Friday, February 10, 2017

Alchemy and Medicine of the Soul

Alchemy & the Medicine of the Soul 
The Wounded Healer, A Journey Through the Alchemical Stages & the Sacred Union
A Workshop with Cathy Skipper & Dr Florian Birkmayer MD
Seats are limited sign up here

“We each have something to contribute to the global healing process, a particular gift or vision, 
skill or song. Individual healing has a lot to do with finding this gift and using it 
for the world’s sake, finding our song and singing it.” 
~ Miriam Greenspan, Healing Through the Dark Emotions

I am delighted to host a spectacular series of events which includes a weekend workshop with two very heartfelt souls and leaders in the transformative power of aromatic plants, essential oils and hydrosols. Cathy Skipper and Dr Florian Birkmayer bring together a knowledge- and skill-set that encompasses French medical aromatherapy, holistic psychiatry, spiritual alchemy and intuitive plant communication.

The pleasure of meeting Florian and Cathy was akin to that feeling when we discover kindred souls, it took place at the first Beyond Aromatics conference in Seattle Washington, at the time Greg and I were rooming next to Florian and the two had not gotten together as a couple. At the conference, both Cathy and Florian presented topics that were perfectly paired for their profound approach to working with plants, essential oils and psychology—which would set the stage for this profound workshop. Florians approach has since evolved further by working closely with Cathy — whose own expertise as a herbalist, aromatic medicine practitioner and workshop leader is the product of decades of experience and study.

Cathy and Florian share their unique insight into the healing potency of essential oils by bringing to bear teachings distilled from spiritual alchemy, Jungian psychology, and their own unfolding healing journey... aromatically infused with plant wisdom from both the blue plateaus of Provence and the sagebrush deserts of New Mexico.

Florian will show how the Jungian understanding of alchemy is a revealing model for aromatic soul medicine, elucidated by his experience of using essential oils to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues in his work as a psychiatrist. Cathy will draw from her long experience of French clinical aromatherapy, plant communication and kinesiology. Both Cathy and Florian have a personal and professional background in ‘healing the healer’ — a central theme of the workshop.

The workshop is suitable for aromatherapists, herbalists, bodyworkers and psychotherapists, and all those working in the healing arts wishing to deepen their relationship with aromatic plants as well as their own healing journey. Join us for a memorable weekend of learning, sharing and aromatic inner healing... but please don’t delay in booking your place, as numbers are limited!


• Distillation with Cooper Alembic of California Native Plant Flora.
• The seven alchemical stages and their relationship to distinct phases within the cycle of growth and healing.
• Identifying the different emotional/energetic states that arise within each alchemical stage and the essential oils that can help to transform them.
• Exercises and experiential work to deepen our understanding of each alchemical stage and the psycho-therapeutic actions of specific essential oils.
• Looking at ways this work can be used with clients in an aromatherapy or psychotherapy practice.

This workshop is intended to:

Help participants develop a deeper and more personal, intuitive relationship to aromatic plants and essential oils.
Offer participants a model of transformation that can be used to assist them on their own healing journeys and those of their friends, family and clients.
Highlight the importance of soul healing in achieving a state of inner harmony, vitality and optimum health.

Cathy Skipper
Workshop Co-Facilitator

English by birth, Cathy Skipper spent her adult life in rural France, where she farmed, trained and worked as a herbalist and aromatherapist, and taught practical herbalism, botany and aromatherapy at the L’Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Medicinales in Lyon. She participated for four years in an approach to energetic healing called Life Cell, under French Kinesiologist Caroline Gupta. Her medicinal plant education in France included a two-year course with Claude Lefebvre in Plant Communication. She emigrated from France in 2015 to live and work in New Mexico with her partner, Florian Birkmayer.

Cathy’s work involves building bridges between aromatic medicine and herbalism as well as recognizing the importance of healing the healer and reconnecting with nature. In her teaching she marries theory, practical work and energetics with the intention of helping students develop an intuitive relationship between themselves, the plant/essential oil and the patient, as a poweful impetus for healing.

Cathy’s work with Florian has a core vibration with the work of Carl Jung, the psyche, aromatic molecules, and the mind. She is co-author with Patrice de Bonneval of Aromatic Medicine.

For more info about Cathy follow this link to her blog and this post which delves deeper into this workshop we are presenting.

Dr Florian Birkmayer MD
Workshop Co-Facilitator

Florian Birkmayer is a Wounded Healer and the co-developer with Cathy Skipper of AromaGnosis, which synthesizes Jungian depth psychology and aromatherapy. A holistic psychiatrist, he has an extensive background in trauma and addiction as well as Equine-Assisted Therapy. A bridge-builder between different medical worlds, Florian works closely and respectfully with a wide range of healers.

Florian received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico. He has previously served as the director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at the University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center, and as the director of the Substance Use Disorders program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, USA.

For more info about Florian, visit:


• Friday, April 21, 2017 California Native Plant Distillation, Topanga Canyon
Time and location to be announced

• Saturday & Sunday, April 22 and 23, 2017 (2 days).
Times: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm daily.
Course Fee: Early Bird $296
Please note that the course fee is in all cases non-refundable and non-transferable.
Tel: 818-992-0490 for further info.


To book a place in the course, please submit your contact details and the course fee in any one of the following 3 ways:
To book in person please contact Roxana to meet at the Perfumery.
To book by making a credit/debit card payment, please follow the link to the website.
To book by post, please send a cheque (payable to Roxana Villa) with your name, address, tel no and email address to: Roxana Villa, PO Box 884, Woodland Hills, CA 91365

For overnight accommodations near the Whizin Market Square in Agoura Hills, we recommend this hotel in the area: Homewood Suites