Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
January 2009
Volume 9 Number 1
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Healing Wise ...
Not All Rivers are Equal
by Susun S Weed


How to Use the Seven Rivers of Healing
Excerpt from Seven Rivers of Healing
© 2008 Susun S Weed


Call of the Sea by Josephine Wall
Art by Josephine Wall


To insure the greatest benefit and the least harm from our pursuit of a healing, we begin in the First River and move on deeper and deeper into the Rivers (from the First to the Second, and so on) until we achieve our envisioned state of well being or transformation. We gauge when to move on to the next step by setting time frames. When we investigate the options (River Two), reasonable time frames for working with our individual problem are part of the information we gather.

Setting time frames helps us feel in control of our transformation/healing (even when we've agreed to be out of control). We are neither condemned to hold out until the time frame is up nor forced to go on to the next River when the time frame has expired. We can abandon the time frame and move more quickly to the next River or Rivers; we can renew it or lengthen it for a set amount of time.

Having a time frame literally gives us a frame for our healing, a way to know when to be patient and when to move on, a way to avoid denial while giving ourselves every opportunity to heal with the least invasive methods.

You may move from River to River, prompted by your time frames or inner urgings. One by one, each River, each water, can be tested to see if it is the elixir you seek. When you are done exploring energetic connections in the Third River, for instance, you move on to the Fourth River.

Or you may add on one River at a time. You continue to embrace emptiness, continue to investigate options, and continue to explore energetic connections even as you move into the Fourth River.

Or you may jump into the ocean and use all of the Rivers of Healing at once. This oceanic or global approach to the Seven Rivers is especially helpful in emergencies when time frames for the first four Rivers may be measured in minutes, and it may be absolutely imperative to quickly make use of the last two Rivers (drugs and surgery).


Not All Rivers Are Equal

The Seven Rivers of Healing may be broken into two groups: the first four and the last three. The first four steps build health. They are subtle and may be slow in action. The last three make big, quick changes to health, but may erode it as well as improve it. Because they are powerful and rapid in their effects, the last three Rivers of Healing are used more often than the first four, and given more respect.

When we take the time to use the first four Rivers of Healing, instead of rushing immediately into the use of drugs and surgery (the last two Rivers), we reap many benefits. The First River of Healing--Embrace Emptiness--prepares us for our healing journey, allowing us to move into the Second River from a place of calm, instead of fear. Meditation and relaxation practices are well known for increasing general health and improving the outcome of surgery.

The Second River of Healing--Investigate Options--provides us with a map and the navigational tools we need to safely move into deeper waters of healing. And it helps us focus on ourselves with a keen and discerning eye, making us more likely to notice deviations while they are easy to correct.

The Third River of Healing--Explore Energetic Connections--reminds us that we are all part of everything, and that everything has an effect on us. Regular use of prayer, affirmation, visualization, creative imagination, and group support are recognized as profoundly important allies to all other modes of healing.

The Fourth River of Healing--Strengthen and Increase Health--grounds us in our day-to-day needs for optimum nutrition and vigorous mental and physical activities and gives us the stamina and flexibility to make the best use of the faster, deeper Rivers.

In short, the first four Rivers benefit overall health, improve overall functioning, and magnify your body's innate ability to heal.

These Rivers Flow Both Ways

When we feel our healing is complete, there is a temptation to stop taking care of ourselves, to put down the weight of attention we have created. But these Rivers don't to move in one direction only. They are meant to carry us back home before our journey is done.

the Art of Wendy Kathleen McElfishShould we find healing in the Seventh River, we don't want to stay there. Its waters are too turbulent to dwell in for long. So we move back to the Sixth River. As our health improves we let go of our need for drugs and move to the Fifth River. Then to the Fourth and Third.

We may set time limits for moving back through the Rivers, or allow our intuition to guide us. Eventually we return to the Second River, which is now called Share Information. And from there it is an easy trip to the First River, the waters of the source, the spring, where we drink in once more the peace of All and Nothing.

Instead of seeing injury and illness as a problem, the Wise Woman Tradition sees them as gateways for transformation, as ways to focus on, and magnify, health and wholeness. By retracing our path back along the Seven Rivers of Healing, we avoid reliance on short term solutions, and not only heal our injury or illness, but revitalize ourselves in the process.

When we go back through each step, we encounter multiple levels of our well being, magnify the richness of our experiences, promote self understanding, increase our sense of fitting into the universe, and allow ourselves to connect with peace and laughter, no matter how serious the health problem we've dealt with.


Seven Rivers of Healing

A 46 week self study course with Susun Weed


SEVEN RIVERS OF HEALING Have you ever felt amazed and overwhelmed by all the different approaches to healing available to you?  Susun Weed's Seven Rivers of Healing provides a clear path through the maze of health care choices.

Relieve your anxiety, enlighten your mind, and empower yourself through the personal delivery of easy-to-access knowledge.  Rediscover your inner wisdom with this 46 week self-study course brought right to your email inbox each week once you join.


Register here



CD set -
Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition

CD set - Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition

Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition
2 CD set - 2 hour presentation
- live talk by Susun Weed -

A Treasure Chest of Easy. Inexpensive, Delightful Ways to: have more energy, be free from pain, nourish yourself without supplements, use herbs to maximize health and minimize risk.


Price: $30.00

Order this Wonderful CD Set in our Bookshop



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 ...



Dear Wise Women,

I once read an article by Susun Weed in a magazine about alternatives. The article was about weeds growing in busy urban polluted areas. Susun's very heretical view (I mean that as a complement!) was that these weeds because they processed the pollution made good medicine. I have a student that shares this view who is writing a paper about the benefits of weeds growing in the city cracks and how they are most appropriate for city dweller health issues. I read Susun's article about 5 years ago, I can't recall the name of the magazine but that article has always made me think. Can you remember where this article was published or how I can obtain it.

I would love to get a copy!

Sincere Love,





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