In collaboration with Women's Wilderness & Natural Wisdom Counseling, we received a small grant from the Open Door Fund to be able to offer a series of half-day "skill-shares" for the queer community from Fall 2016 through Spring 2017. Soon we'll be looking to fund a similar project for the upcoming year!

These events are for LGBTQIA* people ages 16-99+ years old. Registration works by putting down a $10 deposit through our partners at the Women's Wilderness Institute to hold your space so we can prep necessary materials and you have the option of donating an additional $0-$25 at the end of the class if you feel so moved. We will send an email with location information post-registration. If finances are ever deterring you from registering for any of our offerings, please contact us at queernature.info@gmail.com. 

Upcoming Skillshares

Coal-burned Spoons - Date TBA (previously cancelled due to fire ban)

11 AM - 4 PM, Location TBA

Coal-burning is an ancient method of using fire to shape wood. With a steady supply of hot coals and a lot of patience, people without access to metal carving tools were able to make bowls and cooking pots out of large pieces of wood. Making wooden spoons is a shorter project that is a great introduction to coal-burning, where coals are used to hollow out the 'bowl' portion of the spoon. We will also use knives and rocks to shape and burnish the spoons. We will introduce knife safety and basic carving methods so previous experience with carving is not required.

Cost: $10 base registration with optional donation. Registration will open again when we figure out a reschedule date, as this skill share was previously full!


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Past skillshares 

Sunday may 7 — self-defense and equine connection with guest instructor crystal middlestadt

10 AM - 4 PM, Happy Dog Ranch Foundation, Inc. Littleton, CO.

In the fourth skillshare, we will explore the way in which self-defense is embedded in nature as a means of survival. Self-defense extends beyond protection and warding off attacks--it also includes the protective features of healthy relationships and positive connections. After a guest instructor, Crystal Middlestadt, leads us through physical self-defense techniques, you will also get to explore the nature of relationship in a herd of horses. This equine piece will be lead by Jess Dallman, one of the core Queer Nature team who is a wilderness therapist and equine therapy practitioner. We will take advantage of the themes of horse dynamics, engaging in congruent communication and opening to relational contact. Self-defense and equine connection are a powerful experience for anyone, offering both new skills and personal insight!

Cost: $10 base registration with optional donation. Please register here!


April 22 (Saturday) - Intro to Herbalism with guest instructor Michelle Castor of Agua y Sangre

10 AM - 2 PM, Location TBA

Blooms, Bears, and Bitters: an introduction to herbal medicine for the gut, the mind, and the transition of seasons.

In this class we will talk about how we can call on & accept support from our herbal allies to help us adjust and flow during the transition from winter to spring.  We will begin by briefly introducing herbal medicine as a concept, and then dive into the importance of creating connections with plants, how to speak to them, and how to ask & receive their permission to call in their medicina & magic.  We will then discuss in detail a handful of plantitas that are perfect for supporting us in the transition of springtime—when things are starting to bloom, our digestive systems are coming out of hibernation, and our minds + spirits could use some extra love.  We will finish the class by making our own springtime remedio—a nourishing herbal vinegar.

Michelle Castor, owner of Agua y Sangre Healing, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Herbal Educator, and Wellness Promotora. She weaves a passion for healing justice with her background in curanderismo & ancestral magic, western herbal medicina, and massage therapy. Central to her work is compassion and a commitment to providing transformative, empowering, and nurturing care to all people, without judgment. Learn more about her work atwww.aguasangrehealing.com, and find her on IG & FB: Agua y Sangre Healing // https://www.instagram.com/aguasangrehealing/ // @aguasangrehealing

Cost: $10 base registration with optional donation. Register for Intro to Herbalism here!


sunday feb 12 — Intro to wildlife tracking (full)

10 AM - 3 PM, Nederland CO.

In the third skillshare, we will focus on the art of wildlife tracking. You will be introduced to track identification, movement (re)patterning, and signs of wildlife activity. Tracking requires (and elicits) attention and focus, heightening our senses and awareness. We will also demonstrate the art of inner tracking—the awareness of the movement patterns within us, and how they relate to external tracking. Wildlife tracking was an intimate process for our ancestors. In light of the current cultural themes around romance and love, join us in a deep exploration of self and Other—who knows, you may just fall in love with the intimate details you discover!


Sunday, January 8th — Pine-Needle Basketry and Cordage (full)

Join Queer Nature with the second of our series of skillshares for our LGBTQIA* community of all (a)genders! 


In the second skillshare, we will focus on the art of weaving. You will be introduced to the coil-method of basketry required for pine needle baskets, and you will also get to explore the process of making cordage (i.e. rope) from natural materials. We will take advantage of the themes of winter, engaging in an indoor nature-based craft that lends itself well to internal reflection and emotional processing. Creating baskets and cordage in these ancestral ways is a powerful experience for anyone, and crafting taps into our creativity and problem-solving capacities, offering both insight and a practical product!
 


Sunday October 30th — Firecraft (FULL)

12 PM - 4 PM

Have you wondered how it’s possible to make fire from “rubbing two sticks together?” Though it’s not always quite that simple, most cultures have at some point depended on a type of fire-by-friction technology, often involving two or more pieces of wood. Friction fire making is a fundamental survival skill, but fire is also a rich symbol of hearth and home, and a potent elixir of community. Deepening a relationship with fire by learning how to create it from natural materials can be transformative on many levels.

There are many methods of making fire without a match, but in this workshop we invite you to explore a particular fire-by-friction technology that is relatively easy to learn. We will provide materials and instruction for the technique of bow-drill, and can also get into the more advanced technique of hand-drill if participants are interested. We will also offer instruction on useful types of fire-structures, fire-tending, and using fire as a tool for carving and/or hardening wood. Come explore this vital element with us!

This workshop is intended as a safe container for LGBTQIA folks of any gender to engage in the culture and practice of wilderness-self reliance and earth-based living skills.