**in conjunction with the Annual NCHG Silent Auction
Plants have, in a very real way, shaped the world as we know it. It is likely that civilization sprang from the beginnings of agriculture. Exploration to new lands was almost always seeking exotic spices, food, and plant based textiles. The initial exchange, and subsequent use of coffee, tea, and coca have influenced politics, class barriers, and information exchange. But plants may have shaped our inner landscapes as well. Did our first intimation of deity come from psilocybin mushrooms? What is the mystical plant called Soma, mentioned in the Rigveda, that was considered the god of gods? Around the world indigenous peoples have used plants as a tool to experience and be in communion with the sacred. These plants, in the hands of shamans, curanderos, medicine men and women, and midwifes, have provided healing and divination. We will be talking about some of these psychotropic plants/ power plants/sacred plants, in the context of culture, ritual and history. We will also talk about the science behind these plants, how they are being utilized in research and in therapy settings.
Sara Sherva: I am a plant person and collector of plant knowledge. I have studied herbalism for about a decade, including time with Lise Wolff, Matthew Wood, and Stephen Buhner. More recently I entered the world of academia, where I created a degree with a foundation in health sciences, combined with ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology. I studied with Prof. Dennis McKenna, and Kathleen Harrison, and was able to do ethnobotany course work in Hawaii. I have a B.S. degree Health and Wellness, with a focus in Spirituality and Healing.