Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.
– Charles Cook
In a few past newsletters I have talked about teaching tissue states and energetics to kids. And for those of you who subscribe to the monthly zine, you know I always talk about how herbs can be warming or cooling, drying or moistening. These terms add another layer to herbalism that isn’t often talked about in beginner books and courses and so they can often feel intimidating.
Really though, learning energetics is easy and it’s important when you are trying to match up herbs to a person. Have you ever given an herb to someone, an herb that seems to ‘do’ everything they need for the ailment they have only to find out that particular herb didn’t seem to help at all? Chances are, it’s because the energetics didn’t balance out.
I have wanted to come up with a lesson plan to teach kids and their adults how to determine which herb is right for which person but I just haven’t had the time to really sit down and think it through. Then a couple years ago, my friend Rosalee de la Forêt shared a chart with me that she had made. It was brilliant! It really helps to put the whole energetics thing into perspective. She calls it her Herbal Compass. I call it awesome! It links up the tastes of herbs (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter) with their warming/cooling and moistening/drying aspects so all that’s left is to figure out how they match up to the individual. Rosalee has done that as well! She is sharing her Herbal Compass with everyone and along with it, worksheets to determine individual constitutions.
I still have a super simple kid friendly version of this class in mind but until I get around to it, I will keep recommending Rosalee’s Herbal Compass (and will continue to recommend it even after I do cuz it’s that awesome!). She has made her herbal compass and personal constitution worksheet free to everyone, along with a quick video that explains how to use it all, be sure to go and grab yours! I have mine sitting on my desk next to my computer for easy reference. She has shared this chart in the past but it has been updated since then so if you grabbed it the last time I shared it you’ll want to get the updated version!
Do you use energetics in your herbal practice? Do you teach your kids about herbal energetics? If you’ve just started learning about energetics, what do you find to be your most useful tool for teaching and learning about them?