When I start to think about Right Relationship in terms of Right Livelihood, I will say, I am proud of myself for being brave and taking the leap of faith. While it isn’t always easy and certainly not always comfortable, I am very happy to be living and working with Permaculture as my foundation.

Many ask how can we make a Permaculture a career, how can we integrate it into our current path or complete forge a new one? Here are my thoughts on that and some musings for you to take to heart or to paper:

  • What are your values? In Permaculture Philosophy our core ethics/values are Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share and Future Care. In what ways are you working for or toward these values? Is your Earth Care in advocacy? education? buying local food? What does People Care mean to you? What about Fair Share? what would it really look like to be paid or to pay fairly? What if we all had equitable access to resources? How would we be different and how would the world be different? And what about tomorrow? What type of ancestor will we be?
  • Dedication. Once we decide to do something, we have to really give it our all. half assing anything will just yield half assed results. If you are going to do something, be something, you have to go for it. If you want to work in Permaculture know that you don’t have to be some master designer, or a farmer, Permaculture is a PHILOSOPHY and a way of thinking that helps you to come into Right Relationship.
  • Right Relationship
    • With the Land: In what ways do you harm or heal the land? What does it meow much are you taking and what are you giving back?
    • With Each Other: What hard conversations are you putting off? What are you saying behind someone’s back and not to their face?In what ways do you need to hold yourself or others accountable? Are you being honest and direct?
    • With your Body: What foods are you putting into your body and why are you making those choices? In what ways are you causing harm to yourself? In what ways are you being kind to yourself? When you look into the mirror, what do you say?
    • With our Work: Do you feel like your work is meaningful? Does it bring you joy? Do you feel proud at the end of your day. Are you honoring that your work is not the end all nor your full identity, but something you do because it makes you feel like you are contributing to life.

And for those of you who want to be an herbalist?

Who are we? Who are we really? There may be some romantic idea in your head about what being an herbalist means. Maybe you see an old woman living on the edge of the woods, long white hair, her animals following her, her basket full. Maybe you see someone sitting in a lab, brewing tinctures, adding herbs to a pot. Perhaps you see a wise scholar sitting behind ancient texts written in lost languages.

These are but a few of the dreamy notions that can become an herbalist. In these modern times we fill many roles and it is important for you to find your specific niche as you take on the very serious and well respected title HERBALIST, lets look at ways you can integrate this lifestyle, love and practice into a potential career path.

  • Advocates, we need voices out there in the legal realm speaking for the plants and rights of practitioners to practice.
  • Aromatherapists, work with the essential oil compounds to bring emotional physical wellbeing.
  • Apothecary Owners or Staff provide herbs, supplements and other supplies as well as information and support to those in need in a retial situation.
  • Bar Tenders/Baristas can serve up herbs as a part of a cocktail or other beverage. If you havent heard of Elixir Bars yet, its a whole healthy cocktail thing… check out my friend with The NOHM.
  • Biologists, study life, all life and they are most helpful the herbalist because they understand life on many scales and through many kingdoms.
  • Botanical Garden Owner/Operator/Staff, these folks tend to living seed banks as gardeners, hosts and educators.
  • Botanists study plants, they love latin and connecting the evolutionary dots.
  • Brand Owners and Reps bring herbs to people on the retail level, they love telling stories, sourcing and creating something meaningful.
  • Chefs, these folks can get the most creative with the plants and create menus that are not only delicious but functional.
  • Chemists help us understand how herbs work in our bodies.
  • Chiropractors can work with herbs to ease adjustments, support with pain management and healing of tissue.
  • Clinicians see people in one-on-one settings, doing case intakes and suggesting protocols.
  • Community Herbalists support people by answering questions, making house calls, dispensing herbs and being a community resource.
  • Conservationists help to preserve endangered and threatened plants and their habitats.
  • Cosmetologists and Estheticians support people’s skin care and beauty program.
  • Ecologists study the interrelationships between ecosystems.
  • Ethnobotanists study the relationships between people and plants.
  • Ethnomycologists study the relationship between people and mushrooms.
  • Farmer grows in quantity for market.
  • Formulators specialize in creating blends for specific people or conditions.
  • Gardeners grow at home for family and friends.
  • Marketing help to tell the story of the plants in a way that is enticing and palatable for people.
  • Massage Therapists integrate herbs topically, internally and environmentally to support the relaxation and healing of tissue.
  • Medical Doctors work with herbs if they are interested in integrated and diverse healthcare.
  • Medicine Makers work with formulators or are one themselves to take plants from raw material to a consumable product.
  • Mycologist / Mycoenthusiast works with and studies mushrooms.
  • Naturopath works with herbs, supplements, homeopathy and pharmaceuticals to bring health and balance.
  • Nurses have access to great diversity of practice at home, in the clinic or in hospitals.
  • Nutritionist creates dietary plans for specific needs and can easily integrate herbs into meals.
  • Researchers investigate ways in which herbs work, what they interact with and how they are grown.
  • Shaman or Witch works with plants in the spirit realm to bring healing on an emotional, mental and spiritual level.
  • Teachers share experience and information to help to train people.
  • Veterinarians work with herbs to support our animal friends.
  • Writer shares information, story, myth, legend and allegory.

I hope what you get from this list is a bigger idea of how you can integrate herbs into your current career or create a new one that utilizes your current skill set. Open your eyes wide folks, herbalism is a diverse and relevant path to a livelihood that is meaningful and nurturing to all.