Herbalism · Foraging · Caretaking · Homesteading
Healers focus on the Guilds of Herbalism, Foraging, Caretaking, and Homesteading. Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a passion to help others, Healers fulfill a vital role in the community. The complexity of the plant and fungus Kingdoms provides endless opportunities for scientific research and experimentation. A life with one hand in the dirt and the other in a field guide makes for humble and happy Practitioners.
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Herbalism is a truly amazing Guild to explore. Plants and Fungi can give you fiber for cordage, tinder for making fire, wood for making tools, instruments to play music, shade on a hot day, and shelter from a storm, plants, and fungi can poison or even kill you or they can heal you and save your life. All around us are food, medicine, and beauty expressed through thousands of different life forms. If you are drawn to this Guild, the Plant and Fungi Nations may be calling to you.
The Foraging Guild goes hand in hand with the Medicine Making Guild. Here we will put greater emphasis on identification and field tactics. Having the knowledge and confidence to add foraging to your tool kit as a survivalist and an educator is priceless.
Tom Brown recently published a book called Heal The Earth, it is an essential resource for this Guild. Tom, through his book and his school, presents an interactive hands-on philosophy to land management. Humans have always been Caretakers of the Earth and they always will be, how well we are doing is the question. A healthy environment can be assessed through biodiversity, charged water systems, clean air and rich soil, abundant native species and few invasives, mature trees, etc. We must approach Caretaking with humility. I know a guy who removed all the honeysuckle in his backyard and two years later experienced devastating river bank erosion. Our goals and intentions may or may not be in line with the ‘greater plan’. What is that greater plan? How do you fit into it? And what is the Earth asking of you right now? These questions are what Cartaking is all about. You are going to make some mistakes, but that is ok, the Earth misses interacting with humans that care deeply for her, she rarely gets to experience it these days, so take your time, learn, listen, and try.
Homesteading is a term for sustainable lifestyle adaptations, like subsistence agriculture, food preservation, and home design. Homesteading is a back-to-land movement that has multiple lineages throughout the world dating back hundreds of years. Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy including solar, wind, and hydroelectric. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and to raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.