As a child, I knew who I was: a wild magical creature who delighted in the gifts of the Earth and the mysteries of the universe–feasting on red clover and honeysuckle, grinding berries between stones to make "potions," thatching faerie huts with slabs of damp moss, talking to bugs, singing to birds, drawing channeled images of interdimensional angels, and happily passing long afternoons with my face pressed in the dirt watching golden light dance through blades of grass.

Then, as many of us do, I forgot. The magic was choked out of me and replaced with corporate mascots, high fructose corn syrup and heteronormative misogynist cartoon princess fantasies. And I got very sick, and very very sad. I was slapped with a string of "incurable" diagnoses, including Type 1 diabetes. My adolescence and young adulthood was a horrorshow of illness and medication, side effects and withdrawals, for which more medications were prescribed. After about ten years of this nightmare, I realized I had no idea who I was without the birth control pills, antidepressants, topical acne medications, antiandrogens, prescription migraine pills, and insulin injections I was taking daily.

I followed a strong intuitive urge to apprentice on a biodynamic farm. Reconnecting with the Earth, plants, and the cycles of nature shifted my relationship to nourishment and life itself. I became intrigued by the concept of herbalism and distant whispers of wise women giving themselves herbal abortions and curing menstrual cramps with ritual moon baths and the laying-on of hands. Intrigued and inspired, I started experimenting with phasing out the Western drugs and exploring "alternative" (ancient, sacred) healing modalities such as herbalism and acupuncture. Over the course of a year I weaned myself off of all pharmaceuticals except for insulin (which I still currently rely on to help manage Type 1 diabetes, a complex and deeply rooted condition I am continuing to learn from).

In 2012 I was in a fatal car crash that awakened me beyond a doubt to the existence of the Spirit Realm. I had a lucid experience of being physically saved by the angelic form of my dead friend: I felt his presence as a warm bubble of white light that shielded me from injury. By all accounts, given the circumstances and severity of the impact, it was miraculous that I lived at all – but in fact I was left without a scratch on my body. This was an initiation that opened a floodgate of psychic experiences and set off a chain reaction of life-altering phenomena that catapulted me onto my path as a healer.

My work since then has largely been about finding my way home, back to the wise faerie child who knew who she was, and helping others do the same. Repairing the damage that was done. Reclaiming magic. Healing trauma. Journeying into the wilderness. Listening to Plants. Listening within. Dancing. Developing fiercely personal spiritual practices around my connection to Nature as divinity.

As I continue to walk the healing path, I come again and again to the understanding that pain, suffering and disease are invitations: portals to awakening. Our bodies are constantly communicating to us in poetic metaphors densely encoded with information, and they can teach us everything we came here to learn, if we just listen.