Poet. Mystic. Educator.
Maya is a published poet, speaker, educator, mystic and astrologer. She is also the co-founder of The Decolonial Podcast and the co-host of Energetic Conversations; a platform created as two friends from black and brown communities having healing conversations in the spirit of truth, vulnerability and sacred intimacy.
Her wide-ranging professional background includes mental health work with young people, domestic abuse work with women and children, solution-focused hypnotherapy and management.
Born in multicultural London to an Indian Gujarati family and raised in the northern town of Barnsley, Maya sadly lost her mother to Leukaemia at the age of nine. This life event had a profound impact on her future path and she has since devoted much of her life to helping people make sense of grief. She speaks powerfully and eloquently about racism and the colonial trauma that she experienced as a result of her early life circumstances, as well as the mysticism her life became steeped in through these life-altering experiences..
Maya is a formidable leader of the ‘uncomfortable conversations’. She believes strongly in healthy communication as a powerful tool for healing and is passionate about connecting to our ancestral, indigenous roots, wherever we originate from. She also speaks of the energy work of the subtle body that she has practiced for years, which has been at the core of everything she does.
A lifelong poet and writer with a BA Hons in English and Creative Writing, Maya’s debut book of poetry, Half Woman Half Grief, speaks from a place of truth, trauma and healing for anyone who has experienced grief of any kind; personal, collective, environmental and colonial. She vulnerably explores the desperate sadness, fury, and shame she experienced on her healing journey, and shares the deep mystical symbolism which helped her through the darkness.
As a mental health worker, she managed weekly hubs for young people and created and facilitated various training sessions and workshops, including a collaboration with gender equality organization TIGER on a Femme Empowerment workshop, which was featured in Bristol 24/7
She had the honour of speaking to thousands of young people about mental health in schools, colleges and universities, as well as speaking on BBC Radio Bristol about grief, identity, femme empowerment and bullying. She has also delivered mental health talks to TLT Solicitors and teaching staff across Bristol based colleges and universities. She is fully trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Following the BLM Movement in 2020, she joined speaker and presenter Daniel Edmund on his powerful Race and Gender Unfiltered podcast about racial trauma and grief, as well as interracial relationships.
Her most recent talks were 'Grief and Mysticism' and 'Truth and Reconciliation; let's talk about our colonial past' for South Asian Heritage Month 2021.
Maya's debut book of poetry and work around grief was featured in Bristol Magazine's October 2020 issue.
She recently ran an online workshop on Reclaiming the Fierce Feminine; Exploring Representations of the Divine Feminine from Africa to India with Emma Kelly.
Maya is available to book for online or in-person talks, workshops, book readings and creative collaborations. The topics she covers are grief, mental health, energy work, decolonizing, and astrology.
Half Woman Half Grief
Availiable in paperback and Ebook.
I’m not here to sugar-coat grief. I’m here to be transformed by it.
This powerfully vulnerable book invites us to grieve. Having lost her mother at the age of nine, Maya has spent her life navigating her way through the myriad of emotions which surround death. In her debut collection of poetry, she maps her journey into the mysterious underworld of grief and the extraordinary lessons she learned in the darkness.
Poems from Half Woman Half Grief
What readers are saying
I’ve said a lot about this book to anyone who would listen. Here I am to say a little more after rereading some of it again. I have felt connected with Maya’s words since literally stumbling upon them during a late night scroll-through on The Gram.
Instantly, my spirit was touched, my heart was moved. The tears came easily to me, as someone who recognized the spirit of grief and loss, among other themes, in her work very well. There was real feeling in the words that struck me so and the same is true for this book. It is even more potent in this form I would say.
The way the book is structured into sections that chronicle a journey of the speaker of these words is a complete story. One with a beginning, middle, and end. I called it a transformative odyssey before, and this felt like the most accurate way to describe my experience of the book. One literally traverses through loss, the deep and dark places one can suddenly find themselves in as a result, and through all that to a place of hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Even if for a moment.
The book doesn’t just deal with the loss of a loved one either. It is more expansive than that. There are themes that touch on the loss of a sense of self, a loss of culture and the grief that comes with that. And, how much more powerful all that is when a loved one is tied so deeply to both. This book is at once personal and universal, especially for those who might have found themselves wrestling with similar issues, myself included.
I urge anyone who is curious to support a wonderful indie author/poet and pick this book up. Maya is full of insight and possesses a soul rich with a great deal of hard-won wisdom, and a heart of deep love. All of this comes through in the book. Whether you like poetry or not, I think you’ll find something worthwhile in it.
Steven Armstrong, author of Dragon Daughter
As an astrologer and mystic, I believe in blending the structured and intuitive, honouring the balance between the mystical and material world. My aim is to help you get a clearer, deeper understanding of yourself and the energies that may be influencing your life. This is so that you can navigate challenges with more ease, as well as becoming more aware of and utilising your natural areas of power and energetic flow.
I'm a lifelong student of astrology and I am qualified with The Company of Astrologers. I blend Natal, Horary and Evolutionary astrology with my own intuitive abilities and therapeutic experience to provide an in-depth and healing astrological reading. I'm also an experienced hypnotherapist and mental health practitioner.
I love helping clients to celebrate and become more conscious of their authentic self, and to hold a safe space for deep healing and transformation.
This offer is open to everyone. Please note that I am a woman of colour who is an anti-racist and decolonial activist. I believe in liberation for all and this will be the lens through which I work.
For more enquiries, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What clients are saying
I've had my first session with Maya, learning about my natal chart and the experience was absolutely incredible.
With my first session, I was so amazed at the synchronicities and things that I had gone through in my life that mirrored what she was telling me about my chart.
She explained in a really gentle manner and paused and stopped and allowed me to understand what she was talking about. I felt that the speed with which she explained allowed me to really be able to see and learn about my own chart.
The thing that I loved the most about the session was how quickly I saw that that I could use my chart and astrology to work in flow with in my life. How understanding my chart would allow me be able to work with it, rather than against it.
There wasn’t any part of this chart that was scary, or negative, as often within readings of astrology traditionally it’s felt like there would adversities or ‘bad luck’ found that you can’t do anything about.
Maya helped me to understand how I could, in fact used the information we saw to ground myself in different places and use different energies and nature around me, to be able to support myself with my chart, working in flow with my ‘stars’. It is unravelling and learning about myself on a whole new level.
I was really delighted and I'm looking really forward to having more sessions with Maya and getting even deeper into how astrology and my life are work together.
I had a birth chart reading with Maya. She used her intuition and the chart to draw out my personality traits, strengths and challenges. It was very interesting and insightful, particularly as she wasn't influenced by a backstory I had provided to her before the reading. It gave me a lot to think about and I'm glad I had the reading done!
I connected with Maya via social media, and loved the depth and quality of her blog posts. I ordered her poetry book and really connected to the way in which she discussed grief and loss, particularly in relation to Maa Kali and the emancipatory nature of living in the darkness. I was saddened yet inspired by her life story, and the way she wove decolonization into her educational work through a critical historical lens.
Too often today, decolonization is discussed in a superficial way, but Maya takes us back to our ancestral roots and meanings.
I run a social enterprise and a women's community writing group, and I asked Maya if she would offer a guest session. Maya delivered a moving talk, and this inspired a creative group discussion on different interpretations of grief and loss through our lived experiences as women of colour. The women in my writing group left the session feeling so inspired.
As an academic, it was refreshing to find Maya's work in a world of superficial social media posts. I would highly recommend her as a speaker, decolonization educator and critical reader.
Dr Geeta Ludhra