Mission Statement: Marianne Morris 2015 Heart Apprenticeship

Every year I ask students to submit a Mission Statement. Here is an exemplary one from Marianne Morris:


I am pursuing the goal of becoming a professional healthcare provider in California, with a special focus on acupuncture, herbs, and energy medicine. Until taking Mary Pat’s apprenticeship, I knew that I wanted to work with plants, and had already made a number of tinctures and tonics, but I had not developed a deep relationship with plants, nor understood the importance of farming and wildcrafting, and the full political and ethical significance of my love of herbal medicine had not yet crystallized in my mind. Putting home-made, home-grown or wildcrafted medicine into the hands of friends and colleagues to help them through various illnesses and ailments is an activity that not only brings me great joy, but also counters the dominant socio-political narrative that our health cannot be maintained without state and corporate intervention. The U.S. pharmaceutical market was worth $377 billion in 2014, and it grows every year. And yet, at the same time, antibiotic-resistant drugs are on the rise, as is a growing collective consciousness about returning to the Earth and to plants for our nourishment and medicine. The other benefit of looking to whole plants for medicine, is that it refocuses our attention on how much the planet needs our care and protection (and vice versa!), in a world driven by corporate values which constantly choose profit over stewardship of the Earth. In this way, I see plant medicine as a political praxis, as much as a component of healing and of a rich, embodied, connected existence.

My immediate goal is to continue to make medicine, and increasingly to use home-grown and wildcrafted, responsibly/ethically sourced herbs. I will also continue to use chemistry principles to ensure that I am making good quality, potent medicine, and develop my skills of diagnosis through ongoing case studies. I hope that eventually my pursuit of knowledge about herbs and how best to grow and use them will develop into something that I can share with others, and finally, I hope that in all of these pursuits I will bring the spirits of individual plants to people the way that Mary Pat has done for her students. ~ Marianne Morris, 2015