Herbal Consultations and Education


Our Herbalists
Melissa Waters

Melissa is a community herbalist with 15 years of official herbal experience and decades of herbal tinkering. Melissa started her official herbal journey with an herbal medicine woman class taught by Kami McBride. She stayed on with Kami as her teacher's assistant for 7 years, teaching year-round classes for women and helping with Kami's first online course. Melissa has studied herbal first aid with Greta de la Montagne, Ayurveda with Diana Batdorf, and hormonal health with Dr. Sara Gottfied. She holds a degree in psychology from Michigan State University, and certifications in nutrition, chronic disease, health promotion, and international master herbalism. Melissa went on to establish her own herbal business, operating under the names of Herb Girl Organics, Herb Witch, and Doc Waters’ Antique Apothecary. Melissa is focused on increasing access to herbal medicine for all, working with underserved and remote communities, providing free and reduced priced apothecaries for those in need. She has partnered with the San Francisco Homeless Youth Alliance, Burning Man Department of Public Works, Friends of Black Rock, and the Y Knot Saloon to bring herbal medicine to people in need no matter where they are or their financial situation. Melissa has also taught herbal classes through the San Francisco Unified School District and the Gerlach Workforce Development Center. She is a proud and active member of Herbalists Without Borders and United Plant Savers. When she’s not in her apothecary or garden, you can find her spending time with her friends and family, hiking with her dogs, reading books with her teenage sons, or listening to her husband tell stories.


Our Herbalists
Samantha Goldberg Blackthorn

Samantha is a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild. Her botanical journey began at Colorado State University, under the tutelage of the renowned American botanist, Dr. William Weber. Dr. Weber served as her mentor while she pursued a degree in Biological Science, focusing on botany and anatomy. Under his guidance, Samantha delved into taxonomy, plant identification, and pharmacology, including the study of edible, medicinal, and hallucinogenic plants. Her work extended to the Colorado Heritage Project, where she mapped endangered plants, and to the Nature Conservancy, where she served as a naturalist.

In 1997, Samantha moved to Albuquerque, immersing herself in Dr. Tieronna Lowdog's herbal medicine course while collaborating with Bert Norgorden in botanical apothecary work and wild crafting. She further honed her skills under the guidance of renowned desert plant landscape architect Judith Phillips. Her journey continued at Prairie Moon in Minnesota, focusing on wetland and prairie restoration, seed collection, and distribution alongside Karl, a seasoned plant magician.

Relocating to Austin in 2001, Samantha shared her expertise by teaching anatomy at various massage schools, doula trainings, and homeschool programs. Her passion for education extended internationally as she traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica to impart knowledge on yoga, herbs, and anatomy. Samantha's teaching repertoire encompasses hundreds of classes, where she's crafted curriculum and worked closely with individual clients. She cherishes the opportunity to offer herbal consultations, guiding others in forging connections with their plant ancestors to enrich daily life. Book an appointment with Samantha online or contact us for further information.


Magical and Medicinal Herbal and Botanical Studies. Oct 14th 2024-Oct 13 2025

The Ace of Cups School of Mystical and Medicinal Herbal and Botanical Studies-Level One offers a comprehensive and immersive 200-hour program that combines mystical, medicinal, and botanical perspectives. Here’s a breakdown of the program:

Program Overview:

  • Duration: The program spans over one year
  • Modules: The program consists of 5 modules, each themed around one of the alchemical elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ether/Spirit.
  • Class Format: There are both live, interactive evening classes on Zoom and weekend in-person classes each month.
  • Field Trip: There is an optional weekend field trip to New Mexico

      Class Hours: Each module comprises  40 hours, with 32 weekday  classes on zoom and 13 weekends in person

  • Weekday class 6:30-8:30
  • Saturday 10:30-4:30 SatSunday 10:30-2:30

Module Breakdown (see details below):

  1. Earth: Grounded and nurturing force of the earth element, herbal vocabulary, ethics of wild crafting, anatomy and physiology of specific systems, and materia medica.
  2. Fire: Transformative and energetic properties of the fire element,anatomy and physiology of specific systems, herbal formulas for specific systems, endangered species awareness, and materia medica.
  3. Water: Fluid and emotional aspects of the water element, herbal formulas for urinary and reproductive systems, anatomy and physiology of specific systems, ethical wild crafting, and materia medica.
  4. Air: Vital and expansive qualities of the air element, herbal formulas for respiratory and nervous systems, anatomy and physiology of specific systems, cultivation and propagation, and materia medica.
  5. Ether/Spirit: Ethereal and expansive qualities of the ether element, herbal formulas for the endocrine system and chakras, subtle anatomy, anatomy and physiology of specific systems and deep dive into the 7 major chakras, and materia medica.

Program Cost:

  • Early Bird Payment: $1,800 if paid in full by August 30th, 2024
  • Cost of program: $2200 if paid in full between August 31st 2024 and Sept. 1st 2024
  • Payment Plan: $2,500 with a $600 non-refundable deposit which will go toward tuition, $500 more paid before the start of the program. The remaining $1400 will be on a payment plan. Contact us for details
  • Scholarships and Work Trade: There is one $500, one $750 scholarship available-Contact us for details
  • Supply Fee: $70 per module, covering all 65 herbs and your materia medica and workbook used during the program totaling $350

Application Process:

  • Applications can be submitted through this link: Application Form.
  • The program accepts a maximum of 18 students.

This program is a well-rounded education in herb and botanical medicine and studies, combining practical knowledge with mystical and botanical perspectives. It covers a wide range of topics, from herbal actions and formulations to ethics and conservation. If you’re interested in working with herbs, plantcestors and related fields, this program may be a valuable opportunity to gain comprehensive training.

Module 1: Earth

●  Explore the grounded and nurturing force of the earth element
●  Herbal vocabulary, pharmacology and herbal actions
●  Earth rituals and herbs and associated herbs

●  Materia medica- 13 herbs
●  Ethics of wild crafting, growing, sourcing and storing herbs and formulas
●  Medicinal, ceremonial, energetic, and symbolic uses of the herbs in each module
●  Anatomy and physiology of skeletal, muscular and immune systems
●  Herbal formulations for supporting skeletal, muscular and immune systems
●  Tea blending, decoctions, broths and syrups
●  Sustainable sourcing: During this module we will Introduce you to reputable herb suppliers or organizations that prioritize sustainable sourcing and conservation. You will learn to identify certifications, which ensure ethical and environmentally friendly practices

Module 2: Fire

●  Explore the transformative and energetic properties of the fire element
●  Herbal vocabulary, pharmacology and herbal actions
●  Fire rituals and associated herbs
●  Materia medica -13 herbs
●  Medicinal, ceremonial, energetic, and symbolic uses of these herbs
●  Herbal formulas to support the digestive system, integumentary and cardiovascular system
●  Anatomy and physiology of digestive, integumentary and cardiovascular system
●  Vinegars, oxymel, tinctures glycerides, sugar and salt scrub making
●  Endangered species awareness: Discuss endangered or threatened medicinal plant species. Look at reasons behind their declining populations and what we can do to help. Learn to identify these species and the importance of not harvesting them in the wild and finding alternative remedies and plants to substitute the use of them. We will look at conservation groups and how to support conservation efforts or seek sustainably sourced alternatives. Especially exploring local conservation organizations and initiatives that are working to protect plants in our region. We will be hosting guest speakers from these organizations to share their knowledge and experiences in preserving plant biodiversity.

Module 3: Water

●  Explore the fluid and emotional aspects of the water element
●  Herbal vocabulary, pharmacology, herbal action and Materia medica -13 herbs
●  Medicinal, ceremonial, energetic, and symbolic uses of these herbs
●  Anatomy and physiology of urinary, lymphatic and reproductive system
●  Herbal formulas to support  the urinary and reproductive systems.
●  Salve and herbal oil making
●  Ethical wild crafting: We will go in the field and work together to wild craft ethically. Wewill emphasize the importance of gathering herbs in a sustainable manner. Discuss guidelines such as harvesting at the appropriate time, only taking what is needed, leaving enough for the plants for natural regeneration, and respecting the habitats of the plants and more

Module 4: Air

●  Explore the vital and expansive qualities of the air element
●  Herbal vocabulary, pharmacology and herbal actions
●  Air rituals and associated herbs
●  Materia medica-13 herbs
●  Medicinal, ceremonial, energetic, and symbolic uses of these herbs
●  Anatomy and physiology respiratory and nervous system
●  Herbal formulas to support respiratory and nervous system
●  Salt inhalers, sprays, salts, scrubs, skin care, herbal honey making
●  Formulation principles, and practical applications such as making herbal preparations(e.g., teas, tinctures, salves)
●  Cultivation and propagation: Gardening in the ground, in pots, community gardensetc. We will look at the benefits of cultivating medicinal and magical herbs in a controlled environment, such as gardens or farms. Students will learn techniques including soil preparation, propagation methods (seeds, cuttings, divisions), and maintenance practices. We will look at the importance of using organic and sustainable gardening practices. During this we will visit several gardens in our area.

Module 5: Ether

●  Explore the ethereal and expansive qualities of the ether element
●  Herbal vocabulary, pharmacology and herbal actions
●  Ether rituals and associated herbs
●  Materia medica-13 herbs
●  Medicinal, ceremonial, energetic, and symbolic uses of these herbs
●  Anatomy and physiology of endocrine system and related chakras
●  Herbal formulas to support endocrine system and related chakras
●  Herb ritual, dream oils, satchels, poppets
●  Formulation principles, and practical applications such as making herbal preparations (e.g., teas, tinctures, salves)
●  Subtle anatomy and deep dive into the 7 major chakras and how they relate to the endocrine system

Applications can be found here: https://forms.gle/7Mx2UnnR3AQcUrmZ8

 Unlock the Wisdom of Nature with Our Expert Herbalists!

At Ace of Cups, our team of trained herbalists are true masters in the art of working with the ancient plantcestors. We're passionate about sharing the magic of plants and guiding you to incorporate their healing properties into your daily life.

Step into our apothecary of herbal wisdom, where we offer a myriad of opportunities to explore the enchanting world of botanicals. From one-on-one herbal consultations to engaging classes and transformative apprenticeships, we're here to support you every step of the way.

In our apothecary, you'll discover a treasure trove of botanical delights, featuring a vast selection of single herbs and expertly crafted formulas. Whether you prefer to blend your own concoctions or choose from our curated blends, rest assured that all our herbs are organically grown or ethically wildcrafted, ensuring the highest quality and potency.

Ready to tap into the profound healing potential of nature? Join us at Ace of Cups and let our herbalists guide you on a journey of discovery, empowerment, and holistic well-being. Your connection to the plant kingdom awaits!

Herbal Consultations

🌿 Elevate Your Well-Being with Ace of Cups Herbal Consultations! 🌿

Step into a realm of holistic wellness designed to seamlessly integrate herbs into your daily life. At Ace of Cups, our herbal consultations are more than just meetings—they're transformative experiences crafted to empower you on your wellness journey.

Guided by our knowledgeable herbalists, you'll embark on a personalized exploration of herbal remedies, lovingly referred to as "plantcestors." These potent botanical allies are carefully selected to address your current health concerns and support you in achieving your wellness goals.

But here's the beauty of it: our herbalists aren't here to simply treat or diagnose. Instead, they're dedicated to complementing your existing treatments, offering a holistic approach to well-being that encompasses mind, body, and spirit.

Unlock the power of herbal formulas to achieve balance, enhance mood, promote restful sleep, reduce stress, and elevate your overall well-being. Our consultations excel as proactive and preventative tools, empowering you to take control of your health and vitality.

Ready to embark on a journey toward radiant health and vitality? Schedule your herbal consultation at Ace of Cups today and discover the transformative potential of plant-based wellness! 🌿✨

Herbal Consultations

Call for an appointment or book online

  • Mentoring- One on one and group sessions available
  • Herbal medicine making (tinctures, salves, balms, oils, vinegars, tissanes, decoctions, syrups, elixirs)
  • Plant magic- Working with the plantcestors and incorporating plants into ritual and daily use
  • Spell crafting with plant allies
  • Education
  • See classes and workshop page for detailed information
  • Herbal medicine making classes
  • Plantcestors
  • Plant science classes
  • Plant rituals
  • Sign up on our email list for updates and class announcements
  • Workshops, study groups, and classes:
  • Herbal medicine making
  • Plant walks
  • Community herb projects



This information is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment. We are trained herbalists not licensed or professional healthcare providers. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing. You are responsible for your own health. As with conventional medicine, herbal medicine is vast and complex, and must be used responsibly. People react differently to different remedies. Some herbs are contraindicated with certain pharmaceutical drugs.