Weed Wanderings Herbal eZine with Susun Weed
June 2004
Volume 4 Number 6

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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Healing Wise ...
The Wise Woman Tradition
of Herbal Medicine

by Corinna Wood

“Mommy, plantain poultice!” My two-year old has fallen and hurt his knee, and he’s pointing to the plantain plants that grow at our doorstep, one of the most common weeds around. He wants me to make another fresh compress because it has helped him so much in the past.

For children and adults alike, it is easy to learn about the edible and medicinal uses of plants. This ancestral knowledge comes naturally to us; it is our birthright. The ancient practice of using common, local plants to heal is at the core of the Wise Woman tradition. This lineage includes village healers, community midwives, and family herbalists. The Wise Woman tradition is based on nourishment and self-love, rather than seeing disease as our enemy or the body as dirty and in need of cleansing.

As Susun Weed writes in Healing Wise: We are all healers in the Wise Woman tradition. Self-healing and self-loving, we co-create healing with our allies. Our allies are our problems; they bring us gifts of wholeness. Our allies are wise women; they support us in our transformation. Our allies are green allies, wild plants; they supply us with optimum nourishment.

Although doctors, shamans and medicine men have more prominence in our cultural history, the common healers, especially for women’s health concerns, were women. It was women, as it is today in tribal cultures, who attended pregnant women and sick children, and who nurtured the beginning and the ending of life. Part of the reason that wise woman ways are so often overlooked is that much of this work is invisible.

A wise woman prevents illness by cooking nourishing meals for her family, or building stamina with daily herbal teas. The wise woman cooks a root stew for her family in the depth of winter, makes salads with wild spring greens, garnishes the summer festival platters with edible flowers, and harvests berries to feast on in fall and to dry for the long winter.

How did this ancient tradition get broken? In Europe, it ended with mass “witch burnings.” Almost everyone knows of the Holocaust of World War II, but few people know of the extent of the witch burnings, which spanned the 1300’s to the 1600’s. As Jeanne Achterberg writes in Woman as Healer, “Witches, also known as wise women (femina saga), were accused of the ‘crimes’ of aiding the sick, birthing babies, and caring for the dying.”

Under the influence of the Church and the newly formed male-dominated medical establishment, the word “witch,” which originally meant “wise one,” became a term of scorn. It took a reign of terror lasting several hundred years to radically alter a way of life thousands of years old. Millions of women who carried the healing lineage were systematically killed (see The Church and the Second Sex by Mary Daly).

The ancient cloak of women’s wisdom is being re-woven as we take back responsibility for our healthcare. Some say we have a cellular memory of the ancient ways; we did them for so long, they are practically instinctual.

Do you remember the Wise Woman? She brings a bag of herbs for the young woman beginning her mooncycles to ease the cramping. She is the midwife who visits the expectant mother and speaks to her of transformation into motherhood, of surrendering to the process of birth.

She is the one who strokes the arm of the laboring woman and says, “I know it hurts.” She is the one whom that mother calls upon as she becomes a crone herself, for teas to ease the hot flashes. And it is she who sits on the bed of the aging elder and speaks of death, offers porridge to ease the belly and herbal spirits to calm the mind.

We can each reclaim the wise woman inside of us. As we heal ourselves and our loved ones with compassion. As we learn the plants that grow where we live and raise our children and grandchildren in that way of life. As we remember the ancient ways.

Corinna Wood has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies. She is director of Red Moon Herbs, making herbal medicines from fresh, local plants, with a focus on women’s health. Corinna’s background includes an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed in 1993 as well as a B.S. in Biology. Corinna is certified as an herbalist, a fertility awareness teacher, and also in permaculture design. Corinna lives with her family at Earthaven Ecovillage, an intentional community in Black Mountain, NC.

Study with Susun Weed in the convenience of your home! Choose from three Correspondence Courses: Green Allies, Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition, and Green Witch - includes audio/video tapes, books, assignments, special mailings, plus personal time. Learn more at www.susunweed.com or write to: Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498
For permission to reprint this article, write to: susunweed@herbshealing.com


Welcome sisters, you are invited to join us, announcing:
Green Goddess Apprentice Week

Two one-week apprenticeships for aspiring herbalists who want to learn from and play with the Green Goddess. And for past apprentices to share their wisdom and knowledge. Here in the safety of the Wise Woman Center we will play with the fairies, dance with the devas, sing with the stars, and reweave the healing cloak of the Ancients. We hope you can join us!

"I learned more from spending one day with Susun than I have in months of study with others."

The fee includes all meals, lodging, instruction, textbooks, and supplies.
* Organic vegetarian meals (dinner Monday through lunch Sunday)
* Camp site or shelter in our tipi or studio
* Twenty hours of class time with Susun
* All supplies, including materials for making herbal medicines, and textbooks valued at more than $100: Field Guide to Wildflowers (Peterson)
Healing Wise (Susun Weed)MoonDays (Premo-Steele)
City Herbal (Silverman)
Witches, Midwives, Nurses (Erenreich)
Natural Health Bible
* Classes with visiting teachers and past apprentices
* Campfire singing circles
* Yoga instruction
* Tai chi instruction
* Moon lodge gathering
* Talking stick ceremony
* Optional initiation as a green witch

During your Green Goddess Apprenticeship you will also:
* Learn how to identify plants
* Learn how to use common plants for food and medicine
* Learn about plant families and botany
* Make one or more herbal remedies to take home
* Enjoy Goddess archetype presentations
* Go for walks in the woods
* Connect deeply with plants and the planet
* Be supported by the spiral of sisters

In addition to studying you can:
* Swim in the pond or the river
* Paddle the canoe
* Visit Woodstock, Colony of the ArtsSchedule

Your Green Goddess Apprentice week begins at noon on Monday and ends about 4pm on Sunday. You may arrive as early as 11am if you wish to settle in first. If you are flying in, please check with us about options for arriving early or staying later. There is a $5 pickup fee to get you from the bus in Woodstock or Saugerties.

Our days begin with breakfast (out from 8:30 until 9:30), followed by class (10am - 1pm), then lunch and talking stick (1:30 - 3:30), afternoon class (3:30 - 6pm), dinner (6:30 - 8pm), and finally evening campfire circle of stories and songs (8pm - 10pm). On Monday, we will choose our goddess archetypes and our green allies and pick a wild salad for an early dinner. On Friday, we will also eat one hour earlier since the moonlodge starts at 7pm. On Sunday, we will have a lavish high magic ceremony followed by a late lunch and a final talking stick. Many surprises await us on all the days in between.

To Register
Please send your name, age, address, phone number, e-mail address, and letter of application (words or images) with your $100 deposit -- which will be returned if we cannot accept your application. A color photograph is helpful if you can include one. Tell us which week you wish to attend and whether or not you could come to the other week if your first choice is full. Payment for this event may be made in installments charged to your credit card. All Green Goddess Apprentices must be paid in full ten days prior to their arrival.

Mail your application to :
Wise Woman Center PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498 Fax questions to: 1-845-246-8081


There are three work-study positions open at each Green Goddess Week. Each position requires 50 hours of work over an eight day span (the seven days of the green goddess week plus the day before it begins or the day after it ends) plus a payment of $500. You will not miss any class time if you do work exchange; you will be busy from 8am to midnight. To apply for one of these positions, please write. Tell us of your willingness to work and your desire to participate.

You may use work-exchange credits from any work exchange weekend toward this event.

Past Apprentices
Are you a past apprentice of Susun's? If so, you qualify for a special discount at the Green Goddess Weeks. All past live-in apprentices may come for two days and nights free; further days are half price at $70 each, or $50 plus 3 hours of work. (Offer good only to apprentices who graduated.) If you completed a live-out apprenticeship, you may take 25% off , bringing your cost to $600-750 for the week.Class Size

We will accept ten students in this program, plus three work-exchange students, plus apprentices who may be here already as well as visiting apprentices. Please register early.

click here for more information about Green Goddess Apprentice Week

Karen Joy


To register for Wise Woman Center workshops and intensives, send deposit (see specific workshop for deposit amount) and indicate which workshop you want to attend and contact info:

Wise Woman Center PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax questions to: 1-845-246-8081

You may also choose to pay by credit card: www.wisewomanbookshop.com
Please send us email, to confirm availability, before registering online.


Weed Wanderings herbal ezine is sponsored by www.susunweed.com and www.wisewomanbookshop.com

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