I’m all for transcendent moments in the middle of everyday reality.
Sometimes the mundane slips into the mystical and my kitchen morphs into a plant medicine laboratory: bone broth bubbling on one burner, while a distillation of purple sage heats on another. The herb smells mingle with the brownies while outside the kitchen window a woodpecker is tap, tap, tapping at the oak tree…
And I know
I’m part of a lineage….
and so are you.
It’s a bit humbling, these moments when I suddenly understand I’m part of a lineage of people who have known, deep in their bones, that cooking, healing, the oak tree, and the woodpecker, are deeply and irrevocably intertwined and that feeling this—knowing this—with my whole being feeds my life-force and spirit.
Once you feel the world as interconnected, once this knowledge courses through your blood and touches your heart, once you let go of the concept of separation, this miraculous thing happens:
YOU WAKE UP…
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Maia Toll is the author of The Illustrated Herbiary which won an Indie Award, a Nautilus Award, and has been on the Pacific Northwest bestseller list. While published in 2018, the seeds for The Illustrated Herbiary and the other books in The Wild Wisdom Collection (The Illustrated Bestiary, October 2019 and The Illustrated Crystallary, Sept. 2020) were planted years earlier 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 psychology of working with humans and illness. These experiences reawakened an interest in natural philosophy and mysticism which had been a large part of Maia’s academic studies at The University of Michigan and New York University.
Translating the lessons of the natural world for the modern seeker led Maia to open a small shop called Herbiary in 2006. Herbiary now has locations in both Asheville, NC and Philadelphia, PA. Maia has been featured in a PBS special, had a recipe published in The New York Times, gotten photographed by National Geographic Traveler, and been called “a real life Professor Sprout from Harry Potter” by Forbes magazine. She has taught Botanical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, and Pennsylvania Hospital. She regularly teaches at conferences and festivals where she encourages people to use patterns and metaphors from the natural world to help them understand and grow within their own lives. Maia lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her life and business partner and their two ridiculously spoiled dogs.
Past speaking engagements
- Creative Mornings Asheville
- The Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (in Peru!)
- University of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Hospital
- West Chester University
- Southeast Wise Women’s Conference
- New England Women’s Herbal Conference