Cultivate Curiosity: Spotlight on Ancestral Apothecary

Recently I had the opportunity to take a trip to visit Atava Swiecicki, a clinical herbalist from the San Francisco Bay area. She is the founder of the Ancestral Apothecary, a school focusing on the practices of herbal, folk, and indigenous medicine and has an extensive background studying Curanderismo. Curanderismo is the Mexican tradition of healing and analyzing illness. 

Atava introduced me to varying practices of the Curanderas with a great deal of emphasis placed on different herbal allies for emotional healing and the process of herbal medicine making. However, what really stuck with me was the ritual space that Atava created. With my own practice of Vibrational Vanity, I am always looking to expand on my craft. However, it delighted me to realize while I was new to learning about Curanderismo and its traditions, many of the different aspects of the ritual space were already reflected in my previous work. 

It’s with these constant overlaps of different cultural traditions and rituals that I am reminded how wonderfully small the world really is. How is it that ancient cultures from the Chinese to Mexican, Indian to Native American can have very similar habits without ever knowing the others existed? I guess it’s not something we can really answer except to acknowledge that constant intertwining thread that brings us together as a global community.  

MUAH
Colleen