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Episode 44: In Conversation with Liz Migliorelli


Liz Migliorelli is a medicine-maker, an herbal educator who also teaches folk magic classes, and a clinician who helps people with physical, spiritual, and mental ailments. She lives in Mendocino, California where she produces a product line of her floral and gem essence potions under the name Sister Spinster. Marlee and Liz talk about how she got into her relationship with plants; from reading Sappho’s poetry, to living with a healer while she studied at Evergreen State College in Olympia, to moving to the Bay Area for a 3-year clinical training at Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkley where her Sister Spinster brand was born. Liz’s desire to teach came from wanting to connect folks with the plants that are outside of their door and it opens her up to share her never-ending excitement about plants, making room for the plants to speak in different ways.

Marlee and Liz discuss how to exist within capitalism as radical people and the day to day practice of running a small business- from the joys of being outside with the plants and making medicine in ceremony, to the strain of spending hours writing emails and wrapping bottles in bubble wrap. Liz is hungry for knowledge, and she shares her perspective on the healing possibilities of ancestral research and dream work, and her favorite books for herbal research.


Words of wisdom:

About her non-monogamous love of plants: “They're like friends, in that way, and when they're all so beautiful and unique and they can show up for you in so many diverse and different ways, it’s hard to have a favorite person.”

“If I wasn’t teaching I think I would feel really bad about having a product line. The thing that’s really great about teaching is that I can make people feel empowered enough that they can make their own medicines.”


At Have Company:

Liz hosted a lunchtime tea party with discussion about herbs, taught a two-part workshop, The Elemental Cauldron, and offered one-on-one flower essence consultations. Along with sharing her valuable knowledge with our community, Liz also made time for herself and took a journey up North. She visited a cousin she had never met before to research her Polish ancestry, where she had the chance to look at her great-grandmother’s cookbook and learn stories about her family’s culture, dynamics, and diseases. She then went on a solo trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to use dream work to expand on her new knowledge and spend time with birch trees. While in residence she also prepared for things ahead- offering a year long herbal apprenticeship, a summer trip to Europe for more ancestral research, and the possibility of writing a spell book.


Things to be excited about:

  • Humpback whales migrating North- visible from Liz’s home in the Northern California coast!
  • Outdoor farmers markets and the abundance of summer! This is a great time to connect with people growing food.
  • Red Lipstick! Liz learned how to make her own really red lipstick without chemicals and she is stoked to wear it all of the time. 
  • Books! For research on herbalism, Liz recommends the classic A Modern Herbal by Margaret Grieve, all Rosemary Gladstar books, and Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living by Robin Rose Bennett. In her research Liz often looks at folktales and lore to see where plants are used.
  • Drink your nettles! It is the first healing herb that Liz was introduced to and she is still in relationship with nettle every day.
marlee cook-parrott