In this episode, Amy sits down with your new Boo, Iranian-American community herbalist, storyteller, land tender, and joyous member of the mycelial network of liberatory-movement stewards and lovers, the co-founder of Wild Gather, School of Herbal Studies, Mandana Boushee. We talk about plants, pollen sex juice, ceremonies, Tick Magic, smoke breaks, woman-led revolution, ‘Women Life Freedom‘, poetry, the stories held by blood and petals, and being a real ass bitch in 2022.
Mandana says: Whenever we are casting seed and tending plants and fertilizing the earth and stewarding and being in relationship, we are involved in ceremony and involved in prayer and all the spiritual aspects and at the same time we’re also ‘knees to the earth’ and doing something really tangible with a grounded purpose.
Mandana (ماندانا) is a co-founder and educator at Wild Gather, School of Herbal Studies, where she has the deep pleasure of sharing her love and experiences with plant medicine and community care.
Her exploration of plant medicine began in her childhood kitchen, where she first encountered the sound of the mortar and pestle finding rhythm, the smell of rue and angelica smoke curling up from the sofreh and the stories of her ancestors carried forward by her mother. She works to honor her cultural legacy by weaving her traditions and rituals into all facets of her work.
Mandana finds her north star in supporting her community’s diverse relationships to the land, through empowering personal healing, reconnection, reclaiming, and remembering of cultural and ancestral knowledge, instructions, and technologies. Through her shared wisdom and initiatives in the Mahicantuck (Hudson) Valley, she works to offer her community access to equitable care, fertile land, plant medicine, and herbal education.
When she’s not actively tending her utopic future seeds, she can be found freaking on a puzzle, laying it down at scrabble, reading 5 books at once and drinking tea from the samovar at her crib.
Wild Gather is a living altar for collective daydreams, stories, desires, lived experiences & positive plant obsessions.
flowerbinch on ETSY
Smoke break is a drippy cauldron laced with a dash of Thelma & Louise, a sprinkle of Oprah & Gail, and a dollop of us ~ Mandana & Lauren. Honest, possibly embarrassing, stoney, and heavy on the plants, we invite you to step onto the virtual stoop with us. Smoke Break is a portal into the liminal spaces of our friendship. Less podcast and more a glimpse into the musings, bitch fests & daydreams that take place in our minds and hearts. It’s a seat on our porch, the backseat of our ride, a three-way call. Go grab your lighters and hop on the call, xo.
Smoke Break is produced by our beloved boo sweet angel brilliant being & Anchor FM dom, Tommy Amrhein.
Smoke Break is co-shaped by destiny siblings, Mandana Boushee & Lauren Giambrone. They first fell in love as two loud-mouth – chain smoking – coffee sluts & community herbalists, and have grown Wild Gather, their herb school as a vessel for their shared love of plants, community and each other.
Mandana is also part of Seed Soil + Spirit School. Listen to our interview with SS+S co-founder Shabina Lafleur-Ganji.