Mandana (ماندانا) is an Iranian-American community herbalist, storyteller, land tender, and a joyous member of the mycelial network of liberatory-movement stewards and lovers. She 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.