Healing Uses of Plant Technology: Redux

In mid-June, Oxalis had the pleasure of presenting at the Allied Media Conference, a convergence of makers, innovators, visionaries, and world-builders, which centers people at the margins, based in ever-beautiful and gritty, Detroit.

Our presentation, Healing Uses of Plant Technology, was part of the Healing Justice Track, featured on the main conference day. We planned to welcome about 60 people, and sadly, a few minutes after the start time, we found ourselves at capacity, with participants filling the chairs, and walkways. So many folks explained later that they intended to join but weren’t able to be in the space.

We are, therefore, offering Healing Uses of Plant Technology: Redux, a summary of highlights from our AMC hands-on session.

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The elements and plant spirit medicine as a path of practice by Karen L. Culpepper

Plants spirit medicine is an ancient technology that is a path to healing and higher care. It has helped folks cope, feel, heal and transform. As a collective, we thrive to include all of the elements (earth, water, air and fire) on the community altar. The community altar is always a beautiful, on-site creation that comes to life during our facilitations and served as the muse for the first movement.

Take a moment to explore how invoking the gift of each element can look like and what that could feel like in our physical, mental and emotional bodies. What are some examples of accessible ways to access the elements? How can each of the elements show up as a technology for transformation?

Examples included:

  • Air:  (the container) word medicine, breath, skies, singing
  • Fire: (candles) incense, candles, writing a letter and burning them, sun
  • Water:(cleansing) baths, spirit pours, bodies of water, juicy fruit, foot soak, the rain
  • Earth: (plants) feet on the earth, seal of earth around you, mud bath, crystals

We also discussed a few different plant parts, explored taste through a few herbal and investigated how different plant parts show up

  • Roots are the anchor of the plant and we tasted a digestion tincture that included root herbs such as dandelion root, ginger and angelica.
  • Leaves help the plant breathe and to inspire us to imagine what we are breathing life into we tasted motherwort glycerite to bring calm to the heart. 
  • Flowers are new growth, the heart and emotional support and we used pink rose glycerite to open our heart space.
  • Berries/Fruit nurture seeds that enable the plant to be created and we sampled hawthorn berry glycerite, which is a cardio tonic and brings in the energy of compassion.

Horticulture as inspiration for self-care by Miriam Zoila Pérez

Plants and caring for plants (horticulture) are not new healing technologies, they’ve been integrated into our lives and communities forever. What’s new, actually, is living so apart from nature and plants–and the ability to now bring them into our homes, thanks to globalization and the commercialization of plants that can adapt to our shady dwellings.

During this workshop I shared some basic tips for caring for houseplants, many of which you find in my houseplant parenthood instagram account, or in this zine I created. I also offered participants two opportunities to reflect, which are below. You might want to journal in response to these, share with a friend, visualize or record yourself a voice memo.

Reflection 1:

What is your people’s relationship to plants? What do you know about your lineage, your ancestors, your family and their relationship to horticulture and growing plants? Being grounded in our ancestral and community practices can be an important way to connect to those before us. If you don’t know about your blood lineage, what about the communities you were raised in? What are their relationships to plants?

Reflection 2:

  • One of the beautiful things about caring for plants is the attention and nurture that it cultivates in us. What if we took those same moments as an opportunity to reflect on our own care and nurture?
  • Imagine you were going to check on a houseplant. You’d touch the soil for moisture (to see if it needs water), you’d look at the leaves, you’d see what growth has happened, what leaves need pruning.
  • Take a few minutes and try checking in on yourself the way you would a plant. Are you hydrated? How’s your growth? Is there something that needs to be let go? Is your environment supporting you?
  • Once you’ve reflected on those questions, think about any action steps you might take. If your plant looked dry, you’d water it. Is there anything you learned from this reflection on your own wellbeing that needs response?

Makin’ Hands Ritual by Richael

“Hands” or mojo bags are a conjure form of amulet, where blessed curios are collected, and either carried with you or placed in a sacred space. We created hands to honor the theme of reclamation–power that is ours and since been scattered, stolen, or lost. Plants are strong kinds of curios, and when hand-making is ritualized, becomes a strong spiritual/emotional companion.

Materials: cotton tea bag, permanent marker, plant parts in bowls.

  1. Start the ritual by holding the cotton bag in between your hands. Find an intentional rhythm with your breath and set your intention (reclamation or another that resonates).
  2.  Lay your bag onto a flat surface and mark your bag. You may choose a set of symbols with deep meaning to you, a signature or variation of your name, or another marking that comes to you.
  3. Once your bag is marked, it’s time to collect your plant parts. Use your hands to pinch the plant material and stuff into your bag. As you stuff your bag, speak affirmations related to your intention, into the bag. Do not stuff your bag until you speak your affirmation aloud.
  4. Once your bag is stuffed, cup the bag into your hands, and begin to breath life into it. Breath outward into your bag at least ten times. You may continue your affirmations, if you feel moved.
  5. Finish your ritual with a self-gratitude and offering thanks to your community of support (living or not, human or not, etc). Place your mojo in a secure place on your person or at a sacred space.

Oxalis will be at Allied Media Conference (June 14-17)

At Oxalis we’re busy preparing to attend the Allied Media Conference next week.

The AMC is an incredible gathering of activists and media makers. There is a really vibrant healing justice track this year, and we’ll be presenting our brand new workshop, Healing Uses of Plant Technology, on Saturday from 11am-12:30pm. We’ll also be participating in a podcaster meet up too!

AMC is an important space for skill sharing, networking and gathering with other incredible activists, media makers and healing justice practitioners. To help support our attendance at AMC, we joined up with the Healing Justice podcast team to collectively fundraise to offset the costs of travel and lodging. If you have extra to spare, we’d so appreciate your contributions.

And if you are attending AMC, please come say hello!

Lastly, if you haven’t listened to our last few episodes of Tonic, we brought you a very special live episode with updates from some of our first Tonic question askers, and last week we had an episode jam packed with updates in addition to a question about suppressed emotions and substance use.

Blessings!

Join us for Tonic: Live! in DC

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Join us live as we celebrate 6 months of recording Tonic Podcast. We wanted to create an opportunity to meet the listeners in our community and show gratitude for the support we have received since we began!

We will be reflecting, giving updates on previous phone-a-healer submissions and taking new questions. We encourage folks to submit a question through Eventbrite when you purchase a ticket and we will create space for a few of our guests to ask their question live during the show. We’ll also have a special gift for attendees as a take-home healing treat.

Join us at Potter’s House in DC on Sunday, April 22 from 2-4pm.

Tickets available here for purchase and if you aren’t able to attend, you can buy a pay it forward ticket to allow someone else to join us.

Oxalis Offering Multigeneration Healing Blueprint at Creating Change

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Oxalis at Creating Change

We’re excited to share that we’ll at The Creating Change Conference, the largest national LGBTQ activist gathering, which will be hosted in Washington DC this year.

Oxalis will curating Multigeneration Healing Blueprint, a dimensional and participatory experience, in the Many Paths Gathering space–the conference’s faith and spirituality home.

This offering is only intended for people of color attending the conference.

More details are below. Hope to see y’all there!

Multigeneration Healing Blueprint

With The Oxalis Collective
Friday, January 26, 3:15-5:15pm
Many Paths Gathering Space
Hoover Room, Mezzanine Level

Post-Experience Drop-In Hour (Open To All, Many Paths Space)
Saturday January 27, 10-11am

The Multigeneration Healing Blueprint, for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color only, is an interactive workspace curated to inventory individual/collective ruptures across time, and to map out intentional pathways toward repair.

We will move the healing experience together through altar-making, sacred drumming, storytelling, body based meditation, plant medicine, and visual representation.

*This experience is for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color only.*

Oxalis’ First Live Event: Turn Poison Into Medicine: Self Care Alchemy For Difficult Times

Do you feel energized in your body? 

Do you feel in rhythm with clarity and direction?

Do you feel that your movement-building is life-affirming?

Do you feel well-supported?

Do you find sources of hope in your every day?

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We are thinking about these questions and you may be, too. Let’s design some answers together. Join the Oxalis Collective for our first, public live event!

In this workspace we’ll share lessons of how to turn poison–stress, trauma, fear–into the medicine we need to sustain ourselves. It’s an alchemy of sorts, to take what the environment is offering up and transform it into the life-saving practices that will help us endure the marathon that is social justice work.

If your care supports aren’t as radically brilliant as your politics, or if you just need a healing anchor, come co-create with us as we use embodiment practices, ritual-making, and plant medicine for our collective self-care alchemy.

Saturday, December 9, 2 – 4pm

The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Rd NW, DC

Reserve Now. Early Bird, Sliding Scale, and Pay It Forward Options Are Available

Turn Poison Into Medicine: Self Compassion, Protection and Higher Care (Webinar) on October 30

In a little over a week, Karen L. Culpepper and Oxalis Collective, will offer its second deep-dive webinar as we enter the downward rhythm of fall–Turn Poison Into Medicine: Self Compassion, Protection and Higher Care. 

Karen wants us to get real with how life is showing up these days!  This virtual space will get into our deepest fears and sufferings, and with the gift of alchemy, transform those nuggets of darkness into elixirs of healing.

This webinar will create space and expand your personal toolbox by:

  • Taking a realistic inventory of your current rhythm of life and discover personal areas of improvement;
  • Developing goals from a space of abundance and large mind;
  • Learning the importance of protecting your energy by every means necessary;
  • Exploring how healthy social support systems can show up;
  • Learning dietary, lifestyle and herbal recommendations to support higher care. 

This webinar is offered at a sliding scale, $10 – $30.  Register here.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry. The webinar will be recorded and emailed to all participants. Webinar bundles (recordings of previous webinars) are also offered at a discount on the event page.

Hope that you can join us for this unique healing experience!

You Are Not Alone: Bringing Forth Evolved Ancestors In Our Activist Work (Webinar) on October 8

The Oxalis Collective is excited to bring its first in-depth webinar with one of its members, Richael Faithful, this upcoming weekend on October 8.

You Are Not Alone  is a virtual space intended to deepen our integration of ancestral presence and support in our political work–a deeper dive from July’s webinar, Creating Healing Spaces in Activist Groups.

What we’ll cover:

  • Share why righteous ancestral support is necessary in activism;
  • Map out the role of ancestral assistance in the African American shamanic tradition of conjure;
  • Explain the ways in which political movements have long-relied on specific kinds of ancestral support;
  • Provide specific examples of creative integrations of elevated ancestors into movement spaces from curation work;
  • LIVE: develop ideas about ancestor integration with webinar participants.

 

Tickets are sliding scale, $10-$30. You can either join us live on October 8 or receive the recording as part of your registration. 

Reserve your space here.

Last but not least, we highly encourage anyone who hasn’t seen our first webinar, Creating Healing Spaces in Activist Groups, to consider our bundle.  On a sliding scale you can register for We Are Not Alone and receive a recording for Creating Healing Spaces. 

See you on the interwebs!

Introducing our new name: Oxalis Collective

 

Hello dear ones,

It’s been an incredible few months as our work together has blossomed and developed. The three of us came together this past spring when there was clear synergy between our paths, our skill sets, and our desire to bring the beauty and power of healing to groups doing social justice and activist work.

So far, we’ve hosted our first webinar, offering some introductory tools for integrating, self-care and healing to those who joined us. If you missed it, and would still like to access the information, you can purchase a download of the video and resources here.

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The mandala we created at Luminosity, the multiracial healing space we facilitated in D.C.

At the end of August we hosted our first in-person event, Luminosity: A Healing Experience Within Multi-Racial Healing Space, for The Movement 4 Black Lives Steering Committee. It was a honor to be invited to create a space for healing, and for acknowledgment of our full emotional, spiritual and embodied selves. You can read a brief reflection about this opportunity, and the mandala we created as a central activity, here.

This week we’re off to facilitate a retreat for a reproductive justice organization, and are looking forward to the opportunity to build and grow with a group of activists working with Black women and girls during this challenging time.

As we’ve strengthened our collaboration, we’ve also revisited what we call ourselves. While healing curation is the bulk of what we offer, it does not encompass fully who we are. In that vein, we’re excited to announce our new name–the Oxalis Collective!

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The flower that inspired our new name–Oxalis Triangularis.

Oxalis is a flower that inspired us in our exploration for a name that could hold all the aspects of our work. First off, it has three leaves, beautifully representing our triad and it’s shape. Secondly, it’s a resilient plant that grows quickly and plentifully. Pérez has one in their indoor garden which was discovered abandoned in their backyard but now has flourished indoors, multiplying rapidly. Lastly, it’s a flower that really embodies what it means to build resiliency through rest. In the evening, as the sun fades, the leaves fold down. In the morning, they spring up again, allowing the plant to absorb the light once more.

Of course we as big proponents of plant medicine, and of the lessons that the natural world has to teach us. And in this challenging time, the pattern of the Oxalis, to fold down, rest, and regenerate each night, symbolizes the work we all must do to survive this incredible marathon we are all running for social justice. We hope that our offerings help many to rest in that way, to connect with the myriad of tools available to us for healing, wellness and self-care.

So thank you for your warm welcome into this space, and we hope this new name resonants with you too!

In solidarity,

Oxalis Collective Members Miriam Zoila Pérez, Richael Faithful and Karen L. Culpepper

Richael, Pérez & Karen Host Luminosity: A Healing Experience within Multiracial Space

On Monday, August 28,  Richael, Pérez and Karen will host, Luminosity.: A Healing Experience within Multiracial Space.

Luminosity, curated by all three practitioners, is an internal healing experience, among invited organizers from The Movement 4 Black Lives coalition in DC. This experience is offered for organizers specifically, from a recognized need for healing at an individual level and among organizers.

The intention of this experience is to acknowledge and release hurt, pain, and trauma inflicted from white supremacy on our individual and interdependent psyches. Our shared goal will be to (re)-establish deep self connection, cultivate resources, and feel held within communities dedicated to the end of racialized terrorism.

We come together, in long pause, to touch the tender parts of ourselves and our ecosystems so that we do not replicate harm in our lives, our kindred, and our movements. We show up, at both a vulnerable and precious political and cultural moment, to revel in our love-sourced power & transformative vision.

Luminosity is inspired by two previous multiracial healing gatherings.

Although this first phase of Luminosity is by invitation only, if you are interested in learning more about The Movement 4 Black Lives coalition in DC, you can connect with coalition groups including Black Lives Matter DC, Showing Up for Racial Justice DC, and API Resistance.

 

Creating Healing Spaces in Activist Groups: A Webinar

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Do you ever feel like burn out, trauma or stress is getting in the way of achieving your activist goals? Do you ever wonder how we’ll maintain ourselves for the marathon that is a true movement for justice? This webinar will introduce you to individual and group-focused healing tools that will help you to center well-being in the face of challenging times. These tools are offered with activists, organizers and folks working to combat systems of oppression in mind. We believe that if we are all more grounded and clear about how to resources ourselves, our work for justice and liberation will be more effective.

We will also introduce ourselves as a new healing collaborative, and share how our healing justice framework operates as our theory of change. Lastly we will offer a tool to help you make the case for healing justice as a part of your work within your organization or group, and have time for questions and answers.

The webinar is offered at $10-$30, sliding scale.
Wednesday July 26th, 8pm-9:30pm ET

Register here!