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Join the First Ways Herbal Apprenticeship and go on an eight-month back-to-nature adventure through the urban and wilderness areas of Portland, Oregon! You will honor and express your true self in this sacred and transformative journey and we will celebrate you as an integral part of our sacred community.

– Gain the skills to identify 70+ local wild plants and their edible, medicinal and survival uses
– Learn to make your own effective herbal remedies by hand, and use your skills to help yourself, friends, and loved ones
– Discover or deepen your spirituality through guided group meditation with the plants
– Receive powerful training in Reiki energy medicine
– Honor the seasons through ceremony and harness their energy for your own personal growth
– Play in nature with a wonderful community of supportive friends!

“The First Ways herbal apprenticeship was a gift to myself. I had many moments of reflection and peace during our many meditations, hikes and walks, made lovely new friends, and had lots of hands on experience and guidance meeting the plants in person, through the seasons. I feel much more confident foraging and making herbal medicine! I highly recommend this experience to anyone seeking to foster a deeper knowledge of and spiritual connection to plants.” – Chrissy M., 2015 apprentice

“”The First Ways apprenticeship not only helped to open my eyes to the plant medicines that surround me, but also provided a warm, fun, non-judgmental community where I felt comfortable being myself and expressing my inner child.” – K.Y., 2015 apprentice

“I have learned a tremendous amount, including finding a hidden talent to communicating with plant spirits. I was only expecting to learn how to identify plants. Surprise for me!” – D.R., 2015 apprentice


2016 Dates:
March 5 & March 6 at Still Meadow Retreat Center
Then, noon to 3 pm on Saturdays:
April 9 & April 23
May 7 & May 21
June 4, June 18
July 2, 16, & 30
August 6, 13 & 20
September 10 & 24
October 1 & 15

How: We begin with a weekend intensive at the relaxing Still Meadow Retreat Center, where you get your initiation into the apprenticeship and learn the basics of plant identification, herbal medicine, and plant spirit meditation. Then we meet twice per month (and sometimes thrice) on Saturday afternoons around the full moon and the new moon, to hike, continue our learning and commune together with nature. We cover a surprising amount of information and yet we spend the majority of our time together in the field, smelling, touching and tasting wild plants. You’ll have creative assignments to do at home that help you develop your herb skills, and opportunities to celebrate the summer solstice and the spring and autumn equinoxes with fun social potlucks and ceremony.

What: The program offers an amazing way to learn Pacific Northwest wild plant identification while cultivating a spiritual connection with herbs and nature. It offers a practical introduction to basic herbal medicine with a strong focus on supporting right-brain intuitive development through ceremony and meditation in a warm, supportive community. We offer 100 hours of training, including 70 hours of instruction and 30 hours of self-directed, hands-on creative assignments.

What this course is NOT: This course does not cover pathology & disease, anatomy & physiology, or training in clinical herbalism. 

11701196_10105334701686939_6519110784318239581_n-1New for 2016: Guest teacher “Mushroom Jordan” Weiss will be joining us for a mushroom identification hike this year! 

Why study with Tara? Tara Rose is an experienced teacher with 7 years experience in plant identification of the Willamette Valley. She wrote the book “Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness,” (under her former name Rebecca Lerner), contributed the Pacific Northwest plants to the Wild Edibles iPhone/Android app, and has taught plant identification and uses at Portland State University, museums, to search & rescue workers, homeschool groups, corporate groups and much more. She has appeared on two national TV shows and many media outlets talking about plants. Tara Rose is a plant spirit healer, initiated medicine woman and Usui Reiki master with a deep connection to nature. It is her calling to help restore balance on the planet by sharing her knowledge and passion. She considers herself primarily an energy healer, not a clinical herbalist, but has studied foundational herbalism at Michael & Lesley Tierra’s East West School of Planetary Herbology. For more about Tara, please visit the About page.

Reiki: The Reiki training you receive during your apprenticeship is a profound, life-changing option that will launch you on a magical journey that will give you the ability to:

* Send blessings of healing energy to yourself, loved ones, plants and the land
* Charge up your plant medicines with divinely good vibes
* Enhance your manifesting abilities and deepen your meditation practice
* Assist you with self-care and stress management
* Learn the basics of Reiki energy work from a professional Reiki master

This path includes powerful attunements to Usui Reiki levels 1 & 2, along with classes in philosophy, ethics, uses, history and techniques of Reiki; two private Plant Spirit Reiki healing sessions with Tara to help you clear any blocks in your way and absorb the attunements at full strength; and personal mentorship in your path as a plant spirit healer. You will receive Reiki certificates, and will have the opportunity to continue your mentorship in Reiki onto master level through the fall and winter. 

Still Meadow Retreat Center, where we begin our journey together

Still Meadow Retreat Center, where we begin our journey together


Certificate: You can earn a certificate of completion for the course if you meet attendance requirements and complete a portfolio of botanical monographs with corresponding home medicine projects.

2016 Tuition: PROGRAM IS FULL
We are not yet accepting applications for 2017. Space is limited to 12 students. 

How to Apply: Previous experience with herbs is not required, but an open heart certainly is!  Please submit the form below and you will be contacted for a phone interview in which we can get to know each other a bit better and make sure this is a good fit for us. Blessings!