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Courses in Herbalism - How Merryn Found Connection with Nature around a Busy Work Schedule - Student Story

Written by Meghan Rhodes MCPP MAPA


Curious to hear the experience of one of our intensive herbal medicine course students in her own words? Merryn joined the journey for year one of our intensive herbal medicine course - Awaken Herbal Wisdom - in 2023 after exploring the connection between nature and her own spirituality. Her unpredictable work schedule meant she was looking for courses in herbalism that could give her the flexibility of accessible regular lessons, whilst still benefiting from connecting with a real life learning community. She also wanted to ensure her herbal tutor was credible. Read on to learn how choosing our intensive herbalism course out of all the courses in herbalism available gave her a sense of fulfilment and aliveness she wasn’t expecting.


student taking courses in herbalism with qualified herbalist Meghan Rhodes

What inspired you to want to take courses in herbalism?

My journey started as I was exploring paganism and its many facets. A witchy subscription box started sending me dried herbs for spellcraft purposes. I don't practise spells; however, learning the properties of the herbs interested me and I felt reconnected to nature. This also coincided with a new passion for loose leaf teas!


Herbal medicine opened up that connection I longed for in feeling a connection with nature and learning the history of herbs' uses.


Why did you choose to enrol on the Awaken Herbal Wisdom course in herbalism? 

I knew I wanted guidance and tutoring in herbal medicine, as I am very careful about the safety of herbs. Additionally, I work in the film and TV Industry, meaning I'm often away from home and cannot attend regular meetings at the same location.


As the regular twice-weekly lessons are live online, this fitted in well with my schedule, and if I missed lessons I could always catch up via the recordings and in the group chat where I could discuss my thoughts and questions with Meghan and the other group members. The in-person lessons were also a lovely break in my crazy work schedule where I could slow down and explore my interests.


What did you most enjoy about your journey on this course? 

I loved the learning and exploration, but I think what I most enjoyed was creating and being a part of a group of like-minded individuals who were all at the same stage of the journey. We are all from various generations and different backgrounds and each person brings a new perspective on what we are learning and how to implement it.


What most surprised you about your journey whilst taking courses in herbalism? 

I did not expect to get as much of a sense of fulfilment as I did during the course. When I started the course I had dreadlocks in my hair, which I originally got installed as a reminder to myself of my spirituality. As the course came to a close, I decided to get them removed. I felt I no longer needed a reminder of my spirituality, I was already closer to living it.


How has taking courses in herbalism impacted your life? 

The course has empowered me to listen to my body and its messages more. The more I listen, the more I understand what I can do to help myself become healthier, rather than reaching for quick-fix treatments to stop the messages altogether. Every morning I mix myself a tea blend based on what I feel I need that day and adjust it as I go. I love that this practice has naturally fitted into my every-day life.


What's the one word you would use to describe how you feel having completed one year of Awaken Herbal Wisdom? 

Alive.


If you could share one piece of advice to someone considering joining Awaken Herbal Wisdom, what would you tell them? 

Be ready to learn, but don't beat yourself up if you can't remember. There are no tests! Throughout the course, you're not only taught the information, but also how to find that information in various reference books. No one person can memorise every property of every herb! That's why I feel Meghan's approach of coming together with the herbs as though they're lost friends helps a lot.


What's the next step for you on your herbal journey? 

Year two is my next step! I'm so glad Meghan’s courses in herbalism can be taken for multiple years, so I can continue on this journey. One day I want to get certified, but with my current career I can't put aside that amount of time. Meghan's courses in herbalism are the perfect way to learn the skills needed to feel confident in your use of herbs regardless of where you want to take your knowledge next.


Meghan’s reflections on Merryn's journey

One of the things I love about teaching courses in herbalism is that no two students have the same journey. Although our small cohorts form strong bonds and support each other throughout the four seasons (and beyond!) they’re learning together, everyone’s experience and perspective is unique.


One of the questions I get most often about our intensive herbalism course is about the scheduling - What if I have to miss some or all of the live Zoom sessions? Will I feel like I’m not as fully part of the group if I’m not always there live? What if I get behind? And I think Merryn’s experience of the course exemplifies just how flexible it is. Merryn made the timings work for her. She could be in any location to join in our twice weekly live online lessons or choose to catch up with recordings in bigger chunks when she had to be away for work for multiple weeks. And as she mentions, there are no tests or anything of that nature, so there’s no such thing as getting behind! It genuinely is your journey!


And yet, Merryn was always one of the wonderful beating hearts of our cohort, and we’d get a sudden flurry of inspired experiments or questions or beautiful observations as she was able to work through the recordings.


Merryn has had so many sparks of deep connection and understanding of the herbs and of herself over the course of the first year and has experienced so much personal growth over these four seasons. I am so looking forward to seeing what unfolds for her in her second year of the journey.



If you’re feeling inspired by Merryn's experience on our intensive herbalist course, you’re very welcome to take the next step on your journey learning herbal medicine with me. The course - Awaken Herbal Wisdom - spans all four seasons and gets herbalism both deep into your bones and your daily life. Registration for our herbalist course opens each autumn to the waiting list first, so click here to make sure your name is on it. You’ll receive updates on the current year’s cohort as they go on their own journeys and then first access when enrolment opens. For more details about the structure, content and energy of our intensive herbalist course, you can learn more here.


Whatever your next step learning herbalism is, I hope you enjoy the journey!



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