SHARE! JOIN! SUPPORT! In a time where the ancestral sites, traditional communities, and historical heritage of the SWANA region (aka. Middle East & N. Africa) is being actively attacked and desecrated, support me in recovering ancestral & plantcestral wisdom towards the affirmation of LIFE in our lands and communities.

Updates from my SWANA ancestral healing journeys, August 2016.
The fruit is already in the seed
— unknown

Becoming Whole

River Rose is deeply committed to the work of healing ourselves, our ancestors, and reclaiming the indigenous wisdom of our own respective lineages and homelands. Through re-building relationship with our plantcestors, ourselves, and the natural, spiritual, & cosmic worlds, as well as group programs dedicated to restoring ancestral knowledge and traditional practices and ways of knowing with an emphasis on those of *South West Asia and North African (SWANA), River Rose works to enhance the full-spectrum self-empowered healing capacities of our communities from the very heart of our own internal wisdom to do so. We focus on addressing the emotional and spiritual roots of our challenges so that we may reconnect and realign with our unique life purposes, and we ground this work in a respect and intimacy with nature and our place within it as humans. River Rose is founded and run by Layla Kristy Feghali, MSW, Plantcestral Educator/Herbalist and نجمع جذورناreGather our Ancestors Program Founder & Director.

*SWANA- this is a less Euro-centric term for the geographic area more commonly referred to as the Middle East and North Africa.


River Rose offers workshops & classes about self-healing, plantcestral and earth-based medicines, dream work, and ancestral healing. We also have a line of medicinal products available for purchase, including the creation of custom formulas for consultation clients. We uplift the traditions of our earth-based ancestors and their pre-colonial ways of knowledge and medicine, returning to an intentional and fundamental practice of *building relationship* with our own authentic selves & nature, the plantcestral and elemental worlds, the revitalization of our ancestral memory, and the restoration of integrity to the natural order of life on earth. It is our belief that this it the *reconnection* work needed to achieve liberation and wholeness at the personal, communal, and universal levels. From time to time, we are also blessed with the opportunity to host traditional & indigenous elders, story keepers, and healers to share their knowledge with the community and support us with this important work of *re-membering* who we truly are. Stay tuned on our Events page or sign our mailing list above to keep posted on events coming up. 

What does "Plantcestor" mean?


\noun\ plant-ses-tər also -səs-\ 

: an ancient living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses, who live through absorbing water and the soil's minerals through their roots, sunlight/starlight/moonlight/cosmic energy through their leaves, and the carbon-dioxide exhaled by humans and other mammals which they transform into oxygen. These beings are predecessors to the human kingdom, which depends on them to survive for food, breath, medicine, fire, shelter, and more. Through their intimate daily relationships to humans for many centuries, they have acted as vessels of ancestral, elemental, and *cosmic* knowledge, folklore, culture, history, and memory, and have been utilized to support the spiritual and earthly well-being of humans for many generations. They are our ancestor's ancestors, amongst the earliest and most ancient beings whose livelihood, sacrifices, and brilliance has made human & animal life possible upon this Earth. Through intentional and reciprocal cultivation and respectful relationship with these diverse and multi-dimensional allies, humans have been able to access the masterful and mysterious healing miracles and deep wisdom afforded by these highly intelligent ancestors, towards greater alignment with our own authentic purpose, greater wholeness & peace, and balance with the natural order of the universe that ensures and sustains all life.  

[*This term was created by Layla Kristy Feghali, founder of River Rose Apothecary.]


An elder tending plants in the village, North Lebanon.

Magnolia and California Poppy flower essences, in the making.

Students doing a plant meditation in the garden during class. 

SWANA Ancestral Project

Plantcestral Medicine

Classes, Events & Workshops



Through honoring the wisdom of our global indigenous ancestors, our own knowing bodies, the natural and cosmic elements, and the unique purpose embodied by each of us, may we remember and uphold the natural sweetness, integrity, interconnectedness and sacredness of all life, returning to a more responsible position as care-full human stewards of this beautiful providing earth, and its life-giving expression within our own miraculous beings and relations with one another, towards a deep and far reaching justice that liberates all life on this Earth. Ameen.