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  • Monday, March 18, 2019 3:00 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Blackberry
    Excerpt from "A City Herbal"

    by Maida Silverman



    Part Two ...



    Historical Lore, Legends, and Uses: The word bramble is said to be derived from the Old English word brymble, meaning prickly, and bramble can also mean any thorny bush. Another source explains the word as coming from the Anglo-Saxon the ART of KATYA SANNAword bramel, itself derived from an older word, brom, meaning broom. In earlier times, the thorny branches of the Blackberry tied to a stick were used to make a broom for sweeping. In England, the word bramble is used as a verb; the expression going brambling means going Blackberry picking.

    The Blackberry has long been appreciated for the taste of the ripe fruit and valued for its medicinal properties. Many writers did not even bother with a botanical description of the plant, saying instead that it is so well known it needs no description, or it grows in almost every hedge. It is difficult to overestimate the faith people once had in the healing powers of this plant. The astringent and binding properties were familiar to all who wrote about Blackberries and all parts of the plant leaves, roots, flowers, and ripe and unripe berries were used.

    Preparations containing Blackberry were used to treat diarrhea, dysentery (often called bloody flux ), various stomach disorders, and were believed valuable for healing irritations of the mouth and throat. Eating young shoots was even credited with fastening loose teeth in the gums! Infusions of the roots and leaves and syrups prepared from the berries added to wine were the usual methods of administering.

    The Leechbook of Bald, a tenth-century Anglo-Saxon treatise on plants and herbal remedies, recommended preparations of Blackberry. For flux in women a tea was made from the berries and drunk for three days while fasting. For heart-ache the fresh leaves were pounded and laid over on the wound.

    One Tudor herbalist recommended taking Blackberry juice mixed with wine and honey for the passions of the heart. He observed, The sweet ripe fruit is very effectual, besides the facility and pleasantness in taking. Another herbalist, Dr. William Coles, prescribed Blackberry as a remedy for heartburn, as some call it, which is a gnawing in the stomach from choler. ( Choler is an old word meaning anger. This particular write was apparently aware of the connection between emotions like anger and physical illness, especially stomach and digestive disorders. He noted that the distilled water of {Blackberry} branches, leaves, flowers and fruit is very pleasant in both taste and smell and is excellent for feverish persons.

    At the end of his extensive treatise on the virtues of Blackberry, Dr. Coles decided to include the following homily: The people of Norway use their bramble against scurvy and other melancholy diseases, so that we may admire the wonderful wisdom of God, who has ordained to grow in every climate remedies for those diseases whereunto it is subject. The doctor was no doubt rebuking his fellow Englishmen and women, who at that time were abandoning their native medicines in favor of foreign imported herbs, which he believed were greatly inferior.

    The young roots and the root bark of the older plants were most favored for medicinal use. These contained the greatest amounts of valuable tannic, malic, and citric acids, and thus produced the strongest tonic and astringent effect.

    The dried or green leaves were used to prepare gargles and heal sores and irritations of the mouth and genitals. One seventeenth-century writer states that the powdered leaves strewn on running sores heals them. A decoction of the leaves was also valuable for treating stomach upsets and womens ailments. And infusion of the unripe berries was highly esteemed for curing vomiting and loose bowels. A wash for the hair (the leaves boiled in lye!) cured head sores and made the hair black.

    Home remedies for the digestive ailment that frequently resulted from drinking unwholesome milk or water and eating tainted meats were kept on hand until well into the twentieth century, and this is still done in rural areas.the ART of KATYA SANNA Every kitchen has a supply of dried Blackberry leaves, roots, and berries on hand, as well as Blackberry jam, cordial, and syrup. The Pennsylvania Dutch used the leaves, roots, and fruit to ease indigestion, and preparations of the root were valued for treating diarrhea.

    In China, several varieties of Blackberry were described and employed medicinally. The Chinese believed the fruit strengthens the virile powers and increases the yin principle, in addition to giving vigor to the whole body. Preparations of the young shoots were used to improve the complexion and treat colds and fevers.

    Blackberry was a familiar medicinal plant to native Americans. The Cherokee Indians chewed the root to ease coughs and used cold poultices to relieve hemorrhoids. Delaware Indians made a tea from the roots, which they used to cure dysentery, and the Oneida, Catawba, and other tribes were familiar with the root and used it for similar diseases.

    At one time, Blackberry root was an official drug listed in the United States Dispensatory. A fluid extract for treating diarrhea was listed as recently as 1955.


    ~ From the Recipe Box - Blackberry Vinegar ~



    alt

    Paperback by Maida Silverman. 192 pp. The wild plants of the city are potent herbal medicines and nutritious wild edibles, as well as sources of comfort, fiber, and dyes. Learn to recognize and use 34 of them.
  • Friday, March 15, 2019 6:07 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Deep Roots: Pickled Burdock
    With Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs
    www.moonwiseherbs.com
    www.midwestwomensherbal.com

    Burdock (Arctium sp) is one of the most nourishing herbs on the planet. It’s long tap root reaches deep into the soil and pulls up minerals, storing them in it’s roots. These nutrients are then rendered bio available to our bodies once we ingest them. Western herbalists consider burdock to be a blood “cleanser” and I like to be more clear in that it nourishes the liver, which supports our bodies with elimination. Burdock also nourishes the blood, it does not deplete as the wording “cleanser” insinuates. It actually, deeply nourishes and replenishes while also assisting the liver in functioning more effectively. In doing this burdock is known for it’s ability to clear skin conditions, from eczema to acne.    So you can see that ingesting these pickles can nourish the body in very deep and long lasting ways.

    As for harvesting, we harvest burdock root in the late fall, just before the ground freezes. The roots contain the most nutrients, at that time, as the plant has stored them for it’s own winter nourishment. You can also purchase burdock root in asian grocery stores as well as health food stores. Burdock is a biennial (a plant with a two year life cycle) and like many plants with a two year life cycle, the root is harvested in the fall of the first year. When harvested at this time of the year the root is a tender vegetable. In Japan burdock is known as gobo and is considered a staple vegetable. When prepared properly it is tender and delicious. I love to pickle the roots and to eat them as part of my daily nourishment, particularly during the winter months. I learned to make these pickles from one of my first herb teachers, Eaglesong Gardner. I am ever grateful, as many years later we still make these with our own twists to the recipe. I like to make one or two gallons which will last through the winter months.



    Making Burdock Pickles

    1. Slice burdock roots. Can be in strips or coins, but which ever style you choose it

    is ideal to slice them evenly


    2. Place sliced roots in a steaming basket and into a pot. Add a small amount of water to the bottom. Steam for 5-10 minutes.


    3. While the roots are steaming slice a small amount of garlic and ginger.  Wild leeks, wild ginger and turmeric can be added as well. Place garlic and ginger in a proper size jar for the amount of root that you have. I use quarts or 1/2 gallons.


    4. .  Prepare the brine. The brine consists of:

    -1 part cider vinegar (I like to use raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar)

     -1 part tamari or shoyu (both fermented soy products)

     -1 part steamed burdock water.


    5..   When roots are steamed, pack into jars. Once roots cool down, pour the brine over them. I like to have everything cool, so that the beneficial bacteria in the vinegar and the tamari renders these a fermented food product, beneficial to the digestive system.


    *burdock contains inulin, which is a prebiotic substance, also beneficial to the digestive system.

     

    6.I like to leave these on the counter for a day or two, until the flavors meld. Then I place them in the refrigerator. They can be stored there indefinitely.

     

     

    7.We like to nourish our bodies by eating a couple of pickles a day.

     

    We hope you enjoy these as much as we do! 




     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.


  • Tuesday, March 05, 2019 5:23 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    SAUERKRAUT SAUCE

    ...from the kitchen of Marie Summerwood 

    Menopausal women love this one!


    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TB olive oil
    • 8-10 oz drained sauerkraut, reserving liquid
    • 1 tsp dill seed
    • 1/4 c. roasted brown sesame seeds
    • roasted sesame oil to taste


    Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet and saute onion until translucent. Add the drained sauerkraut and the dill seed. Saute another 5 minutes until the sauerkraut is nicely coated with the oil. Add the liquid and simmer 7 minutes or so. Blend half until smooth and mix with the unblended part to make a thicker sauce. Add the roasted sesame seeds and season with the roasted sesame oil to taste. Great on cooked greens or beans. Delicious on salad with bread and cheese. 

  • Tuesday, March 05, 2019 4:04 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Pick a Card for the Pisces New Moon
    by Kathy Crabbe

    Here we go!
    Relax your breath.
    Go within.
    Ask a question (or not)
    and pick a card.
    Then scroll down for the REVEAL.

    Oracle decks pictured below: Elfin Ally Oracle  & Lefty Oracle

     



    Pisces New Moon Card REVEAL

    Card 1: Owl Magick
    Keyword: Magick
    Meaning: You're on a spiritual mission so trust the Moon to guide you.
    Reversed: You're stuck and at a standstill with an important decision to make.

    Card 2: Crazy Janice dancing as fast as she can
    If this card appears in a reading anything could happen! Things are going fast and so are you. Is it time to slow down yet? Can you manage it? Breathe...repeat. This too shall pass.

    In my own life I have been on this sort of rollercoaster life ride before, especially during the early stages of menopause which also occurred during my astrological mid life transition. It's called Uranus Opposition and it occurs for all of us around the age of forty. It was a ride I could NOT seem to get off! Crazee indeed. But I survived and even though I knew it was going to happen all I could do was to hang on. Sorry, no great advice to offer you, other than to get ready!

    Card 3: Flamingo
    Keyword: Delight
    Meaning: Let your soul's delight out to play for today your wish is granted.
    Reversed: Keeping delight to yourself could stifle you.

    Card 4: I call wrinkles 'god-points' and so far I'm winning
    It's time to accept who you are in this very moment; no matter your age, weight, health, clothes, hair or yes, even wrinkles! You know, of course, that you are perfect in every way, right? If you or someone you're close to is feeling 'old' and negative about wrinkles please remind them that they or that you ARE winning – you are alive.

    In my own life I do the best I can to celebrate my grey hair and even my wrinkles which does require some chutzpah 'cause it goes entirely against the youth culture we worship. I am not 'old' and I forget sometimes that I have wrinkles. But I have learned a thing or two along the way and I honour the wisdom that comes with aging. If we are open to receiving this knowledge and honouring our age by being honest about it, instead of hiding, distorting or carving up our bodies to fit an ideal we don't believe in, then we are indeed wise souls that have learned a thing or two.
     
    The  Elfin Ally Oracle  & Lefty Oracle decks were used in this reading.




    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 11:24 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Seasons, Cycles and Rhythms of Plants

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt




    When I taught the natural sciences in the middle grades of the Waldorf School, I was given no formula or textbook to follow. Rather I was asked to develop the pedagogical curriculum out of an understanding of the human being as body, soul and spirit. Philosopher, scientist and artist Rudolf Steiner offered the guidelines for this understanding of the human being, called anthroposophy. It was my job as a teacher to develop lessons that I had worked through myself, lessons that would strengthen the students’ capacities for objectivity, enliven their thinking, deepen their interest in the world and be relevant and meaningful in life. I found great assistance in Goethe’s scientific works grounded in practicality. He suggested that reality can be grasped through clear imaginative thinking and accurate objective perception. Although not commonly known today, his methods led to completely new insights into nature and the world of plants. Goethe was the first scientist to suggest an archetypal life cycle of plants – what we have come to know as the development, gestures and forms typical of most plants.

    Before we take a look at the growth processes of the archetypal plant let us place it in connection to the seasonal rhythms. In the temperate regions the entire plant covering of the earth breathes rhythmically between the summer activity of growth and blossoming and the winter activity of decaying and rest. This activity resembles the waking and sleeping activity of animals and human beings, except that the plant covering is always awake one half of the year in one hemisphere and asleep the other half. The conditions of ‘waking and sleeping’ move around the earth spatially.  Just as the sun at daybreak calls us away from sleep, so does the sun lure out the plant covering of the earth in the spring and summer. Although each plant awakens at different times throughout the year and has a definite rhythm of its own, we can through keen observation, experience a clear life cycle universal for all plants related to the cycle of the year.

    When we plant a tiny seed of leaf lettuce in the moist soil we can observe how the leaves slowly begin to grow. They spiral outward and up, ascending, and at the same time reach horizontally towards the light. The plant is all growth and expansion until the forming of the buds from where the delicate, white or yellow blossoms appear. Within the flowering blossoms begin the condensing, descending forces and inward growth processes of reproduction. The fruits develop in the heart of the flowers protecting the very condensed mature seeds. The plant withers and the seeds drop to the ground for the cycle to start over.

    Such a life cycle of expansion and contraction, known as the life cycle of the archetypal plant, is typical of most plants. It is like an idea or a spiritual reality or 'being' that manifests in a plant through growth and decay. Much like an idea – that begins as a thought and then later is realized in the physical world – the spiritual reality or 'being' expresses itself in physical matter and becomes perceptible to our senses. As the plant withers and fades away, leaving nothing but the seeds, this spiritual reality, or 'being' of the plant withdraws into the cosmic realm….

    The part of the world where I live is covered by snow. The growth forces are visible only on the frost bitten windows revealing beautiful ice pictures, a hidden promise of Spring follows winter. This year I am experimenting with growing an 'indoor garden' on my window sill. Not really 'in season'  but wonderful to eat something really fresh as a complement to a hardy soup.


    Venison and Vegetable Soup with Sage

    The cold weather in the north calls for warming soups. Venison can be substituted with any meat, fish or fried tempeh/tofu. This soup is light compared to bean soups and stews. It complements the more substantial grains or wholesome bread accompanying the soup.

    2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
    1 pound of venison thinly sliced
    1 leek cut in fine diagonals
    2 cloves garlic minced
    1 carrot diced
    1 celery stalk diced
    1/2 tablespoon dried sage
    1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1 quart soup stock/broth
    1/2 - 1 tablespoon sea salt
    Dashes of pepper
    2 tablespoons parsley chopped fine for garnish


    Heat a large soup pot, and then add oil to sauté meat until lightly browned. Add leeks and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Then add carrots and celery and sauté for 1 minute.

    Place the sage, thyme and bay leaf in cheesecloth, or cotton tea bag. Add bag to vegetables with the soup stock. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 6-10 minutes.

    Remove the herbal sachet. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes.

    Serve hot, garnished with parsley.



    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.





    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.





    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


     
  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:39 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Bread Kneader: Nourishment from the Lady

    By Linda Conroy

    www.midwestwomensherbal.com




    A couple of years ago I witnessed a woman express irritation at being called a lady. She was reacting to the idea of being considered an aristocrat and elitist connotations she was prescribing to the term. I realized that I don’t find the term offensive and I find language fascinating. I know that in different eras, words have different meanings. I often find language fascinating, so I decided to do some research on the origins of the word. Following my curiosity and a hunch, I was delighted by what I discovered.


    What I found is that the word comes from the old English word hlaefdige. The first part of the word which is a derivation of hlaf meaningloaf, bread. The second part is from the root dig=, to knead. So we can say that a lady is she who kneads bread. The connotations at the time delineated the role of the lady to nourish her household.


    While it is true that lady became a term for women of nobility, clearly the origins stem from that of a woman who nourishes her family by baking bread. As a woman who devotes her life to nourishing my family and community by baking bread and preparing whole and wild food meals as well as offering a wide spectrum of opportunities to gather and learn, I do not take offense to being addressed as a lady. I have come to embrace the term and smile when I hear it. I smile because I hear a celebration of myself as a bread kneader.


    In celebration of all of the current and future bread kneaders, I am delighted to share the following instructions and recipes for baking sour dough bread. I focus on sourdough bread, as I appreciate the fermentation process. This process produces a bread that has been leavened for a long period of time and renders it more digestible.


    Catching Yeast:

    The first step in making sourdough bread it to catch yeast. There are a variety of ways to catch yeast. My preference is to catch yeast from the surface of wild grapes, which grown abundantly around me. I replenish my starter every year, even though it is probably not necessary, but I enjoy the process of catching yeast.

    1. To catch yeast from grapes and other fruit: Place a bunch of grapes or other fruit (I have made a nice starter from blueberries that I purchased from my local food coop) in a bowl. Mix in equal amounts of flour and water. I start with a cup of each, but equal proportions are more important. Mix them together and cover, place in a location where the temperatures are at least 68 degrees F. Every day for 3-5 days add equal amounts of flour and water, until the mixture is bubbly and has a mild sour smell. Strain the grapes out of the mixture with a strainer, using a spoon to push the mixture through the strainer. You know have a starter that you can use to bake bread. You will need to continue feeding your starter, see below for feeding instructions.


    2. To catch yeast from the environment: Wild yeast lives everywhere. You can capture it from the air and from the flour itself. Simply place equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl. Cover the bowl and leave it in a place where the average temperature is at least 68 degrees F. Add equal amounts of flour and water everyday for 3-5 days, until the mixture is bubbly and has a mild sour smell. You know have a starter that you can use to bake bread. You will need to continue feeding your starter, see below for feeding instructions.


    3. To catch yeast from another person: Some people are fortunate enough to have a culture passed on through their family. If you do not have this option, you can find a friend who has a starter that they will share with you, you can purchase starters on the internet and at some natural health food stores. There are many starters and trying different starters can fun. I have had several going at the same time. It is fun to experiment.


    Feeding Your Wild Yeast Starter:

    Feeding our starter fresh flour on a regular basis, provides it with the carbohydrates necessary for it to thrive. The yeast need sugar and the flour is the source. Feeding the starter weekly is ideal. If you are baking once a week or bi-weekly you can feed it once you remove the amount you need for your recipe. Starters can be stored in the refrigerator between uses. If you bake every 2-3 days you can feed the starter and leave it out of the refrigerator.


    To feed your starter, place the starter in a jar or a crock. If you are planning to bake add equal amounts of flour and water (it is ideal to do this by weight, but if you do not have a scale you can use a measuring cup), the starter should be the consistency of a thick soup. Do this for 2-3 days prior to baking bread.


    If you are simply feeding it to keep it active, you will want it to be a little thicker, like a thick dough. This can be stored outside of the refrigerator for up to a week. If you are not going to bake with it, place it in the refrigerator after a week.


    * Generally, the amount you feed your sourdough starter depends on how much of it you have to start with. I typically double the amount of starter each time I feed it. Keep in mind that if you have more starter than you need you can pass it on or you can feed small amounts of flour and water just to maintain it until you need more. You can also make sourdough crackers, pancakes or other baked goods.


    * To store your starter for long periods of time, you can either dry (simply smear it on a dehydrator tray and dry on a setting below 100F) or you can place it in a small jar (4 or 8 oz) and freeze it.



    Quick Sourdough Bread Recipe


    (makes two loaves and makes a light bread, that is agreeable even to those who are not used to whole grain breads)


    Combine:

    1-1 1/2 cups of starter

    5 cups flour

    4 cups of warm water
    stir and let sit overnight (or for at least 8 hours)


    Always remember this step! In the morning take 1 1/2 cups for your starter.


    To the flour mixture:

    Add 5-6 more cups of flour

    Add 1 TBS salt (to be adjusted to your taste, as you make more bread)

    ¼ cup of olive oil

    Mix and knead for 10-15 minutes

    Grease two baking pans (I alternate between loaf and round pans)

    Place loaves into the pan and rise for 2-3 hours (the bread should increase in size)

    For moist bread place a pan of water in the oven during baking.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes


    (this is a basic recipe, you can add a whole array of ingredients to enhance this bread, i.e. sun flower seeds, other grains, berries, fruits, honey, spices, herbs etc. Be creative!)



     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    www.moonwiseherbs.com



    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 2:22 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Orangutan energy for the office blues
    with Sheryl Wolover

    Stretch, Breath, Reach and Swing out of the "office" position. Be sure to watch the video clip of the Orangutan at the end of the Yoga practice.





    Greetings I'm Sheryl Wolover, native to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  Mother of two children raised with Susun Weed's herbal infusions  somewhere in the 1980's~
     
    I am the creator of YOGA LEGENDS. Yoga DVD's that link poses together through story telling~  
    Owner of Pacific Elements studio for Massage Therapy (1984) and Yoga classes (2003)~
    My family (including the animal family) live around a beautiful lake side where we garden and gather herbs for food and medicine~
    *=Oceans+Mountains^^^^ of Peace,Sheryl ~ yogalegends.com

  • Monday, February 04, 2019 12:18 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Explore Your Options: Aquarius NEW Moon Vibes
    by Kathy Crabbe



    Mama Moon enters the Fixed, Air sign of Aquarius on Feb. 3 at 5:03 am Pacific Time until Feb. 5 and is NEW on Feb. 4 at 1:03 pm and at Apogee (which means she’s as far away as she can be) which, in conjunction with a New Moon can lead to extreme weather conditions according to the Creative Crones Astro Diary 2019.

    It’s also Lunar IMBOLC (Northern hemisphere pagan holy day) or Lunar LAMMAS (Southern hemisphere) which is the halfway point between the Solstice and Equinox and a time of FIRSTS; either the first sign of Spring or the first Fruits Festival.

    During this oh, so significant Moon-time of firsts we also set our intentions for the moonth ahead encouraged by Mercury sextiling Jupiter and Venus entering Capricorn. Let’s GET BUSY!

    Meditate, Moon Journal and share your feeling with others. Shake it up - it’s Aquarius Time! Go deep and EXPLORE your options. Is there some piece of the puzzle missing - Why? Be brave and find out by picking a card from my Elfin Ally Oracle Deck which, by the way is coming out very soon so stay tuned! The REVEAL is below plus a Lefty Oracle and yes, please share your comments below.


    Elfin Ally Oracle Card Reveal




    Card 1: Dragonfly Delight
    Keyword: Delight
    Meaning; Take it slow for all that you need or want is at your fingertips.
    Reversed: There is a troublemaker in your life that needs to go.

    Card 2: Spirit Horse
    Keyword: Graceful
    Meaning: With great pride and joy you charge forward trusting you are on the right path.
    Reversed: You are at the crossroads, stuck and uncertain.

    Card 3: Yellow Butterfly
    Keyword: Sweet
    Meaning: Today you are taking a different path; one that is lighter and truer to your heart’s goal.
    Reversed: You are chasing dreams, not reality.


    Lefty Oracle Card for the New Moon



    Nambia, Pleasantly Present

    Mantra: I relax.


    Affirmation: I am pleasantly present and focused upon one project, and only one project at a time.


    Element: Air

    When this card appears in a reading you definitely need a break. Take some time for rest and relaxation, to shed your worries, get pampered and have some fun. This is not a time to crack down and get busy. You’ll achieve far more later by taking it easy now. Figure out an easy way to charge your batteries and make time for YOU.

    In my own life, I love to simply just sit in nature, breathe in the smells and enjoy the sights; not thinking or doing anything, just being.



    Via The Lefty Oracle Deck 






    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.
  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:33 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Circles and Cycles of Rest and Renewal

    Written & Illustrated by Roslyne Sophia Breillat





       Rest, restoration, regeneration are not words frequently spoken, revered or accepted within our linear fast-paced patriarchal society, and yet these words describe so sweetly and tenderly and necessarily and beautifully and powerfully, some of the many natural cyclic phases of the sacred feminine of woman and the sacred feminine of our dear Earth Mother.

       How often is a woman lovingly encouraged to rest when she is too strung-out, too busy, too exhausted and too overtired or overwhelmed? When she is menstruating, has just given birth, or is entering the wise portal of her menopausal journey? When she has endless lists to write, and complicated schedules and timetables to adhere to, and important commitments and appointments to keep? How often is she encouraged to stop,  to let go, to surrender, to rest, after strenuous exercise, or after shopping, or after a busy day, or after making love? How often is she lovingly encouraged to pause for a while, to simply pause and breathe and be, to feel the gentle breeze and warm sunshine on her skin, the rich earth between her fingers, to simply sit quietly in wonderment with the natural beauty of Mother Earth’s splendour? To surrender to her innately natural lunar rhythms? To simply stop overachieving for a while, to simply stop being Superwoman for awhile? To simply be woman? To simply be the stillness and depth of her wise wombheart, and the ancient mystery of her feminine essence, to simply rest within her sacredness for a while? To simply do nothing and to simply be nothing?

       This is so very difficult for so many women, who have long been dictated to worship the contemporary male God of busy-ness, this God who will not stop, rest and be, this God who forces her to keep going, at all costs, this God who forces her to unknowingly worship him, yet who does not know how to worship her. And so she keeps on going and going and going, running and running and running, chasing and pursuing, doing and doing, not knowing when or where or how to stop, to pause, to rest, to be, not knowing how to be the sweet beauty and pleasure and delicious sensuality of her divine mystery. For our contemporary patriarchal civilisation has taken her, and taken her beneficent Earth, from these peace-filled, stillness-filled, wonder-filled female cyclic phases of rest and regeneration, these phases that bring rich depth and deep richness into her beingness, into her being, into her female soul, these phases that so beautifully reconnect her with her wholeness and her holiness.

       And so she jogs and she runs and she power walks, in her slinky shiny flouro designer label activewear, one hand clutching her mobile phone, the other clutching the handle of her child’s designer label pram, strenuously forcing her belly to tighten and flatten at all costs. For what? For whom? Whatever happened to simply strolling, to roaming, to wandering, to being? For pausing, for looking, for seeing? What will it be like upon this Earth for our dear children when there is no more land left, no more ground left, no more space left for their natural need for roaming and strolling and wandering? For exploring wild verdant bush lands and for chasing dancing butterflies? For splashing in tadpole ponds and climbing trees? What does being bounced and jerked and bobbed around in an enormous pram while its mother talks to someone else on her mobile phone do for this tiny newborn being, so recently emerged from the ancient mystery of the womb? So simply and joyously being? What kind of children are we breeding? What new generations are we bringing to this beautiful Earth? Who will lovingly teach these children how to rest and restore and be, how to follow their natural cycles and the natural cycles of the Earth?

       Beautiful woman, become vibrantly active when it is the cycle, the weather, the season, the reason, to be active. Dance and play and move with the bountiful joy of life, and with the sensual flow of the feminine essence.

       And beautiful woman, become still and slow and quiet when it is the cycle, the weather, the season, the reason to sink deeply into the restful, regenerative and restorative power of your womb wisdom, and her mysterious cyclic feminine knowing of when to move, work and actively engage in the outer world, and when to softly, sweetly close your eyes and gently rest from the outer world for a while.

    Blessed be... 
     Copyright Roslyne Sophia Breillat©... Not to be reproduced without written permission from the author...



    Sophia (Roslyne Sophia Breillat) is a wise woman who lives, writes, and paints from the heart. Her prolific articles and paintings embrace the wisdom and grace of the female essence and the beauty of the Earth. She is acknowledged as a powerful and courageous writer whose creative work features in many international websites and magazines and her website is an abundant offering of female wisdom that nurtures and inspires. Sophia is the author of two books, WOMB OF WISDOM, THE SACRED JOURNEY OF MENOPAUSE and HEART OF THE EARTH, NURTURING THE SACRED FEMININE. Both of these books can be ordered directly from sophia@wildheartwisdom.com

    Email: sophia@wildheartwisdom.com
    Website: www.wildheartwisdom.com
     

    Sophia offers two courses at the Wise Woman University:


    ~ Being Woman ~ (detailed description of Being Woman online course)


    This six week online course provides a sacred and nurturing space where woman can learn to surrender more deeply to the natural receptivity of the female psyche. "...so blessed to have had gentle words of encouragement and support from you through the "Being Woman" course at W.W.U.... You have inspired me to continue my quest... Thanks so much!"

    ~ Dawning of Wisdom ~ (detailed description of Dawning of Wisdom online course)

    Throughout this series of lessons she will learn to trust the innate flow of her intuitive nature and to listen more intimately to the wellspring of her inner source. And we will explore together how to live more fully as the embodiment of the feminine essence within the structures of a masculine civilisation.

    "I LOVE your class, it is beautiful and thought provoking and well done... Thank you Sophia for your role as wisdom keeper, confidante and mentor."

  • Monday, January 21, 2019 4:27 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Beauty of Women's Grief
    by Marie Summerwood
     



    As a teenaged girl I learned how not to cry, a legacy handed down through the women in my family for generations. Stiff upper-lipped working class British women did not cry. It was in my fortieth year that I began the path back to the beauty and sacredness of my tears. I was apprenticing for five months to a powerful teacher. Nearly every time we would sit in a workshop circle to speak, I would begin to weep. By the time the talking stick got to me I'd be starting already and would choke back sobs as I struggled to get out what I had to say, which was rarely about my weeping. I thought of my tears as a huge annoyance and just wished they would stop. They were chokingly difficult, embarrassing, and I just spoke through them, apologetically and with my head hanging, at least in my mind.


    A few weeks into my apprenticeship I finally "got" one of the truths about sacredness, that everything can be regarded as sacred. So I began to start to think about how to begin to start to think about understanding how to begin to start to think of my tears as sacred . A labyrinth of a sentence to describe a labyrinth of a process. Of course I passionately wanted the tears to just go away, but I was unable to make that happen. So instead I passionately chose a completely different path, one of honoring my crying, taking in crying as nourishment, looking for the gifts of my tears. Around that time I found a quotation, perhaps by Hildegarde of Bingen, that said something about tears being the aroma of holy work. That really made me cry, which I noticed as well. I began to craft a theory for myself that said when new parts of me opened, they would be ritually bathed in my tears. I spoke about this in circle and about my growing power to offer my tears in beauty. I wrote this poem upon witnessing, in a ritual once, a remarkable woman who had done some work in this regard.
     
    Priestess
    The woman in the jaguar mask
    knew why she was there;
    Felt every step of her journey from scared to sacred
    As she stood holding the heart of our circle
    From her own place on the circumference.
    We all sang generously as the small fire in the center
    Licked at our boats of curled white bark,
    At the leaves inside, cargoes of cast-off baggage
    Set free to the passion of immolation!
    As we sang deeply to open ourselves, her unscheduled solo began.
    It was a soft moan wrapped in a slow wail,
    Her voice weaving the sounds in
    With the music of our chant.
    Staccato sobs suddenly tripped my heart on
    The keening roller coaster ride.
    Her lips spread in a narrow grimace gate,
    We heard the pain rushing through.
    The sounds tumbled us
    Into old sorrowful corners,
    Sang us the tune of
    Our own lamentations.
    And the tears that spilled from her eyes
    Scalded all our hearts with grace.


    I come to wisdom about grief from another path as well. In my work with the four directions I have discovered emotional attributes there; perhaps some essential qualities about each direction that touch me in a particular emotional spectrum. It makes perfect sense, if I am a being of Earth. I have taken on the task of honoring these essential qualities in circle and they have grown in power for me. West is the direction of Grief and Joy, all the stories in between, of sadness and loss and openings and letting go and the mystery of love . In the West, Kwan Yin slowly practices Ta'i Ch'i as her soft brown eyes speak compassion to our hearts, offer arms to hold us as we grieve. Kwan Yin tells us that when grieving is held as sacred, women will be safe once again.


    Divine Mother Kwan Yin (1)
    May I walk in peace and gladness, May I walk in mercy,
    May I walk in peace and gladness, May I walk in mercy.
    Divine Mother Kwan Yin, may this heart be home to you,
    Divine Mother Kwan Yin, may this heart be home to you.


    Grief is a normal complex response to loss. Loss of life of course, but also loss of innocence or trust, loss of hope or safety, loss of our way, so many losses. The small losses of life are rehearsals for the larger and largest ones.


    In our bodies, grief can be a physical presence if we hold it in - in our muscles, in our throats, our bellies, our breasts, our hearts, etc. Emotions exist and travel in waves, or spirals. The word emotion comes from the Latin emovere , meaning to shake or stir up, to move out. I believe emotions arise in our heart and, as their name states, ideally move through us and out. Transforming us as they move, often moving us to action.


    It is essential to process grief over time, to literally move it through our bodies. When we hold onto unfinished waves of grief, or any emotion, those unfinished waves have a charge, which grows over time. They can take up residence in many parts of us, affecting our flexibility-spiritually, physically and emotionally. These accumulations are not toxins, needing to be cleansed. Instead they are memories and reminders of unfinished business. If we do not experience the transformative powers of feeling our own emotions, we are unfinished, we are not yet mature. Emotions ripen us.
    In her book Music and Women, (2) Sophie Drinker speaks eloquently of ancient and traditional religions who knew the importance of honoring grief.


    "It is easy for us to misunderstand these primitive wail songs because, with our overintellectualized and overdepartmentalized approach to music and to life, we have lost the simple yet profound consciousness of the oneness of joy and pain, of birth and death, that is in them.


    The wail alone..... sounds mournful in our ears. To observers of women who sing with tears streaming down their faces, it may seem an expression of inconsolable grief. But its intent is actually to ensure rebirth." (3)


    The traditional women she spoke of in her book often used sound to move the energy. Keening is a sound of wailing practiced by Irish women at wakes and funerals. Arab women have used wailing for centuries; there are strong traditions in Islamic countries where such practices still live. Women of many other countries - Greece, Italy, Sicily, Eastern Europe, China, the Pacific Island nations, etc. - also use wailing, wild crying, moaning and other sounds to express the pain, and to speak out loud for the community's grief. Some teachings of the Mayan culture say that grief and praise come from the same place. Grief is thought of as praise for what we have lost, and praise is not sincere unless the realization of mortality and loss is brought to it.


    For a few years I searched in vain for someone to teach me how to wail. I also searched for those sounds within myself and in circle with other women. In workshops and rituals we invited and evoked the sounds in different ways. Spontaneous crying is not the same as formalized grieving, so we have sought specific sounds of grief together. As students of women's mysteries, we consciously asked to remember the sounds of grieving. Within chants we found musical phrases that sounded like moaning or wailing. We sang them over and over so we knew the sounds, knew the pathways in our throats. Then we would do a ritual for this work, taking on the roles of the wailing women. It has felt like a learning and a remembering.


    What do we wail for? We often call upon a grief we all share, a grief for the hurts and violence around children, around women and the earth, around animals, the loss of species because of greed. Or we mourn all the witches who have died from hate and intolerance, Or we mourn those who have died unmourned, forgotten and alone. There is never a lack of reasons to grieve.


    In a women's circle, the grieving feels like old territory, ancient knowing. Everyone holds the space; some women weep or cry or moan, some sob quietly or loudly, some stare in silence, some drum or chant, some move and some stand still, each holding a place in honor for the tears and the grief. Loss is part of life. When the fabric of our family, community, world is rent by loss, grieving helps reweave the torn places. Whether we make the sound or hear it, something shifts in our nervous system. One of the reasons an infant cries is to reorganize its new nervous system, particularly if he or she has been taking in a great deal of information. It makes sense for adults as well; loss is a lot to take in. 


    When we love, we open our hearts to take someone in. When we lose them, we must open our hearts to let them out, more difficult since our stories and lives are woven with theirs. The sounds help to shift the grief so it is reorganized, not all of it, but enough to make room for life to continue and eventually, for joy again. It is an enormous gift of our tears, the capacity for more joy.


    When we hold something as sacred, we don't try to ignore it, or medicate it or run from it. What is sacred is respected and held in wholeness and holiness. What is sacred is safe. When we have the support of friends and family in our grieving, we are not alone. Grieving together truly makes community and helps heal pain as we gather to tell praises and stories of beauty about the one we have lost.


    Wanting to do magic to heal the spiral of life that is my family, I have wailed for my grandmother and her sisters. For my grandmother's mother, whose name I share. I offer my wailing to the women long dead in my family, and their many many unshed tears. Blessed be the tears of the women. Let us all make such offerings to our ancestors who could not weep. Let it be in beauty. Let it be in sacredness. Let it be for the healing of all.


    Footnotes:
    (1) lyrics to "Divine Mother Kwan Yin", a chant by Marie Summerwood copyright 1999
    (2) Music and Women, by Sophie Drinker, The Feminist Press at The City University of New York, 1948
    (3) Music and Women, page 26


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