Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
May 2007
Volume 7 Number 5
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Empower Yourself...
A Gypsy in New York
by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
Author of Common Herbs for Natural Health

A Gypsy in New York
by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
Pre-publication preview courtesy of Ash Tree Publishing

Chapter 1.10, continued from last month


Carol Cohen remembered a pre-funeral ceremony for a Gypsy queen, in New York, on Henry Street. Like Jean Goldfarb, Carol was a child then. the ART of Linda RavenscroftIt was a ground-floor room, made brilliant and dramatic with candles burning in the daytime and heaped flowers of all colors. Teeming Gypsy mourners, mostly black-clad, filled the room. ..

A frightened, yet enchanted, party of little New York schoolgirls determinedly pushed their way into the room until they had a sufficient viewing place of the dead Gypsy queen. The children never let go their hold of each other's hands, as they had agreed before entering. Their great fear had been the Gypsy reputation of being child-stealers, and they had decided that that way the Gypsies could not take them all joined together in a heavy, fleshy chain of eight little girls!

The queen had been laid out on a cloth-draped table, her head upon an embroidered pillow, a big candle at her feet, another at her head. Smaller candles on all sides. But most impressive had been the jewelry piled upon her and flashing in the candlelight. Jewels hanging from the woman's withered ears, around her scraggy neck and burdening her thin arms. Jewels that scintillated like stars and glowed like fires. The dazzled Carol Cohen had asked of one of the Gypsies standing at the side of the old queen:

Will she take all that with her into her grave?

No reply had been spoken by the Gypsy mourner, only such a malignant look of scorn and hate directed upon the inquiring non-gypsy that the little girls, still holding hands, decided in quick consultation that they had seen enough, and it was time to go!

Although I searched carefully, I did not find any Gypsies in New York during my entire first month there. The only Gypsies that I saw were embroidered on a medieval tapestry in French's famous antique shop on Madison Avenue. I was offering a Chinese butterfly silk shawl of mine for sale there, and I was invited to look over the many floors of that wonderful, treasure-packed place. There I came upon the Gypsies on the tapestry. I was told that it was called The Birthday of the Empress. It showed the rich being entertained by a family of traveling Gypsies who were reading the hands of the empress and her party.

I myself learned fortune-telling from an old Algerian Gypsy, a Madame Caulas of the family Heredia, whom I met in the Rue de la Corderie in the Gypsy quarter of Marseilles. A strange place of shacks, where the riffraff of the town lived along with the Gypsies, who were mostly of the fortune-telling, basket-making, dancer, and street-singer class. the ART of Linda RavenscroftMadame Caulas was considered to be an expert in three forms of fortune telling: hand reading, sand reading, and reading the mysterious Tarot cards of the Bohemians.

I did not find it difficult to learn hand reading the Gypsy way, as taught me by Madame Caulas. Perhaps the old woman had foretold rightly that I had the Gypsy gift of dukkeripen, (reading, magic reading). And soon the Gypsies of many lands, including America and Mexico, were asking me to read their hands! The deep reading, they call it.

That, said American writer friend Michael Kuh, is a subject for a cartoon! An English university-educated young woman, reared in a strict English school, (in my case it was an old Welsh castle converted into a school for the daughters of rich English and Welsh gentry) even though her blood is Turkish, reading the hands of the hard-baked professional fortune-telling Gypsies of New York!

There was at least one Gypsy fortune-telling cartoon in the New Yorker. I believe it was. I did not see it, but another friend, Roy Nicholls, told me about it. Marked Lexington Avenue, it showed a street window, with a scarf-draped Gypsy woman's head peering out. Alongside was a big notice, which read: Psychoanalysis $1, palm-reading $2.

I did not meet with any Gypsies in New York until well into the New Year, when I came to know many families of them, in Manhattan.

End of Chapter one

by Juliette de Bairacli Levy

Author of Common Herbs for Natural Health


“In Memory of Juliette the Grandmother of Herbal medicine”


A Gypsy in New York

Author: Juliette de Bairacli Levy.

In this richly detailed memoir, Juliette de Bairacli Levy one of the founders of American herbalism offers us a rare documentary. It is at once an herbal, a travel book and a compendium of Gypsy lore and Gypsy ways. 210 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $21.95

buy A Gypsy in New York in our Bookshop


This collection includes three great herbal medicine books and one video by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, well-known as the "grandmother of herbal medicine."

Nature's Children
is a classic book on natural childrearing; it includes remedies, recipes, and fascinating lore.

Traveler's Joy is a unique guide to finding the wild bounty in simple living; Juliette covers topics such as travel, water, dwellings, medicine, and food.

Common Herbs for Natural Health is an essential herbal with lore and uses for 200 herbs including cosmetic, culinary, and medical recipes.

Juliette of the Herbs, the exceptional video included in this collection will delight, entrance, and inspire!

20% savings YOURS for $49.95 ($63.80 value), plus shipping.

Order Juliette of the Herbs Collection in our Bookshop


Nature's Children
by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. The classic text for natural child rearing, now revised and expanded. Back in print at last! Remedies, recipes, and fascinating lore on nourishing and healing children naturally. Introduction by Helen Nearing. 196 pages, index, 14 classic photographs.

Retails for $15.95

Read a review


Nourishing Traditions
by Sally Fallon with Mary G Enig, PhD

The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper funciton of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious.

Order Sally Fallon's book at our bookshop Or order via mail: Ash Tree Publishing PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 include a check or money order for $29.95 (Nourishing Traditions retails for $25.00 plus shipping.


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