Since the mid-90’s when we started, we have helped launch the careers of hundreds of herbalists. Every month we get to share the herbal journey of a Berkeley Herbal Center Alumni for our Alumni Series!
This month we’re catching up with Nora Toomey. She graduated from our three year program in 2019 and has had a busy year building her business, Flower and Frequency, on the East Coast.
Here is her story.
A Tough Realization and the Path Forward
My journey into plant medicine began with the wise teachings of many radical, witchy women who I found myself mingling with as a young woman in my twenties. They had jars of herbs on their counters, something was always brewing in a crock pot, and they knew just what to reach for to support the myriad of health concerns that plagued anyone who walked through their door.
I found myself connecting more and more to these medicine women and to plants in general and wondering where the chain had been broken in my own lineage. Why was it that I had not learned these remedies as a child? And why weren’t more people around me connecting to the wisdom and healing properties of plants?
I realized that my experience thus far, had been informed by a lineage of inherited trauma, addiction patterns, and a deep childhood wounding that although painful, had connected me to a network of fringe artists and healers, some of whom were moving out their toxic patterning and into healthy, vibrant lifestyles with the help of plant medicine.
For me, the path forward became clear.
I knew I had to connect to the plants, as a way to connect to myself, my lineage, and the potential to let my own healing ripple out into my community. I chose the Berkeley Herbal Center because of their clinical program.
I was very passionate about using this skillset to support my community, and I knew that the BHC would give me the confidence and the tools to take these plant teachings into the world.
The Impact of Going to Herbal School
The impact of going to herb school was profound. I am so grateful to my teachers for all the knowledge they have shared, and I am honored and blessed to have shared this experience with my classmates.
The bond that was created is hard to describe. Journeying into the plants together, journeying into ourselves, showing up day after day with curiosity, vulnerability, compassion, and trust. We truly created a family, and I am forever grateful and nourished by our time together.
My two favorite pieces of our experience would definitely be our camping trips; meeting plants in their natural habitats, howling at the moon, making medicine together in the wild, and our time pairing up during clinic; getting to experience seeing clients for the first time together, and learning so much just by witnessing one another navigate each session.
What Nora is up to Now!
Since graduating and leaving the BHC clinic in 2019, I have moved to the East Coast, and I’ve slowly been building my herbal practice and herbal product line, True Bloom, while collaborating with my Husband on a plant and sound meditation business, Flower and Frequency. I am currently teaching workshops, seeing clients, selling products, and loving my path as a clinical herbalist.
I am also fulfilling a longstanding dream and beginning work with The People’s Medicine Project and various Recovery Projects in the area supporting folks through addiction and opioid use with plant medicine.
An Herbal Favorite
The spray is made with Rose Tincture as a base, Absolute Rose and Cedar Essential Oils, and a beautiful blend of gem and flower essences that support deep self-love, protection, courage, creativity, and power!
It’s my favorite spray to use in ritual, before a big day, or just when I need some loving energetics in my heart space.