Gold Water Alchemy

Foundations in Phytotherapy: Online Apprenticeship

Foundations In Phytotherapy: Online

An online apprenticeship open to all people, this offering is designed to engage apprentices in the therapeutic application of plants. It was created as a response to the need for an expansive approach to the use of herbal medicine and plant spirits in North America. Herbalism and plant spirit medicine has a lengthy history that is obscure due to the gradual forgetting of the medicinal foundations of the modern “health” industry. This apprenticeship is intended to be used in a number of different ways to fulfill the needs of different “herbalists”. It aims to fulfill the needs of the professional health care practitioner, spiritual healer, and student of holistic medicine. This apprenticeship is taught online. It is a deeply immersive set of classes, which will require you to become fully engaged with the material - studying and learning about the flora and medicine growing in your local vicinity - this apprenticeship offers expert guidance through that experience. Classes are taught lecture and demonstration style via video by Elsie Lopez, with several other wise teachers making appearances during some classes to share of their wisdom. Lectures are shared the second Saturday of each month, starting October 12, 2019. Assignments and projects are given in between these lectures to keep you engaged with fully understanding the material. Graduation for both online and local apprentices will be on July 12, 2020.

By the end of the apprenticeship, you will be able to:

  • Articulate the differences between plants within the same plant families.

  • Understand the components and procedures for creating a healing concoction.

  • Create a personal healing plan incorporating the use of plant medicine and natural remedies.

  • Present, discuss, and explain different methods of making medicine with plants.

  • Work with plant spirits and herbal energetics to target maladies afflicting the psychoemotional and psychoimaginal realm.

  • Apply plant energy to the chakras systems for clearing, aligning, and awakening these centers.

  • Make healthier choices regarding spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical wellness.

  • Identify, harvest, dry, and store many of the plants in the region.

  • Communicate with nature spirits and innerstand approaches in shamanic healing.

  • Synthesize various traditions of nutrition for healing the various systems of the body.

  • Consider sustainable living and ecological spirituality as a qualifiable way of existing.

This apprenticeship is intended to be a profoundly transformative experience which not only aids in shifting or expanding our innerstanding of plants but also enables us to move more deeply into our own purpose. The plants work as our teachers and ancestors, opening portals and doors to levels of wisdom we perhaps had not encountered before. Though we are in deep communion with the earth through this journey, we are also tuning into the multi-dimensional aspect of our being. Through this work, we aim to unite the ancient with the modern, bridging the gaps and creating spaces for continual awakening and wholeness of being through nurturing and community. As apprentices and teachers, we are all family and it is with this spirit that we seek to operate. Through this apprenticeship, you will be introduced to a community of healers and integrated as part of the infinite web of weavers and medicine people. There is also an opportunity for apprentices to travel to the Dominican Republic in April 2020, at your own expense, for more hands-on work with Indigenous medicine people.

All of our classes will be lecture, demonstration, or hands-on field work/medicine making and active meditation on your part. We will commune via video/conference call for 13 weekends (a total of 13 days). These sessions feature everything from harvesting the plants of our local vicinities to formulating medicinal preparations, weaving plant prayers and songs, and even learning tips on wilderness survival. Interactions are maintained in between the lectures and you will be able to interact with other apprentices through a discussion forum and providing feedback on projects. Our apprenticeship ends with a graduation to which your family and friends are welcome to come. We celebrate, commune with our chosen plant teachers, receive certificates/gifts/acknowledgement, and dance.


Online apprenticeship sessions are limited to 19 students per session. Some educational materials are provided, others will have to be purchased by you. Most plant medicine will be grown and/or wildharvested (free, always leaving a token of gratitude/offering to our Mother Earth) and some will have to be purchased by you at your local herb shop or health food store.


Dates and Cost:

THE COST FOR THE October 2019-July 2020 ONLINE APPRENTICESHIP IS $1,900*. 

  • Payment plans are available for all who enroll.

  • Please submit an application before paying your deposit. To apply for the apprenticeship, click here. After completing your application, you will receive an email that will prompt you to make your deposit.

  • A deposit of $200* is due by October 1, 2019 to reserve your spot. This is nonrefundable.

  • After this, you will be required to pay $175* by October 8, 2019. The remaining tuition balance will be paid by selecting a payment plan, monthly or bi-weekly.

  • You may also choose to pay the full tuition price at once. The PayPal link for the deposit payment offers that option.

  • You are required to pay the full tuition price, even if you miss a class.

  • Upon receipt of deposit, we will send you an email with a form/application and information regarding tuition payment.

  • If you need specific accommodations to be able to make your payment, please state this once you make your deposit.

  • If you would like to view parts of the syllabus so as to see the class structure and make a more informed decision, feel free to email and we will send you a copy of a part of the syllabus.

  • *PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Online Apprenticeship price goes up to $1,900 after September 1, 2019. Anyone who completes an application after this date will be paying that amount. Thank you for innerstanding.

  • For each payment made, you charged a PayPal fee. Fees are already included in the prices listed above.

What people are saying about Foundations in Phytotherapy: 

Foundations in Phytotherapy is a very enriching process. Through this, I have learned that true healing is integrative and involves bringing together all of the elements of self into assessment for proper treatment. With Elsie’s guidance, I have been able to move closer to a truly holistic lifestyle and even help my family begin to heal some deep generational issues. This apprenticeship is not just about plant medicine, this apprenticeship teaches us about life medicine and being in harmony with the world in a way that we can bring our brightest self to darker spaces. I am really grateful for this opportunity and for being able to be more honest with myself about the work I have to do in myself and the world. I would recommend this apprenticeship to just about anybody. Every family should have an herbalist/person with knowledge of the Earth. The depth of the information we receive is worth every penny.
— Liliana Rojas
This apprenticeship is great. I’ve always been use to encountering people who are seeking for help for their mental and emotional secrets or issues and less than often physical. I haven’t had much knowledge in physical healing besides taking bio classes when I studied Nursing. In the past I wasn’t aware as I am now of the alternative medicines that are out there. This has allowed me to become aware of the huge impact that altering your nutrition and lifestyle habits and using herbal medicine have in helping to prevent many ailments and diseases. To me this means I have grasped an understanding of physical healing, truly. Mental and emotional just comes naturally, its like intuition and being open to attaining knowledge everywhere and from anyone.
Plants are needed to heal and prevent our systems from being in an imbalanced and sick state. Other methods are useful for this but plants provide a natural and preventive remedy that applies to a specific system or organ in the human body. All while taking into consideration the whole person. Seeing someone as a person and taking into consideration other aspects of their life allows you to intuitively know what herb will assist in bringing them into a balanced state. I understand that extensive research should be done. When using plants we have to cater to what would work with the imbalanced person and know that not all plants are compatible with every person. Connecting the chakra energy systems to understand more about an imbalance person may assist in promoting success in healing.
I would recommend this apprenticeship to other people seeking to understand the healing process using herbal medicine and natural science. Elsie has done a great job at relaying information to us and having us reflect on what we are doing. Thank you for all your work. I would make people aware that you’ve done a great job and that what I’m learning is very heart warming and necessary in my journey of healing this world.
— Serah Beckley