Herbal Medicine Ezine --  Wise Woman Wisdom
August 2005
Volume 5 Number 8

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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Empower Yourself...
Green Witch Intensive
with Susun Weed

by Linda Saboe,
correspondence course student with Susun Weed

with Susun Weed
by Linda Saboe

I saw the road cutting to the left as I came around the bend on Rt. 212. Before I could read the street sign, I braked, snapped my turn signal on, hoping that no one was close behind me. About a half mile down the road I had second thoughts. Was this the road? Why had I turned without reading the sign? Allowing self-doubt to cloud my intuition, I turned back to check the sign to see if I was indeed on the right path. I was to spend the next four days in the presence of a woman who finds no charm in such silly self-indulgence. Of course I was on the right path--I'd turned hadn't I?

The Wise Woman Center is a place of transformation and healing. Before Susun acquired it, the land had been a quarry--rocky outcroppings, gouged-out canyons and cut bluestone stacked high forming man-made cliffs.Every inch of soil was laid down by Susun, transforming the scarred earth into a place where plants, animals and women grow and heal. I had been told that the Green Witch Intensive would be transformative and over the next four days I came to understand what that really means.

As I approached the driveway, one of the apprentices was there to show me the way in. Susun stood at the top of the driveway, greeted me by name and showed me where to park, making sure to tell me to avoid damaging the plants.

After my car was parked, Susun turned me over to one of the apprentices. A long-limbed, willowy woman, Meghan was the youngest of the circle of women gathered for the Green Witch Intensive. It was Meghan's duty to orient me to the property and the simple rules that all need to follow when living in the midst of goats, geese and faeries. Always close gates and doors to keep critters in or out; bluestone is slippery when wet; keep to the paths so as not to trample the plants living there and watch out for altars.

When all the women were gathered we were served the first of several delicious infusions and given schedules outlining the events that would fill our days. The talking stick was passed from woman to woman as we introduced ourselves.

Something magical happens when that sacred stick is placed in your hands. I am not a natural speaker and have always shied away from speaking in public. I almost never say what is on my mind. But the stick gives permission to speak, to put out there what is in your heart. Words, always hard for me to come by, came easily. The stick gave me the courage to be heard.

The weed walk that followed was the shortest of the four days worth of classes with Susun, but I learned more on that one walk than I had in the past year of self-study. For anyone contemplating doing a workshop with Susun, I suggest that you leave pad and pencil alone. Her teaching style will engage you so fully that taking notes will only cause you to miss valuable information. If you listen, what she tells you will become yours. If you ask a question, you will most likely be guided to an answer rich in botanical, philosophical and mystical lore.

Susun doesn't suffer sloppy thinking. Assumptions will be questioned, errors corrected and faulty logic challenged. One day, during casual conversation, I spoke of something that I'd been told years ago as a child. Something I'd simply assumed to be true. "That makes no sense," Susun said, and proceeded to show me why. I soon realized that, damn, it didn't make sense! What made even less sense was that I had never thought about it, questioned it or researched it.

Song filled our days. Mornings brought the song of the apprentices as they made their way up from the Nettle's Patch to start the chores of the day. Minerva, one of the oldest, brightest souls I've ever met, led us in a moving meditation called Qi Kong.

Afterwards, we had a large breakfast of grains, fresh goat milk, yogurt, bread, honey and fruit. And infusions--always infusions. At 10 we had class with Susun, then lunch, talking stick followed by class at 3:30, then dinner.

The food was simply spectacular. Simplicity being key--grains, greens, goats milk, yogurt and cheese, and wild salads. Nutritious infusions and strengthening vinegars will change the way you feel in a short time. I can only describe it as a clean, centered energy. You will be sated without feeling heavy. You will be nourished in every aspect of your being as well, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Each evening brought a different event. Our first night was magical. We were served a scrumptious dinner complete with freshly picked wild salad followed by a concert. Everyone was encouraged to dress in Goddess garb to listen to Julia Haines sing and play the Celtic harp. Those of us who live in jeans and t-shirts availed ourselves of the many costumes Susun has collected over the years. A concert under the stars decked out in our finest!

The last day was one of the most moving experiences in my life. Right up there with birthing babies, but this time, it was I being born in the company of women. Initiation was not something I had really thought about. I was never one to join groups or participate in ritual. I was there to learn about the medicinal and nutritional uses of plants. But, after three intense days (it ain't called an intensive for nothing), with these incredible, talented women, I knew I wanted to be part of this thing. I'd spent my entire life being apart--this time, I would participate.

Later, I swam naked in the pond. It had been many years since I'd felt free enough and safe enough to be in my skin with others. I found out that floating on my back with 30 feet of water holding me up, beads of duckweed sparkling in my hair is a truly magical way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend swimming in duckweed for what ails you.

As the day moved into evening, we began to part company. Last words were spoken, business cards, phone numbers and email addresses exchanged. We cried, hugged each other and Susun hugged us all. Susun's generosity of spirit, her love for the earth, her respect for life and for death makes her one of the most powerful women I have ever met. Susun is nothing if not present. A hug from Susun is a hug to be reckoned with--full of love and letting go. A mother's hug.

Woman by woman, we left as we came, but we left a little stronger, a little wiser and fully nourished.

Many thanks go out to the apprentices, Meg, Meghan, Verena, Melina, Corrina and Minerva. Thank you all for your hard work, kind words and sweet songs. I hope I spelled your names right. Thank you, Susun for the wonderful work you do; for creating a safe place where women learn, love, discover their names and find their voices.

in the end, we are all food


Read more about being a Green Witch



Susun Weed's "It's Time"

Wise Woman Center
25th Anniversary Celebration CD


Visit www.goddesschants.com to hear all the songs, read lyrics &
learn about the artists.

18 Wise Woman Songs & Chants from the heart
Price: $15.00

Order this CD in our Bookshop


Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook

by Robin Rose Bennett
Follow the path to physical and spiritual health with this how-to manual filled with ancient lore and wisdom. Using stories, songs, rituals, recipes, meditations, and trance journeys, it suggests more than 100 ways to practice the art of magical healing. Find out how to reconnect with the earth and draw on its energy, interact with the power of the seven chakras, make use of moon magic and women's wisdom, prepare herbal infusions and baths, work with the medicine wheel, and cast spells for love and wealth. No matter what your beliefs, this guidebook will open your heart and mind to the joys of everyday life.

Price: $14.95 plus shipping

Other articles by Robin Rose Bennett
An Herbalists Notebook part 1
An Herbalists Notebook part 2

Order HEALING MAGIC in our Bookshop

Robin has been practicing Earth Spirit healing, herbalism and Wise Woman ways for twenty years and is an incredibly gifted spiritual teacher, healer and ceremonialist. Robin's powerful teachings come to the reader through a personal writing style that is immediately engaging, sharing practical wisdom through anecdote and example.”
Jen Prosser, Sunstone Herbs

Study with Susun Weed via Correspondence Course

Green Witch focuses on personal and spiritual development. You'll create rituals, prepare an herbal first-aid kit, encounter your Goddess archetype, discover the magic of menstrual & menopausal changes, and develop wise woman ways of living and healing. Learn more ...

Green Allies explores herbal medicine through direct experiences with plants, plant spirits (fairies, devas), and plant medicines. For those who want to deepen, rather than broaden, their knowledge of plants: a year's worth of investigation and experimentation with one plant ally. Learn more ...

Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition focuses on understanding, internalizing, and using the Three Traditions of Healing (Wise Woman, Heroic, and Scientific) and the Six Steps of Healing. Health-care practitioners find this course exceptionally helpful, but anyone who cares for the health of others (even family members) will benefit. Learn more ...

ABC of Herbalism!! This is a special course for the aspiring herbalist who'd like to have me "by your side" teaching you how to harvest, prepare, and use 52 healing herbs. Your studies will be both experiential and intellectual and you will make and use herbal remedies as well as reading about them in a variety of sources. Learn more ...



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

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