Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
March 2008
Volume 8 Number 3
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Wisdom Keeper...
River Song
by JoAnne Dodgson


River Song
by JoAnne Dodgson

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


I've been getting to know a river whose pathway curves along high rocky ridges and meanders through the willows and cottonwoods by our house.The Art of Suzanne Gray According to the map, this is the San Juan River. I've been talking to the river to find out what she likes to be called. I'm still listening and learning. From what I've gathered so far, her name has something to do with dancing waters and singing rocks. She's a river of healing waters, that I know.

The river has offered up delightful encounters with the wild. A collage of animal and bird tracks imprint her muddy banks, leaving clues about who visits at night. One afternoon, I met up with two coyotes who came to the river for a drink. The wild dogs pranced about, so keenly attentive, agile and light, with beautiful earth-toned fur and black-tipped tails. Jasmine, our ever-curious pup, started crossing the river to join the coyotes and me, all the while exuberantly wagging her tail. The coyotes instantly turned their focus toward her, then bolted toward the ridge, disappearing into the woods.

I wondered what the three dogs experienced in that encounter, reaching out with their senses to connect with each other across the expanse of the river, across the sharing of their canine lineage, across the differences in their manifestations in their present-day lives. Think of the stories Jasmine and the coyotes could share ~ about wild dogs in the wilderness, living and hunting as packs; about the medicine of coyotes, their tenacity to maintain their freedom and space on the land despite concerted human efforts to eliminate them; about dogs who've come to live with human companions; about the intricate web of connections and communications between people and dogs, be they domesticated or wild. In our home, it's clearly evident who's training who ~ to get outside and go on exploratory journeys every day, with great passion and exuberance, no matter how many times we've walked along the same path; to be keenly attentive to all sights, sounds and smells; to curl up and sleep in soft cozy places; to relish touch and remember to play.

Wading along the river's edge one afternoon, I caught a glimpse of something bright gold, just beneath the water's surface, glittering in the rays of the sun. It was a magnificent fish, at least as long as my arm from elbow to fingertips. His body was enwrapped in shimmery gold scales and adorned with brown wavy fins. He slowly nudged his way around rocks, at times held in place by the balance of energy in his efforts to swim upstream and the waters' movement the other way. After awhile, he reoriented his direction, swiftly and gracefully joining the river's flow. Further upstream along the riverbank, a blue heron surprised me, suddenly taking flight from her still, silent stance among tall leafy reeds. With compelling ancient beauty, she rose into the air above the rippling rapids and flew off around the bend in the river of dancing waters and singing rocks.

Walking the river is an intriguing journey among stones and boulders and rocks of diverse colors and sizes and shapes. Many of the stones have been smoothed and rounded by the dynamic movement of water fed by rainstorms, snowmelts and boundless passages of time. The rocks living underwater are coated with the silty soils being carried downstream. Like the waters, the riverbed is alive and in motion, being shaped and sculpted, refined and revitalized by the creative artistry of natural forces.

Walking in and around the river has taught me about balance, about staying steady as I dance among the rocks, feeling my way along even when I can't see my feet. Staying balanced takes clear and focused awareness with each and every step that I take ~ being attentive to being just where I am. Because when I start getting ahead of myself, or distracted by thoughts about what's already passed by, or concerned with someone or something somewhere-out-there, I tend to slip and lose my balance, pulled off-center by the currents around me, disconnected from my own steady rhythm and pace. The river's a great teacher about walking with balance, not only when I'm crossing rushing waters and exploring rocky shores.

Long after spending time there, the river continues to resonate in my body and being ~ in the vibrantly clear memories of the soothing sounds of dancing waters; of the silky textures and cool refreshment of the water on my skin; of my feet sliding along muddy stones and over the edges of slippery rocks, searching for steady ground and safe passage; of the push and pull of the currents around my legs. The river is with me, I can feel it in my bones. The living waters of the river are bringing to life the crystal-clear healing waters within me.

Copyright 2006 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



Journey of the Maiden:
A Deck Of Fifty-Four Inspirational Cards

A deck of 54 cards created to inspire and guide young women everywhere. These images and words were created to bring guidance and insight to young women as they walk their path of self-discovery. Comes with an 8 page instruction fold out.
Cards measure 4" wide by 5 1/4" tall.


Price: $22.50


order in Journey of the Maiden our Bookshop


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