Sarah Elizabeth – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this powerhouse woman leader, one that has taken on the challenge to lead the way, in the holistic side of life. An herbalist from New York, this activist, artist, herbalist, organizer and writer devotes her life to the betterment of the lives of women, with a special focus on the First Peoples, the environment and WOMEN.

 

 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 
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Sarah

 
 
 
I am a writer, artist, singer, herbalist and organizer. I manage a community garden and a private garden in Beacon and my own herb garden, Groundwork Herb Sanctuary in New Hamburg, NY. I am dedicated to the preservation of First Peoples and endangered species of plants, the support of women as well as the First Peoples, which I believe is a matriarchal belief system.

sarah where have all the flowers gone bookI have written published poetry, an unpublished novel, two manuscripts and have written articles for my website and a local magazine.

I was editor for the 2009-revised edition of Pete Seeger’s “Where have all the Flowers Gone, A Singalong Memoir” published by Sing Out! magazine.

I have taught drama to grammar school children and agriculture to children from pre-school to high school. I teach herbal classes, provide herbal consultations and create herbal products. I organize events in support of women and the First Peoples.

I practice the simple life in my small upstate town with my husband. I have no children of my own, but have spent my life working with children in daycare and teaching positions. I take regular walks in the natural world reconnecting my spirit. I dwell with the spirit on a daily basis now learning to incorporate the vision of circular time and maintaining the planet for the next seven generations, in accordance with the beliefs of the First Peoples of the Northeast United States.

sarah kneelingI spent twenty years in Manhattan functioning as an individual, but upon moving upstate, I received the vision of community.

I was called by the Great Spirit to “find the natives” and I followed the call, which led me to uncover my own heritage of Arawak and Caribe ancestry.

I was born in London, England to Caribbean parents and during my childhood, I moved every six years so I have never known planting oneself in a place and taking root. I have the blood of five different cultures running through my veins and I have appreciated elements of all of them, but realizing that I dwell in the region of my ancestors gives me a place to call home.

sarah purple catcherI connected with local First Peoples and organized The Ecovillage Event with the Center for Natural and Traditional Knowledge, a two-day event centered around the 13 Grandmothers.

Grandmother Flordemayo joined us from New Mexico, one of the founders of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge. We featured local First Peoples speakers, musicians and food vendors. We had a screening of the 13 Grandmothers documentary “For the Next 7 Generations”, produced by Carole Hart and the Laughing Willow Company.

sarah black white catcherI created a 5’ x 7’ Dreamcatcher for Native American Heritage Month.

I was instrumental in Bringing Pow Wow on the Hudson to Beacon and was coordinator for the Two Row Wampum Festival in Beacon, which solidified my place in the First Peoples community of the Northeast.

We have organized an ongoing support group for the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign in the Hudson Valley and we will be developing our vision in 2014. I have secured, through the Beacon Sloop Club, a donation for the Pachamama Alliance to support Fundación Pachamama in Ecuador who work for the indigenous fight against the US oil company Chevron.

For the Winter Solstice, I organized a Goddess Festival in Beacon, which featured Spirit of Thunderheart, the first women’s drumming group to be recognized by the Native American community. They have fulfilled the vision “when the maple trees die on the top, women will take back the drum.” Unfortunately, our maple trees are suffering in recent years. Spirit of Thunderheart are the recipients of the 2014 Silver Arrow Award in the Group and Individual categories.

Voices of Women Worldwide filmed the Goddess Festival.

I am an Herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition and through my studies, I have found ways to support women and the First Peoples. Walking in the tradition, I find the responsibility to meet women where they are and offer support. It’s all new to me, but I walk the path with faith and courage, knowing the Great Spirit supports me. My ventures into the natural world have taught me that there is no bias in nature. We all enter Her on equal footing and She only asks we support her as She supports us. Unfortunately, black women especially, have very specific stereotypes in the Establishment and, for me, it is refreshing to be accepted unconditionally, by the natural world.

sarah Great Spirit

Groundwork Herb Sanctuary is a healing garden dedicated to the cultivation of indigenous and endangered plants. She is a quarter acre space located in New Hamburg, NY. I am entering my second year of a two-year agreement. I will be completing the main design in 2014 and asking for additional years. I also feature Asian and European standard herbs that are a part of my Plant Family. Health building, life enhancing herbs and I look forward to building the same relationship with First Peoples plants. I believe they will have a restorative action for the region, which has been overrun with Asian and European plants.

I started my work in Horticulture, studying herbs at the same time. I soon moved on to agriculture where I learned to build the soil, grow food and propagate. The relationship with plants begins with the soil and organic agriculture is a practice in soil building creating a system of returning the nutrients to the soil through composting. Horticulture is extremely wasteful relying on fashionable plants and man imposing his will upon the landscape. Fortunately, there is a movement to incorporate indigenous species into landscaping.

Organic agriculture develops the relationship with plants as food, which creates a fundamental connection for us with the land. Herbs allow us to deepen that connection as we begin to rely on Mother Earth’s sustenance as we wild forage for food. There is a remarkable amount of wild food available.

sarah garden herbThe definition of organic as “characterized by or designating continuous or natural development” has extended into my life. As I have endeavored throughout my life I find an organic thread. I have always found myself to be slow and simple, but I now know that it is the way of organic life especially when I am in the natural world and I can hear the Great Spirit. My experience with the Wise Woman Tradition has been organic growth as I have walked with faith and courage that the next steps will be revealed to me, even though I cannot see very far.

Groundwork has a sundial at the center and I have created concentric circles around it.

I have found that when I stand before curved beds the energy radiates from my heart. As I have journey to reconnect with Mother Earth I have found that it is a subtlety that is unnerving at first. I recall feeling an energy coming up out of the earth as I worked the soil in agriculture. It is electric. I realized that my ancestors were reaching up and touching my hands. A depth that one can only hope is possible.

Today, I feel it as a warm hug.

sarah herbsThe natural world is the realm of magic as we have found that we cannot always explain the ways of the plants like how a mushroom can remove pollutants and still be edible or how St. Joanswort oil can penetrate the skin and heal the muscles.

Intention, which cannot be seen or touched has value in the natural world, softening experience. I opened the beds with a wheelbarrow and a cultivator. I do not wish to use machines on the land. I believe it deepens my communion with Mother Earth and allows me to hear the Great Spirit. Placing my heart into the land through physical connection.

sarah black eyed suzieI attended high school in Miami, FL and I have begun to study the plants there as well.

I would also like to travel to British Guiana and Dominica, the homelands of my parents, to learn those plants.

It is thrilling to know that after only one generation, I have the opportunity to vision the journey back to the home of my ancestors. There is a growing appreciation for the importance of the beliefs and values of the First Peoples of the Americas heretofore dismissed by the European.

The First Peoples of the world unite and hold their place as the First Peoples of our Earth Mother.

One of the other messages I received from Creatress was to be in service. I understand that, not having children, I could use the energy to be in service to my community, which is what has yielded so many extraordinary projects.

‘I am humbled and grateful for the people and events with which I have been involved’.

 
FIND SARAH HERE:

 
Sarah Elisabeth
PO Box 1010
Beacon, NY 12508
917-682-4114
sarahannelisabeth@gmail.com
www.sarahannelisabeth.com
 

 

WOMAN of ACTION™

welcome this woman into our global alumni with open arms, embracing future collaborations in bettering the lives of all WOMEN.

 
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Brava Sarah!

 

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