Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
June 2009
Volume 9 Number 6
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Wise Woman Wisdom ...
Enlightened Menopause
Excerpt from ~
Waves of Chaos, Fires of Change-
(part two)

by Roslyne Sophia Breillat

Enlightened Menopause
Excerpt from ~
Waves of Chaos, Fires of Change

Part Two
by Roslyne Sophia Breillat
(part one)

The original female sage was wise in the spiritual art of healing, midwifery and sexual love. She guided couples in the power of tantric lovemaking and initiated young women during their flowering of menarche.

In ancient Greece, this mature aspect of woman was known as Sophia,the wise spirit who represents God’s female soul. John Francis Peters Art She was also known as Mother of All, the Dark Goddess of waning moon and night sky. Worshipped at midnight, the full title of this “Most Lovely One” and patroness of midwives was Hebe the Virgin, Hera the Mother and Hecate the Crone.

She was also named Maat, a word linked with the womb and the underworld, and Isis, the “Giver of Life” and “One Who is All”. Her mysterious underworld is her womb of wisdom, her Holy Grail of love, her wise heart of truth. And when her womb ceases bleeding with lunar cycles, her loving wisdom flows ever deeper with the feminine rhythm of the moon.

Unlike Western civilisation, tribal cultures have no word for menopause. For the indigenous woman, this is a simple flowing process where she naturally and graciously becomes an elder. During the latter phase of her life she is revered for her knowledge, wisdom and experience.

She does not endure the disharmony of “civilised” menopausal women for she already knows who she is. She has not grown up in a society that fears femaleness, intimacy, honesty, sexuality, truth, love, aging and death. And she lives in a culture where all are one with the rhythms, the seasons and the wisdom of earth.

Emanating a serene inner dignity, she is treated by others with honour and respect. Her wise advice is always sought after for matters of importance. No request of the elderwoman is ever refused by others in her tribe. In the Native American Indian tradition she is the Old Spider Woman who tends the fires of life and weaves the fabric of interconnection between all.

Many ancient civilisations contained a council of older woman who met beneath the glow of the moon. For the feminine psyche’s affinity with the sensitive power of lunar cycles was long regarded as an important facet of her mystical wisdom.

As a woman’s menopausal pilgrimage unfolds, her womb may release loss and grief, for the letting go runs deep at this time. Through this heightened phase of cellular memory, she may re-experience the same fears, doubts or joys that she knew upon the threshold of her first menstruation. The balancing movements of her body’s natural rhythms during menarche and menopause flow as one. For there is an intrinsic connection between these powerful transformations of beginning and ending, of ebbing and flowing, of awakening and deepening.

She is now completing a long cycle of having an intimate relationship with her body as a menstruating woman. Her body does not simply cease bleeding. This important climacteric deeply affects her on all levels. For menopause when lived consciously is a psycho-spiritual disintegration that creates profound spiritual and emotional change. She often feels very tired during the birthing of these changes as her body burns much physical energy in the wild fires of her inner transformation.

She will usually find that being released from the monthly ebbs and flows of her menstrual cycle eventually creates more energy. If her mother was not in touch with her own body and with her intuitive wisdom, she will also shed inhibitions and insecurities that she has absorbed from her and from other females in her family. She will often discover that her emotional attitudes, doubts and fears of her real female power have been absorbed from her parents, her grandparents, her great grandparents.

Menopause is a powerful time for shedding all she has imbibed that is not aligned with the depth of her female wisdom and the truth of her female essence. And menopause is an important time for uniting with the real and vital essence of her true beauty and the inherent purity of her wise instincts. The vast and integral wisdom of menopause spills forth from a creative wellspring of impersonal femaleness. And it bestows an abundant flowering of her uniqueness and her intrinsic purpose as a woman of this earth.

During her menopausal phase, a woman frequently experiences a profound death of the ways she has previously wholeheartedly embraced. There is a sudden knowing that she can never go back. An inner gathering and culmination takes place, where all her previous experiences are integrated within. The love, joy and suffering she has previously experienced merge with a deepening wisdom. An intimate evaluation of her former life takes place, creating much transformation and healing.

The potential to connect energetically with her body as a beautiful sacred temple can be very real for her at this time. Through giving birth to her uniqueness in a revelationary new way, she now receives the opportunity to become free of society’s untruths about woman and its untruths about aging.

True wisdom is contained within the awareness that life and death walk together in perfect harmony. As her sacred inner knowing reveals to her the beginning of new life, she can truly use this gestation period as a preparation for birthing the new. Her body knows what it is doing, and developing loving communion with it will create true feminine empowerment and humility.

During menopause there is usually a phase with no sense of outer direction, while the source of her creative energy ignites her inner fires of change. From this place of deepening union, she can now move from the darkness into the light of new life.

Like her tribal sisters, the modern woman can learn to flow with the natural rhythm of her body and with the spiralling cycles of the earth. Through intuitive sensing and deepening stillness, she will unite with a calm and steady power. Menopause is traditionally a time of retreat, assimilation, solitude, contemplation, release and healing.

Through sensitively attuning her inner focus, she creates harmony. Her arising wisdom awakens from the intimate source of her inner being and from the infinite mystery of her womb consciousness. Menopause is not an illness.John Francis Peters Art It is a profound transformation fuelled by the inner fire of her passion and the deep wellspring of her feminine essence. Any disharmony that she may feel will potentially bring harmony.

Through truly honouring this rite of passage, she is honouring her life on earth as a woman. She is then able to unite with the stillness, detachment and gentle inner strength of true maturity. This is a sacred time of sensitivity, waiting, courage and patience, as she learns to drink deeply from her well of wisdom. Her inner life is worthy of her reverence and attention, for in this dark unfamiliar space of unknowing, she finds her love, truth and power.

The menopausal years have a way of ruthlessly revealing to a woman where she is not open to the awesome changes flowing through her body at this time. She will often experience overwhelming depression and an inexplicable sense of soul loss during this powerful transition. This occurs when she suddenly realises that her outer circumstances do not support her creative talents or reflect her inner truth.

If she has suppressed her joy, her love, her creativity in favour of living through a false outer persona, her life will become disrupted until she is willing to embrace a deeper sense of purpose. If she is attached to rational ideas and intellectual pursuits she will experience inner chaos until she surrenders to the rich abundance of her spiritual nature.

When a woman fully surrenders to her menopausal fires of change her psyche becomes more expansive. She becomes inwardly stronger, infinitely more powerful and courageously more confident in the ways of the world. She emanates a deepening awareness and a more restful way of being. She moves and speaks with a sense of fluidity, with a sense of freedom, with a sense of grace. And she embodies the wealth of real wisdom and the richness of true power.

Menopause takes all force from her, creating an honoured place for the calmness, serenity and profundity of her wise inner muse. She then emanates a delicious joy that is beyond age and beyond any false concepts she has absorbed that deny her the radiance and glory of her true nature.

After courageously moving through disequilibrium and chaos, she rests more contentedly in her being. Her psychological death potentially activates the impersonal power of the ancient priestess and the deep serenity of the wise sage. The sacredness of her inner knowing reveals the expansive freedom of a new phase of life. She has softened, opened, mellowed, ripened, deepened.

Enriched by the fire of her menopausal transformation, she now feels at ease with the tides of change. She can now live as Mother of All, as Mother of Earth, serving others from a place of impersonal love, renewed vitality and deepening power. After completing this profound transition, she will never be the same woman again. She has reached a place of inner harmony. She has changed.


2009 © Roslyne Sophia Breillat

© Sophia is a woman who lives, writes and paints from the heart
© Email ~ sophia@wildheartwisdom.com
© Website ~ www.wildheartwisdom.com


Moon Days...
Creative Writings About Menstration
Moon Days edited by Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D.bookcover
edited by Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D
a great collection of women's writings on menstruation, edited by Cassie Preemo Steele, twenty-six writers explore the "silent" parts of women's lives; reawakening menstruation memories of embarrassment and shame and transforming them to wonder, excitement, and laughter. 176 pages, illustrations. .
available through Ash Tree Publishing


Price: $13.95
Order MOON DAYS in our Bookshop

Click here to learn more about Moon Days

Read an Excerpt: Amazons in Appalachia
Read an Excerpt: The Woman's Dinner




with Susun Weed

FOUR COURSES: Green Witch, Green Allies, Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition, and a new course ABC of Herbal Medicine. All are multi-cultural and are suitable for beginning, intermediate, or advanced students. Most of my students take 13-15 months to complete one course, but there is no time limit.

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 about Green Allies 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 your menstrual/menopausal changes, and develop wise woman ways of living and healing.
Learn more about Green Witch Correspondence Course ...


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 about Spirit & Practice Correspondence Course ..


ABC Herbal Medicine This is a special course for the aspiring herbalist who would like to have me "by your side" teaching you how to identify, harvest, and buy 52 healing herbs. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, honeys, poultices, soups, and beauty aids.
Learn more about ABC of Herbal Medicine...






… And may I take a moment to let you know how very much I enjoy the Wise Women e-zine. Actually, I enjoy everything that Susun Weed and her team are doing for women. I have purchased Susun's book, The New Menopausal Years and Healing …. The New Menopausal Book is wonderful, extremely informative and entertaining as well.

I laugh in remembrance of my own CHANGE oddities as I read through the chapters, which began when I was about 38; and I grieved again remembering when my last period visited me two years ago…

Regardless, I intend to incorporate as many suggestions as possible of the Wise Woman tradition into my life from this point forward. And share what I learn with all who will listen, pointing them in your direction for further instruction.

Even though I didn't follow Wise Woman tradition during my younger years, I was always very fertile, very regular, and welcomed each period with joy, knowing that this bleeding was part of the ancient mystery connecting me to all women who have died, lived, and will become. And, I have taught my only daughter to welcome her bleeding times, and to marvel in her woman's mystery as well. She is 24, an athletic trainer, and is exploring Wise Women tradition with great interest. She has incorporated into her life much of what I have learned and shared with her. In turn, she offers what she has learned with her friends and clients. Hence, she purchased The Childbearing Years. I wish I had known ALL the things Susun writes about when both my daughter and I were younger…

Sharing the little knowledge I have learned thus far of the Wise Woman Tradition is so much more compassionate than the way my mother was brought up… What a fighter she was, what life force she embodied!!

…I have no female family member as points of reference regarding the wonders of natural menopause. This is why I find The New Menopausal Years so comforting and
informing. Susun's words make me feel part of a family of women who embrace, love and appreciate every aspect of their body.

One more bit before I sign off. I leave the New Menopausal Years in our bathroom as I read my first reading of the book in snitches. And, one of my sons (a sophomore in college) is reading it as well. He says that there is nothing else to read which is funny because he keeps old copies of his running magazine on the lower shelves. Evidently, he is intrigued by the wondrous mysteries of his mother and sister, and girl friends, as well!!!!

May all of you at Ash Tree Publishing and Wise Woman be blessed!!!

Thank you, thank you, with all my being.
Yours truly,




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