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The Women's Herbal Conference Story

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The NE Women's Herbal Conference in 1987 was a gathering of women in celebration of the plants in Gail Ulrich's Blazing Star Herb School in Massachusetts’s. Rosemary Gladstar arrived in New England a year or two later, and she found that Gail's gatherings matched the wonderful spirit and energy of the California gatherings that Rosemary had begun in 1976. Gail invited Rosemary to partner with her and for the next several years, Rosemary and Gail co-created and organized these amazing events together. It was one of those rare partnerships that made the work easy and joyous. Though a lot of details and hard work go into organizing these events, it was never work to them, but a dance of spirit and service that resulted in a joyful grand event each year. Gail passed away in the summer of 2000, just a few days before the conference she had created and loved so much.  In the way of beautiful things, the dream outlives the dreamer, Gail’s life lives on through the lush green legacy she left us. Rosemary remained committed to carrying on Gail’s legacy, and her dream lives on through the New England Women’s Herbal Conference. The Gail Ulrich Memorial Educational Fund provides scholarships for women who might not otherwise be able to attend.

 (From Left to Right) Gail at one of the first WHC at Blazing Star Herb School, One of the early NE WHC held at Blazing Star Herb School, Teachers at one of the early NE WHC: Robin Rose Bennett, Kate Gilday, Pam Montgomery, Margi Flint and Deb Soule.

(From Left to Right) Gail at one of the first WHC at Blazing Star Herb School, One of the early NE WHC held at Blazing Star Herb School, Teachers at one of the early NE WHC: Robin Rose Bennett, Kate Gilday, Pam Montgomery, Margi Flint and Deb Soule.

Today, it’s delightful to see the many Women’s Herbal Conferences springing up around the country ~ sister conferences all honoring the sacred feminine, the power of herbs, and the Earth as Gaia, a living being. Each conference has its own unique spirit and all are wonderful. If you have the time and inclination, try attending different events when possible. Though one of the wonderful things about returning to the same event year after year are the friends you meet and the family that grows from these gatherings. At the New England Women’s conference, there are women who first came as babies in the arms of their mothers, who are now teachers and organizers of the event! Families with several generations from great-granddaughter to grandmother, sisters, daughters, step-daughters, mothers, grandmothers, friends, partners, co-workers and sisters-of-the-heart who attend together, as well as women who arrive alone, soon finding they have friends and family they never knew they had. Together we weave a magic that fills our hearts and spirits and stays with us through the year until we meet again…