Today I’m chatting with Amber Magnolia Hill, a mom, herbalist, writer, teacher, and podcaster living in Northern California.
This was such a treat to interview Amber, because we did a double interview – a day apart, for each other’s podcasts. It’s such a rich fun kind of podcasting experience, and we’ve released our interviews simultaneously, so you’ll be able to click over and listen to her interviewing me too – but really, just listen to all her podcast episodes, they’re wonderful!
Amber’s work focuses on the myth and magic of herbal medicine, recent genealogy and deep ancestry, psychedelic healing, conscious dying and natural death care, birth, motherhood, and women’s wellness.
She and her husband Owen create small batch, seasonal medicines from plants either organically grown in their garden or mindfully wildcrafted in the Sierra for their company Mythic Medicinals.
Amber’s Medicine Stories podcast explores the mythic journeys we undertake when coming to know ourselves through interviews with herbalists, story keepers, ancestral listeners, consciousness explorers, earth dreamers, and other wise folk.
All of Amber’s work is undertaken with the belief that story is medicine, magic is real, and healing is open-ended & endless.
Enjoy our ramble through the Celtic myth of the Selkie folk as well as Amber’s relationship with her body and creativity.
Reciprocity & Appreciation
This is an ad-free self-produced podcast, and I’d love to hire people to do the editing and transcription, and eventually even be able to pay my guests.
If you appreciate the Wild Elixir podcast (soon to be renamed the Personal Mythmaking podcast), please support the show at: www.patreon.com/janellehardy or make a one-time donation with this paypal button:
Also – there are some lovely perks to supporting the podcast on Patreon:
- a monthly recording of a fairytale for you to listen to
- access to my Honouring Your Anger ecourse
- access to my Honouring Your Grief ecourse
- At the $50 level, a monthly writing circle, in which we work with a fairytale and write and discuss (this is so rich and fun!)
It would mean so much to have you support the show: www.patreon.com/janellehardy
Resources from this episode:
- Amber’s interview of me on her Medicine Stories Podcast
- The Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation
- The Foothills of the Sierras, Northern California
- The Nisenan People
- The Gold Rush impact on the Nisenan
- Vice article: The California Tribe the Government Tried to Erase in the 1960s
- Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With The Wolves
- Daniel Foor’s work and book Ancestral Medicine
- The Secret of Kells film
- Song of the Sea film
- The Calvin and Hobbes comics
- The Harry Potter series
Connecting with Amber:
Connecting with Janelle:
Things we chatted about in this episode:
- the Celtic myth of the Selkie folk
- how Amber researched then wrote and shared her own version of the Selkie myth
- how she resonated with the woman who didn’t feel she belong
- feeling the mother’daughter connection
- feeling the matrilineal connection of passing on of blood
- on love, and the aspect of the child saving the mother
- on ancestral lineage, and taking a healing intensive via Daniel Foor’s Ancestral Medicine work (see above for resource links)
- being reminded of the delight of the Song of The Sea film, as well as it’s precursor, the Secret of Kells film (see above for resource links)
- how the joy of seals is present to her, how much she loves swimming
- relationship with body
- how her relationship with her body is changing
- has been a person prone to stillness, really truly not being athletic, even as a child – PE class was a total embarassment
- yet, has always loved swimming and yoga
- experiences pain in back and shoulders, how helpful bodywork is for that
- and how excited she is to wake her body up, start working out, shift out of stillness
- feeling so free to have recently stopped nursing her daughter – is experiencing a while self shift
- relationship with creativity
- has always wanted to be two things – a mother and a writer
- shut down her creativity because of negative feedback at school
- with the birth of her eldest child her creativity came back, started blogging
- now knows she wants to write books – non-fiction about the motherline, ancestry and herbalism, and on mothers and daughters
- having a lifelong dream to write children’s books
- the pleasures of children/youth-oriented books like Calvin and Hobbes and Harry Potter
- how herbalism requires creativity – making formulations is so specific to each person – it’s a joyful and creative process
- loves naming medicines and working with graphic designers to realize a vision
- and loves podcasting – having never done it before she’s finding it a fun challenge