We have a huge crush on Rachel Burgos, owner of Snakeroot Apothecary. On her site you can browse through various decadent and super unique herbal potions, like her "Loving Care" potion, which allows you to feel a bounty of self love and appreciation, her delicious "Strawberry Rose Oxymel" potion, which is infused with rose quartz and love. Rachel Burgos has had a lot of success with her business, which was built on her deep passion.
Find out more about Rachel in an interview with her below:
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, of course it changes from day to day. I mostly work for myself and on the weekends I work at an Herb Shop in Joshua Tree. During the new-waxing-full moon period I am making tinctures! I like to tincture as the energy is building, with lots of sage & really good energy.
Typically I wake up real early and check in with my energy -- how am i feeling? how is it flowing? What can I change/ be aware of/ move? Then I have some tea. My dog, Banshee, usually sleeps in for an extra hour or two after me. When she wakes up we go for a walk in the desert -- I can walk into some really beautiful zones right at the edge of the national park. The giant pink boulders of Joshua Tree really set me straight. They are so absorbent and purifying to me, I have been learning a lot from these boulders for the past three years. They've really changed me.
Usually after the tea chore and the dog chore and enjoying the desert chore I get to work. Whatever that is. Sometimes it's making tinctures. Sometimes it's more business like sending out orders, working on the computer, etc... I like to paint and work on performative videos and other works too. Right now I'm working on putting some performative photos together for an art show in Portland. I'm kept pretty busy all day, but I always like to cook for myself and visit with friends and hang with Banshee.
What makes you become your most empowered self?
Doing my work. Getting the old stuff out of me that other people have put on me (old, traumas, institutional opinions, ancestral stuff, sour relationships, etc..) . Filling myself up with who I REALLY am, which is love and vibration as my teacher Karyn Sanders would always say. It's really big work actually. Karyn would always say that having an open heart and clear boundaries was the safest way to be. I've been working on that. It's been hard because of some of the stuff I've been through in life to feel OPEN. I'm also super sensitive and didn't realize it was possible to have energetic boundaries. Now that I know and I have the tools I've been doing my work. I've been able to tap into my personal power. It feels amazing when I am completely present with myself.
What made you become the woman you are now?
Hard work, incredible teachers, plants, rocks, animals, the sky, the stars, my ancestors. I feel like I've lived three lives in this life. A crazy young art punk in Philadelphia thrashing about all crazed and wild-eyed, living outside as a mountain hermit and goat farmer in Big Sur which had a HUGE influence of me, and now a practicing herbalist and artist in Joshua Tree. All paths lead me here to my purpose in life -- which is to be a clinical herbalist. But I had to go through some crap to get me here, and I had to do the work to open my heart and realize that no matter how hard my life had been I still had CHOICES. I learned my inner territories, I worked with Hawthorne and Wolfberry a LOT. Last year I attended an herb program in the Mount Shasta area called Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine -- that made a big impact on me, i made big changes and I chose to step into my role as a practicing herbalist.
What did you have to leave in the past during your journey to total empowerment?
LOTS of old stories that weren't serving me. The way I was treated as a young wild thing, what teachers, parents, peers, television, etc.. was trying to put on me. I had to put those old stories behind me. I had to get the other people's voices out of my head that were telling me I wasn't good enough. & paying attention to the patterns that old traumas have created in my life -- getting to the root of the pattern and replacing the old pattern with a new healthy pattern true to myself.
Do you have any role models?
SO MANY! I do! I am constantly inspired. I've been so lucky in my life to have had so many incredible teachers in my life. Darling Bonjo - my art teacher in middle/high school -- she was a go-go dancer in Atlanta and listened to the coolest music. I said, "I hate poetry" and she handed me a Richard Brautigan book. She helped me step into the role of an artist when I was really in a bad way in adolescence. She really empowered me in this way , she was a fairy from the cult of beauty I swear. I still visit with her when I visit my folks in Pennsylvania.
Everywhere I go I try to find a role model close by. Mostly older women who have seen a lot and done a lot with their lives. Matriarch types. In Big Sur there is my mama Robin -- who was the midwife on the coast for years back in the 70's. In Tucson - Auntie Mary Jane who is an artist who lives with aboriginal communities in Australia for years and years. Stace -- this incredible goat farmer in Mendocino. Jenny Q here in Joshua Tree, also an herbalist with one of the brightest shining lights inside of her I've ever seen in a person. Tamara Wilder, Mimi Kamp, I've been lucky to be inspired by so many incredible women.
And of course -- Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes of Blue Otter. Their school changed my life, their relationship and lifestyle really really made an impact on me as well.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
Learn your boundaries. What's yours and what's someone else's. Fill yourself up with YOU! Get some herbal allies -- you don't have to do this work alone. Ya gotta have an open heart - it's the safest way to be!
What are you looking forward to?
Wow so much! The spring blooms! Hehe, flowers always. I have an art show in Portland in the beginning of April, excited for that. I've been working on a flower essence project with an energy worker in Joshua Tree who works with sound. It's been amazing, we're proofing all these desert essences I made. I like hearing about people's experiences with the plants. I just started seeing a clinical herbalist who works in the same modality as me and it feels really good to be receiving a care so similar to the work I do for others. I'm excited for my own healing, tho it's really hard work and it can be scary at times.