I've never attended before—what should I expect?
After what seems like waiting forever for August to get here, you’ll arrive at lovely Camp Wicosuta. It’s a beautiful camp with lake frontage on one of the cleanest deep water lakes in New Hampshire; we can swim and wade when
You’ll arrive either Thursday evening or Friday morning, and follow the signs to park your car in the parking area across the street from the Camp. There are shuttles to bring you and your luggage up to a drop-off point just across a small stream from the Dining Hall where registration happens. Please check-in to receive your name tag and bunkhouse assignment if you are staying in indoor lodging or to find out where you can set up your tent.
There’s generally a lot of happy chaos as women are dropping off their luggage and camping gear, registering, and finding their ‘space’ for the weekend. It’s usually a cheerful commotion, lots of greeting, hugging, helping one another out. If you’re new, a first timer, just let us know when you’re registering and we’ll ask you if you would like big hug and point you in the right direction to the Dining Hall where registration happens. And don’t be afraid to ask us questions ~ we’re delighted you’ve come and we want to help make this a welcoming experience for you!
Early check-in on Thursday evening from 4pm to 6:30pm can be added to your registration for those who have long drives and/or for those who wish to attend the pre-conference activities on Friday morning. Everyone kept telling us for years we needed to make the conference longer, so we have! There are several excellent intensives being offered Friday morning (you have to register in advance for these) as well as several free events. There is no food served on Thursday evening, but breakfast is offered in the Dining Hall Friday morning for a small charge, and food vendors are available for Friday lunch. The Meal Plan beings Friday Dinner and continues to Sunday lunch.
At 1 pm on Friday we hold our Opening Circle Ceremony, which sets the intention for the weekend with song, prayer, introductions and a few announcements. And then the classes begin! You have at least 10 to 12 workshops at every session to choose among. Most likely, the hardest decision you’ll make all weekend is which classes to attend. And if you’d rather sit out a class or two, or all of the class sessions for that matter, and just enjoy the beauty of the lake or the woodlands, or spend some quite time by yourself, or catching up with friends, you can do all that and more. It’s your weekend to honor and celebrate self.
Together we honor community and women spirit to empower ourselves to make the changes that we wish to see on the earth right now, and to create a healthier friendlier home for all living beings.
How does one become ‘empowered’? How do we step into our place of power? Just by being present and saying yes to ourselves, and being surrounded by so many other women who are also saying Yes! Sometimes it’s by dancing late into the night around the ‘Wild Woman’s Fire Circle’ or drumming late into a star filled night. Or sitting in the beauty of the Red Tent, a sacred space held throughout the weekend for all women. Often what we hear and learn in the classes touches our hearts and we are inspired and empowered by the teachings. Sometimes it’s in the evening circles where we all come together and listen to story, dance, sing and drum together. And sometimes it’s in the empowering ceremonies that are held through the weekend. Sometimes, just by sitting quietly in the grassy meadow with the stars overhead brings us the greatest realization of the weekend. But almost always, we each go home with a little more of ourselves…a little more intact, strong, happy, filled up, and nourished.
Come with an open heart, the special gift of who you are, and your plant wise spirit ~ we’ll have a joyous time together honoring woman spirit, the wisdom of our ancestors & the healing power of plants.
“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me.
Be still they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
~ Linda Hogan (Chickasaw Poet)
YOU are joyfully and heartfully invited to this intergenerational, intercultural, body positive gathering in celebration of the plants. Women of all racial identities, national or ethnic origins, ancestries, ages, religions or religious creeds, abilities, sexual orientations, skin colors, and body sizes. If you are a cis or trans gender woman, a non-binary person or intersex, you are invited into this sacred community space. Like flowers in a colorful bouquet, we represent the many blossoms in a garden, each beautiful and unique in our own way.
We attempt to honor all religions and respect one’s freedom to worship, as you will. However, there is a particular emphasis on the Goddess and the Earth or Gaia as a living being during the Women’s Herbal Conference. There are earth ceremonies and ‘Goddess songs’ sung. Please know that we feel there are many paths to ‘Great Spirit’ who goes by many names.
If you have any questions about whether you would enjoy and feel comfortable at the WHC, our supportive staff is happy to speak with you.
2019 NE WHC Community Agreements for Beloved & Brave Space
Transform yourself to transform the world - Grace Lee Boggs
All people who attend the WHC (staff, teachers, and participants) commit to upholding the following agreements during our time together. By doing so we can create a sacred container for a joyful gathering where we can all learn, heal, grow, and celebrate each other and our wise teachers- the plants!
The NE WHC staff, teachers and participants agree to hold Beloved & Brave Space, committing to:
Self care and collective care - Honor the physical, spiritual, & emotional boundaries of yourself and others. Take care of you, and take care of your neighbors!
Hold this sacred space for cis and trans gender women & non-binary people of all racial identities, national or ethnic origins, ancestries, ages, religions or spiritual beliefs, abilities, sexual orientations, skin colors, and body sizes.
Respect every individual - including their identities, pronouns, & backgrounds. Commit to the life-long learning/unlearning about privileges and oppressive systems, and become/be aware of how your individual self fits into those systems.
Respect and care for the living plant communities and the earth.
Be open to learning.
Listen from the inside out (A feeling in your gut matters!).
Assume best intentions, and attend to impact. - Be mindful and accountable for the impact of your words and actions.*
Rejoice in the beauty, wonder, and wellness of all bodies - including your own!
Choose language that is respectful, compassionate, and honest. Avoid language that is racist, sexist, ableist, ageist, homophobic, or transphobic.
Hold confidentiality - Learn the lessons of other’s shared stories, but leave the details.
Make Space, Take Space - If you are usually quiet, practice speaking up. If you are often the first one to speak, practice letting someone else go first. Be willing to actively listen, share, participate, and make space for silence. If you are in a class, be mindful that folks are there to hear what the teacher has to share.
Engage in cultural & community exchanges that come from a place of respect, reciprocity & right relationship. Avoid the appropriation of culture, traditions, and practices - This may be a life-long learning and unlearning - be gentle, be open, be willing to listen, and to take responsibility for your past, present and future actions.
Center your decisions in ways that honor the collective, the earth, and future generations.
*As women and non-binary people we are often socialized to avoid conflict. It can be hard both to speak up when someone has hurt you, or to hear that you have hurt someone. Decide now that you will see this as an opportunity for practicing speaking up, taking a breath, and listening. If you need support, please visit the Community Weaving space, Red Tent, or your affinity space (In Living Color Space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) or Lavender Luxury Lounge for Trans & Queer folks), to find some guidance on how to navigate those feelings and situations.
The NE WHC staff offers our gratitude to the following people & organizations whose work informed and inspired the formation of our classroom and community agreements: The NEWHC & IHS Leadership Council, the 2006 Radherb Collective, Emergent Strategies by adrienne maree brown, The International Herb Symposium, Soul Fire Farm, Olive Stefanski & Diana Rose Harper, United Plant Savers, The Florida Herbal Conference, The Anti-Oppression Network, Rosemary Gladstar & Sage Mountain
Once you have registered, you will be sent an email with important information. Be sure to read the Participant Information letter with all the details about what to bring. It contains information about camping, indoor lodging, the meal package, intensives, etc. It also contains directions to Camp Wicosuta. Please note: GPS aren’t always reliable in the area, so be sure to follow your directions closely.
If arriving for Early Check in on Thursday, registration is only open from 4pm-6:30 pm. Please do not arrive earlier than 4 pm. If arriving after 6:30 pm we won’t be able to check you in, and you’ll need to stay in the campground down the road from Camp Wicosuta.
Most of your questions will be answered by reading the Participant Information letter that we send to women once they’ve registered. But if there’s a question we have not answered, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; 802-322-3550.
“In the midst of the madness of our world, hearts are people are blossoming,
and the golden soul of humanity is rising up.
Never doubt it for an instant. Seek it out and nurture it.”
~ Rivera Sun