Maia Toll is the author of the best selling and award-winning Wild Wisdom Series. With over 100,000 copies sold, The Illustrated Herbiary, The Illustrated Bestiary, The Illustrated Crystallary, and the Wild Wisdom Companion have inspired a line of puzzles and oracle decks. The seeds for this series were planted when Maia apprenticed with a traditional healer in Ireland where she spent extensive time studying the growing cycles of plants, the alchemy of medicine making, and the psycho-spiritual aspects of healing. These experiences reawakened an interest in philosophy and the history of mysticism which had been a large part of Maia’s academic studies at The University of Michigan and New York University. Maia’s books build on this foundation, eloquently translating patterns and metaphors from the natural world to help modern seekers understand and grow within their own lives. She also owns an herb shop called Herbiary, with locations in Asheville, Philadelphia, and online. She lives in Asheville, NC with her partner and two ridiculously spoiled dogs.
Press information & official bio here.
Have you done any talks or been on podcasts?
Yes! Find a list and links here.
How did you end up an apprentice to a traditional healer in Ireland?
My journey to Ireland was all about serendipity and my willingness to follow the dictates of a dream.
Many ask me how I found my teacher and, also, how they can find theirs. My best advice is to keep your eyes and ears open, but don’t force the river… allow it to flow. Brainstorm, do a Google search on your interests, see what names keep coming up for you… then sleep on it a few times.
To hear me tell my story, skip to the 23 minute mark in the episode of Medicine Stories below.
Do you call yourself a witch?
I have a tricky relationship with the word witch and prefer witchy when describing myself… but I suspect this is a difference that is no difference at all. My heart lives at the intersection of the physical world and the spirit world which, when you go back to folk and fairytales, is a crossroad usually inhabited by a woman called witch. Witch has been my awakening, and working with the word has given me a path home to myself.
Read more about my journey with the word witch HERE.
What advice would you give people just beginning their journey into the magical and mystical?
While the work appears to be outward facing, ultimately, it’s inward facing. In order to be a clear channel for energy, you have to keep clearing your own energies, including your feelings and thoughts. Which essentially makes walking a witchy path quite similar to working with a Jungian therapist. When you get to know yourself and your own inner-worlds of thought and emotion intimately, you’ll begin to trust yourself and your own intuition.