Tag Archives: Plant Energetics

2016 SHA Module, Session 11: Field Study – Chiricahuas

ChiricahuasSeptember 6-11    *5 nights camping

Trip Fee: $575  (includes 6 days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 5 nights camping in the wild and rugged Chiricahua mountain range of the Desert Archipelago. Here Sierra Madre Occidental meets the Rocky Mountains – each at their extreme edges.

Our days will be spent in contemplation with the plants, exploring, discussing what we find, gathering plants for food and medicine (maybe some mushrooms, too), processing and preparing medicine in the field, and exercising our full faculties to gain knowledge from the place which we inhabit. This is the longest module of the 2016 SHA Program, allowing participants to sink deeply into place and plants creating strong relationship bonds. These bonds deeply inform the medicine we know and receive from plants. This is the hidden gem within Bioregional Herbalism. It must be experienced to begin to understand its power and relevance.

No other Sky Island in the US is quite like the Chiricahuas. Whether for unique geology, convergence of ecotones, diversity of plants, animals, and insects, or unique cultural heritage and energetic resonance. Here we will encounter such important medicines as lobelia, Sonoran grape root (relative of Oregon grape), red root (3 species), self-heal, poke, vervain (3 species) and chaparral; and such unique or unheralded plants such as bidens, silk tassel, Wright’s eryngo, lead plant, indigobush, mariola, wild oregano, pony’s foot, Arizona cypress, beebush, and many, many more.

Camping will be in primitive camp sites with outhouses and picnic tables. Good drinking water is available at one spring, and drinking water can be filtered from a nearby stream. Transportation is each participants’ responsibility, but carpooling may be arranged upon registration; 4wd or high clearance is not necessary, but may be helpful. All camping equipment is each participant’s responsibility, but limited number of items (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats) are available for a $4 rental fee per item. Each participant will be responsible for their own meals on the trip.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com

Registration for this Session is now closed


2016 SHA Module, Session 10: Field Study: Sierra Blanca – Mid-Summer

DSC_0057August 25-27     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $295  (includes 3 full days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module offers a return to the high elevations of the Sierra Blanca which we first visit and explore in July. Now the tremendous verdancy will be at its peak, rivers and creeks will be flowing with the force of frequent summer downpours, and the land will offer extensive opportunities to explore plants for nourishment and healing.

The summer rains will be at their peak and the nights beginning to reach down toward freezing at the higher elevations of the range. Autumn has just begun, but the verdancy is still tremendous and the plants abundant. Some of the special plants we will encounter on our travels through the Sierra Blanca include blue elder, oshá, betony/lousewort, gentian, star solomon’s seal, cutleaf coneflower, Artemisia species, Siberian elm, Canadian fleabane, red osier dogwood, spikenard, nettle, and so much more.

Camping is primitive, but we will have access to water for drinking and washing. We will begin and end our session in the town of Alpine where good drinking water is available, as well as gasoline, restaurants, basic groceries, showering facilities, laundry facilities, and motels/cabins for those looking to stay before or after the workshop. We may also pass through Alpine during our session for brief stops to re-supply.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com


Price: $120.00

*When choosing “Single Day” or “2 Days” you will be able to specify which day/s in subsequent email correspondence


2016 SHA Module, Session 9: Field Study – Pajarito Wilderness

Peña Blanca LakeAugust 18-20     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $240  (includes 2 and a half days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 2 nights camping in the border region of the Pajarito Wilderness where oak woodlands meet savannah, and the rare jaguar prowls over intricately laced canyons. Unique, endemic vegetation surrounds us with plants reaching their northernmost location touching those which extend down from the north. A rare and beautiful opportunity to delve into the tremendous flora inhabiting this rarely visited territory.

The monsoons should be well underway and the hillsides moist and green covered in tall grasses and unusual forbs. Here we will discover the very edible saya and its prickly neighbor mala mujer. Kidneywood, manzanita, beebush, lobelia, wild oregano, Sonoran giant hyssop, skullcap, cudweed, altamisa, soapberry, verbena, estafiate and many others will be found throughout our field of study. Numerous plants will be covered in depth. We will practice deep relationship with several plants, and plant energetics will be woven throughout this field session. Clinical applications underlay all aspects of our study and discussion. Healing with plants is a broad subject; many aspects of herbal medicine will be touched upon throughout.

Our camp site is primitive and dry. We will need to pack in all of our water. Depending on availability (and our group size), our camp sites may or may not have tables or outhouses adjacent (however, some sites do and outhouses are within 1 mile of any camp site). Otherwise, there are no facilities where we will be for the entire trip. Swimming is available in the nearby lake and there are swimming holes to visit on one of our canyon hikes. It is a wonderfully stunning place to be in.

Questions, email: john@johnjslattery.com


Price: $105.00

*When choosing “Single” or “2 Days” you will be able to specify which day/s in subsequent email correspondence

2016 SHA Module, Session 5: Field Study – Molino Basin

Glandularia gooddingiiApril 14-17   *3 nights camping

Trip Fee: $476  (includes 3 nights camping, 4 days instruction, and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

*Enroll in Segments*

This module features 3 nights camping in the Santa Catalinas, which boasts the greatest diversity of flora of all the Sky Islands, or Desert Archipelagos. From our oak grove base camp in Molino Basin we will visit a variety of plants growing in diverse habitats such as Mexican palo verde, oreganillo, ocotillo, silk tassel, Arizona cypress, hop tree, douglas fir, valerian, aspen, and beargrass.

Becoming a bioregional herbalist means learning to identify the plants in your region. Yes, having a skilled teacher along with you to show you the way is the preferred method for most, if not all. And although this Program offers just that, it is important to remember that everyone will continue to meet new plants as they continue to grow and expand their knowledge. Thus, this module has a focus on learning the skills of field botany and how to begin to glean knowledge from plants you don’t know and haven’t even met before. Although these skills are woven throughout the entire SHA Program, this module takes a depth look at the process of “keying out” plants in the field, or using a botanical key to identify the plants we meet even if we have no idea what they are to begin with. This detailed process takes practice, and practice we will throughout this session. In addition to becoming more familiar with the keying out process, we will review several resources for keying out plants from our region – from the basic to the most sophisticated (or, complicated, for that matter). Additionally, we will build upon our field discoveries overlaying the principles and methods of individual research which can lead to enlightening discoveries of how our local plants can be utilized for food and medicine. Our explorations will include engaging in the process of developing relationship with plants, exploring plant energetics, discussing possible resources for research on plants, and sharing our discoveries and processes as a group.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$77 Discount if you register by February 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: MOLINO

Register here: 

Price: $475.00


2016 SHA Module, Session 2: Field Study – Catalina State Park

IMG_0660March 17-20     *3 nights camping

Regular Trip Fee: $476

20% Discount through midnight (MST) Saturday, March 12: $380.80

 Use Coupon code: CATALINA1

 Instructor: John Slattery

Module 2 of the 2016 Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship (SHA) Program is available for enrollment. Our first overnight field study of the year is in glorious Catalina State Park at the foot of Mt Lemmon at over 9,100 feet elevation. Here, Sonoran Upland Division desert is marked by palo verde and saguaro cactus amidst bouldered hillsides and small mesas where ancient indigenous settlements overlooked desert riparian drainages coming down from the high elevation. Oak and juniper descend the canyon, while desert lavender and limberbush inhabit the hot rocky hillsides above.

Arriving at the height of spring floral abundance, our 3 nights and 4 days will be spent exploring various parts of this vast state park and adjacent forest service land. Several dozen plants will be viewed, discussed, and tasted as medicine. Several basic medicine making techniques will be demonstrated and explored in detail (including hot and cold infusions, decoctions, poultices, steam inhalations, and fomentations).

34 Training Hours


Price: $476.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given if cancelled within 30 days of the class start (even if within 7 days of purchase).

There is no credit given for missed classes.

2016 SHA Module, Session 7: Vitalist Clinical Applications

Sunday, May 29    9a – 4p

Class Fee: $85

Vitalism. You may have heard of it. Vitality? Yes, of course. What, then, is Vitalism?

Several ancient systems of healing from around the world have gained recognition in the West over the previous several decades including Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Several other countries and cultures developed similar theoretical backdrops for a life of well-being and for treating illness and disease states. Whether from Japan, Greece, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, or from the ancient Mayans all these systems could be classified as Vitalism, generally speaking.

At the core of Vitalist principles is “do no harm.” This reflects the great respect given to the innate ability of the body to heal itself. Vitalism, in essence, is the practice of enhancing and encouraging the natural flow of this healing force, or will to live, within the body, and seeking to remove any obstacles which inherently resist the flow of this force. Clinical applications abound in which these concepts can be put to good use.

This class will cover the basic principles of Vitalism and how these can be applied to our daily lives and in a clinical setting. The truth is that if more people were educated in these principles and practices once again, the work of the Vitalist practitioner would ultimately be more effective and more efficient in its practice.

This class is a perfect tie-in to the 2016 SHA Session 1 which covers Plant Energetics. Applying the energetics of herbs through the principles of Vitalism greatly enhances their effectiveness. Not only does the application of these principles enhance the effectiveness of the herbs, they also help deepen the awareness of the practitioner as to how, why, and when the herbs may be applied. This, of course, does not have to be restricted to just practitioners in a clinical setting, but may be applied to the lives of us all – as we are all practitioners at this thing we call Life.

Although this is a lecture class, we will be engaging with plants via tinctures and teas to further our discussion of the application of plant energetics in a Vitalist model of healing.

Class size is limited, so register now to reserve your space!


Price: $85.00



Plant Energetics: Building Immunity

Monarda fistulosa var. menthifoliaSaturday, December 12, 2015 10a – 4p

Location: Desert Tortoise Botanicals, 4802 E. Montecito St. Tucson 85711

Instructor: John Slattery

This class will focus on a variety of herbs (for example, wild oregano, spikenard, & yerba santa) which we can utilize to help strengthen and stabilize our immune response. Through skilled combination we will create several herbal medicines which each participant will bring home.

Exploring the energetics of plants opens a world of discovery. As we discover a plant’s Nature, we begin to develop intimate relationship which offers unlimited possibilities.

Several herbs will be tasted and discussed within the context of the priniciples of Vitalism, and the way in which our bodies are nourished and healed. Following discussions we will make a variety of herbal remedies together, including syrup, oxymel, and tea blends.

This class will be held at the office of Desert Tortoise Botanicals. Please bring a lunch as we will take a short lunch break midday. A discount of 10% off all Desert Tortoise Botanicals products as an added benefit to all class participants.

Class fee: $75  *All materials fees included.


Price: $75.00

Field Study: La Sierra Blanca

Verbascum thapsus - MulleinThursday, August 20


Class Fee: $98

Field Study: La Sierra Blanca

Discussion, Application, Gathering and Processing of Wild Herbal Medicines of the high mountains, canyons, and rivers of the White Mountains of Arizona

with John Slattery

This full day of field study with herbalist and forager, John Slattery, is a unique opportunity to experience hands-on learning with the plants and a group of interested and committed students. John has been developing relationship with the plants of this area for the past 11 years. We will be viewing and discussing 12 to 15 different plants, in depth, throughout the day with opportunities to gather some plants for food or medicine. Some field medicine making instructions will be provided.

Each participant should bring a packed lunch, 2-4L of drinking water (including something to conveniently carry it on walks), comfortable footwear for walking, a daypack/bag, rain gear, suitable sun protection, notebook, pen, and camera (optional). Further supplies potentially needed (optional) will be discussed upon registration.   

Carpooling may be available upon arrival at our meet-up location in Alpine, AZ.



Price: $98.00