Chestnut Herbal School


Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor



Cherished water, teacher of infinite lessons and giver of life,

May I possess the grace and wisdom to know when to rest in a shallow still pool and when to jump into the current’s strong pull. 

As I bump up against the temporary solidness of rocks and yield in resilience, I pray that I can still see sun, accept the raindrops, and know the companionship of being part of the All. 

When water touches my lips and becomes part of my blood, my cells, and all of my fluids, may I remember 
the connection of river, ocean, raincloud, tears, leaf and root. 

May I hear the song of the birds whose blood was nourished by the water that is now me. 
May I feel the curves of ancient rocks patiently dissolved as the minerals in the water that is now me. 
May I know the thrill of free falling rain, released from the cloud, in the water that is now me. 
May I see the softness of the cloud, which was born on the breath of the wind, from the treetops of the forest and the gleaming expanse of the ocean’s surface, in the water that is now me. 

And as I exhale and urinate and defecate and decompose, I return this precious gift of Life in the endless spinning and weaving of Oneness.

Meet The Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

Juliet Blankespoor

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Learn more about cultivation, identification, and uses for medicinal herbs in our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program, which is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course out there.




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