Jillian Hyllantree Twisla

Jillian is a health educator, clinical herbalist, mystic, mother and gardener. She offers consultations and classes as a part of acting in alignment with her calling to bring plant medicine, spirit connection and presence into her own life and into the shared life of her community.

“If you follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
~ Joseph Campbell

Beliefs and Values
As a practitioner and educator, my work is rooted in my beliefs: in the healing power of nature, in the healing power of honoring our connection with Earth and Spirit, and in my complete faith in the awareness and healing capacity of plants, our ancient and generous relatives. I also hold the belief that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
I feel that much of the illness and imbalance which humans face is due to a disconnect with our deeper spiritual selves and stories. My work responds to this need by including and incorporating the development of spiritual awareness, language and growth into my consultations and classes.
My lifelong interest in spiritual growth, merged with an interest in quantum physics and psychoneuroimmunology have lead me to understand that matter is energy, and to honor and recognize this in my work by acknowledging and studying the energetic as well as the physical and emotional aspects of wellness, disease, transformation, healing and medicine.
I do not consider myself a healer, and do not believe that it is my place to heal any other being. I see myself, rather, as a guide, and honor my role by holding safe and supportive space, respectfully, for others to do the healing, releasing or transforming that they are ready for. Similarly, I do not feel that my role as an educator is fulfilled by lecturing or transferring information to others so much as it is by inspiring and empowering others to explore, experience and grow in their own way.
I believe in the importance of humility and honesty in the work of any practitioner or educator, and I am always aspiring to more deeply understand and fulfill the various roles which I play in the community.
I am also keenly aware of the injustice of our cultural and political social systems and in the history of herbalism. As a cis white woman living on Wabanaki land, I am conscious of the history of oppression that has resulted in my layers of privilege. I recognize that my privilege has contributed to my access to education, ability to travel, my access to land and my ability to set up my life unconventionally (among many other things). It is from this place of understanding that I seek to make my offerings accessible to those that are marginalized, systematically oppressed and especially to those people whose culture or identity have historically been denied access to healthcare, education and western herbalism. Please see the “scholarships” tab for more info.

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.” ~Paracelsus

Background
My path with plant medicine has included many different places, people and experiences. In my late teens and early twenties, I lived and traveled all over the United States and spent some time in Europe and South America. In my travels, I gathered knowledge and experience with many teachers, including home-herbalists, professional practitioners, shamans, spirits and elders.

After years of such travel, I decided to pursue formal training in the form of a degree in naturopathy at Southern Cross University in Australia. There, I had the opportunity to learn from herbalists, naturopaths, osteopaths, homeopaths, massage therapists, biochemists, pathologists and nutritionists, some of whom are considered leaders in their respective fields. From this course of study, I particularly consider Dr. Sue Evans to be a very influential teacher for me, in part because she introduced me to so many of the herbs that I’ve fallen in love with, and in part because of her dedication to political awareness, activism, education, respect for traditional and indigenous knowledge, and shrewdness concerning the modern herbal arena.
After three years of study, I determined that I had fallen in love with herbalism and did not wish to pursue practice as a Naturopathic Doctor, so I left the degree and moved home to Maine.

Here, in the midcoast area, I began seeing clients and teaching short and long term classes on the many aspects of herbalism that I love, including history, medicine-making, energetics, plant spirit communication, clinical materia medica and flower essences. I also worked in several capacities for Avena Botanicals in West Rockport, eventually taking the position of General Manager and Staff Herbalist. There, I had the opportunity to learn about the industry and political climate of herbal product-making in the United States, as well as the opportunity to teach and work alongside an excellent and established American herbalist, Deb Soule.

After a couple of years, I determined that my passion lies in my roles as practitioner and educator, and left Avena Botanicals to pursue my own interests. Shortly thereafter, I had my first child and took a hiatus from practice that extended a few more years than planned and through the birth of another child. It was during this time that I feel, on some subtle level that is difficult to describe, that I truly became an herbalist. Motherhood opened my heaIMG_7827rt to the plants in a different way and solidified my beliefs. I found myself making medicine more often for the love of doing so. It became a sacred way to nourish myself and my family, and I found myself gardening and connecting with plants in a different way, similar to how I had before, but deeper now and more simply. When my first child was just 8 days old he needed surgery. It was then that I realized where my beliefs really lay. Foremost, my beliefs lay in the healing power of spirit and in the significance of intention, and the plants are excellent allies to this process. Becoming a mother has made me a more humble student, teacher, and herbalist. Now, in 2018, I am returning to part-time practice cautiously, as a working mother of two, still in love with the plants.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

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