Among the myriad of mystical adventures and cosmic curiosities available to those who attend Envision Festival is the majestic Village Witches. One of the best-kept secrets at a festival known for revealing the unknown, Village Witches is an integrated web of healing services and educational opportunities, and a veritable speakeasy of sorts, their wildly-popular elixir bar. The multi-faceted endeavor is native to this festival, and the Village Witches are keen to deliver grounded, spiritual connections to Envisionaries. Village Witches operates on personal, communal and even global levels, for anyone who may stop, look, listen, vibe and imbibe during their time at the event in Uvita.
Whether it be dancing for hours on end in the jungle’s sometimes stifling heat, or becoming dehydrated and devitalized due to interminable hours on your feet, the Village Witches serves to encourage you to respond/react in ways you may not have known nor experienced. That is the magic of Envision Festival in a nutshell; travel to a remote and exotic destination, rich in all that Costa Rica Pura Vida has to offer and swim into unseen worlds of music, art, ceremony, and celebration. Rejuvenate yourself to the nth power with the finest in organic, progressive, and traditional herbalism and healthcare, just a few feet away at the Village Witches.
You might ask yourself, what specifically do the Village Witches provide? Who are these Village Witches, and how did this whole thing come about? Beyond the elixir bar, what can I expect to discover when I visit during the festival? Well, you are in the right place.
Medicines from the Edge’s Sarah Wu is the inspirational force and founder of this village and collective. She is among the uplifting pillars of Envision, a pioneer in her fields of study, and a global-reaching community leader. Along the journey to build this village, The NOHM Co.’s Jill TrAshley got onboard the permaculture and herbalism broomsticks; these empowered and enlightening women are the righteous witches who gave birth to this spirited village, from a proverbial broom closet. These tremendous teachers have been co-creating this village at Envision for several years now, and their pure, unfiltered passion has fueled the collective’s dogged efforts to unveil the most remarkable version yet at Envision Festival 2018.
Photos by Jamieson Molhulland
“At the Village Witches, we are interested in global health, environmentalism, medicinal plant conservation, education and conscious consumption. Our influence is every person we come into contact with and the impact is the wellbeing and sense of community we bring. Sphere of Interest versus our Sphere of Impact/Influence.” Sarah Wu
Village Witches is a far-reaching vision, ambitious and righteous conglomerate of smaller, focused sections. Each of these areas provide specialized services, products, environments, or all of the above. Let’s take a leisurely stroll through this glorious jungle-land, and happen upon a chimerical coven, a unique and unusual oasis of health and happiness, where juicy stewards of subsistence love on you, and learn you up!
Photo Courtesy the NOHM
The Healers Collective Spa & Apothecary is an inviting space to offer and receive health services, it exists to promote the health and rejuvenation of Envisionairies, focused equally on the mind, body and spirit. Whether it be by nurturing festivalers back to health or supporting folks in their personal evolutions. Working with multiple modalities, the healers at the Village Witches are capable of filling many gaps in people’s experience at the festival. Coordinated by holistic healing expert Chelsea Latham and Madeline Maddox, her talented team is diverse in approach and forte, and always ready to serve you in the quest to reveal your superhero self, here at Envision and beyond.
This is a collective of healers from around the world, who join together in these lush and exotic environs to nurture, relax, support, inspire, liberate and educate those who visit the sanctuary. The Village Witches offer a myriad of massage, invigorating reiki, soul-quenching sound healing, Akashic record readings, a plethora of herbal and Ayurvedic consultations. In addition to shamanic healing, astrology, energy work, acupuncture, and much more at the Healers Collective Spa & Apothecary.
Photo by Maria Moreno
The Herbal Elixir Bar offers non-alcoholic, organic, traditionally inspired herbal cocktails ethically sourced locally in Costa Rican and other parts of the Americas. The NOHM Co, a kaleidoscopic cadre of aspiring Appalachian dreamers, are facilitating the lounge, by engaging participants with an alternative to alcohol, processed food and drinks, and digital dependence while in a deep jungle event setting. In co-creating the Village Witches Elixir Bar, they are taking the initiative to marry traditional concepts and production methods from around the world with technological and regenerative applications.
Imbibe in a delicious herbal cocktail from the NOHM Co.; their mission is to encourage conscious consumption and conversation that is steeped in tradition. The “NOHMies” and the witches who will be serving this nutritious delicious strive to have a minimal impact on the earth with their reusable and compostable service-ware, operating on solar power, and ethically sourcing all of their water and organic ingredients from the friends and family they have made along the way.
“Practice. It is the only way we truly learn. I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Herbalism is an intellectual study, but to be effective it needs to be embodied, and we only get this through practice” Sarah Wu
As herbalists, the Village Witches are not health gurus, they see themselves as sparks of inspiration and sources of information. The Herbal First Aid Clinic is an innovative natural medical offering at Envision, and an alternative to Western medicine and what commonly known as first aid. Sarah Wu teamed up with her mentor 7Song (Ithaca Free Clinic and Northeast School of Botanical Medicine) with the focused intention to get people working in herbalism. The idea is to get people on the ground and practicing, and Envisionaries have the option to choose Eastern herbal medicinal care, steeped in tradition and intention.
Village Witches Educational Series brings together unique, respected and progressive educators, cultivating ideas and disseminating salient information with workshops fused with environmentalism and pagan spirituality. People can prepare to dive into a vast array of educational opportunities, focused on traditional and alternative healing practices and modalities, and revolving around our relationship with the craft, science, and art of herbalism. This space is brimming with engaging lectures, conversations, and demonstrations by a bright assembly of herbal activists, clinicians, and medicine makers.
“We are educational facilitators and students alike and eternally, we learn through the embodied experience of working with medicinal plants, so we can share our direct relationship with them with the intention of being in service to others.” Sarah Wu
The Village Witches have identified a pertinent need at festivals that went long ignored, for people to have a clean and elevating sacred space for their bodies, a plush, comfortable retreat for the moon cycle, or any other circumstance that requires special attention and tranquility. Red Tent Temple Movement is a place for womb’yn to gather in celebration of ancient mysteries feminine. Moon Pod offers a comforting container to collect the life-giving blood of Envision women with respect and dignity.
Within the confines of the Temple, and in alignment and balance with the Red Tent, Men’s Tipi offers opportunities for the masculine to immerse himself in this space, to share in the creative and healing elements within time-honored traditions. Eternal Fire burns from sunset on opening day until sunrise at closing, serving as reciprocal rejuvenation, restoration, and connection fanning the sparks of creativity, empathy, and tranquility that forever flicker within the souls of all humans.
Photo by Maria Moreno
Behold the juicy glory of the Village Witches! Not only will a visit enhance the Envision experience in real time as you set about enjoying the event to its fullest extent, but the knowledge, know-how and understanding that you mine from the Village Witches can and will serve you as a festival-going, life-living human being for the rest of your days.
“The world is desperately in need of an overhaul in perspective, cultural story and relationship to the natural world. Interconnectedness is the thread that weaves us together, and we all share the same destiny.” Sarah Wu
B.Getz is a music journalist and festival culture reporter based in Northern California. You can find him musing most often at LiveforLiveMusic.com and Everfest.com, as well as his own blog Upful Life.
We take sound sound seriously. The dance floor is our temple. With each stage a sculptural masterpiece and Funktion-One sound system tickling your insides, we spend the entire year masterfully crafting an all night beach jungle celebration you'll never forget. Some sounds blast you away. Ours will hug you closely. It’s crisp and holographic. Come prepared for a deep inward journey designed to break you open.
Breathe, flow, and find unlimited freedom in physical expression. Our bodies are the vessel in this world that serve as the foundation for which we can discover our highest potential. Explore stages and spaces for you to completely let go at Envision.
Living is an art form. At Envision we cultivate a 360 degree immersive art environment that blends the edges of the canvas with the world around it.
We let the environment lead. Every structure is artistically designed with locally sourced natural materials to create a village that mimics the beauty of our natural environment, and demonstrates a way of life defined by minimizing our impact on our planet. Envision is not an EZ-Up festival.
To care for others we must first take care of ourselves. Experience and explore mindful practices for food, activity, medicine, and more that will nourish a lifetime of joyous behaviors and self-care rituals.
You are not alone. Discover the community you always knew existed but were never able to experience. Brought together by all of our similarities , and illuminated by all of our differences.
We think long term. The 12 principles of permaculture are echoed throughout every undertaking at Envision. necessity of restorative stewarding demonstrated on the land we gather and in the lives we lead.
Strengthen your source connection. Envision supports you with an open heart space where you can explore a deeper understanding of our common oneness with nature and each other.