Now, three times a year women from many backgrounds of life gather together in great celebration for four full days of inspiring Herbal and Sustainability classes, gourmet vegetarian meals, talented campfire capers, amazing handcrafted marketplace items, Rites-of-Passage Ceremonies, powerful campfire drumming and dancing, refreshing swimming hole dips, and conversations with remarkable & inspiring women!
We meet together under the ancient oaks, douglas firs, and bay trees of Northern California. Our main gathering area is encircled by sixteen tipis with a large firepit in the center. All classes are held sitting on the ground under these majestic trees, or under shade tarps that we have set-up. At night we camp together, either in the tipis or in tents that we each bring.
During the days we are a gathering of women and children studying, teaching, learning, networking, and talking about plants, healing, and healthy lifestyles. When the sun goes down we become a playful and celebratory group, chatting, chanting, singing, showing off our talents, drumming and dancing into the night around the campfire.
We are a group of 350-400 women and children and we gather to learn from each other, to nurture and nourish each other, to take a break from our daily lives, to regenerate, refresh, dance, frolic, talk plants, and most of all, to have a REALLY GOOD THYME together!
Each session is a separate event. Do join us for one, two, or all sessions!
ASL interpretation is available upon request with advanced notice.
We meet at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California, in Mendocino County, a beautiful site nestled among the native trees and home to Wavy Gravy’s circus and performing arts children’s Camp Winnarainbow. There are wild areas to explore here and two natural creeks that come together, offering excellent and refreshing dipping holes.
Over 65 classes are offered throughout each session, including several four-hour intensives, covering many different aspects of Herbalism and sustainable lifestyles. Topics include: Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Flower Essences, Herb Walks, Herbal Crafts, Herbal Cultivation & Propagation, Magical Herbs, Herbal Treatments for Specific Disorders, Women’s Health, and much more. Session 3 also offers Sustainable Living classes, including: Alternative Vehicle Fuels, Natural Building Techniques, Permaculture, Solar Energy, and much more.
Each session offers different classes and different teachers.
The majority of our teachers are Northern California women doing remarkable work in their field. We search out local women whose herbal and sustainability work is admired and appreciated.
Several Work Exchange positions and Scholarships are available for women unable to pay the full regular registration fee. See Work Exchange and Scholarship pages for details.
Please click on each sessions registration link for Cost. Fees are on a sliding scale. This fee includes all classes, meals, camping, and events. The sliding scale is designed to provide access to women of low income. We depend upon a percentage of high paying participants in order to meet the Symposium budget. We expect women with access to money to pay the full fee. Please be honest. There are a limited number of spaces for young women, ages 12-20 and Elders, ages 60 and over ), at a special rate if needed. Please go to each session's link for pricing.
If you cancel: If you cancel before May 1st we will refund your full registration minus a $50.00 processing fee. If you need to cancel after May 1st for Spring sessions and August 1st for Fall Session, you will need to find your own replacement and work out the finances directly with her. No refunds are available after this date (call us for possible replacements from our waiting list).
All requests for refunds must be in writing. No exceptions.
Please allow 3-5 weeks for refund processing
If we cancel: NCWHS has full intentions of holding the Symposium rain or shine. However, in the event that we are forced to cancel before May 10th, for the Spring and August 10th for the Fall, we will refund as much of the registration fee as possible, to be determined at that time. If it becomes necessary for us to cancel after May 10th or August 10th, we may be unable to refund any of the registration fee.
This year we we will continue the practice of using wristbands. Everyone will be expected to wear her wristband all weekend and anyone found without one, will be asked to leave. To honor ourselves, each other, the kitchen and the organizers it has become necessary to monitor in such a way. Thank you for understanding.
We will gather at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California (Mendocino County)