For the last nine or so years, my aunt Jacq has been seeing a woman named Lark. I didn’t know much about her, only that my aunt enjoyed spending time with her, loved her, and that they got along well.
In 2009, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my aunt after visiting my grandparents in New Mexico. She had been living in Boulder, CO, with Lark for a while now, and so my boyfriend and I took the northern route back to Illinois so we could spend the day with her and crash at her place before heading home to Chicagoland.
I remember their place fairly well. It was bright, and there were books everywhere. It was a two bedroom, with the second bedroom serving as a meditation/temple room for both Jacq and Lark. That was where we would be spending the night.
But what stood out to me the most, I recall, was all the JARS everywhere. They were full of oils and liquids of different colors, mostly shades of brown or green. Lined up on bookshelves near the front door. They were quite fascinating to me, a still budding witch and Pagan with some interest in herbalism, and I kept looking at them as we sat in the living room and chatted with Jacq. Finally, I asked her what they were.
“Oh,” she told me. “Lark is studying herbalism,” though I think she called it something else, something similar. I filed the knowledge away for a time, curious about the tinctures and such brewing on the bookshelves.
Years later, my aunt and Lark are still together. They suit one another well, and I’ve learned a bit more about Lark as the years have passed. But I was not surprised to learn that Lark is Pagan, though I don’t know that she uses that term. She practices goddess spirituality and plant medicine, and she runs her own mystery school: Folklore & Fern.
Last year, I wrapped up a major project: helping my aunt with her new book. I did the work pro bono, but towards the end of our work together, she reached out and let me know that she and Lark had discussed some compensation for me: letting me attend one of Lark’s Mystery School sessions in thanks for my help with the book.
I had done some poking around Lark’s site on and off for a bit. I’ve always been a voracious learner, and I like to learn about the paths others have chosen in their religious lives. So I was interested in taking a class, but it wasn’t in the budget for me at the time. However, when Jacq reached out and made the offer for the free session, I was very interested in checking it out, so I agreed.
About a week ago, Lark reached out to me and let me know that she had the information on the new sessions for 2018 at her Mystery School. I read through the descriptions of each session—spring, summer, and fall—before finally deciding on the summer session:
Summer is a time for spending more time outside, getting reacquainted with our skin and feeling our own inner quickening.It is time to play, frolic, learn, investigate, adventure, open, dream, experiment, lounge, listen and invite new ways of being into our world.
We begin our adventure at Beltane, with the wild winds of spring ushering us into the bright days of early summer, we travel into nature divination and the mysterious lands of dreams and oracles, we continue our travels through mid summer magic and some ways to do healing on ourselves and others. Finally, we conclude the season with some essential herbal first aid and a summer break for integration, catch up and play!
The summer session seems to focus a lot on herbs and plants, which is unsurprising given Lark’s background with plant medicine and herbalism. I admit to being partially swayed by the mention of Hawthorn, as it’s one of my favorite trees—after my beloved Rowan. There is some mention of the Fae and the Sabbats throughout the session, but I haven’t had an opportunity to log in and dig deep into what is offered, as the class does not begin until May 1st,with Beltane, so I can’t speak to the contents of each course. But it does look interesting, and I look forward to being able to give a more developed opinion once I finish the course later this year.
If you’re interested in checking out Folklore & Fern Mystery School but can’t make the price point for the three sessions, Lark is offering 50% off scholarships. There is a limited number of scholarships available, but you can reach out to her personally and inquire for more information. Otherwise, there is a $100 discount off the spring session (which begins February 1st with Imbolc) until Friday, January 12th. Registration for the spring session closes January 19th.