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 is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She's a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business. 

These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and 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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