Welcome to the
Medicine & Wisdom of Old Stories for New Uncertain Times
Hi, I'm Nana, and I believe that the wisdom and medicine of stories can guide us to find belonging. To ourselves, and to the world.
Stories are soul work.
Stories carry within them a power, a magic, a mystery. Not empty words strung together, but potent, necessary, challenging.
Stories belong to the wild, in ceremonies, to gatherings around the fire, to communities coming together to witness each other. They belong to sorrow and grief; to happiness and ecstasy; to birth and loss; to the land. To mystery.
I am a traditional oral storyteller, a medicine woman, and a nature connection guide. I trained as a pharmacist, and worked in a specialist mental health service for 10 years, before I decided I needed a different story.
Stories speak of descending to the underworld, of shedding your skin to reveal a true form, to walking to the Sun's palace to gain answers to impossible questions. They offer hope, courage, wisdom and medicine. That's what they have offered me.
That's what they offer to all who have the ears to listen, and the heart to let them in.
" A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.
It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself "
“You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
Except the one in which you belong.”
― David Whyte
We are living in unsettling, troubled, and uncertain times. Illness, ecocide, war. And yet there is love, beauty, joy. Hope.
They are all here. The difficult and the delightful; the sad and the joyous; the heartbreaking and the loving. There is not one without the other.
So what can old stories offer? A guide, a map to the terrain of life. A guide to your true nature, a bread crumb trail to where the inner treasure is hidden.
There has always been illness, and famine, and war. There has always been love, and heartbreak, and grief, joy and laughter, and community.
Stories, our maps, are not the territory. However, they can guide us through our personal, yet communal suffering and delight.
“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”
― Mary Oliver
Stories become alive in the wild. And so do we.
Stories belong in nature. This is where they have been told for millennia. The oldest recorded story is at least 4000 years old.
I have told stories in mental health hospitals, in conferences, at yoga retreats, around the fire, in festivals, in churches, online. They are all wonderful, so special, so unique. Yet there is something magical that happens when stories are told on the land.
Stories and nature become one. The trees dance. The birds sing. The wind howls. All in response.
The people who came, are not the people that leave. There is transformation through story.
“This storytelling is the best medicine I’ve found so far whilst showing up each day in my mum's journey to death. ”
Stories can guide us on our journey. They are filled with wisdom passed through countless generations. Stories are not just some menial entertainment, it is soul work. Deep, difficult, hopeful, joyful, full of humour. Any good storyteller will tell you we pick the stories we tell so carefully. Because we are in that story when we tell it. And so are you. We invite the story in our lives as we tell it. We don’t want to find ourselves in the wrong story. Words matter. Stories matter.
In some cultures the shaman who could walk between the worlds, and the storyteller were one and the same.
With over a decade of experience in mental health, I have walked alongside people in their darkest moments. A real privilege. This is what I bring in my work as a Medicine Woman. A Story Apothecary.
If you would like to work with me, as an individual in need of Story Medicine, if you would like to bring story to your community or to your organisation, contact me for a free chat, to see if we are a fit to work together.
An Enchantress...Her mesmerising voice is transporting me to some faraway places"