LIZ MIGLIORELLI :: SISTER SPINSTER
Before I met herbalist Liz Migliorelli in person, I wondered intently where the name Sister Spinster came from (she shares a beautiful story about its birth from a dream below). It felt magical, mixed with a bit of mystery + spice, along with a healing intent. I was intrigued to say the least, but mostly thrilled to try out her formulas and to meet this plant goddess in the flesh, which I finally did at this past Mercado Sagrado. As many healers do, Liz came into her soul's work during her own healing crisis. An intuitive calling to find her deep healing in the power of plants led her to study with Corinne Boyer and later at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, CA. And so Sister Spinster came to life - her celebration of plant medicine, her local surroundings, and nod to ancestral wisdom + all the healers that came before. In addition to her soothing and supportive hand made formulas, essences, + scents, she is available for one on one herbal consultations and custom formulas.
"She is devoted to encouraging others to find empowerment through self-care and harm reduction, to find healing in a cup of fir tip and strawberry leaf tea, and to find magic in the simple practices that connect us to the Earth."
I was first drawn to her Third Eye formula to enhance intuition and began using it while I slept to activate my third eye + crown chakras and enhance dreaming. Wow. I've been using this most nights and where I could barely recall dreams before, now they are more vivid + stunning than ever. And her gorgeous Shrine helps support me through some of life's inevitable deep valleys.
I invite you into Liz's world.
SHARE WITH US A BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IN BRINGING SISTER SPINSTER TO FRUITION.
Well, I feel like Sister Spinster is the result of many different journeys coming to a crossroads. And that the way Sister Spinster is now is just one manifestation of what Sister Spinster can transform to. The name Spinster originally was given to women who spun wool thread. There is a lot of magic in the ancient traditions of spinning and weaving; it is a powerful way to cast a spell, to tell a story, to remember ancestors. Later, Spinsterhood became associated with unmarried women who are generally seen as cranky, childless and repressed. It is often used as a negative term for one who could never find a husband. The second week of herb school I was on a trip in the Anza Borrego desert and I had a dream about three women spinning beautiful golden thread to be made into intricate lace. The name Sister Spinster came to me before the formulas did. I’ve never been able to make something without naming it first. The name sets the intention. My intention is to honor the so-called Spinsters; I see them as women who are unwilling to compromise their life’s work and heart’s desires. I want to honor women and ancestors who keep these ancestral traditions alive and well in their work. I don't have a business plan, but I have these intentions. This name encompasses my line of formulas, but it also incorporates the classes that I teach- which are an array of different classes around herbal medicine, ancestral remembrance, magic and folklore. I really love holding space for this kind of work. In these classes it's as if we honor this archetype - paying tribute to the women who were the village healers, who lived at the edge of town with the wild woods as their backyard. I can see that energy come through in a lot of people who begin to engage in these classes - it's really powerful! But as a business, I'm totally learning as I go. I make mistakes. I just want to keep the medicine and classes aligned with my intention, and that's the place I'm navigating from.
WERE YOU INTRODUCED TO HOLISTIC LIVING + WELLNESS AT A YOUNG AGE OR COME ACROSS IT LATER IN LIFE?
I was 18 when I started to take herbs for my own health when I was living in Olympia, Washington. I was really sick due to food allergies. At the time I was living with a woman named Maeve (who is a powerful healer and the most amazing woman I know) and she told me about the simple yet profound medicine of nettles and calendula. I always tell her I owe her everything! I haven't looked back since. I did not grow up in a house that used alternative medicine (which is actually traditional medicine) but it felt like a homecoming when I started working with the plants. I'm 25 now, and I know that I will forever be a student, always deepening my relationship with the plant realm. It's a super exciting idea to me; to never be an "expert" and to honor the beginners mind.
WHAT DAILY RITUALS AR NON-NEGOTIABLES FOR YOU TO HELP KEEP YOU BALANCED + CENTERED?
I light a candle every morning as I am making a morning cup of tea. It's a nice way to tap into spirit. I usually set an intention for the day at that time, the small flame really helps me to focus. I also usually burn cedar fronds - it's so uplifting!
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
How fun. I think it would be a mixture of these things: apple picking, hanging out by a wood stove, going for a hike, swimming. Maybe a little nap in there too, ha!
WHAT IS A TYPICAL BREAKFAST? LUNCH? DINNER? SNACK?
B | Typical breakfast for me is either congee with seaweed, sesame seeds & ghee or poached eggs with avocado and other veggies. I also love drinking bone broth in the morning. So grounding. I'm not someone that can have a juice & start my day; I definitely need a hearty breakfast.
L | is often light because I just start doing my thing and have had a pretty substantial breakfast, so sometimes it's nothing and other times it's some kind of soup or salad.
D | could really be anything. I love cooking and am always down to try out new recipes.
S | For snacks I like fruit, seaweed, chocolate....
FAVORITE BEVERAGE | I've been on a golden milk kick recently. My mixture of golden milk is coconut oil, cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, ashwaganda and honey in warm coconut milk. I drink it before bed and whew, I just pass out! It's so calming and tastes so good.
WHERE IS/ARE YOUR MOST FAVORITE PLACE/S TO BE ON THIS EARTH?
The Maine coast has a sacred place in my heart. The birch trees there are really something special. I just moved to Mendocino Coast and am feeling pretty enamored with it.... the redwoods, so many wild rivers, the ocean, the community.... My water-sign self is feeling very happy to be living next to the ocean. Besides that, the autumn in the Hudson Valley in New York is also extremely special to me.
WHAT BEAUTY | FITNESS | HEALTH GURUS INSPIRE YOU?
My friends are my biggest inspirations, besides plants. I always feel so lucky to know so many beautiful people doing really amazing work! Baba Yaga, Artemis and Sappho inspire me too.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MANTRA?
I don't think I really know any. I definitely have different energies that I call in when I'm making medicine or cooking dinner or walking in the woods or sitting in traffic. Like sometimes I invoke the divine love and dedication of the honeybee. Or the color gold. Or the medicine of lovely angelica. I am a strong believer in the power of incantation!
WHAT IS THE LATEST BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
I am always reading multiple books at once. Right now on my nightstand (which don't include the 3 books I have in my bag right now) I have:
- "Italian Folktales" by Italo Calvino
- "The Way of Council" by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle
- "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabel Allende.
- My partner and I are reading the Allende novel out loud to each other at night, but it's been a slow read because I keep falling asleep quickly from the golden milk!
SHARE WITH US 3 SONGS ON YOUR CURRENT PLAYLIST.
- What Will Tomorrow Bring - Wendy Rene
- Harvest Time - Pharaoh Sanders
- Deep Shadows - Little Ann