Plants and People: Our Ethnobotany Offerings

Plan to join a class in 2017. Sign up on our mailing list to be informed ~ 
Shakapa_Pariana species_Wairachina_Ecuador copy 2

Sweeping the Mountain of Nerves: Traditional Techniques for Finding & Keeping Balance – June 25, 2017

A rare experiential class in methods of grounding, cleansing, protecting & renewing oneself & others. Kathleen Harrison shares what she has learned in years of fieldwork among indigenous cultures and life itself. Workshop on Sunday, June 25, 10am-4pm. Must register in advance. Tickets $90 at http://sweeping.bpt.me or $80 for members of BD’s Ethnobotany Library.

Big Botanical Beings in Modern Culture: A speculative workshop on the roles of Magic Mushrooms, Peyote & Ayahuasca – Sept. 9, 2017 

One full day of rich presentation & discussion on this timely, deep and perplexing subject. Kathleen Harrison’s expertise is based on decades of fieldwork in various cultures. If these plants and mushrooms are characters in the Great Story, along with humans, what role do they each play? Whenever we offer this exploratory topic, it generates such good discussion and  food for thought. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.  $85 ($75 for Library members). Tickets and more informations at http://BBBeings.bpt.meBD recently hosted a special authors’ event for this new book ~ 

BD recently hosted a special authors’ event for this new book ~

Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally

Cannabis mandala_soft colors

Join us for readings and talks from a thought-provoking new book. We are sponsoring this special event on Saturday, April 15, 2017, 3-6pm.

At the Occidental Center for the Arts.
Authors Stephen Gray (editor too), Martin A. Lee and Kathleen Harrison will give talks and readings, then discuss this deep topic onstage with each other and with
the audience.  Should be fascinating!
Books will be available for sale and for signing. (Yes, it will be videotaped too, for future release.)
Tickets at the door and in advance online   Read more about the event here…

Recent workshops include:

Botanical Illustration: Learning to really see & portray plants — with Donna Torres

Donna Torres_Brugmansia sanguinea

We are thrilled to have a very special artist as our guest teacher! Donna Torres will teach this wonderful workshop on Sat. May 13, 2017, assisted by ethnobotanist and illustrator Kathleen Harrison. Donna will help you learn to truly see a plant’s form, and from there guide you in how to portray it realistically in graphite and watercolor. A great meditation on form and beauty. Most materials provided. All levels welcome, including beginners. 10am-4pm in the classroom adjacent to BD’s Ethnobotany Library, in Occidental, CA. Register here soon, as spaces are limited.

Note: We may offer another botanical illustration class in the fall of 2017.

Global Ethnobotany with a Local Focus - A 4-part series 

A popular 4-month series, one Saturday per month. A survey of the breadth and depth of cultural relationships between plants, fungi and humans—from ancestral folk knowledge to 21st century practices. Group study, discussion, excellent participants. Slideshows, stories, books, walks in local nature to learn local plant uses. Spring 2017 dates: March 4, April 1, May 6 & June 3. Tickets at: http://globalethnobotany.brownpapertickets.com

Ethnobotany of Food Plants & Spices: Their Stories in Our Story  A weekend workshop on the ethnobotany, botany and history of what we love to eat. Revelations to deepen the experience of each meal you’ll ever eat. Lots of anecdotes from the long story of spices to tales of Amazonian cuisine. Know the story of what you grow in your kitchen garden. Two days with a small group of interested folks.  Sign up on our mailing list to hear when this will be offered again. 

Sign up on BD’s email list to be alerted about coming events, and when tickets go on sale. Or check back here soon, or on our Facebook page.

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Botanical Dimensions’ Origin & Mission

Botanical Dimensions has been doing good work with plants and people for over thirty years. Founded in 1985 by Kathleen Harrison and Terence McKenna, this non-profit organization is dedicated to ethnobotanical knowledge in its myriad forms.

Our original mission was “to collect, protect, propagate and understand plants of ethno-medical significance and their lore.” We do all that and more. We work to preserve biodiversity, respecting natural ecosystems and traditions of ecological knowledge. We appreciate, study, and educate others about plants and mushrooms that are felt to be significant to cultural integrity and spiritual well-being. We share what we learn.

Our Ethnobotany Library welcomes you

Our purpose and passion are rooted in the folk-knowledge and uses—both traditional and contemporary—of the flora and fungi of our little planet. Ethnobotany—the relationship between plants and people—is the primary lens we look through in choosing our projects. Ethnobotany is a vast, branching area of study, filled with marvels, challenges and solutions.

The themes of our projects illustrate some of the branches of ethnobotany and ethnomycology. In 2016, we are thrilled to announce the opening of our Ethnobotany Library. Please lend your support to this unique, non-profit offering. See the blog post about it for details. We also engage in these kinds of activities:

  • Fieldwork in various cultures, particularly among indigenous peoples of the Americas
  • Document folk uses of plants and fungi, with photography, audio and video recordings, participatory observation, and ethnographic writing
  • Assist cultural revitalization projects involving plants, fungi and knowledge of nature
  • Support local experts in preserving botanical species and herbarium collections
  • Make the ethnobotanical perspective and its cultural techniques available to a wider appreciation, through teaching and sharing information and images
  • Sponsor field courses that foster global ethnobotanical awareness, with specific, hands-on, cultural experiences
  • Educate and empower students to recognize, observe and document plant uses
  • Protect or restore native species in disrupted natural habitats
  • Consider the ecological history of a given place, and how that affects the perception and stewardship of nature by humans

To read about current and ongoing projects click here.

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