In this five-part seminar, develop or grow your relationship with the living Earth through the lens of local plants and fungi.
We’re surrounded by extraordinary plant life wherever we are. In deepening our relationship with local flora and fungi, we can be moved to take better care of these species and the spaces we share with them.
Led by herbalist and environmental activist Vanessa Chakour, this seminar will explore common plants and oft-maligned “weeds” using mindful awareness, creative practices, and imagination. Together, we’ll take a closer look at plant and fungus properties, relationships, and ecology, as well as how flora intersect with folklore, medicine, and the arts. As we go, we’ll use close observation, journaling, eco-poetry, and beyond to better understand our local environments and the larger living Earth.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are five total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 2 hours on five consecutive Tuesdays beginning April 27.
Session 1 (Tuesday, 4/27, 6–8 PM): Sensory awareness
Session 2 (Tuesday, 5/4, 6–8 PM): Plant folklore and uses
Session 3 (Tuesday, 5/11, 6–8 PM): Nature through the arts
Session 4 (Tuesday, 5/18, 6–8 PM): Plant allies and relationships in nature
Session 5 (Tuesday, 5/25, 6–8 PM): Planting seeds, moving forward
Outside of class, students will be encouraged to engage with the plants and fungi in their environments through small, weekly assignments. These might include plant identification exercises, finding a plant ally, and responding to a component of the natural world through art, writing, or song.
If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for all students, regardless of economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
A visual artist, herbalist, holistic arts educator, former pro-boxer, and environmental activist, Vanessa Chakour’s work is a dynamic blend of her vast personal experiences over the last two decades. Her unique approach is rooted in the belief that healing happens through reclaiming an intuitive connection to ourselves, the natural world, and our own “inner-wild.” She is the founder of Sacred Warrior whose mission is to deepen relationships with ourselves and the environment.
Vanessa inspires personal relationships with the plants and animals around us and curates embodied experiences in her workshops, herbal apprenticeships, and rewilding retreats. She works in partnership with wildlife organizations such as the Wolf Conservation Center in New York, The Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica, and Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands. A fierce defender and advocate of the land, Vanessa embodies the practices she teaches. She has spearheaded land-based education programs to inspire ecological awareness and land stewardship. She leads ongoing courses and workshops in NYC and throughout the Northeast and runs Rewilding Retreats in New York, Costa Rica, and in Scotland. Her upcoming book, Awakening Artemis: Deepening Intimacy with The Living Earth and Reclaiming Our Wild Nature, will be published December 2021 with Viking in the U.S., Penguin in the UK, and Ullstein Press in Germany.
This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.
In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.
There are 12 spots available on this experience.