Ancestral, Folk, & Indigenous Herbalism and Healing Series

We are honored to host 7 different amazing healers that will be teaching in our community.  Classes will take place on Sundays from 10-3pm at the Tierra Drala Permaculture farm in El Prado, NM (Taos County).  A different teacher will present each day.

May 13, June 3, 17, 24,  July 1, 8, 22  10 am-3pm

Price $250- $400 sliding scale, or $40-75 for single class

Tribally Affiliated people of NM may pay on a donation basis


Teacher Descriptions & Topics:

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Emigdio Ballon

May 13th

Topic:   Traditional Quechua Blessing mothers and mother earth (Pachamama) on Mothers Day. Planting seeds for a medicine and food garden and on soil building.  

Emigdio Ballon is Quechua, from Bolivia, a decendent of the Inca people. He employs traditional Quechua techniques and rituals when he works with food and herbs as medicine.  He is the director of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge and the Agricultural Director of the Pueblo of Tesuque, and Board President of Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute.

He earned his Bachelors degree in agriculture at Major Bolivian University of Saint Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia and his Masters degree in plant genetics in Colombia. He studied for his Doctorate at Colorado State University. As a plant geneticist he has specialized in research on quinoa and amaranth grains and has published many articles about them in both South and North America.

Emigdio has served as an organic certification inspector in the United States and has made many presentations at major conferences on agriculture. He has studied principles of bio-dynamic farming at the Josephine Porter Institute of Applied Bio-Dynamics and continues to study and make presentations at various seminars.

In his little free time, Emigdio pursues research into germination techniques for a wide variety of crops, including traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs and herbs indigenous to Northern New Mexico. His other interests include seed saving and sharing, bio-dynamic and organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices. He is also involved with Native American organizations which stress the importance of seed saving and promote the revival and continuation of traditional crops, both nutritional and medicinal. He employs traditional Quechua techniques and rituals which he learned at his grandfather’s side as a boy in Bolivia.

Karen Miranda Rivadeneira

Topics: Andean Cosmology, Healing and Movement Meditation, Connecting to Plant Medicine through Art

Andean energetic movements, guided Andean style meditation, connecting to plant allies through art 

The Andean energetic movements are based on the fact that life is equilibrium and harmony, we are luminary beings in an embodied experience.  The Andean movements were created to awaken the spiral of infinite consciousness through guided and intuitive resonances, some examples movements to the Tawantin (Ecuadorian Quichua) the union of the four directions and the four elements, the union to the center (K’intu), Killa (the moon), the snake, the jaguar, the eagle, and sun and the earth. 

The core practice of the guided meditation is to develop introspection, and inner journeying, the core practice of the movements is to blossom the sun within and its energetic points (punjos) and through these awaken fields, develop a deeper relation with ourselves, mother earth, the spiral of life and the luminaries.  

We will do an Amazonian practice called mapping the inner garden which utilizes visualization and then drawing/painting of herbs, plants, and crystals from that garden to be used as yantras, or healing paintings to keep in their altars or homes.

Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, is an artist, a visionaire, a yachaj path walker. She was born in NYC and raised in the pacific south and the Andes in a beautiful land known as Ecuador.  Through her artistic and spiritual pursuits she has weaved a unique journey. She is the recipient of many photo awards, and has been invited to do talks on photography regularly across continents.

In another side of her life, she has lived on and off with a healer in the Ecuadorian amazon for over a decade. There she had her first initiation to shamanism, where she learned about plant medicine, drum ceremony, tobacco readings, limpias, dances, vision and childbirths. Concurrently, she apprenticed in the Andes with a healer (yachaj) who taught her many secrets or awakened the original knowledge; from listening with your inner ear, reading the candle, cleansing the body/soul with smoke, fire dancing, fire cleansing, energy healing, to walking between light and night with joy and reverence.  Karen also apprenticed with an Incan priest who taught her the ancient practice of Andean energetic movements and eagle medicine. ltimately, her goal is to share how to journey within and awaken the power, wisdom and creativity that by birth and light is a gift given to all of us. 

Karen lives between Santa Fe and Taos, NM.



Howard Badhand

July 1st

Topic: Healing in the Lakota Tradition with song, dance & herbs

Lakota Herbs Covered: Bear Medicine (Osha Root), Elk Medicine (Sweet Sicily), Sweetgrass, Sage, Cedar

Lakota Songs for Healing, Permission & Prayer

Howard Badhand is a Lakota Sundance Chief, Intuitive healer, medicine man, 4th generation singer, and author of the book Native American Healing A Lakota Tradition.

"I am a fourth generation singer in my family, and have been that all of my life. I am a lover and not a warrior.

I have been a singer, a composer of sun dance songs, an announcer, a ritualist, healer and intercessor at many different sun dances since 1977. I have seen its revival and its evolution since 1966. I recently had a vision in which all of the medicine people I have encountered in my life were in an Inipi with me and they all told me to finish this dance. What this meant to me was that we must begin and finish this part of the sun dance which is to bring people to peace. The revival of the sun dance was meant to wake the Lakota people up to the path of peace by the humiliation of the warrior's ego. It seems we have done enough of that now, and it is time to do the other part of the dance which is to bring peace. That is the reason, with Ervin Keeswood's blessing and honoring of me, we are beginning and we will finish the High Star Sun Eagle International Sun Dance For Peace."

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Bernadette Torres

June 17

Topic:  Connecting and Empowering the Feminine through Plant Medicine + Medicinal Plant Walk
Using the experience and wisdom of my elders, I will share the ways to empowering and healing using both the physical and spiritual parts of Plants. I call this a class for empowering the Feminine but this is not just a woman's issue. This is a person's issue. Every person is made up of both masculine and feminine energy. And bringing balance and respect to both aspects will make a healthier body. We will learn about the Plants~ Gordo Lobo, Plumajillo, Yerba de Negrita, Rosa de Castillo, Sheri (Tobacco) and many more. The opportunity to learn how to make simple oil, water, vinegar infusions will be demonstrated, how to dose and how to gather ethically and respectfully. We  will  learn about the traditional bathing with hierbas for harmonizing  and bringing balance to our spirits 

Bernadette Torres, Grandmother, Meadowcine Woman, Teacher, Herbalist, Master Naturalist,  Reiki Master, Health Facilitator, Director of Shabeta's Sheri Garden.  She began her journey with medicinal plants and healing as a child in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico where her father introduced her to her first healing plants. As a mother, she grew her own medicinal plants to keep her family well while using herbs in cooking, teas, tinctures, oils, salves and homeopathic remedies.  

She worked in health food stores since 2004, learning the valuable connection between health and food. Recognizing the nutritional value in many plants, she became passionate about learning all she could from many amazing herbalist, curanderos and healers from all over the world.   In the last decade, she expanded her scope by studying botany, plant identification and herbal medicine making with Bert Norgorden, MA who is well-loved herbalist and nature photographer. She was also blessed to study with these fabulous plant people: since 2004 to present Teresa Crosier, DOM ;  Flordemayo and Reyna Salazar, Curanderas. In 2004 she completed  the Foundations in Herbal Medicine course created by Tieraona Low Dog, MD and in 2010 -2012 was honored to facilitated this intensive 9 month course. 

Since 2006, her journey brought her to study the Ashéninka indigenous healing techniques from the central jungle of Peru with her partner Ashéninka Mino.  Together they run an outdoor garden school where they can demonstrate the Plant life from seed to fruit. In 2009, she began teaching herbal healing at New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics which included full day Plant ID walks in the Sandia Mountains. NMSNT is the only nationally recognized massage school that offers an herbal program. 

Tonita Gonzales

June 24

Topic: To Be Determined

Curanderismo, Meso American Medicine and Ceremony, Laugh therapy, medicinal plants and foods for ailments of the body

Tonita Gonzales Tonita Gonzales is a Curandera (Traditional Healer), Sobadora, Yerbera (Herbalist) , Temazcalera (sweat lodge) Acupuncturist, traditional massage, cupping, and teacher at University of New Mexico.  

Margaret Garcia

July 8th

Topic: Medicinal Plant walk and Medicine Making.  Margaret will show students how to harvest and prepare native medicines and also how to make tinctures, flower essences and oil infusions in the traditional way.

Margaret Garcia, B.S.  is a mother, wife, a local hierbera, and food scientist.  She was raised in the mountains of Northern New Mexico where her family has lived for 12 generations.  Her family taught her to identify local herbs and how to use herbs and food as medicines.  Margaret is passionate about the maintenance of traditional land-based knowledge and culture, especially food and herbs.  She and her husband, Miguel Santistevan, live in Taos, NM with their two daughters. They maintain a conservation farm, called Sol Feliz Farm, where many visitors have participated in educational presentations, tours and hands-on workshops.

Ana Chavez

July 22nd

Topic: Rock & Stones for the Body Navigating Ancestral Intuition

Ana Chavez is a New Mexican Sobadora (native hands on bodyworker). She recognized at an early age that she was a conduit for healing energy and learned the healing traditions from both of her grandmothers. Focusing that energy, Ana investigated traditional forms of healing, studied modern massage, anatomy, and physiology, and received training in polarity therapy, shiatsu, and other healing modalities.

She is skilled in working with people with disabilities and chronic conditions. Ana is also a personal trainer and she teaches Aqua Pilates and yoga.

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After registration please pay to secure your spot by pressing on the button below.  Classes are non-transferable and non-refundable.  Please note that classes may be an additional $10 through online payment due to 3rd party transaction fees.

Please Click on Donate Button to pay within the sliding scale price classes and make sure to specify which class you will be attending.