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Earth Speak with Natalie Ross and Friends

Aug 20, 2020

Elan Fraser shares how she found her way to herbalism after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2016. You’ll also hear about:

  • Being a fatigued Black American woman
  • Herbalism as a way for Elan to re-connect to the resilience of her ancestors
  • On being your own boss and writing your own narrative
  • Growing up in a strict religious family 

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Elan Fraser is a Black American woman, artisan soapmaker, herbalist, mother, and homesteader living in the Catskill Mountains, New York. She has switched gears from architecture, cartooning, and music, to soapmaking, herbalism, farming, and crafting. Elan sells her naturally made, sustainable, and herbal soaps through her one-woman business Fern Valley Botanics. Her artisan soaps are infused with the medicine, wisdom, and benefits found on Mother Earth, and are naturally dyed with plants that she has lovingly tended to, harvested, and cultivated relationships with. Follow Elan on Instagram to see her beautiful soaps that so sweetly reflect natural landscapes!

In this conversation, Elan shares her relationship with the land she lives on, of asking consent from the land, and of dreaming and healing with, the space and place she calls home. 

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Homestead living
  • Growing up in the city in a strict religious family
  • Why Elan didn’t mesh with the world of architecture
  • How Elan found her way to herbalism after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2016
  • How the herbs speak to us and through us 
  • Why Herbalism was a way for Elan to re-connect to the resilience and integrity of her ancestors
  • Seeds as revolution
  • Elan’s desire to be in relationship with plants from seed to seed
  • How the service industry takes from marginalised folx
  • Elan’s job working in the woods wild harvesting ginseng 
  • How the 2017 racist Dove ad, inspired Elan to create soap for her family
  • How Elan’s business was born from a desire to be financially independent whilst raising her baby 
  • Seeking a creative medium and outlet 
  • Elan speaks to how soaping gave her confidence
  • Growing up with racism 
  • Why society is not set up for Black people to thrive 
  • On being your own boss and writing your own narrative
  • Why Elan has had little time to sit with grief, since opening her business in March
  • That Black creatives and makers are seen only during times of collective trauma
  • How algorithms reflect white folx racism and bias
  • Implementing support from Spirit and the ancestors, into business and creative work 
  • Ways white folx can support Black folx and engage on social media
  • How Elan’s life shifted after Ferguson 
  • Acknowledging the hierarchy and bias in spiritually 
  • How the land dreams stories with Elan 
  • Tending to the land as a ritual 
  • Making a conscious effort to ask for consent from the land 
  • Elan shares that what you ask from the land, it will always provide 
  • And more!

Bonus Secret Episode! Get the secret episode with Elan Fraser on preparing your body for ritual baths with herbal soaps,



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Theme music is “It’s Easier” by Scarlet Crow and “Meeting Again” by Emily Sprague

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