Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
June 2008
Volume 8 Number 6
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Wisdom Keeper...
Grandmother Corn
by JoAnne Dodgson


Grandmother Corn
by JoAnne Dodgson
mentor at the Wise Woman University

author of Unleashing Love, MoonDance Journal, Walking the Spiral Path, Gifts of the Grandmother, and Cocooning.


She came on the waters, traveling many miles and many moons on a wooden raft bound with sinew and vines. the Art of Cindy Thorrington HaggertyAttentive to every sound and sight and smell, she searched along the shore for signs of the villages she'd seen in her dreams. Grandmother knew the people were hungry. She'd seen the rippling effects of their fears. Guided by her visions, Grandmother followed the currents of the wild waters, carrying bundles of ancient medicines for those calling to her from these faraway lands.

Drawn to the laughter bubbling up from beneath a canopy of trees, she came upon a group of children playing where the river meets the land. Grandmother drifted into the cove, chanting her Greeting Song. With wide-eyed curiosity, the children waded into the waters, giggling and holding each other's hands. They pulled the raft into shore, staring at the old woman who'd come from Upriver. With her long silvery hair, wrinkled dark skin and green eyes shining like stars, she was unlike anyone they'd ever seen.

The old woman and the young ones were soon playing together like long-lost friends, splashing in the waters, painting their faces with mud. The children drank in Grandmother's love as if they were famished. They breathed in her joy, filling themselves up. They devoured her stories and songs. When the sun began to soften the late afternoon sky, Grandmother waded into the river, listening to the currents pulling at her feet.

She gathered up a bundle from the raft, her every move followed by a circle of curious young eyes. Sitting on a boulder, the old woman cradled an emerald green turtle shell in her lap. The children gathered around, trying to get a closer look. Humming softly, the grandmother lifted up layers of furs to reveal a mound of woven pouches tied with ribbons of vine, all tucked inside the bowl of the turtle shell.

Calling them each by name, Grandmother handed every child a pouch. She told them stories about the sacred bundles of corn they held in their hands. The children listened intently to the instructions for planting. Grandmother taught them the old ways of blessing the soil, of calling in the sun and the rains, of making offerings to the Spirit of the Corn. The children danced in celebration, feeling the abundance take root and come alive inside their own knowing. With the gifts of the corn, they would always be fed--all the people, all the land, would forever be fed. With Grandmother's corn, even their dreams would have space to grow. No more empty bellies and hungry hearts.

Gently holding the pouches, the children ran back to the village and exuberantly shared all they had learned. Doubts and suspicion instantly erupted. Fears infiltrated the village, rolling like shockwaves through every dwelling on the land. The children were chastised for being gullible, for speaking nonsense, for telling lies. They were reprimanded for breaking the rules and talking to an Outsider. They were punished for carrying something so dangerous in their hands.

The village leader demanded that all the pouches be collected and immediately brought to him. Everyone in the village was required to watch as the corn bundles, one by one, were thrown into the fire and the children, one by one, were threatened into silence. The corn was never to be spoken of again. There was not to be another word, not even a whisper, about the old woman who came from Upriver. None of that was real. It never even happened. It was simply to be forgotten. That's what the children were told.

Grandmother heard it all in the winds and knew the time had come to continue on her way, though she'd keep watching over the village for many generations to come. She drifted downriver, moving farther out from land, until she heard someone humming beneath the canopy of trees. Drawn back by the song, Grandmother floated into the secluded cove.

the Art of Cindy Thorrington HaggertyThere was Wakena, a child from the village, barefoot in the rippling waters, digging a hole in the mud. Sensing somebody's presence, Wakena glanced over her shoulder, fearful she'd been discovered in this now forbidden place. Seeing the old woman on the raft, Wakena took a deep breath, her body flooded with relief and delight. A greeting passed silently between the old woman and the girl, the warmth of their welcoming held quiet inside the instinctual protection of the unexpected crossing of their paths.

Wakena reached into her basket and waded in the river toward the raft, her arms outstretched, carrying something for Grandmother to see. Nestled in the girl's small muddy hands was a bundle of corn, still wrapped in the colorful weaving and tied with a ribbon of vine. The eyes of the elder and the eyes of the young one met in a steadfast embrace beyond time and space and words. Their deeply-felt trust, the alliance of their ageless wisdoms, held the sacred promise of the remembering to come.

With Grandmother watching over, Wakena walked back to shore to finish her digging in the place where the river meets the land. She set the corn pouch deep in the muddy hole, burying the bundle beneath handfuls of pebbles and leaves. She filled in the hole and patted down the mud, securing the corn's safekeeping. Wakena pressed both hands palm-down into the clay, leaving her print, sealing her agreement. She leaned in close, her nose touching the wet earth, whispering her promise to never forget, to someday return, to always remember the grandmother's corn.

Wakena walked up the path toward the village, turning back just once to wave a muddy-handed farewell to the old woman. Grandmother continued her journey along the wild currents of the river, carrying bundles of ancient medicines, seeking those calling to her.

Copyright 2008 © JoAnne Dodgson.


JoAnne Dodgson, Ed.D. is a healer, teacher and medicine storyteller in ancient Peruvian medicine ways, Ka Ta See. 

She has a doctorate in counseling psychology and over twenty years experience offering counseling, ceremonial gatherings, holistic healing and workshops.  JoAnne lives in the enchanted desert mesas of New Mexico.

JoAnne's writings include medicine stories and five books: Unleashing Love, MoonDance Journal, Walking the Spiral Path, Gifts of the Grandmother, and Cocooning.

Stories by JoAnne Dodgson

Online Courses by JOANNE DODGSON

new Shaman's Circle: Earth Spirits and Guides
taught by Mentor: JoAnne Dodgson

'Shaman's Circle' offers opportunities to deepen your understandings of the path of the shaman and to integrate these ancient ways into your everyday life. Each lesson offers discussion of unique aspects of the shaman's path such as bridging the varied dimensions of reality, living in balance with natural cycles and creating sacred ceremony. Each lesson guides you in opportunities to discover and enrich your innate connection with the web of life on the mother earth and in the world of the spirits.

Price: $49.95

Sign up for Shaman's Circle


new Manifesting with the Moon
taught by Mentor: JoAnne Dodgson

'Manifesting with the Moon' invites you to explore the unique energies and opportunities in each moon phase during one complete lunar cycle, one mo(o)nth.  With the moon as a guide, you will engage in an organic manifestation process which begins with claiming your intent, giving voice to your visions and dreams. 

Price: $49.95

Sign up for Manifesting with the Moon



Wisdom of the Crone:
A Deck Of Fifty-Four Wisdom Cards

Wisdom of the Crone Deck contains 54 wisdom cards.
Comes with an 8 page instruction fold out. Cards measure 4" wide by 5 1/4" tall. Each card bears a unique image of women between the ages of 50 and 100. As leaders, counselors, teachers, grandmothers and aunties, we now have wisdom and diverse life experiences to offer.

"We encourage you to defy society’s view of older women. We empower you to honor this amazing time of life. Know that you are both wise and beautiful." - Judith, Lani and Melinda, co-creators of the Wisdom of the Crone Deck

Price: $22.50

Order the Wisdom of the Crone Deck in our Bookshop

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