Nourishing a ReWilded Wellness & Dancing a Weedy Revolution with Kiva Rose
Susun Weed interviews herbalist and teacher Kiva Rose
Kiva Rose is a traditional herbalist and medicine woman with a practice focused on a vitalist approach to local plants, sustainability, whole person/whole plant understandings and earthy, practical ways of teaching people to work with the plants themselves rather than being dependent on experts. By traditional, Kiva means that she works with methods and knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Her work is informed by scientific research and recent medical findings but the core at the center of her practice is not only old, but ancient.
Kiva's medicine is made of soups, weeds and slow sipped teas. She prefers the empowerment of intentional preparation to the convenience of pills. She likes getting her hands dirty, and gathers most of her medicines herself.
There is much healing to be found in the simple act of slowing down and smelling the flowers, feeling the soil beneath your feet and being deeply present as you harvest roots and barks, leaves and flowers from our plant allies.
Her focus is firmly on accessible, grassroots herbalism that educates the individual and serves the community, both the human component as well as the larger earthen community. She strongly believes in restoring health at all levels and approaches healing from the understanding that the body is a diverse and intelligent ecology, integrally connected to the planet as a whole. She frequently works in an integrative style, including herbal medicine, nutrition, counseling and other holistic therapies in her practice.
With a overriding passion for the preservation and restoration of wild land, native plants and biodiversity, Kiva Rose is actively involved in the healing and growth of the Animá Lifeways & Herbal School’s 80 acre botanical sanctuary and wildlife refuge. Through her work in the reintroduction of indigenous plant species, propagation of existing species and an ongoing biological survey of the land, she continues to fall ever deeper in love with the unique beauty of the Gila bioregion of New Mexico.
The riparian canyon she lives and works in is surrounded on all sides by the Gila National Forest and is seven river crossings from the nearest road. their rustic homestead is built beside thousand year old Mogollon ruins, and the ancient song of this special place is clear to all who listen.
In addition to her teaching work such as on-site classes, workshops, online courses and clinical practice, Kiva co-organizes and directs the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, an international event held each September near Santa Fe. TWHC is focused on providing a celebratory venue for bringing together the many and varied herbal traditions of the Western World while providing experience-based knowledge to students and practitioners.
She also co-edits and publishes Plant Healer: A Journal of Traditional Western Herbalism, an online quarterly magazine that includes columns, articles and artwork by some of Western herbalism’s most compelling and knowledgeable practitioners and artists.
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