Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
May 2009
Volume 9 Number 5
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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

by Roslyne Sophia Breillat


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

Part One
by Roslyne Sophia Breillat

Menopause is a burning fire of transformation bequeathing infinite gifts of change. And for many women this powerful initiation creates much upheaval as the female spirit prepares to birth her deepening wisdom and maturity.the Art of Phyllis Tarlow Uncomfortable disharmony frequently erupts during this transitional journey into peaceful detachment and powerful wisdom.

Each woman’s experience is uniquely individual when she crosses this threshold into the unknown. She may feel as if she is losing all sense of familiarity with her body as it suddenly manifests tumultuous physical, psychological and emotional symptoms. The powerful intensity of this important pilgrimage requires courageous openness and sensitive honouring, for its awesome power cannot be ignored without living a life of compromise.

The woman who is journeying through menopause is learning to listen more profoundly to her body. She is also learning to slow down and nurture herself with awareness, caring and patience.

Through consciously aligning with her body’s ever-changing rhythm she can ride these waves of upheaval and change towards more harmonious shores. Through being present with each moment of her menopausal phase she will experience new facets of femaleness that will enable her to receive the abundant riches of her awakening wisdom. And she will experience an expansion of the feminine spirit that will enable her to enjoy the joyous freedom of true female power.

Many women are physically and emotionally exhausted as they reach this important climacteric. If they have given heart and soul to career, mothering or relationships without receiving sufficient nourishment, this phase becomes a wise and loving teacher in the wise and sensitive art of nurturing the feminine spirit.

Menopause is an important time for a woman to deepen her trust in her instinctive inner guidance. For heeding her body’s wisdom and her physical and emotional needs will prevent her from carelessly giving her power and authority away to others. Through opening more fully to her intuitive insight, she will learn to align with the exquisite silence that peacefully abides beneath any instability she is experiencing. And she will become more surrendered to her true purpose in life.

After emptying, filling and replenishing for many months and many years with the phases of the moon, her body is now rapidly changing. These subtle yet profound changes are often felt as dramatic, disorienting, disturbing and erratic. And like her beloved Mother Earth, her cyclic transformations are birthed through chaotic upheaval.

Experiences of intense emotional, physical or psychological chaos can be minimised through simplifying her outer life as much as possible. She will eventually become aware of the stillness that rests beneath disharmony and the tranquillity that rests beneath disequilibrium.

Eliminating everything unnecessary from her life will give her more quietness, space and solitude for integrating this powerful flow of tumultuous inner changes. She now needs calm and centred awareness for receptively tuning in to the potent messages of her body’s strange new symptoms. Her regular sleeping patterns are frequently disrupted as intense physical sensations call her home to that vast deep space of immortal female wisdom.

This transforming process is often felt as a chaotic roller coaster ride that will eventually bring gentle serenity and grace-filled maturity. The modern world of instant fixes, instant sex and instant gratification thinks that menopause begins and ends when a woman experiences her last menstruation. But the powerful inner rebirth of the menopausal transition can last between seven and ten years.

For some women it lasts much longer than this. For its enriching lessons, its profound healing and its wise gifts run as deep as the river of life. And they require alignment with the slow and silent rhythm of the timeless to feel, to experience, to integrate.

Any woman who claims to experience nothing during her menopausal years is a woman who is in denial of her wisdom. And such a woman is not in tune with the ever-changing cycles of her feminine body and the empowering ways of her feminine essence.

The menopausal womb is relentless in its desire to release the past. It powerfully brings residual tensions and long-buried emotions to the light for healing. Many women experience heightened cellular memories and vivid dreams as past trauma is released during this phase. These suppressed memories are often deeply sexual, painfully raw and intimately real. And as they dissolve, they create a new space of clarity that will bestow vibrant passion, joyful aliveness and enhanced creativity.

The impersonal wisdom of the crone does not wish to journey with the baggage of her past. Her purpose now is to annihilate, let go, purge and purify. For she delights in releasing all that will not serve the harmonious flow of her new life.

This phase of female transformation is for shedding cluttered possessions, unreal dreams and impossible ideals. It is for relinquishing the Art of Phyllis Tarlowpast behavioural patterns, dishonouring lovers and dysfunctional relationships that are not aligned with the wise ways of the crone. And it is for dying to superficial situations that do not enhance the unfolding of true female power. As the creative weaver of wisdom, she cannot integrate these into her rich tapestry of new beginnings, her colourful fabric of life.

This is not a time for rigid structures and driven ambitions, for she no longer has any need to prove herself to the ways of the masculine world. Her primal wildness and instinctual passion are beginning to stir more deeply, opening her womb’s wisdom as it has never opened before.

She is being prepared for living from a wise inner place that rests far beyond deadening layers of discordant thoughts, attachments and feelings. She is diving into a cauldron of fire, a cauldron of flames, a cauldron of transformation. And like the mythical phoenix, she will soon arise, gloriously reborn from the ashes.

She is now being guided silently through her alchemical journey of truth, as the wisdom of her heart leads her through unfamiliar waters. This twilight phase can create fear in a woman, particularly if she identifies with her outer worldly roles as being the truth of who she is. This awesome pilgrimage frequently embodies a lone crossing of the vast barren desert. And it frequently demands a retreat of solitude into the dark night of the soul. For she cannot reap the glorious bounty of her menopausal transition unless she completely surrenders to the silent calling of its inner voice and the spiritual power of its wise wild spirit.

There will be no more babies birthed from her womb. There will be no more rich menstrual blood flowing with the moon. There will be no more pregnancies. There will be no more fears or joys of conception. A deeper seed is now being sown in preparation for her forthcoming fruitful harvest of wisdom and freedom. Finally, she envisages harmony upon the horizon. And finally her inner desert flower blooms with vibrant colours, emanating the subtle yet rich fragrance of mellowing peace, grace and maturity.

Contemporary civilisation treats menopause as the death of the female spirit. Such lack of true sensitivity and knowledge of this important climacteric is conceived in ignorance. And such judgements of the menopausal woman can create distortion and disharmony in a woman’s psyche during her journey into wisdom.

Through the changes that take place now, the profound integrity of her feminine essence is preparing her to live with more aliveness and clarity. Our modern world rarely honours the graceful serenity of the mature woman. Nor does it support the truth that real femininity does not die with the childbearing years. The female essence is vast and immortal. It does not suddenly disappear as the body experiences menopausal changes.

Eventually, the dark night of the soul brings the dawning of a new peace, freedom and harmony. If a woman is conscious, present and open during this transformation, She, the timeless custodian of love and guardian of female mystery, comes forth as the wise Goddess unveiled.

Menopause bestows the opportunity for a woman to sink more deeply into the silent darkness and stillness that is her inherent nature. If she is used to filling this empty space with excessive busyness she may experience fear and distrust of her body’s knowing and its sensual calling into wisdom. This space is the infinite profundity of her womb-consciousness. It is symbolic of the earth’s moist richness. It is the depth of love and it is the darkness of the night. It is where she finds solace and peace. It is her true home.

It is important that she heeds the tender calling from this wise and powerful keeper of life’s mysteries. Through listening receptively to the profound changes of her inner rhythm, she will find harmony beneath the upheaval. The Goddess of wisdom resides eternally within every woman’s psyche, waiting to come forth and shine through her menopausal transition. She glows with a radiant inner beauty that is only ever borne upon the winds of change.

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...





Dear Susun

Firstly, I must tell you that I first heard of you last night. I had just seen a DVD about Juliette of the Herbs - the wonderful Juliette de Bairacli Levy - it was the first I had heard of her and I wept because she was living what I have dreamed. I did a search on the net about her and also found your site which is amazing - I live in Western Australia and as far as I am aware there are no classes like the ones you have. …(I have been spending hours on your site today!) … You are an inspiration to me and I wish you all the very best

Kindest regards




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