Benedicaria Training

Benedicaria Training

Regular price $350.00 Sale

I'm thrilled to offer you this 15 lesson in-depth exploration of Benedicaria, the Blessing Way of Southern Italian Folk Medicine. Indigenous European traditions not only still exist, they are thriving. It is my privilege to share what I know of them. The course takes about 15 weeks to complete.

A new round of this training begins in early July, 2024. Registration is now open for that class. Upon registration, you'll be sent an email with confirmation. A few weeks before the start of the class you will receive instructions for accessing the class on the Benedicaria website with its own private class forum.

Each Wednesday at 11am I will present a live class on zoom and then post a link to the recording of that week's class offering on our Benedicaria forum. You can watch the class at any time that is convenient for you and as many times as you wish, within the week.

"Benedicaria is a term that links religious faith, from the dawn of time, to our physical well-being."

I first learned about "Doing a Little Holy Thing, or Fa Lu Santuccio" from my family of origin - my mother, aunts and grandmother. We had no special name for these practices at the time, it was simply the way things were and what we did. In recent years, I've been greatly influenced and taken deeper into this ancient indigenous tradition by elder woman in my ancestral village in Southern Italia who still practice the old ways. I have been blessed to spend an average of 3-4 months under their tutelage each year, since 2004.

I've created this program to be inherently experiential...I want you to shake loose ancestral memories. I want to help you open the portal into connection to our collective inheritance - bloodlines, language, culture and spirituality.

Benedicaria The Blessing Way of Southern Italian Folk Medicine is specifically designed for those of you with Southern Italian roots, many of whom have longed for reconnection to ancestral ways and have asked for such a course of study. However, it is not necessary to have roots in Southern Italia to benefit from this class, as it is, at heart, both a cross cultural exploration of Old World European indigenous spirit medicine and a deep dive into personal spiritual/ancestral terrain. As we say in Italia, "this is not solely Italian history it is human history."

Below you'll find the bare bones outline of the course. At the start of each week I will post the class outline as well as the homework/research/inner work assignments and writing prompts that are suggested for each week's lesson and will also include resources/links and print additions, as and if applicable. Active participation in the forum is strongly encouraged but not required.

Each week’s class audio file is at least an hour long and may run longer. They are full and generous lessons, with information pulled from countless sources, highlighted with my own experience and learning over a life time and flowing with precious, ancient prayers and rituals.

We will use a few Intentional Creativity projects to enhance integration of what we are learning. 

Here is the basic Benedicaria Class Outline:

LESSON 1 – ORIGINS - History of Southern Italy – Regna della due Sicili, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies – Emigration and the Diaspora – The New World - Loss of Culture, Language and Traditions – Shame – Genetic Memory - The importance of Reintegration/Reclamation

LESSON 2 – ANCIENT CULTURE – Goddess culture – Tribal culture – Crossroads - Etruscan, Greek influences – Introduction of Dreaming Temples – Asclepius, God of Healing and Dreaming – The Crescent Moon Bear

Lesson 3 - THE BENEDETTI - The Blessing Way - Fa Lo Santuccio - Who are the Benedetti and what do they do?

LESSON 4 – MEDITERRANEAN MEDICINE - The Salerno Medical School – Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Italic medical thought - Southern Italian Synthesis and Philosophy of Healing – Medicines – Plants – Humors - Constitution – Garden of Minerva – Categorization of herbs to understand how best to apply them to the human body

Lesson 5 – DREAM AND HEAL WHISPERED THE SACRED SNAKE - Going into the Healing Dream Temple – the clients, the priestesses, the snake, the practices, cleansing, diet, preparation rituals, dream incubation, dream interpretation, divination and diagnosis – Dream recall techniques - Salt and water

LESSON 6 –MAGNETIC MYSTERIES - Healing and protecive stones, iron, earth energies, magnetic poles, power points, choosing a place for prayer and ceremony.

Lesson 7 – PULIRE E PURIFICARE - Cross Cultural Cleansing Ceremonies – Constructing a ceremony, a blessing, a prayer – Limpias - healing ceremonies – egg healing - Herbs and stones for healing ceremony.

Lesson 8 – PRACTICUM - Herbs, stones, animal parts and other substances that enhance dreaming, divination and magic and inspire energetic healing – Traditional Southern Italian recipes/formulas

Lesson 9 – PROTECTION AND SPIRIT HEALING - Malocchio – who, how, where, why, when? - elements for protection – traditional amulets and talismans, protective mudras, sacred prayers and healing ritual to counter Malocchio (evil eye) – containing oneself so as not to pass the evil eye to others - Creating a Brevi Bag

Lesson 10 – LEARNING TO SPEAK OUR ANCESTRAL LANGUAGE - Drumming, singing, dance – traditional ancestral rhythms, healing songs and chants – Tammoriata, Tarantism, Esoterismo - The bite of the Spider, Scorpion, Snake - ecstatic trance as spiritual practice of Southern Italia – walking between the worlds - The Cult of the Dead - Calling upon and making offerings to the Ancestors

Lesson 11 – GREAT MOTHER - The Madonnas – Mother Mary – Sorrowful Mother - Madonna of Pompei – Madonna della Neve – Madonna dei Cerri – Madonna della Nera (The Black Madonnas) – Madonna Monte Virgin – Buona Dea – Cibele - Hera – Diana – Hecate - Minerva – Persephone – Demeter/Ceres – Our Lady of the Healing Herbs - The Rosary

Lesson 12 – VENERATING THE REBEL SAINTS - Finding and Feeding the Saints – Sant Anna – Sant Rocco - Sant Antonio – Sant Antuono - San Giuseppe – San Cono – Sant Ciro – San Giacomo – Santa Lucia – Sant Agata - San Padre Pio - San Michele – Santa Teresa - San Biago - Feast Days of the Saints, pilgrimages, processions, songs, rituals, novennas in their honor

Lesson 13 – HOLY SPIRIT OF THE HEARTH – Domestic holiness – cleaning as spiritual practice – domestic tools as saced objects (broom, dust pan, whisk broom, spray bottle, wash rags, etc.) holy water, smudge/fumigation – bells – lifting the energy of the home and prayer space – enhancing the health of one’s environment – growing certain plants around the home for protection, health and good fortune.

LESSON 14 – SACRED CELEBRATIONS - Making a sacred space in the home, creating an altar. Sacred Days/Holy Days – Catholic/Pagan correspondences – solstices and cross quarter days, traditional Southern Italian seasonal celebrations, foods and beverages.

LESSON 15 – RECLAMATION - Bringing it all back home – Reclaiming and reintegrating our many centuries old prayer, magico/religious, blessing ways, dream, dance, music, herbs, foods and healing traditions back into our daily lives – reclaiming our original languages – sharing our traditions.


I took this class because I wanted to know more about the Benedicaria tradition because my family line is from southern Italy. I also wanted a way to better connect with my ancestors, especially my
grandparents who died before I was born. 

At the end of the class I was struck by how each person talked about a need having been met. All different needs. Gail is preserving and curating a bridge to an ancient yet also modern sense of Self. If you take this class, you will discover healing traditions, prayer, history, art, an insider understanding of the southern Italian and ancient pre-Christian traditions of the Madonna, and more.

Gail has an incredible depth and presence as a healer. She is also an artist and a mystic with an original
mind and a scholarly bent. To experience this all at once was a pleasure. This class brought me to a place
of private prayer and insight, and is helping me to better honor those who have gone before me, as well
as those who are still with me. T
he part that is staying with me is like this new room in my devotional self where I am also connected to the land where my ancestors came from. I feel it every day. I feel like I am holding hands with a group in spirit. Molto Grazie! D. Dunbar

Gail, I cannot thank you enough for how hugely meaningful this journey has been for me. This class fleshed out for me the specifics of Southern Italian culture that I just did not have.  I have a renewed connection to the ancestral Madonnas, to the oak tree, to indigenous devotional practices and most importantly to myself.  I feel a sense of belonging and self acceptance that was missing in my life before I took this class.  I loved what you brought to us and my life has been fundamentally changed because of it. I hope to study with you again. J. Salerno

Cancellation Policy: There are no refunds after the course begins.