can foster personal and planetary healing.
Workshop: Khu-Chi Essentiality
Description: This lecture will provide an overview of Yoni steaming at home and a tutorial regarding how to choose the correct healing herbs, infusing our healing work with intention, and choosing effective healing tools for steam sessions.
Claudia J. Ford, PhD
Claudia J. Ford, PhD Sacred Waters Herbal Retreat Bio Dr. Claudia J. Ford has had a career in international women’s health and development spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia is a midwife and ethnobotanist, who studies traditional ecological knowledge, women’s reproductive health, and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Ford is on faculty at Rhode Island School of Design where she teaches Women’s Studies, Indigenous Knowledge, Environmental Literature, and Environmental Justice. Claudia serves on the boards of The Orion Society, a community that publishes Orion literary magazine, and the Soul Fire Farm Institute, committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Claudia is the director of an on-farm artists’ and herbalists residency program, Tisané at Maple Homestead Farm, and she is a writer, poet, and visual artist; a single mother who has shared the delights and adventures of her global travel with her four children.
Workshop: Decolonizing the Stories of Herbal Medicine
Description: The history of western medicine requires that we examine, know, and embrace health justice challenges, and the various ways that the histories and herstories of medicine and herbalism have glorified and exalted an oppressive colonization of both plants and people, while erasing and destroying the lived, land-based, traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and communities of color. Many herbalists strive to understand and represent transformed relationships with the plant world but struggle to understand and collaborate with diverse ways of being in human society. This workshop will provide an opportunity to review, discuss, and reflect on the task of unlearning, learning, decolonizing and reclaiming the stories of herbal medicine. The workshop will also identify contemporary responses to health inequalities including grassroots advocacy, decolonized movements for herbal medicine and food.
is a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Therapist, specialized in Lifestyle, Nutrition & Vedic Psychology with over 27 years of experience infused by Earth traditions from around the globe.
Workshop: Ayurveda's Millenary tools for modern guidance
With a journey that began as a little girl mixing herbs, clays, & muds on her grandparents’ farm, Lucretia VanDyke has been in the industry for over 20 years. A Holistic Educator, Speaker, Herbalist, Sacred Sexologist, Ceremonialist, Spiritual Light Coach, Intuitive Energetic & Reiki Practitioner, Diviner, & world traveler with over 3000 hours of training. She has been a holistic esthetician for over a decade focusing on integrating indigenous healing rituals, plant spirit medicine, and meditation into your modern-day practices.
Her work with herbs and sacred practices embraces Women’s Wholeness Medicine, grief work, sexual trauma, ancestor connection, womb healing & skin care.
Workshop: The Language Of Loving Ourselves
Description: We will study the levels of love and how each level applies to areas of our lives. From our ancestor work, grieving, self love, sex ,community, & to why we choose partners. Learn women rituals of holistic health & beauty, guided meditation techniques, personal energy work, and how to use our herbal allies. We begin by honoring our ancestors and how to create space to connect with them more.
Then, we'll indulge in the world of understanding how passion and pleasure play an important role charging our energy. Using these moments to connect with our personal power center as we dive deep into understand the mind, body & spirit connection to create ceremony to call on our own sacred power. Create your own take home spiritual bath or ceremonial skincare products with Lucretia's herbal apothecary. Come find the rhythm of your own soul!
Lydia Koltai is an herbalist, permaculture practitioner, community activist and homeschooling mother of four amazing children. She began her herbal studies in 2003, after learning about indigenous cultures and their medicinal plant practices in an Ethnoecology class in college. In 2007, while pregnant with her first child, Lydia completed a 13-week shamanic apprenticeship with Susan Weed. Since that time, she has continued to practice and study, providing herbal remedies and advice to her family and community and attending herbal classes to continue her own learning. Currently, she is enrolled as a student in the Chestnut School for Herbal Medicine. For the past two years, Lydia has been leading herbal education workshops in her community and is passionate about sharing the wisdom of the plants with anyone who shares a love for the green world.
Workshop: Wild Medicine: A Walk in the Woods with Plants that Heal.
Description: This workshop will consist of a 1.5-2-hour plant walk and a plant spirit meditation exercise. I will lead participants on a walk around the grounds and forest, identifying medicinal plants that grow on the land, discussing their uses, and sharing samples of medicine I have made with those plants. We will discuss various ways to connect with and learn from plants as well as how to identify plants safely. We will conclude the class with a plant spirit meditation designed to help participants connect more deeply with a plant and begin to build their own relationships with healing plants.
Ty Shaw is a respected teacher, healer and energy worker with a keen focus on the intersection of Spirituality and Sexuality. As an Esoteric Sexologist, Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Bodyworker, Intimacy Coach, Tantrika, Priestess and Spiritual Counselor she is known internationally for her unique approach to using sexual energy for healing and self-actualization.
Ty Shaw has studied and apprenticed in the fields of African & African-derived spiritual traditions. Those traditions include but are not limited to Lukumi Orisa Tradition, Palo Mayombe, Haitian Vodou and Ifa. She has also studied Tantra (initiated in the Sri Vidya lineage), Herbalism (Western and Tropical), Astrology, and Energy Healing (Tantric Bodywork, Advanced Pranic Healing, Pranic Psychotherapy, Reiki Master, Sound Healer, Seichem Master).
In her over 10-year journey of engaging this work, she has established a reputation for healing trauma through the medicines she employs. Her expertise in connecting the spirit to the body, healing past and present traumas, and centering both ancestral worship and the Divine Feminine at every turn has gained her clients and partnerships globally. Ty Shaw offers the work through a variety of speaking engagements, intensives, workshops, retreats and private sessions.
Workshop: Gateway to Embodiment: Sacred Sexuality and Women’s Mysteries
Description: Due to white supremacy (and its myriad permutations) Black Women have been intentionally and violently divorced from their indigenous practices of Sacred Sexuality. This has created wide - spread disease, disembodiment and disconnection, which keeps us from stepping into our full power. By integrating and owning ourselves- mind, body and spirit- we can truly live the lives we want, beyond mere existing. By centering our self-care, creating a mindful erotic practice that cultivates our desire and mapping our lives accordingly, we can come into alignment with our power.