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Distilling the Feminine: Exploring Archetypes through the Alchemy of Aromatic Distillation

  • SuBAMUH 13423 Howard Rd Millfield, OH, 45761 United States (map)

~Full Moon Celebration~

Join clinical herbalist Erika Galentin of Sovereignty Herbs (Athens & Columbus, OH) for an intensive full moon celebration & workshop on exploring archetypes of ‘The Feminine’ using the ancient alchemical art of aromatic distillation. The event will include an herb identification and harvest hike to collect plant materials to distill, anatomy and physiology of the copper still, distillation ritual and process, potluck, and full moon celebration.

Following the workshop will be a potluck dinner and BYOB full moon bonfire celebration. Camping and overnight accommodations are available onsite at a nominal fee (see below).

This workshop is a celebration of the feminine and open to all who identify with the feminine and their allies. It will be limited to 30 participants. There are no direct workshop fees, but sliding scale donations of $20-$30 are suggested. 100% of proceeds from the workshop will be given to the event host organization, SuBAMUH (see below). Pre-registration is required.

Full Moon – Saturday, May 18, 2019 ~ Time: 12:00PM – 5:00PM + potluck, bonfire, and camping

More about the Workshop:

Aromatic distillation is the process used to extract essential oils and hydrosols from aromatic plants. Distillation is alchemical in nature; it is a process that relies on the four elements of earth, air, fire, & water for the physical transformation of one form into another. However, alchemists of old considered their work to also be a journey of personal and spiritual self-development, with each stage of the process holding inherent significance. Modern alchemical scholars have interpreted this metaphorically whereby alchemy can also be viewed as a progression of processes within the psyche. In this interpretation, the 'lead into gold' of the alchemists of old becomes an inspirational allegory for the transformation of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and worldviews.

“The Feminine” can be explored as an archetype rather than just an engendered or embodied experience of ‘female’ or ‘woman’.  Indeed ‘the feminine’ has many archetypal faces, reflections of which we will be seeking to explore and transform. Under the astrological guidance of the full moon and the transformation of plants into aromatics, we will utilize the ancient alchemical process of aromatic distillation as both a physical and metaphorical platform for journeying with the archetype of “the feminine”. As the plant material is transformed, so will our individual and collective impressions and beliefs, providing an expanded worldview of the feminine archetype as a source of power and inspiration as well as a force of influence on our personal lives and on our communities.

The workshop will begin with an opening circle and introductions. This will be followed by an herb identification and harvest hike to ‘meet’ and harvest the plants we will distil. Together we will load the still and participants will be given brief instruction on the equipment and ‘how-to’s’ of aromatic distillation. The distillation itself takes several hours, during which time we will be sharing about our alter objects (see below) and exploring archetypes of ‘The Feminine’ through guided discussion.

About the Venue:

This workshop is taking place at SuBAMUH (Susan B Anthony Memorial Unrest Home), a feminist women-centered intentional community on 151 acres in Athens County, Ohio whose current land group is LGBTQ-focused. Their mission statement includes the provision of feminist, women-centered, ecological education and scenic, safe, economical, and recreational space to women, LGBTQ people, and allies.

Special Instructions for Participants:

Participants will be asked to bring with them an object of personal significance which speaks to them of the many faces of ‘the feminine’. This could be a totem, talisman, piece of art, written word, or poetry. These objects will be placed on a distillation altar as a means of creating safe, sacred space for our collective work. They will also be drawn upon in a facilitated discussion of the ‘the feminine’ as the aromatic distillation is taking place. With these gestures we seek to not only distill the aroma of the plant itself, but to also distill an essence of “the feminine” that is inherited by the hydrosols that are produced. At the end of the workshop participants will take a bottle of the distilled aromatic hydrosol home as a captured ‘essence’ of the feminine that can be used for support, inspiration, and guidance in our daily lives.

Fees & Registration:


There are no direct workshop fees for this event. However, we are asking for donations; all proceeds from this workshop go to furthering SuBAMUH’s mission and purpose. Pre-registration is required to attend this workshop and can be completed online by clicking ‘Pre-register’ below. Suggested sliding-scale donations $20-$30 which can be paid by cash or check upon arrival.

Camping and Overnight Accommodations:

Camping is available for the evening before and after the workshop for $7.00 / night

Cabins are available (limited) for the evening before and after the workshop for $12/night (off grid cabin) or $30/night (studio cabin with electric and water) (space limited)

Camping space can be reserved at registration. To book a cabin please contact: