"I have never met Rosemary in person, but I feel like I know her. We have connected over the years, as she has used several of my images as visual themes for her annual herbal conferences. It is always a delight to correspond with her... the joy in her wise and generous heart is palpable." Mara
This summer we sent our first Bundle of Beauty to the 'Circle Girls' at Sage Mountain in Vermont. We are delighted to share information about and an interview with it's founder, world renown herbalist and teacher Rosemary Gladstar.
Rosemary Gladstar is a pioneer in the herbal movement and has been called the 'godmother of American Herbalism'. She began over 35 years ago developing herbal formulas in her herb shop, Rosemary's Garden in Sonoma County, California. She is the founder of the California School of Herbal Studies, the oldest running herb school in the United States, author of The Science and Art of Herbalism home study course, and is the organizer of the International Herb Symposium and The New England Women's Herbal Conference held annually in NE. She is the author of numerous herb books including the best seller Herbal Healing for Women, The Storey Book Herbal Healing Series, Herbal Remedies for Vibrant Health, and the Science and Art of Herbalism; an extensive home study course. Rosemary is also the co-founder of Traditional Medicinal Tea Company and did all of the original formulations for the company. She has taught extensively throughout the United States and worldwide at venues as varied as backyard gardens, native villages, garden clubs to universities and hospitals. She has won numerous awards and certificates for her work with medicinal plants, but her greatest reward has been in watching the herbal renaissance soar from its birth and feeling in some small exciting way, a part of it.
Her greatest passion has been the work of United Plant Savers, a non profit organization that Rosemary founded in 1994. UpS is dedicated to the conservation and cultivation of at risk North American medicinal plants and to preserving botanical sanctuaries across the U.S. to help preserve the land that these precious native species thrive on.
Rosemary lives and works from her home, Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center, a 500 acre botanical preserve in central Vermont. Learn more!
What is the inspiration or mission that drives your organization?
Interesting, Sage Mountain has never had a formal 'mission statement' but we have always been driven by our passion to 'spread the message of the Green Nations ~ that plants are our elders, our allies, and our healing friends ~ to the world!' We do that through outreach, classes, conferences, and books. Mostly, however, we carry forth this message by the way we choose to live our lives in direct relationship to the plants. Everything we offer to the world, we try to contain at the center of it the message that we live in direct relationship to nature, to the plants, to the earth, and soil we walk upon... and that this is our offering, our give back.
What's one piece of wisdom or hope you'd like to share with young women of the world?
That there is hope, and that they are it. When I look at the young people around me, I see so much hope for the future. They are brilliant, strong, courageous, funny, and committed to 'being the change they want to see in the world'.
How does visual art help to inspire the women with whom you work?
We are visual beings, as well as hearing, feeling, emoting beings. The art-filled world around us, whether its art created by nature, or by human nature, is what anchors us, also helps us soar, also lifts our spirits, also plumbs our depths. Its through art, that we are often able to expresses thoughts and emotions that are sometimes difficult or impossible to put into words. Visual art is an innate expression of the soul, and its often what sets our souls free from limitations.