The aromatic distillation workshops that I lead are, therefore, an attempt to foster a deeper relationship with the plant kingdom, a relationship full of metaphor, story, and personal myth, while simultaneously developing deeper relationships with ourselves and our unconscious. As the plant material is transformed into hydrosol and essential oil, we too are transformed. In this regard, each distillation provides a platform for self-discovery and exploration of the natural world and our place within it.
"Even as a ‘rational’, scientifically-minded clinical herbalist, I am not in search for pharmacological truths today. I am less interested in ‘how lemon balm hydrosol can be used for my or others benefit’ and more focused on the meaning and intention that lemon balm brings to the ritual and prayer of this distillation. Although this is herb and I have worked together before and I know where and how it likes to grow, its uplifting citrusy-sweet aroma, even its clinical applications, I am open to the reality that perhaps I don't know this plant at all. Not in this capacity, not in ritual or prayer. It is from this place that I search for supportive meaning."