Saturday, April 28, 2007

To license or not to license, is that the question?

Shamanic balance is a particular stance. It is not a balance achieved by synthesis; it is not a static condition achieved by resolving opposition. It is not a compromise. Rather it is a state of acute tension, the kind of tension which exists...when two unqualified forces encounter each other, meeting headlong, and are not in reason but in experience. It is a position with which the westerner, schooled in the Aristotelian tradition, is extremely uncomfortable.- from Shamanic Equilibrium: Balance and meditation in known and unknown worlds

Licensing/ Certified rant

Here is what I think. Do we not give credit to the village herbalists who, through experience, passed down tradition, observation, and practice, probably know more than most? Are you really going to attempt to stop the use of "weeds" that people have been using for 100's of years? I am not anti- certification, however, I think we should be able to practice regardless of the piece of paper we hold. I have full respect for the ND's and the genius of people such as Paul Bergner who specialize in medical herbalism & clinical training for their students. I think this would be a great opportunity for any herbalist. Should we be cautious? Absolutely. Should we be scared, no! There is much to learn from the plants, be responsible about it, talk to other herbalists, study credible books, & KNOW the poisonous plants. I don't think we should feel we need a piece of paper to start learning from the plants. I have studied college level pathology, anatomy and physiology, have received a MH, but I know I could still learn much more from the elder who lives next door if I just opened my ears to listen. There is the use of local folk herbalism that you may not find at your school, wherever that may be. Clinical trials may not support the use of a certain herb, yet we know what it does for us. Herbalism is a basic life skill that can and should be used in our communities. I think herbalists should be ecstatic if people take an interest in responsible earth practices. The more herbalists the better I say, we can all contribute and compliment each other in different ways. Just be humble and responsible about what you know (or don't know)

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