Program & Replays

Plantcestral Re-Membrance: Herbalism for Eco-Cultural Stewardship and Diasporic Belonging

Broadcast on August 24, 2023
With Layla K. Feghali
Hosted by Selima Harleston Lust

Layla K. Feghali highlights themes of diaspora, colonialism, and how working with plants and our bodies may offer us a way back homeward. She'll discuss “plantcestors” as agents of memory and vessels of culture and kinship, and how relationships with the land where we are and where we come from can help us heal, collectively and personally. 

In this session, you'll discover:

  • Perspectives around the spiritual, liberatory, cultural importance, and possibilities of working with plants and reclaiming your relationship with the earth
  • The power of your own senses and body as a vessel of healing, memory, and “lost” ancestral knowledge
  • A regenerative and relational way of living and practicing herbalism for the good of all
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Layla K. Feghali

Herbalist and Cultural Worker, River Rose Re-membrance & The Ancestral HUB

Layla K. Feghali is a cultural worker, folk herbalist, and author who splits her time between her ancestral village in Lebanon, and California, where she was born and raised. Feghali’s work is about restoring relationships to earth-based ancestral wisdom as an avenue toward eco-cultural stewardship, healing, and liberation. Feghali’s methods emphasize plants of place and lineage known as “plantcestors.” Her practice, River Rose Re-Membrance, features a line of plantcestral medicine, education, and other culturally-rooted offerings. It also hosts the Ancestral HUB, an online space for the cross-pollination of ancestral knowledge across diasporic and home communities from Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Feghali's upcoming book The Land in Our Bones, documents cultural herbal and healing knowledge from Syria to the Sinai, while examining colonialism and its lingering wounds on the cultures of displaced worlds. The book features her plantcestral re-membrance methodology as an emergent pathway towards cultural repair within herbalism, while engaging nuanced conversations about identity, loss, exile, and the critical importance of tending the land and life where we are to restore the fundamental integrity of our earth.

Feghali has had formal certifications and colloquial training in numerous herbal, therapeutic, cultural, and traditional practices for over a decade. Amongst these, she also supports birth-tending processes, and is a certified teacher of EmbodyBirth™/BellydanceBirth®. Feghali builds on a background of movement building, and a master's degree in social work — in which she specialized in cultural interventions for addressing trauma and grief.

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