Sacred Earth is a private, grass-roots organization dedicated to exploring traditional plant knowledge & cosmologies. Ethnobotanists, Ecologists, Botanists, Conservationists, Eco-psychologists, Herbalists, Mythologists, Cosmologist, Philosophers and all other people of any age, race, and spiritual background who share a passion for nature and a concern for the well-being of Mother Earth are invited to participate in this forum of cross-cultural exchange.
Travel is a great teacher. By venturing out into the unknown we are challenged to see the world with fresh eyes, experiencing its wonders and surprises and appreciating other customs and cultures. By reflecting on such experiences we also begin to realize hitherto unknown aspects of our cultures, conditioning and environment. If we have truly 'travelled' rather than simply 'vacationed' we return enriched, not just from the experiences of our outer journey, but also from the parallel path of the inner journey, which is just as rich and exciting.
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between people and plants. The Sacred Earth forum aims to provide tools and avenues to explore this inter-relationship between humans, plants and the world we share. A superb way to become immersed in nature is through eco-travel, which offers real, close-up encounters with the natural world and can provide fascinating insights into the lives of people, who are living in close relationship with their natural environment.
Ecotravel also provides a direct means of support for conservation efforts at a local level. Grass-roots ecotravel ventures often involve collaborative efforts between local communities and eco-travel companies, thus providing a sustainable source of income which actively supports the conservation of nature and culture for communities that otherwise might be forced to move to the cities or earn their living from destructive exploitation of their natural resources (e.g. cutting down the forests, cash crop agriculture, gold mining, etc.).
Numerous ecolodges originally started off as scientific research stations. The future of their important work is secured by the visitors who come to learn about their work. Thus, instead of being entirely dependent on funding from official sources (which, as we all know is continually shrinking), they can generate some of their funding directly and thus carry on their research and conservation work in these precious habitats. Eco-travel benefits everybody involved.
Sacred Earth is a learning space. I invite you on a journey of discovery into the world of plants and people, to explore the many ways human beings have related to plants, used them or abused them through the ages. I approach this field of study from a broad perspective, ranging from the practical to the spiritual and offering food for thought from many different angles. You will find a host of research tools and networking facilities to assist your journey along this path of knowledge. Take your time to wander through these pages and explore the many links. If you know of any really useful webpages that I have missed, please feel free to suggest your favourite links and resources. The study of ethnobotany is a fascinating journey. I hope you will enjoy it.
I have completely redesigned the site and converted it entirely to PHP. If this does not mean anything to you, don't worry - it's just a way of making my job easier. If you have old links which end in .htm and you can no longer find that page, try the same path and page name with a php extension. I hope that I have made the site easier to navigate and actually unearth the many resources that were previously buried deep within the newsletter archive. All the most important and interesting articles have now been given direct links from the navigation bar on the left. In fact, all links are now accessible from the fold-out menu on the left. Wherever there is a little arrow next to the link you can immediately see that there are loads more goodies hidden inside. If you are wondering why there is no homepage, the answer is that the homepage is always the current issue of the Newsletter, which appears at irregular intervals, roughly 4 times a year.
What else is new?
I hope you like the new site layout - there are still a few more bells and whistles I'd like to add through the course of the year, but this is a start. I would be thrilled if you'd take the time to let me know what you think.
Kat Morgenstern, 2007
USA: phone: (607) 821 1423
fax: (845) 306 4359
For questions or comments email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in the western part of Berlin during the days when the wall was still in place, Kat developed an urge to travel and discover the world early on in life. Mostly motivated by an insatiable sense of curiosity and hunger for adventure, she spread her wings at the tender age of 17 and left her home and family behind. She travelled across most of central and southern Europe, Morocco, Israel and North America before settling in England for a period of 10 years. For the best part of this decade she devoted herself to a range of studies (both formally and informally) encompassing a wide variety of interests, from anthropology, comparative religion, mythology and philosophy to Jungian psychology and the healing arts, with a special focus on traditional forms of herbalism. Her varied interests eventually led her to weave the various threads of her knowledge into a unique psychospiritual approach to conservation ethnobotany.
After a 10 year period of focused studies during which her travels took place mostly in the mental realms, she eventually embarked on yet another leg of the 'big journey', this time heading west across the Atlantic, where she spent a further 7 years exploring the Americas. In the US, she first based herself deep in the heart of the American Southwest where she studied and explored the native and hispanic heritage. Later she moved to the northeast where she met her husband. During this period she travelled across the entire country several times thus experiencing the full spectrum of American cultures. She also made several field trips south of the border to Central and South America to study the Native and Mestizo cultures of Latin America, their relationships with the environment and the plants within it as well as making contact with various eco-travel companies. In 1996 she set up 'Sacred Earth', a website forum dedicated to ethnobotany and ecotravel, which aims to bring the concepts of conservation ethnobotany to the grassroots level. Sacred Earth offers a huge range of ethnobotany related resources as well as eco-travel opportunities that promote responsible environmental tourism as a form of sustainable development that intends to benefit all, the traveller, the host community and the environment.
Kat's wide-ranging pursuits of knowledge and far-flung adventures have brought her in contact with many different cultures and places throughout the world. Based on her unique perspective she has developed a keen sense of observation that is both enquiring and integrative in its approach, which she has synthesized in the ever evolving Sacred Earth website.
Apart form her work with Sacred Earth, Kat also works as a freelance writer and teacher. Her articles have appeared in the Herb Quarterly, France Magazine and Veggie Life and Living Woods as well as several online ezines.
Presently Sacred Earth is based in the US and the UK