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Lupo Passero Community Herbalist, Flower Essence Practitioner    Founder and Director of Twin Star

Intimately connected with the plant world from an early age, Lupo Passero has studied botanical medicine from a variety of perspectives. A mother twice blessed, Lupo has a first hand passion for helping the family enjoy healthy and holistic experiences with pregnancy, childbirth, children and teenagers! Her humble beginning with herbs and flower essences as a young mother in the 90's inspired her to learn and go on to teach others. Lupo spent over a decade developing an intimate relationship to the diverse medicinal plants of the Appalachians Mountains of North Carolina, where she lived for many years and studied herbalism at the North Carolina School of Natural Healing. It was in the healing community of Asheville where Lupo began her career as an herbalist, offering classes and workshops on traditional herbalism and flower essences at various institutions (including The Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and The One World Healing Institute). Her classes have since evolved to cover a variety of topics including folk herbal history, plant spirit healing, plant identification/communication, the medicine woman way, and a variety of spiritual and indigenous herbal traditions from around the globe.   In 2009, shortly after moving back to her home state of Connecticut,  Lupo launched Twin Star Herbal Education and Apothecary in New Milford, where she continues to share her passion for the natural world. She has been invited to teach at various institutions around New England including, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Western Connecticut State University, Yale University and The Graduate Institute.. Lupo’s immense love for travel has lead her to teach numerous herbal trainings and retreats throughout the country as well as Central America and Europe.  She has had the privilege of studying under the tutelage of many great teachers including Himani Ellis, Rosemary Gladstar, Pam Montgomery and a host of traditional Medicine Men and Woman across the globe.  Lupo is a retired two-term Secretary and board member of the American Herbalist Guild, an organization pioneering professional modern herbalism. Lupo grew up in Newtown, Connecticut, she and her family currently reside close by.  When she is not traveling and teaching she can be found in her medicine wheel garden or traipsing through the woodland, almost always with her camera in hand.  

What a privilege it's been for me to have the opportunity to walk this joyful herbal path with Lupo. A passionate herbalist and teacher, she is one of the most dedicated and generous individuals I know. Always growing personally and sharing her wisdom.” -B. Lewis 2012 graduate.

Lupo can be contacted at


Often turned to for field expertise regarding fungi, Zaac Chaves guides people through realms in which the details matter immensely. Zaac's greater research compassionately seeks out least-harm approaches to bioregional livelihood. As an extension of this approach Zaac rides his bicycle to work, practices a vegan diet, and maintains a waste vegetable oil fueled car. Employed as a detail-focused naturalist, Zaac performs botanical field work, writes, and interprets historic research. Zaac currently serves as an administrator on the board of the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association and has been honored by the Explorer’s Club regarding his epic Transtaïga bicycle journey.

Chris (Painted Turtle) Harris, Herbalist & Spiritual Guide

Turtle comes to us with the wisdom of Native Ceremony and is willing to share the teachings as he lives them in his spiritual life. He is a member of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians and although he spent time at Indian ceremonies as a young boy, he started paying attention to the lessons of the Red Road 25 years ago. He has a strong belief in our connection to Mother Earth and simply shares what he lives. Chris (Painted Turtle) brings his years of experience and Native wisdom to Twin Star for a variety of classes and events throughout the year.  Earth Spirit - An Introduction to Shamanic and Native Herbalism is offered each year in June with a follow up class Heart Song - The Healer's Path training beginning each January.  Turtle also teaches 'Honoring the Four directions' in the Foundations in Herbalism class each spring. 

Tina Hartzell, Reflexologist, Office Goddess & Twin Star Travel Guide

Tina started on her healing journey in 2008 when she serendipitously signed up for a Reflexology class.  Her intentions of simply learning the technique in a few hours immediately grew in to a passion.  After 300 hours of coursework/study, 100 hours of hands-on experience and a rigorous exam, she became a Certified Reflexologist.  She has since taken courses in Meridian Therapy, Jin Shin Jyitsu, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy and Reiki – all modalities that enhance her Reflexology skills.   For the last 3 years she has been studying herbalism at Twin Star and shortly after her studies began she felt called to work with the Magdelene energy to consciously contribute to the healing of humankind.  All her skills combined translates into an “East meets West” common sense approach to healing. In addition to keeping busy with her practice, Tina loves to travel and arrange tours for Twin Star to Central America,  Southwest France, Ireland and England (coming soon) as well as domestic herbal tours. She lives in Gaylordsville, CT with her husband and 3 children and believes this corner of Connecticut is truly magical!


Farmer Melody, RN, Herbalist, Foundations of Herbalism Instructor

Melody Wright is the founder of Pleasant Valley Botanicals, a "farmlet" in Northwest CT committed to growing vibrant medicinal and culinary herbs for the local community. Melody focuses her herbal energies on a fresh herb CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program), or as she prefers to think of it, an FSA- Farmer Supported Apothecary. Melody is committed to growing and sharing fresh medicinal herbs because of her belief in medicinal herbs as an integral part of an affordable and holistic health care system. She also works as a Community Health Nurse, and has a passion for canoeing and kayaking. Melody is currently working on a USDA-funded research grant looking at crop yield and disease resistance of crops planted with soil fungal inoculants. Melody is honored to be a part of the Twin Star Tribe. She is also prone to hooting like a Short-Eared Owl while on woodland tromps with her love, GingerDog

Pleasant Valley Botanicals pledges to promote highly functioning water, mineral, energy and biological systems on the land, and grow without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). They pledge to protect native plants and their habitats by responsible harvesting as well growing and protecting at risk native species. They pledge to support native pollinating insects through our planting choices, habitat stewardship and educational efforts. They pledge to continue to work toward sustainable food and health care systems, and a holistic approach to health and wellness of people, plants and planet.  Find out more at:

Shelley O'Neil MD, Herbalist, Eden Energy Practitioner

Shelley is a family physician from Denver, CO who has been drawn to healing for as long as she can remember.  In fact, she feels that she has had many past lives as a midwife, shaman and a healer in different capacities.  In 2014 she left her practice and transplanted to the East Coast to study grass-roots herbalism with Twin Star.  She has had so much fun that she decided to stay for a while!  She has also successfully completed the first year of a two year certification in Eden Energy Medicine and a Plant-Spirit Apprenticeship with Pam Montgomery in 2015.  She brings her expertise and enthusiasm to teaching the Anatomy and Physiology portion of our Foundations in Herbalism class.

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Benjamin Schwartz, Farmer, Herbalist, Activist

Herbal Medicine Farmer and Herb Justice advocate Benjamin Schwartz of White Pine Community Farm. White Pine Community Farm was established in 2008 with a mission to address food justice issues both locally in Dutchess County and in New York City, specifically in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Food justice means many things. To Ben, it means increasing urban/rural solidarity by bringing our educational programs to the city, and bringing the our community from the city to the farm. It also means addressing the inequities of our food system by increasing transparency and access, becoming an educational resource for our community where everyone feels they are part of the family.


Ilana Sobo, Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner

 Ilana works as a community herbalist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Instructor in the Greater New York City area and Fairfield County CT.  She has spent over 14 years in the fields of Ayurveda, Yoga and Herbalism and has work with &apprenticed for several of the pioneers in Botanical Medicine & Ayurveda in the US.  She also has unique apothecary training spanning over 10 years and regularly compounds tinctures, salves, essential oil blends, teas and flower essences for her local community.  Ilana also formulates organic customized skin care, essential oil perfumes and medicinals through her healing project Shakti Botanica. She is available for consultations and classes on Ayurveda, Yoga and herbology by appointment, visit her at 



Linda Shreve, Goddess Within Us Instructor & 13 Moons Songstress

Linda has been a long-time student of the energetic truth expressed between us all (humans, plants, animals, the rock and tree people, among others) in this world, and of deep listening. She grateful for all her teachers: Oh Shinnah, Lupo, Joan Halifax, her movement and song teachers, family, friends and Nature.  As Song Mistress she leads songs and chants for 13 Moons; a singer with a passion for community song work, and group singing. Linda believes that singing together builds shared community, deep listening and transports us to an expanded awareness of ourselves and the world. Trained as a movement analyst, Linda turned her love of movement toward ritual, dance, and embodiment of archetypal energies including the various forms of the Goddess.  She was always meant to study herbalism and was grateful to find Lupo and the Twin Star community and has been immersed in the life of plants and herbs over the last 4 years including herbalism, plant spirit studies and flower essence therapies. To Linda, herbalism is a natural extension of the energetic dance all around us. As a Reiki Master she has studied various energetic therapies over the last 30 years or so – Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and various meditation practices including moving meditation.  

Rebekah Sutter, Twin Star Herbal Apprentice, Herbal Artist & Chaga Queen

Rebekah first joined the Twin Star Tribe in the summer of 2013.  Since then she has completed various herbal trainings including: Foundations of Herbalism, Practices and Protocols of Herbalism, Tropical Herbalism in Costa Rica and is in the process of completing a Flower Essence Practitioner Training program and the Seed to Market Advanced Herbal Training. She has served as the Twin Star Herbal Apprentice for nearly three years and has helped Lupo co-teach a variety of classes.  Rebekah skillfully creates and crafts the majority of herbal preparation in our apothecary and is also the teachers assistant in the Art & Science of Herbalism course.  Not only is she an up and coming Herbalist, she is also a talented artist, with an emphasis on the divine feminine and botanical prints.  Rebekah and her work can be found in the Twin Star Apothecary each Friday and Saturday.