originally published in The Canadian Journal of Herbalism WINTER 2006
Q: Tell us about the journey that led you to become a Herbalist?
A: The Beatles song title “Long and Winding Road” comes to mind. To me, herbalism is an integral part of many spiritual paths on this planet, and as such I came into an interest in herbs for healing and longevity uses while studying the eastern esoteric traditions from the age of 11. At the same time, I personally found a need to find healing for myself.
In my teen years, I was heavily involved in athletics of various sorts, but partly because of over- exercise (and also perhaps feeling isolated because of my ‘radical’ spiritual views) I began feeling physically burned-out and emotionally depressed. I went to a medical herbalist, who gave me the simple suggestion of trying Siberian Ginseng. Amazingly, within 5-6 days the depression lifted and my athletic endurance returned. After this experience, I began reading more on herbs in general, and while, over the years, I began to search for a meaningful career path, I saw herbalism as a conscious means of helping others while being part of a life path that I had a love and passion for. This was an organic process that spanned almost 20 years of trying different career avenues but nothing gave me the satisfaction that holistic healing offered. The rest is history.
Q: Along with being a Herbalist, you have many different interests in the area of natural health. Would you briefly describe them?
A: As I have already touched on, I believe herbalism has come out of a timeless world view that asserts that humanity has an inseparable connection to nature and this connection is also a spiritual one. The modern West has largely ignored this connection, to our peril. Today we see the fruits of dominating and exploiting nature for greed. Environmental disaster is upon us, and this has had a direct influence on the health of the individual. So people are returning to ‘natural’ healing in record numbers. I am not anti-science or anti-technology as long as technological advances include respect for the earth which is the only home we have. There is a Native American saying that goes something like: After the last tree is cut, after the last fish is caught, after the last stream is polluted, we will finally realize we cannot eat money!
My interests in other areas of natural healing include moving toward the ideal of being more conscious of how we tread on the earth and helping others to appreciate nature in their daily lives. So I encourage clients to practise some form of meditation or prayer and to also reconnect with nature.
I also include the use of Iridology analysis in my clinical practice. This is such a helpful tool because it shows changes in tissue health when a client goes through the healing process. It also indicates levels of tissue toxicity and tissue weakness.
I have also recently become certified as a Tachyon Wellness Practitioner. This method of healing uses “Tachyonized” disks and internal remedies that have been altered at the sub-molecular level to become antennae for zero-point energy. Tachyon means ‘faster than light’, and brings higher states of order to states of entropy or decay. It is a scientifically verified ‘youthing’ process! This brings all the bodies (physical, etheric, emotional, mental, and spiritual) back into energetic balance. I have seen remarkable healing effects after only a single treatment! People in chronic pain have found almost immediate and lasting relief. Tachyon also protects against the negative effects of EMF’s. Anyone with a cell phone should be using this technology. This is one positive application of science for the healing of humanity.
In my continuing education, I am taking the “Plant Spirit Medicine” course with Eliot Cowan, who is a shaman trained in the Huichol Mexican Indian tradition. This healing modality uses the spirits of the plants to heal deeper imbalances.
Finally, I am also researching how sound, sacred names, and other energetic therapies (like gem mineral essences) can be applied to accelerate not only healing on a physical level but ones spiritual growth as well. There is an emerging spiritual science which is determining how our DNA responds to various ‘energetic’ treatments.
Q: In an ideal world, how do you see your future?
A: Ideally I would like to be involved in writing about and creating integrated healing retreats/clinics that focus on total health creation and spiritual evolution. This would also entail creating sustainable communities worldwide that incorporate balance with nature, as well as low impact, high technology renewable/free energy applications.
Q: If you could recommend only one book what would that be and why?
A: For me, this is not a fair question and is impossible to answer, because no one book does the totality of herbalism or natural healing proper justice. So I’m going to recommend three books.
I’d say on the spiritual level “The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch”. For me this is the most advanced book of spirituality and higher revelation (not channelled) I have studied. (see www.keysofenoch.org). It is a merging of a scientific approach to explaining an open ended cosmology with the highest level of the perennial spiritual teachings. Although it takes time to understand the language and terminology, it is well worth the effort for those with a serious desire to understand and apply a ‘bigger picture’ perspective.
On a more practical level, Gabriel Cousens M.D. has just come out (©2005) with a new book called “Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini” (this is an extremely expanded version of the 1986 Spiritual Nutrition and the Rainbow Diet). Gabriel Cousens is one who has “been there” and back. This new book provides a distillation of his extensive experience and knowledge on the relationship of nutrition, healing, and spiritual awakening. I believe it will become a classic as a reference tool in the nutrition/healing/spiritual growth category of books.
Herbally, “The Energetics of Western Herbs” by Peter Holmes two volume set is one of my favourite herbal texts. It provides an in-depth framework of the history and development of herbal healing globally, which allows the reader to understand the ‘whys’ of herbal healing, vs just take ‘this herb’ for ‘that ailment’ reductionistic approach.
Q: What herb are you most drawn to and why?
A: Again, there is no one herb out there for all things. So I’m going to mention two.
I’d say for general use in the area of adaptogens, Cordyceps sinensis, rates high on my list. Actually, this herb is a mushroom which grows wild only on the high slopes of the Chinese Himalayan mountains, but is now cultivated. This herb provides benefits too long to list, but as a ‘whole body invigorator’ or ‘stress adaptor’ it is one of the very best. Its effects are: anti-fatigue, anti-cancer (immuno-modulating), renal tonic, blood sugar balancer, respiratory, heart and liver tonic, and blood fat modulator. With no toxicity at normal dose levels and no known contra-indications, virtually anyone in the modern world would benefit from this medicinal.
A herb I have been truly ‘drawn to’ has been Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Not only does it also have a wide range of uses as an anti-microbial, a digestive herb, a female tonic, a vascular tonic, and an amazing tissue healer (both internal and external), Yarrow, the plant and its spirit, speak to me of being able to impart a higher level of consciousness, balance, and order in the mind, body, and spirit. The very shape of the plant alludes to this, with its tall erect stem, leaf formation and its ‘thousand flowers’ (millefolium) alluding to the crown chakra of the thousand petalled lotus in the Hindu/Yoga tradition. Even modern shaman Tom Brown’s ‘Grandfather’ considered Yarrow a king of herbs.
Gord Cooper has a clinical practice, in Aurora, Ontario, and includes Herbology, Iridology and Tachyon Wellness Healing.