Healing, Beauty, and Nature Spirits

In my work with Nature Spirits, the message I have most strongly felt from them, amidst the absolute chaos of homesteading in today’s world, is a most encouraging and inspiring message. With three children, an amazing wife and spiritual partner (which of course means that it’s not always easy), lots of animals, and recovery from mental illness as a sensitive soul called to this work, they have revealed that we really only know so little of the beauty and grace we are capable of cultivating in this world.

It takes so little in the form of action and effort on our part, and so much in the inner work of aligning ourselves in love and service to those around us. Our capacity to effect change on the physical level has been overwhelmingly underestimated and unrealized.

bee roseWhen we walk, when we speak, when we think, let us remember the ground beneath our feet can feel our steps, hear our words, and feel our thoughts. What if every time we acted, spoke, and thought, we remembered that the land, and those on it and within it, could feel us? What if we remembered that we can feel the land, too? How would we treat her differently?

Let us strive to align ourselves with this remembrance in whatever we do, one moment at a time. And let us have the patience and courage to continue striving, despite our seemingly endless states of forgetfulness. This is the foundation of our work. Our particular gifts, how we offer them, and how they are received, are secondary to this inner alignment. It is work at this level that feed our souls, and the beings of the spiritual world as well.

There was a time in our history when this work came to us naturally and with ease. This is the consciousness to which many native and indigenous peoples still have access. When people talk about the land and the animals speaking to them, it is not simply a metaphor or a symbolic understanding, but a living and experiential reality. In other words, the land and animals do speak to them, and they listen and talk back as well.

There was a time when most of humanity fell away from this tribal lineage of consciousness. We are in a time now where many feel called to realign themselves with a form of this consciousness that is no longer tribal, inherited, or given, but sought and earned out of the free will of the individual. It is easy to feel as if you’re crazy for listening to the land and for talking back to it, and in fact, based on framework of reference for modern society, you are. But this is not at all crazy. It is the way home. The way back home into ourselves, and into right relation with the land. Let us come home together, and encourage each other along the way.

John_PalumboJohn Palumbo is Homesteader at Many Hands Farm in Thorndike, Maine, where this year’s Maine Herbalist Gathering will be held. He is an anthroposophist, former Waldorf early childhood educator, and permaculturalist. John offers talks and workshops on working with the Nature Spirits.

Registration Deadline for Meals is Sunday, July 31st


Green Eggs & Yam of Many Hands Farm will offer delicious vegetarian meals prepared with local and organic ingrediants. There will be vegan and gluten free options included at all meals. You can view the menu by clicking here. During ticket registration there will be the option to include all meals, or choose individually. Please bring a set of tableware for yourself and a reusable water bottle.

Registration deadline for meals is Sunday, July 31st!

Calling All Maine Herbalists!

2016 MHG

Request for Proposals:

2016 Maine Herbalist Gathering


Saturday, August 13 – Sunday, August 14

Many Hands Farm, Thorndike, ME

Herbalists from around the state will travel to this lovely permaculture farm for a two-day celebration to learn together and walk in the gardens, fields and woods building our herbal community in Maine.

Please consider submitting a proposal to facilitate a 90 minute lecture, discussion, demonstration, or plant walk for a group of approximately 25-35 people. We will also offer a 60 minute keynote to a group of about 100 people. We are especially interested in offering intermediate and advanced topics that are appropriate for practicing herbalists. Priority will be given to herbalists residing in and/or serving the community in Maine.

Please include:

  • Your name, email, address, phone number, name of your business if you have one, and a brief bio.
  • Title, description, and any special needs you may have.
  • Materials list and cost, if applicable for medicine making demonstrations.

All speakers will be compensated, specific details TBD.

Send proposals in PDF format as an email attachment to: MaineHerbalistGathering@gmail.com or call (781) 710 2578 for mailing instructions.

Registration for the 2015 Maine Herbalist Gathering is Live!

2014-07-01 15.14.11We are delighted to invite you to join us at the 2015 Maine Herbalist Gathering!
We have exciting speakers from our amazing state joining us to share their experience and practices.

We hope this time together will inspire new friendships, partnerships, and connections with the plants and each other – and open discussion for how we can continue to connect in future years through shared events and an annual gathering.

Please join us Saturday, October 17 from 8:30am to 5:00pm at Viles Arboretum in Augusta for the 2015 Maine Herbalist Gathering! The grounds of Viles Arboretum are a lovely backdrop for our sharing and provide a space for walking during lunchtime and breaks.

Please visit our Eventbrite page to register via PayPal or by credit card.
The cost for the day is $30.
We have under 50 spaces available in this venue, so we encourage you to register soon.

Checks will cover costs leading up to the event. If you would like to send a check, please email us at maineherbalistgathering@gmail.com to let us to know that you would like to pay in this manner and we will send you the address where you can mail the check. Please make checks out to Maine Herbalist Gathering.

The flow of the day:

8:00 registration opens

9:00 opening circle

9:30 Leslie Williams – Herbs and Mucous Membranes

10:30 break

11:00 Mary Bove – Botanical Modulators for Female Endocrine Stress Relating to Infertility, Mood Disorder, and the Menopausal Transition

12:00 lunch and opportunities to discuss the future of Maine Herbalist Gatherings, talk with friends, and walk around the grounds

2:00 lightening talks with Denise DeSpirito and Hannah Schiller, Dan Einstein, and Yvette McDonnell

3:00 break

3:30 facilitated conversation on herbal topics of interest

4:30 closing circle

Tea and light snacks will be provided. Please bring a lunch to enjoy!

Requests for Proposals 2015

2015-05-04 09.12.21

You’re invited to the 2015 Maine Herbalist Gathering at Viles Arboretum in Augusta on October 17 from 9am-5pm.
Let’s build a strong web to connect herbalists living, growing and practicing in Maine!
This year’s event is limited to 50 participants so that we can build deeper connections and shape a vision of what a second Maine Herbalist Gathering might become.

There will be an opening and closing circle, ample time for lunch, socializing and visioning, as well as 3 slots for hour long presentations and 6 slots for lightning talks (5-7 minutes each on topics of interest to herbalists, such as case studies, single herbs, plant spirit connections, flower essences, visions for the future of herbalism, etc.).

We hope that you might submit a proposal to present either an hour long talk or a lightning talk. Share your passions with us! We are especially interested in intermediate to advanced topics that would be useful to practicing herbalists.

Deadline for proposals: June 15
Submit proposals in a 1 page pdf format. Include your name, business, email, address, and phone number along with a title, short description and any special needs you have for your talk. Note that we may not be able to accommodate all requests for equipment/media/etc.
Notification of participation: July 15
Send proposals to maineherbalistgathering@gmail.com.