Animal Medicines

Intuitive - Connecting - Practical

The animals are personifications of the "forces of Nature," which are active - both around and inside of us.
"...personal experience and anecdote with plant song medicine" 
"...opens up a totally different way of thinking..." 
"...herbalism through the eyes of a shaman"
"Since my teens, I always knew that the most profound way to understand or classify herbs would be 'by animal.' I didn't know what that meant or how to do it, but it was already there in my mind and the information has since filled in. This method is well-established in Native American Medicine; vestiges are seen in herbal medicine throughout the world (Europe, China, Japan, Africa, India, etc.). I will never know whether the idea was implanted in me because I lived my formative years on a remote Indian reservation (non-member) or because it is simply true." - Matthew Wood, MS

Teachings through animal & plant connections.

Discover the secrets of nature through the Doctrine of Signatures and Spirit Signatures. Learn about animal medicines like bear, deer, snake, and more. Uncover the shamanistic concept of the three selves: human, animal, dream.

Whether a seasoned herbalist or just starting your journey, this course is a  gateway to a profound connection with the forces of nature - inside and around you.

The knowledge you gain will not only enrich your herbal practice but also nurture your spiritual growth, should you choose to walk that path.
In this course, we delve into the heart of the natural world. We start by uncovering the Doctrine of Signatures, a timeless concept that reveals how "the plant looks like what it's for." We also dive into the captivating realm of "Spirit Signatures," where we explore the unique connection between plants and animals. This knowledge will empower you to understand and work with the profound secrets hidden in animal medicines.

This course isn't just about theory; it's grounded in real-life case histories and practical experiences. You'll immediately apply your newfound insights to your herbal practice. We believe the best way to learn is through stories, and that's exactly how you'll absorb the wisdom of these animal medicines.

As you journey deeper, you'll encounter the fundamental premise of shamanism: the existence of three selves - the human self, the animal self, and the dream self. This foundational concept opens doors to a holistic understanding of the world around you, empowering you to unlock your inner potential.

Join us on this transformative adventure, where nature's wisdom is your guide and the animal kingdom reveals its secrets.

In this in-depth course, we explore:

Nature Wisdom (Natura Sophia)

Nature is alive and intelligent. To understand this language, We must tap into our intuition using the “Language of Nature,” or the “Green Tongue.”

The Living Nature (Anima Mundi)

Nature is alive and a living soul, the Soul of the World (anima mundi). It is our true home, where we are comfortable – if we can kick off our human baggage.

The Story of Sophia or The Descent of the Star Woman

The archetypes or forces of creation exist in the spirit world. According to the Native American story, Star Woman descended from the Sky...

The Doctrine of Signatures

The intelligence and language of Nature manifest in the shapes, patterns, and characteristics of the plants. 

Plant Spirit Journey

Plant Spirit Journeying is the deliberate attempt to connect with plants, to hear the Language of Nature and tune into nature's wisdom.

Plant Medicine of Nature

Animal Medicines we explore in this series:

  • Bear medicine (the adrenal cortex)
  • Deer & Rabbit medicine (sympathetic, thyroid, and bones)
  • Horse medicine
  • Wolf medicine (joints, boundaries, edges, gallbladder, the wild)
  • Dog medicine (solar plexus, instincts)
  • Turtle medicine (bones)
  • Alligator medicine
  • Snake Medicine
  • Badger medicine (stomach)
  • Panther or Cat medicine (parasympathetic, smooth muscles, intestines)
  • Lunar medicine
  • Solar medicine
  • Crow, Raven, or Buzzard medicine (antiputrefactive)
  • Bat medicine (antiviral)
  • Shamanism: The Importance of the Animal Self

Spirit Signatures: "When a plant looks like an animal or is used by an animal.”  Karyn Sanders


Valuable preparatory coursework and enriching, in-depth training.
Support Materials

4 hrs of additional materials so you get the most of this 

Bat/Holly Medicine & Wolf/Deer Medicine
Support Materials

Free intro. to Animal and Bear Medicine

Video & Audio Options

25 hours of teaching


Certificate included
(see more below)

Pay Once = One Year Access

1 year to view and review content, ask questions and discuss

This is for you if you are looking for...

Intuitive Nature Connection:
This course facilitates a deep understanding of the language of nature, the "Green Tongue," enabling you to tap into intuitive wisdom through teachings on the Doctrine of Signatures and Spirit Signatures.
Spiritual Insight & Mythology:
Explore spiritual narratives like the Descent of the Star Woman, unraveling the interconnectedness of humans and nature, providing profound insights into the spiritual dimensions of the natural world.
Practical Nature Medicine:
Gain practical knowledge in herbalism by uncovering the Medicine of Nature, understanding the medicinal powers associated with plants and animals through the concept of "Spirit Signatures."

Upon completion, you will...

enrich your herbal practice and nurture your spiritual growth with animal and plant connections, opening a gateway to a profound connection with the forces of nature. 
be able to navigate life with a deeper awareness of the intricate web of connections that surrounds us.
be introduced to the fundamental premise of shamanism—the existence of three selves: the human self, the animal self, and the dream self.  


Matthew Wood, MS

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist for over forty years. He is an internationally known
teacher and author with more than ten books to his credit, including The Book of Herbal Wisdom, 
The Earthwise Herbals, Holistic Medicine and the Extracellular Matrix, and A Shamanic Herbal 
(July 2024). Matthew has an MSc in herbal medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine 
(accredited, U. of Wales). He lives in the Midwest. 

Chris McPadden

Chris has been a practicing herbalist since 2002. His Ojibwe/Métis grandmother started him on his spiritual journey at the age of 4 when she started telling him about plant and animal medicine. 

Amanda Nicole

Amanda is a daughter of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She listens to the trees, sits with the land, and gathers medicine messages to share. 

Certificate Included

  • How to Get a Certificate

    • Complete course materials
    • Pass the test with a grade of 70% or better
    • Save or print your certificate!

    Available with subscription and individual course purchases.

  • Accreditation hours

    This course is a total of 36 accredited hours
    • 29 hours Materia Medica
    • 2 hours Basic Human Sciences
    • 5 hours History, Philosophy, and Therapeutic Paradigms and Applications (Including Energetics) of Various Systems of Herbal Medicine

    *Please check with your accrediting agency whether they will accept accredited hours or certificates from the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism
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Animal Medicines

Enroll now and deepen your understanding of the intricate web of life that surrounds us.

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