If you've ever sat so still in a favorite tree, watching the busy world go by and felt a peace beyond words. If you've ever spent an entire summer day rolling in grass, eating wild berries, and watching clouds make shapes and thought to yourself "today feels timeless". If you've ever looked so closely at a flower that you realized there was a whole world existing inside that flower?
That's what I'm about.
Nature connection is the root of herbal healing and the premise of my herbal work. Without relationship to earth, we have no compassion. Without listening and learning her patterns, whims, and rhythms, we have no human context. Taking the time to immerse myself in nature's sensory information and matching patterns to knowledge are activities that bring me such a depth of pleasure that it makes me want to get everyone outdoors inhaling and engaging with the wonder of our planet.
If one or two of my writings inspire you to spend time in the woods, make your own herbal remedy, or learn to identify a new plant, I will consider that a gift.
Trees and roots and the blossoms of each new cycle bring us closer to knowing our own bodies, and help us to uncover keys to deeper health and well being.
The ability to then create healing home remedies from our time with the plants and our modest personal harvests brings us a profound sense of belonging, self-sufficiency, intimacy, and freedom.
It is a journey for me, with many curves, caves, and summits. I'm a regular woman too; I have a family, I work hard, and I do my best each day to live fully and consciously. I'm far from perfect and my plant journeys will carry on throughout my life, ever moving, but never quite "arriving". Plant Medicine is my lifestyle; a life-giving paradigm, and a resilient practice, not simply a job. It's a way. And its simplicity is easy for anyone to embody - in fact, it is likely the very thing that so many of us are intrinsically starving for.
My Bio: Ananda Sophia Lakshmi Wilson
I’m a second generation herbalist and mother of two. My formal background is dance but my lifetime background is herbal healing. I am in love with the greenworld and the closeness with Earth that is cultivated through learning plants. I’m a mix of Eastern and Western traditions, but mostly I enjoy knowing my bio-regional plants and making my own medicines with them.
I taught herbal medicine, plant ID and basic botany to children for four years at Great Hollow Wilderness School in CT, where I also served as the Whole Earth Homeschool Program Director. I contribute articles for Plant Healer Magazine and sometimes Gaian Voices, and I blog here.
I co-founded Blissful Botanicals Handcrafted Herbal Skin Care with my herbalist Mama back in 1997 (still running!) and in 2003 I began Amrita Apothecary; my line of seasonal herbals and botanical perfumes which I sell on PoppySwap. I’ve formulated custom private skin care lines for Erzulie’s Authentic VouDou, and the Visiting Nurse Association. I love to contribute photos from time to time on Kristine Brown’s Herbal Roots Zine. I’m unofficially trained in aromatherapy which I use judiciously and am told I have a real “nose”. Which could be easily misinterpreted. lol. I have a deep passion (obsession?) for fine botanical aromas and have done extensive self-directed learning and experimenting on the subject.
Over the summer of 2011 herbalist Darcey Blue French and I created a local Herbal Peer Mentorship group where intermediate/advanced herbalists take an herb walk every other week to teach and challenge each other. This was enlightening and deeply nourishing.
My herbal training includes long term intensives with Lucy Mitchella, correspondence courses and workshops with Susun Weed, Gail Ulrich, Kiva Rose, and ten+ years of attending the Women’s Herbal Conference. Yet I’m primarily self taught through my relentless curiosity for plants and passion for the riparian forests of New England.
In 2007 I co-founded one of the first Red Tent Temples which continues to flourish and am devoted to women's empowerment through community, self-care techniques, and nature connection.
On any given day you might find me wildcrafting, making elixirs, cooking paleo foods, homeschooling my kids, brewing kombucha, wandering in a forest, and taking copious photos of plants.
|Photo Courtesy Darcey Blue French, Summer 2011|