Gabriela Sarna Wiraszka

Lecture & Workshop Host

LECTURE: The Sacred Basket – Plants of Power and Magic in Polish Folk Healing

Herbs and flowers are some the greatest weavers and keepers of ancestral wisdom of the Polish people. Many of the oldest remaining charms and songs in Polish folklore are associated with plants and their healing properties and power. Some of these beliefs and practices not only have made their way to the church altar, but also influenced certain aspects of the Polish Catholic faith and celebrated Holy Days, especially those associated with Mother Mary and her representation of Mother Earth.

In this lecture Gabriela will present and explore the magical uses of plants in Poland from earlier history through present day. Various aspects of plant medicine and beliefs surrounding trees and plants will be discussed. Old Polish charms and poems dedicated to plants and their powers will be translated and analyzed for a deeper understanding of particular plant spirits as well as traditional approach to Polish folk healing.

WORKSHOP: Creating a Motanka Doll
2 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 20 participants

In this workshop, Gabriela will share some of the traditions around the creation of a Motanka doll, an ancient doll talisman from Slavic Europe. The name Motanka, comes from the word “motanie,” which means to weave together. There are many varieties and even names for these dolls, Motanka being the most well known. Together, we will go through the process, talk about the lore and intention that breathes magic into the Motanka. We will work with natural fibers, grains, herbs as well as prayers and charms during the creation process.

You will need to have some materials present for this workshop The items needed can be found in most folks home. Old pieces of clothing (natural fabrics), ribbons, grains (rice, buckwheat or other) and some cotton or wool for stuffing the head. Gabriela will provide a more detailed list as we get closer to the event.

$45 Add on Fee
$0 materials fee 
Add Gabriela’s immersive virtual workshop to your registration here.

BIO:Gabriela was born and raised in Poland and immigrated to the US in 1989. She is an artist, storyteller and practitioner of Slavic and European Folk magic. She is committed to share, research and help preserve the knowledge of folk healing traditions and beliefs from Poland and Eastern Europe. To find out more about Gabriela’s healing practice, please visit Gabriela is also co-hosting a myths and stories called Saga Kraft –

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