The Library - Articles

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:20 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    by Sheryl WoLover

    I am so fortunate to be here today and share my story of Yoga. The ancient rhythms of Yoga  untie us with ourselves.  These rhythms explore feelings, emotions and tell stories.

    Story telling is as old as the language of mankind. Long before there was the written word, stories were used to pass information from person to person, tribe to tribe, generation to generation. Stories are a flowing description of the human condition. Most importantly, stories are the glue that hold cultures together.  They teach values, morals and show people how to live.

    One morning as I was walking along the awesome Dungeness River with my dog Majic, I was gifted a unique sequence of Yoga poses joined together by an easy to remember story. This experience seemed to come from thin air.

    I believe that thoughts are energy, so from the grand energy “The Journey” was born. It’s a story which seamlessly links a series of poses, which adds a unique way of connecting  the poses together. We live this story, participate in the telling of it through our movements, imagination and through our  breathing.

    In the story “The Journey” the warrior (symbolizing the self) travels with a dog (symbolizing devotion) .  From the mountain top the two embark down to the valley below to visit a wise friend. Along the way the warrior and dog  travel along steep paths  and encounter obstacles whether challenging or beautiful.   In this yoga story we are able to transform our self from the rooted tree into the powerful eagle or transform our self from an arching bridge into a fish swimming effortlessly .

    The story is full of adventure all symbolizing many of the trials and tribulations and adventures within our daily lives.  Each of these  poses are done with intent and focus.  Learn a beautiful flow of poses and be swept away on a journey that  takes you away from the  clutter of the busy mind and body.  In this story explore deepen and expand your steadiness and strength.  With an easy to remember story  my hope is that your home practice becomes possible.

    Filmed in the Pacific North West the poses reflect animals and scenes native to the Olympic Peninsula.

    Where ever you are in your Yoga practice you will enjoy this new style of practicing the rhythms of Yoga ~

    I hope to be on video next month as we explore seated positions, hand madras. Why do Yogis say Nameste and what does this mean?

    Join me in the months to come and we will share this Yoga journey together.

    “Dreams create the Journey“.

    OM *=Oceans + Mountains^^^^ of Peace, Sheryl Wolover

    Sheryl (2) (1)Sheryl WoLover is native to the Pacific North West on the Olympic Peninsula~
    Mother of two children Mariah Trineen 29 and Bridger Weston 26 raised with Susun Weed's herbal infusions~
    I became a Massage Therapist in 1980 and still have a strong practice with my own business called Pacific Elements~
    A Personal Strength Trainer with National Academy of Sports Medicine in 1999~
    YOGA Teacher training program in 2003 and this is where I found a fabulous part of me! Creator of Yoga Legends...stories that link poses together~
    Jim and I live at Lake Leland Washington~ We have a small herd of cattle, 2 horses, 3 dogs, 1 old cat, 1 pig, chickens~ Another passion of mine is gardening, canning and gathering herbs for making medicine~

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:53 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    On the Trail with Dr. Deer

    A Tale of Turkey Tail
    by Thea Summer Deer
    ©2013 all rights reserved

    It may well be winter but the pantry is stocked full of treasures gathered and dried throughout the summer and fall. Turkey Tail mushroom is one of those treasures. Considered a functional food and medicine it has been used for centuries in Asia, Europe and by indigenous peoples in North America.  I discovered it in the same manner that I discover many of the medicinal plants that show up for use in my herbal practice – when a need for that particular medicine arises.

    A friend and hiking buddy of mine recently passed away after battling esophageal cancer and shortly thereafter, another friend received the same diagnosis. It left me asking, “why?” I was already aware of my talented artist friend’s long suffering with Hepatitis C, and a musician friend suffering with the same. Both were seeking alternatives.

    I found myself asking, “How can I help?” In answer to that question someone shared a TED Talk video on Facebook, Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world. And if that wasn’t enough to get my attention, CNN picked up the story and aired a shorter video called “The ‘Forbidden Fruit’ of Medicinal Mushrooms,” with mycologist, Paul Stamets. That is how I came to learn of Turkey Tail mushroom and it’s ability to assist in remediating certain viral conditions and cancers.

    Not only did Paul talk about Turkey Tail mushroom, but he also shared the story of his mother’s stage IV breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver. The oncologist, who was a woman, said it was the second worst case of breast cancer she had seen in 20 years of practice. Turkey Tail_2154

    She predicted that Paul’s mother had less than 6 months to live. She also told them about a new study using Turkey Tail mushroom to cure cancer. One year later after a course of Turkey Tail mushroom in addition to the standard drugs Taxol (paclitaxel) and Herceptin (trastuzumab), she had no detectable cancer.

    Turkey Tail mushroom, whose botanical name is Trametes versicolor, for its wide variety of colors, resembles a wild turkey tail. It is a member of the polypore family because it emits spores from pores on the underside of the leathery cap.

    It has long been used in China as a medicine where it is known as Yun Zhi. In Japan where it also has a long history of use is known as kawaritake, or “cloud mushroom” for the image it invokes of billowing clouds. In traditional Chinese Medicine Turkey Tail is used to clear dampness, reduce phlegm, heal pulmonary disorders, strengthen the stomach and spleen, increase energy and benefit people with chronic diseases.

    Chinese medical doctors consider it a useful treatment for infection and/or inflammation of the upper respiratory, urinary and digestive tracts. It is also regarded as a curative to chronic active hepatitis and is used to treat general weakness of the immune system.

    Turkey Tail is incredibly abundant and may be some of the most common mushrooms found on the planet.  Any time a plant is “common” you can be assured that it is the people’s medicine that is needed at that time. It is found virtually anywhere that there are dead hardwood logs and stumps. Lucky for me, it grows in the woods all around my house. I gather it all year long, dry it in paper bags and store it in a glass jar.

    Wild Turkey Tail has a lifespan of a year or two but persist years after they die, attracting and harboring a succession of other organisms. They generally stay potent for many years. Actions include: Anti-tumor, Anti-Viral, Anti-microbial, Immunomodulating, Anti-oxidant, and it has been found to be effective for immunodeficiency, and against multiple types of cancers, Hepatitis B & C, and malaria.

    Hot water extracts known as decoctions extract the rich immune supporting polysaccharides common to all medicinal mushrooms. Decoction is the only clinically validated method for breaking these polysaccharides out of indigestible cell walls.

    Hot water dissolves the indigestible fiber, chitin, which is a derivative of glucose and is also found in the outer skeleton of lobster. Most hot water mushroom/mycelium extracts are at least a 20:1 concentration.

    The anti-cancer polysaccharide found in Turkey Tail is polysaccharide-K (PSK.) PSK fights cancer tumors by inhibiting growth of cancer cells, stimulating immune response and enhancing the population and activity of NK cells and other lymphocytes.

    It is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation treatments as a non-toxic therapy to boost immune function (depressed by chemo and radiation), and to increase cancer survival rates. PSK has shown to be beneficial as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, sarcoma, carcinoma, breast, cervical, prostate and lung cancers, which is very good news indeed.

    So where my mind goes with this is, why just an adjuvant therapy? If radiation and chemo depresses the immune system and Turkey Tail boosts it while at the same time supporting and protecting the body against cancer, could Turkey Tail do the trick all on its own? Or better yet, what if it were part of a longevity strategy so that toxic therapies weren’t even a consideration? There is no question in my mind that more research is needed.

    Turkey tail is renowned in Asia as a source for cancer therapy, but is unlikely to be patentable in the US, deterring big pharma from conducting costly clinical studies. The reason for this is that the FDA requires that the Active Principle Ingredient (API) need be disclosed before approving a drug. The problem with this is that PSK is an assortment of sugars and attached proteins but has no unique molecule responsible for its impact on the immune system. This affirms its designation as a functional food.

    I feel very blessed to be able to wild craft Turkey Tail from around my home and when I’m walking in the woods I like to chew on a piece of it as a way of connecting with its medicine. It is tough and chewy with a non-distinct flavor. One thing to keep in mind with Turkey Tail mushrooms, like other mushrooms, is that they can hyper-accumulate heavy metals from air and soil pollution.

    This is one reason why it is important to find reliable or certified organic mushroom products. On the good side of this is that Turkey Tail can also accumulate selenium. I, personally, am dealing with mercury poisoning and when mercury meets selenium, they form a molecular unit that is totally non-toxic. So the next time you make a soup stock, try adding some Turkey Tails!


    The usual dosage in powdered form is 2 – 3 gm/3 X a day mixed into food or taken in a capsule. (Available from www.fungi.com)

    The therapeutic dosage is an escalation to 9 gm over a nine week period.


    1. Paul Stamets is a mycologist living in Kamilche Point, WA. He is the author of six books on mushroom cultivation and identification, including “Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms,” and most recently “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.” His business website is www.fungi.com

    2. The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH) approved a $2.25 million-dollar, 7-year study conducted jointly with Bastyr University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington. Researchers analyzed the impact of Turkey Tail mushrooms on the immune systems of patients with breast cancer. Results showed enhanced immune function that was dose dependent. The product taken was Host Defense Turkey Tail mushroom in pill form produced by Paul Stamets. Since Turkey Tail mycelium is presented in its unaltered form it qualifies as a FDA approved “nutraceutical” ingredient.


    Learn more in Thea Summer Deer’s class, Love Your Liver: Spring and the Wood Element, a work at your pace, online class at Wise Woman University.

    For an edible spring weed recipe visit: Thea’s Kitchen. Visit Thea Summer Deer: www.theasummerdeer.com

    Thea Summer Deer, Ph.D. is a clinical herbalist, educator, author and singer-songwriter. She began practicing midwifery in 1978 and was a founding mother of the South Florida School of Midwifery.

    Her involvement in Alternative Medicine spans 35 years as owner of Mindbody Press and Evolutionary Press, and as the executive director of Resources for World Health. She is a graduate of the Botanologos School for Herbal Studies and received her doctorate from Venus Rising University.

    Mother, Grandmother, avid cook and gardener, Thea is also an award winning songwriter performing in the acoustic duo, Thea & The GreenMan.

    Her new book, “Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a New Earth,” published by Inner Traditions International/Bear & Company, bridges botanical medicine with Earth-Spirit wisdom. ~~ Order Here ~~

    Learn more at www.theasummerdeer.com or “Like” her on Facebook.

    Listen to radio interviews with Thea Summer Deer

    Study with Thea Summer Deer Online
    ~ Indian Summer: Nourishing the Earth Element ~
    ( link to detailed description of Indian Summer: Nourishing the Earth Element )

    This class will benefit herbal and alternative medicine practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to heal and understand their digestive system for optimum health and longevity.

    ~ Hidden Treasure: Kidney Essence & The Water Element ~
    ( link to detailed description of Hidden Treasure )

    This class will benefit herbal practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to understand the vital role of Kidney Essence and how to achieve optimum health and longevity.

    ~ Heal Your Heart: The Fire Element~
    ( link to detailed description of Heal Your Heart )

    Heal Your Heart: The Fire Element, contains information I hope will someday be taught to our children as a matter of course so they grow in the knowledge that healing takes place in the context of relationships – our relationship with each other, the earth and her seasons and with the heavens.

    ~ Love Your Liver: The Wood Element~
    ( link to detailed description of Love Your Liver )

    This online course will benefit herbal practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to heal and support their liver for optimum health.


    "My goal in taking your class was to learn how the liver might affect hot flashes, but your gift of knowledge has far surpassed that and thank you." -- Helen Rollins Lord

    "I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying the classes and how much healing I am experiencing in my own life/body right now because of the information you have shared. I truly appreciate the gift of this class." -- Kristina White

    "I am so excited to have been guided to you and am so happy to be in this phase of my life with you. Thanks for being so very approachable and responsive." -- Sandi Manoogian

    "These classes have been so inspiring, gracefully presented and dense with insightful information." -- Emily Sabino

    "Thank you so much Thea Summer Deer. you have been placed on my path in perfect timing." -- Pat Alexander
  • Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:13 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    The Herbal Homestead
    With Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs




    I like to call our Urban Permaculture Farm, the Herbal Homestead. I call it this, because for me it all started with herbs. My first herb teachers were wise woman herbalists. They encouraged me to focus on the herbs growing right outside of my doorstep and this has remained as a pivotal place for me to return over and over again.

    A lot happens at our homestead. We grow food and medicine, we wild forage from green spaces in our community as well as neighbors yards. We tend the critters in our space, we feed ourselves, as well as our family and friends. We strive to expand our understanding of life and to weave ourselves into our surroundings.

    This column will highlight some of the things that happen here at The Herbal Homestead. It is an invitation to spend time with me through stories of daily life. 

    Winter Nourishment: Soup Stocks and Broths

    This morning I awoke and it was cold. We heat our home with a wood furnace, so sleeping 8 hours means that you wake up to a chilly house. My wool comforter made by the local woolen mill, keeps me very warm at night, yet when I emerge from under the covers I have two goals.

    1. To reignite the wood stove

         2. To make something warm to drink.

    I often make a cup of tea, but some mornings only a cup of broth will do.  I was inspired a couple of years ago when I attended a Weston A. Price Foundation Conference to begin incorporating broth into my breakfast routine. At the conference they served broth for breakfast. It was winter and I will never forget how satisfying that morning cup of broth was. I realized that by stereotyping broth as an afternoon or evening food, I was missing out on a very special morning opportunity. Of course I still incorporate broth into my winter stews and soups, but I now have expanded my horizons and added it to our homestead breakfast list!

    Below are a few of my favorite recipes for broth. Broth can be made and frozen for future use.


    How to Make Soup Stock: 3 Easy Broth Recipes

    Soup stocks are incredibly healthy, nutrient dense and serve as a quintessential comfort food on a cold day. Soup stock has a long history as a nourishing and healing food. While the village herbalist has always known the healing power of soup stock and chicken soup in particular, it took until the year 2000 for CNN headlines to read, “Chicken soup is medicine, U.S. scientists confirm.” Glad they caught up.

    There is no doubt that homemade soup and soup stock is healthy, tastes good and is easy to make.  The following are recipes that serve as guidelines. I say guidelines, as I am a scratch cook, which means that I add what I have. I love to add new herbs, spices, vegetables and animals parts. A couple of years ago I began adding egg shells. It means the stock that I make is always new and interesting. I often add herbs and spices not only for flavor, but to increase the nutrient density of the stock.


    Vegetable Stock

    Place the chopped vegetables, herbs, and spices into a crock pot or stockpot. I like a crockpot, as it can be left unattended for long periods of time. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Many people make vegetable stock from scraps such as peels and stems. If you use vegetable scraps to make your stock, you will need to strain them from the stock and discard them when finished. And to note, when you boil vegetables for a meal, a lot of their flavor and nutrients leach out into the water.

    The next time you boil vegetables, save the water and add it to your vegetable stock or next batch of soup. Of course being the seaweed lover that I am, I sometimes thicken and enhance the consistency of a vegetable broth by adding a red seaweed ie dulse, turkish towel and/or irish moss. Red seaweed contains carrageenan, which adds viscosity or thickness to the broth and is nutritious. Carrageenan is particularly supportive to the digestive system.    


    Chicken or Turkey Stock

    Place chicken or turkey bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot or slow cooker. If you have access to the feet of the animal you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin to the broth for a thick, rich, highly nutritious broth. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.


    Beef Stock

    Begin by baking the beef soup bones in the oven at 450 degrees for half an hour. If you have access to oxtail bones you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin. As with chicken or turkey broth, the gelatin will create a thick nutritious broth.  Put the beef bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the beef stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.


    *For bone broths you will want to place your stock in the refrigerator for 8 hours in order to separate the fat and for the broth to gel. The best broth will be quite gelatinous.

    *Adding herbs to any of these broths will also increase their nutrient density. I often add seaweed, burdock, astragalus, mushrooms, lovage, alfalfa, nettle and whatever else happens to be near by. There is no limit to what you can add to your stocks! Have fun! Seaweed added to stock contributes much needed trace minerals.

    Gelatin extracted from bones is a nutritious source of protein as well as collagen, calcium, minerals and the amino acids proline and glycine.

    Stock made from poultry or other bones increases endurance and strengthens the immune system and veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, skin and bones. It also soothes and heals the gastro-intestinal tract and is thus a potent medicine for people suffering from food sensitivities and digestive or bowel problems. All stock provides an easily assimilable form of vitamins and minerals.


    Using Your Stock

    You can use the stock immediately as a base for soup, or you can freeze it and begin making your soup on another day. If you freeze the soup stock, leave a bit of space in the top of the container for expansion. It is a good idea to freeze the stock into the portion size that works best for you. A single cup of stock can be warmed on a cold day for an instant meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Tossing in leftover meat and vegetables from the refrigerator creates a wonderful meal. Adding cream, pureed vegetables, starch, or flour can thicken soup stock. I also cook rice and other grains in soup stock for added nutrition and flavor. This is a very creative process and a great way to enjoy leftovers in a new and refreshing form.

    May the stock be with you during these cold winter days.


    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.
  • Sunday, January 20, 2013 5:08 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    The Language of Plants
    by  Kimberly Cedar Cat

    We lost our memories of connectedness relatively recently in the span of human history, say the last 1000-1500 years.  Which seems like a long time, until you realize that humans have been on this planet for around 5 million years and the planet itself is thought to be at least 5 billion years old. At least according to the scientists.

    Ancient wisdom survives with indigenous people around our planet, who have lived this wisdom for time beyond memory.  (That is, those who survive our endless, destructive push towards “civilization”.)  The ancient wisdom is a holistic, or perhaps more accurately, a “holographic” way of living.  The whole is contained in each part and each part is sacred.

    We now know that everything in the Universe is actually made up of the same basic “stuff”.  We and the Universe are truly One!  We are All connected.   Our science is only as advanced as our technology and as science continues to improve its measuring devices, it is slowly catching up with the native peoples and their ancient wisdom.

    All is energy and each plant and tree and stone and animal and insect is connected and makes up a sort of vast, universal “Being”.   Spiraling endlessly from the void and back again.  Spun by the energy of the yin-yang, darkness and light, never balanced, always in dynamic disequilibrium.  Everything is food and nourishment for something else.

    The Wise Woman tradition helps us remember how to connect to the plants and their energy. They are sentient.  They respond to our words, thoughts and emotions.  They have auras, just like we do.   They are our green sisters!

    Once you get to know them, you’ll have green allies wherever you go.   Some I know by their Latin names.  And yet, the science is only one dimension of the plant - that “straight-lines”, “rational” thinking dimension we’ve been stuck in for 1000 years.

    Actually sitting with a plant: breathing with it, listening to your intuition, feeling it  - spiraling with it - that opens the door to our ancient memories.  The plant will give you her healing wisdom.  Shamanic Herbal Apprentices at the Wise Woman Center choose a Green Ally and develop a deep relationship with the plant without benefit of books.

    She whispers her name softly, sometimes in languages unknown.  She reveals herself to you as a lover.  She speaks her healing truth for unique & beautiful you.  Find the voice of your Wise Healer Within.  Your own unique Truth Within.

    Truth Within is sacred. It’s whole. It’s a positive energy that unifies and feeds the body and the mind. It helps you digest your food, digest your lessons, and move through your Earthwalk in a focused and positive manner.

    Seneca Elder Twylah Hurd Nitsch, Grandmother Two Worlds

    This is how plants talk to people around the planet.  Indigenous shamans, medicine women and men prove this out.   Consider that no matter how remote the location, nor how far apart these shamans might be, they will point to the exact same plant, and have the exact same medicinal uses for it!  Many times the names are quite similar.

    They never had contact with the outside world, nor each other.  How can this be?  The plants told them!  And the plants will tell you, if you will only learn their language and be still and listen to your Wise Healer Within.  The one who understands Oneness and connection.

    And guess what?  The plants also heal each other, in a vast interconnected web, akin to our own neural networks.  Scientists confirm that plants communicate with each other, nourish each other, heal each other.  Which only makes sense when you consider that some plants on the planet today have been here for 100 million years - far longer than humans.

    So, do we think they were just hanging around, waiting for us humans to evolve?  Seems doubtful.  Everything is food and nourishment for something else.  We are all One, all energy, each vibrating at our own unique frequencies.

    The Seneca Indians of the Northeast, one of the great peaceful Iroquois Nations, have a sort of “bill of rights”, which some say our founders used as a model for our own.  The difference is that theirs begins “All are created equal”.  ALL.  Not all men, not even all people, but ALL!

    The sacredness of All and of each One provides us a deep connection and relationship to our planet and the other beings who live here.  Native American tribal wisdom contributed to the founding principles of the US Constitution.

    White leaders watched the method of government that the Iroquois utilized and they learned union and democracy from it. Historians are now beginning to admit what they must have been aware of, that the government of the United States is not patterned after something across the ocean where there was a belief in the divine right of kings and where the people had no voice, but it is patterned after the government of the People of the Long House, where all people, including both men and women were respected and took a part in their government.”

    Excerpt from The Effect of the Iroquois Constitution on the United States Constitution by
    Janet L. Daly,  Fitchburg State College (1997)

    If you’d like to learn more about how to work with plants to make and use simple, natural medicines, please contact me.  If I’m not in your geographic area – I live in the suburbs of New York City – then we can connect by phone, Skype or by email.  

    I don’t have a magic green pill to sell you.  Wise Woman wisdom  empowers you to reclaim your health.  I will give you objective advice for healing your unique and beautiful self.  You can also sign up for one of my classes, either live online.

    See my website at http://www.AncientMotherWisdom.com for more information and a calendar of upcoming live and online classes.

    Please join me as we re-weave our ancient healing tapestries and remember who we really are.  Here’s to our Awakening to this simple fact: We are All One.  We are All Connected.  So talk to the plants, and listen.  Take 10 minutes each day and just breathe with your plant.  Each breath is a giveaway dance between you and the plant.  Soon you will be able to hear her and understand the language of plants, using your beautiful intuitive self.

    Green Blessings,                                                                   

    Kimberly Cedar Cat
    Wise Woman herbalist & educator


    Sign up HERE for my free herbal ezine, Weeds of Wisdom.  Delivered twice a month to your email inbox, Weeds of Wisdom delivers powerful, timely information you can use to reclaim your health!

    Kimberly Crail, MBA, CPA spent over two decades as a financial executive, working for corporations large and small.  In 2008 she began her transformation from corporate CFO into Wise Woman, Kimberly Cedar Cat, by completing a Shamanic Herbal Apprenticeship with Susun S. Weed.

    She is now a Wise Woman herbalist & educator and is devoted to empowering people to reclaim their health.  She lives in suburban Long Island, NY with her 3 cats.

    Visit her at www.AncientMotherWisdom.com for more information and a calendar of upcoming live and online classes.

    Kimberly exemplifies the Wise Woman Tradition. Her workshops nourish deeply, re-empower thoroughly, and help you reclaim your health!”

    Susun S. Weed, author and herbalist.

  • Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:16 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Creating Your Personal Vision for 2013
    by Catherine Bastedo

    I am honoured to be asked to write a monthly column and do so with the hope that my words will reach you at the right time, in the right place, and bring you whatever is in your highest good in that moment.  This first message, focusses on beginning the year 2013.

    If you have not yet done so, please take a moment, close your eyes, and picture what you would like to create in your life this yearundefinedhealth or abundance or a new/better relationship, closer ties with family, deeper connection to the universal energy around us, peace and harmony…  And what would you like to let go ofundefinedgrief? anger? old wounds? worry? fear?...

    To start with, picture energy pouring into you through your Crown and streaming down through your body to your root, right down to the soles of your feet.  Let this energy, like a river, wash through you, cleansing, carrying away debris, taking with it anything that no longer serves you.  Let those old feelings of hurt/ insecurity/ lack of confidence be borne away.

    Next, draw up energy from your feet.  Picture the soles of your feet on the ground, on Mother Earth, and extend roots from your feet into the earth, downwards, outwards, strengthening your ties with Nature, with your friends and colleagues, with your extended family, even with your ancestors.

    This is part of who you are, whether these roots please you or not.  Be grateful for your roots, as they have brought you to where you are today.  And yes, you are where you are meant to be.  

    You may want to picture your roots wrapping themselves around a beautiful crystal in the earth, amplifying the energy.  It is important to acknowledge your roots, to feel them and strengthen them, because without roots we can be blow over by the least storm that comes our way.

    As you feel your roots, at the same time welcome the light pouring in through your Crown.  The two flows of energy meet in your Heart, and spread through your whole body.  No matter what your state of health, on the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual plane, this little visualization will help.

    And now, in a more clear state, go back to your thoughts and feelings about 2013.  I suggest you form a positive message to yourself, and phrase it in the present, as if it is already happening, as in, “This year I use my talents to create…. This year I have a loving relationship with a wonderful partner.  This year I practice gratitude every day.  Repeat your affirmation during your meditation, or in those moments in bed just before getting up or falling asleep.  Picture yourself doing what you would love to do.

    My 101-year old aunt lives by herself in her two-story house and enjoys life to the fullest, driving her car, quilting and entertaining family and friends. The local museum just held a show of her art.  I said to her on a recent visit, “What is your secret?” and she immediately laughed and replied, “Get a good night’s sleep, eat three good meals a day, and do what you enjoy doing!”

    So remember, Energy follows Intention.  Let your intention for 2013 be positive, fulfilling and wonderful.

    I wish you joy in the journey, and look forward to connecting with you again soon!

    Catherine Bastedo
    teaches Usui-Holographic Reiki at all levels, facilitates healing through energy sessions, and holds spiritual nature workshops and retreats. She also offers Reiki at the Maplesoft Survivorship Centre.

    She is the author of Bird Vibes , a meditation deck based on the chakras and our spiritual connections to birds and the French adaptation in book format, Les oiseaux, nos guides spirituels. This deck helps to understand daily life situations and deepen our connection with the universal energy in us and around us.

    Catherine is a Reiki Master and has a M.A. in Canadian Studies (Carleton University). She held leadership roles as an executive in the Canadian Public Service and then as the Executive Director of the International Council for Canadian Studies for a number of years.

    Catherine is also a Director of the Board of the DIVA Foundation, which supports advances and rewards excellence in women’s health and well-being.

    Catherine Bastedo uses archetypes, myth and nature totems to help people reduce stress, release and transmute old patterns, restore balance on the physical, mental, and emotional levels and develop new ways of looking at life and the patterns in their lives.

    Her clients and students appreciate the wisdom, experience and love of nature she brings to her work.

    Study with Catherine Online at the Wise Woman University

    Ongoing Registration - Join Anytime

    This online class will help you learn the location of your seven major chakras and their attributes, as well as the state of health of your own chakras and how they affect your emotional and physical health. You will learn how to sense your chakras, connect with them and techniques for clearing and aligning them, through quick exercises and assignments.
  • Friday, January 18, 2013 8:09 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Womb Wonders and Baby Blessings

    Window to the Womb
    by Dr Jill Diana Chasse

    There’s no window in your belly. No way to look inside and see what’s going on within your womb. You know your child is growing, developing and changing, but you may feel detached, or anxious to see your child’ s little hands and those chubby legs that are kicking your side.  Creating your own window into the womb, a window into your baby’s world and brand new life is a significant activity for early bonding and one that can help unwind and relax both of you.

    Connecting with your child through visualization strengthens development and builds lasting bonds of love.  Seeing is something we do not only do with our eyes. We see with our heart, with our power of touch, and with our mind.  Pregnancy is a time when the amazing ability of human visualization can be utilized.

    Did you ever see a commercial about breakfast and suddenly smell the coffee and taste the bacon?  How about when you’re driving to work and the radio announcer is talking about a trip to sunny Florida. Can’t you just feel the sun and hear the ocean? The human mind has absolutely amazing capabilities when it comes to visualization and imagination. Creating a mental picture of your child within your womb allows a stronger sense of connection and bonding.

    Parenthood is a new stage of life and every change we make adds both challenge and excitement. Becoming more acquainted with a change allows emotional regulation and strength and coping mechanisms to assist. Developing a relationship with your baby before birth gives a mother more time to emotionally and psychologically adjust to that change of becoming a parent. Even with subsequent children, developing the relationship with each individual child and preparing for the change of an additional family member is vital.

    This preparation is best done prenatally.  It is also best to use your senses when meeting your baby. Sing and talk to her, rub his back with your hands across your belly, and picture her little toes, tiny nose, and sweet tender head cradled soothingly within your womb. When using active visualization, meeting your child becomes a process, initiated early and gently.  In this introduction process, both mother and child grow together.

    Designing your own window to your womb creates an opportunity to gently flow into parenthood with increased strength, understanding, harmony and of course, vision.

    Jill Diana Chasse

    Dr. Jill Diana Chasse is maternal/child public health practitioner, an author and a counselor. Jill has been working with the mother-baby dyad in birth and psychology for over 20 years.

    She has studied midwifery at both Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute and Institute of Holistic Midwifery, holds Master's degrees in Psychology and Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Health Administration.  

    Personally, she loves the ocean, skiing, horseback riding, and cuddling up with her kids, hot coffee and a good book in front of a fireplace on a snowy evening.

    Currently, she works in public health for the federal government and teaches classes for the Childbearing Year at Wise Woman University, online, including the childbirth education method she founded, BEBE- Baby-Empowered Birthing Education.

    Listen to a 30 minute radio interview with Jill Diana Chasse

    Study with Jill Diana Chasse Online

    ~ Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support ~
      ( link to detailed description of Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support )

    Manage pregnancy and postpartum emotional challenges including baby blues and PPD symptoms to help reduce the risk of depression and keep yourself and your baby mentally and emotionally strong.  REGISTER HERE

    ~ BEBE - Baby Empowered Birth Education ~
    ( link to detailed description of BEBE )

    Baby-Empowered Birth Education is a Complimentary Natural Childbirth method for use with or without medications, at home, birth center, or in a hospital with key concepts of “Experiencing, Understanding and Enjoying” your labor and delivery through emotional support, empowering yourself, and empowering your baby. REGISTER HERE

    ~ BEBE Childbirth Educator Certification Program ~
      ( link to detailed description of BEBE for Educators )

    Become a “Baby-Empowered Birthing Education” Certified Childbirth Educator offering women and babies an empowering, magical, enlightening, and passionate natural choice for childbirth education, encouraging them to “experience, understand and enjoy” the Magic of Motherhood! REGISTER HERE

    This is an online workshop intended for parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy or after birth. It is a self paced, guided tour through the healing process to work through grief and bereavement issues. Working through these issues in this format is especially helpful in the early stages of grief when the shock and pain is still raw.

    Baby Magic for your Magic Baby
    By Jill Diana Chasse

    Baby Magic is a Spiritual Guide to Motherhood. Beginning before conception, Baby Magic guides a woman on her magical journey of becoming a mother.


  • Tuesday, January 01, 2013 7:16 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Sara Deutsch, M.S.,(PhD abd) is a college teacher, Creative Arts Therapist and multimedia artist who explores creativity as a healing force. Sara’s journey led her into many worlds. She trekked alone in the Himalayas, and lived in virgin jungles of Hawaiian Islands, eating only fruit and wild vegetables.

    She draws from doctoral study in Psychobiology and East/West Psychology, years in a contemplative order, 26 years of private practice and teaching, and multimedia explorations. She started telling writing her autobiography to connect and integrate her many life experiences.

    Sara is a visionary artist with thousands of original paintings. Her art portfolio includes Life Portraits, Memory Art, and interactive mandalas done for herself and her clients.

    She also creates Life Movies incorporating the subject’s photographic stills, voice overs, and favorite artwork and symbols. Her Ebook, CREATIVE AUTOBIOGRAPHYundefinedTelling Your Story summarizes 26 years of teaching with visual and written examples of whole brain writing processes, inspirations and an extensive booklist.
  • Tuesday, January 01, 2013 7:14 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    JoAnne Dodgson is a healer, author and teacher of Ka Ta See, a unique Peruvian tradition from the Eastern Andes.

    JoAnne has a doctorate in counseling psychology and has pursued an extensive twelve-year shamanic apprenticeship to live and learn the Ka Ta See tradition and share the ancient teachings and ceremonial ways.
  • Tuesday, January 01, 2013 7:13 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Thea Summer Deer, Ph.D. is a clinical herbalist, educator, author and singer-songwriter. She began practicing midwifery in 1978 and was a founding mother of the South Florida School of Midwifery.

    Her involvement in Alternative Medicine spans 35 years as owner of Mindbody Press and Evolutionary Press, and as the executive director of Resources for World Health. She is a graduate of the Botanologos School for Herbal Studies and received her doctorate from Venus Rising University.

    Mother, Grandmother, avid cook and gardener, Thea is also an award winning songwriter performing in the acoustic duo, Thea & The GreenMan.
  • Tuesday, January 01, 2013 7:12 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Dr. Jill Diana Chasse is maternal/child public health practitioner, an author and a counselor. Jill has been working with the mother-baby dyad in birth and psychology for over 20 years.

    She has studied midwifery at both Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute and Institute of Holistic Midwifery, holds Master's degrees in Psychology and Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Health Administration.  

    Personally, she loves the ocean, skiing, horseback riding, and cuddling up with her kids, hot coffee and a good book in front of a fireplace on a snowy evening.

    Currently, she works in public health for the federal government and teaches classes for the Childbearing Year at Wise Woman University, online, including the childbirth education method she founded, BEBE- Baby-Empowered Birthing Education.
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