Kelsey Rebecca Barrett, Clinical western herbalist, Folk herbalist, Intuitive Plant Seer
In 2009 I co-created Heavy Nettle, an herbal gathering in Brooklyn. Initially it began with good friends gathering to share plant meditations, folk medicine crafting like incense, and medicinal food potlucks. My study of herbalism lead me to Ohlone Herbal Center, a school of western herbalism, where I was core teaching faculty for two years, supervised the student clinicians in our community clinic and co-directed the school for three years. As co-director we curated events based in indigenous traditional plant medicine practices, everything from African Osanyin worship to European doctrine of signatures. These experiences drew me deeper into my own lineage, Scottish, Irish and French, the European indigenous stories and land based medicines continue to activate my spirit and commitment to this path.
Presently I’m preparing for a project called ‘The Story of the Witch’ which we’re taking on tour through California in November. The performance will be a telling of several stories and a group conversation that will explore the mythology of the witch. I’m curating indigenous European plant and tree medicines that weave into the storytelling which have folkloric significance, optimally opening and activating the body and psyche. We will delve into how these stories, our personal lineages and the plants influence our modern day relationship to magic, medicine, and self expression. We’re really excited to be featuring Starhawk at our bay area gathering where all proceeds will be donated to her Earth Activist Training program. Also, my most beloved part of being an herbalist is having a private clinical practice which mixes somatic based talk therapy, intuitive plant readings, pulse and tongue diagnosis, and custom formulation. I’m now seeing clients in a monthly residency at AY’AM in Playa del Rey, L.A.
I’m wearing the blue apron dress in indigo.
The apron dress makes me feel like a elegant old world witch doctor. It’s my go to when working in the Wellness Den at Spirit Weavers Gathering. It’s super comfortable so I can move quickly from packing poultices to drawing up footbaths. Knowing that I receive medicinal benefits when my skin grazes against the fibers of the skirt enriches my experience. At heart I’m an animist, believing that all objects in their raw natural state or human made have an essence, wearing medicinal plants while serving or educating others on medicinal plants create an integrous resonant field of healing.
Photo by Kacie Tomita