Black w/ Plants: Plant-based Medicine Q&A with April Rameé

January 2019–January 2020, Black with Plants will publish q and a on mental health + community building with botanists, college dropouts, horticulturalists, plant care specialists, natural hair experts, social justice advocates, sound therapists, etc. across the thirteen hardiness zones in the United States and African diaspora.

What do you want readers to know about Antler Alchemy? Plant-based medicine? Or a creative project that you are working on? and the role of community building, and its impact on mental health?
 
Antler Alchemy was created by April Rameé, a ceremonial herbalist enticing the senses to inspire your ancestors to come out to play.
 
Currently, our Botanical Mystery School: Herbal Apprenticeship, is open for enrollment. This is not your typical herbal school. We weave together elements of a ceremony, ritual, and herbal education to discover the mysterious tapestry within you ready to be displayed to the world. It’s an excellent course to deepen one’s understanding of their existing clinical herbalism experience/studies using an entirely different approach to look at their studies through a new lens. And for newbies, it’s a great introduction for learning how to approach herbs before going on to take a formal clinical herbalism class.
 
Our offerings play a major role into the community because the earth-based traditions belong to us all and the more we return to the earth we will begin to cherish our bodies, then our home, and our place here on the earth. Returning to the wisdom of earth alchemy, ancestral knowledge, and the herbs can increase.
 
What about the opportunity to display foliage, etc. online (specifically via IG) first interested you in committing your time and energy to plant care-taking?
 
The communication with the plants and herbs is what began my desire to share on Instagram my journey with the plants. I enjoy sharing my intimate experiences with the plants and their messages.
 
What do you think are the five key characteristics of a successful place?
 
Place is where you show up day after day so to make that successful I think there needs to be:

     

  1. Dedication,
  2. Beautiful plants/scenery,
  3. A knowing in your heart you belong there,
  4. A willingness to observe, and
  5. Compassion.

 
Community engagement is a significant obligation of direct service. With that in mind, can you tell us about your experience in engaging with your contacts day-to-day? Do you notice services rendered positively affecting your contact’s psychological well-being?
 
I attempt to share my story to inspire others to go deep within oneself to understand the transformation that can occur when we step into the rhythm of nature and herbs. Almost every day I work one-on-one with persons to match them with their herbal allies for optimal health and well-being. I find that herbs affect persons psychological well-being in the most magical yet practical ways.
 
Would you be willing to share a memorable moment from 2018?
 
I was featured in the Washington Post Magazine as a garden witch. It felt good to be seen and share that it’s possible to have a garden in DC and be someone who is immersed in the nature realm while being in this city.
 
Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you for distilling your talents, sharing your time, and a contributing to the local economy. Can you tell readers a little bit about your perspective on securing space for psychological healing and/or wellness?
 
Psychological healing and wellness is the cornerstone of our physical health. The most important is acknowledging the parts of ourselves that are hidden in the dark but desiring to be understood and accepted. One must welcome them home into our whole being. Once we accept and give love to the most difficult parts of our psychological picture we will become a whole human.
 

Final thoughts from Antler Alchemy (@antleralchemy):

I love all that you’re creating with the black with plants. I think it’s so important to continue to shed light on the fact that there are many of us out there doing more than our culture wants to portray.

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