Friday 29th March – by Katie

Natalia came to The Acorn through the glowing recommendation of a friend and as soon as we met, I felt an instant connection and acknowledged that her approach worked beautifully with all that we offer here at The Acorn.

On Friday 29th March, the day of Intuitive Herbalism finally arrived. I was trying to let go of the excited expectation that was held in me but it was very difficult… I was just too intrigued!

We began the day with a little grounding and connection outside. It was such a beautiful spring-like day that it seemed we were being blessed with sunshine and birdsong. We walked bare-footed on the fresh, vibrant green grass, alongside daffodils still nodding their heads. 

After a short while, Natalia gathered us around the table, it is times like these when I appreciate the beautiful roundness of the acorn table as it lends itself so perfectly to group work, sharing and connection.

Natalia gently engaged us in an arrival meditation, encouraging us to focus on our breathing and allowing those occasional thoughts to move through without attention. When we came back to the room it was time to be introduced to the first herb. Sat in a miniature glass cup, on a beautiful wooden tray, I felt like something special was about to happen.

We were given paper to use for prompts and notes and were asked to carefully consider the look, smell, taste, feeling and possible use of the herb. To me, it looked like liquid sunshine, sat in its little glass vessel it looked so inviting, like it would be cleansing and healing. I suddenly had images of yellow flowers and summer time and I couldn’t help doodling one on my page. The smell was interesting – a definite earthiness but with a slightly strange rubberiness to it. The taste was quite bitter but it felt cleansing as I allowed it to journey down my throat. The first couple of mouthfuls seem to sit at the top of my stomach, making me feel like it was wanting to move air and I soon felt the need to burp (quietly!). After a few more sips, it seemed the sunshine liquid was continuing its journey along my digestive tract – and it wasn’t long before my stomach was making loud rumbling noises (not so quiet!)… it sent a couple of us into giggles like naughty school girls before managing to pull ourselves back to task…. What is this herb for? To me, it felt it had cleansed my digestion.

We listened to each other’s feedback. It was so fascinating to hear how everyone’s experience had been so entirely different and yet there were some similarities.  However, we were desperate to know what the herb was – had we got it right? Had we been able to connect to the herb so intuitively that we had discovered its use? I was completely overwhelmed that it was in fact Marigold and used for digestion. 

I was in awe of this remarkable experience and of Natalia who so beautifully guided us through this magical and personal journey. Now my visions of yellow flowers and feeling of digestive cleansing and burping didn’t seem so random.

We continued through the morning and repeated the whole process with a completely different herb which gave us a feel for how different the experience can be. You could take many different herbs and your holistic reaction to them would be entirely different from one to the next. So remarkable. I felt that from now on I would be drinking my herbal teas in a slightly different way, with a much more deeper appreciation and awareness. 

Recently I have been reading a lot about shamanism and doing this workshop reminded me of something I had read. That true wisdom cannot be taught, it can only be discovered by ourselves. Natalia was so inspiring in her discussions, empowering us to use our intuition that she reflected this idea. I have never delved into the world of herbs before but I’m definitely inspired to learn and experience more. 

We will be welcoming Natalia back for another Intuitive Herbalism workshop on Friday 24th May. Please do book your place as soon as you can as spaces are limited and already booking up.