Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017 3:37 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    A Weed Adventure in Phoenix Arizona

    Weeds are everywhere. Here is a respectable planter, at a lovely hotel, in the parking lot.

    Now get a little closer. Nice flowers, yes? Very pretty.

    Get even closer. Here’s our friend chickweed. Pretty and tasty and ever so useful.

    Ah, green blessings are everywhere, even in the parking lot.

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  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:40 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Altars, Part 2

    6.    Silk Skirt Altar. Because it doesn’t have to have candles or incense or even a statue of the goddess to be an altar. An altar is a scared space, and my silk skirt drawer is as sacred as I can make it.

    7.    Bedside Altar. The energy here is old and stable, filled with dreams and magic, charms and cobwebs, goddesses and candles. On this altar every night I burn a beeswax candle for all the people I have met that day that need healing. I often add a candle for personal magic. Right now, my gold candle for a prosperous year is lit.

    8.    Jewelry Altar. Ever so much better than hiding the jewels in a box, I began putting necklaces on Tara decades ago, when I was spending time with Pauline Oliveros, and have continued ever since. Can you tell that I love amber? And isn’t that a great photo of me and my guardian angel Keyawis? I miss you my love.

    9.    Green Tara Altar. Om Tare. Tu Tare. Ture so ha. (Ohm tah-ray, two tah-ray, two ray so ha.) Tara is the keeper of the green chi force. Tara is the Mother of all Buddas. Tara appears in a rainbow of colors, but her green manifestation is my favorite. (Of course!)

    A Weed Adventure in Phoenix, Arizona

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:21 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Altars, Part 1

    In the dark of winter, I light candles. I light candles at my altars.
    I seem to have altars all over my house. Everywhere I look there are altars, large and small. Not all of the have candles. Not all of them have a theme. But many do. Here are a few of my altars.

    1.    Artemis Altar. Here is some of my collection of Artemis posters and pieces. The climbing green witch seems to fit in with Artemis’s athleticism. Artemis is the goddess of the herbalist. Artemis is the goddess of the moon. Artemis is the wild woman who runs with the wolves, the coyotes, the hounds. Artemis shoots arrows of truth. Artemis is Diana. Artemis is Selene. Artemis is Moon Mother. Artemis is with us when we are giving birth.

    2.    Statue of Liberty Altar. After menopause, I was drawn to a new goddess archetype. I still love my first love Artemis, but she seemed less likely to help me with my crone issues. The Statue of Liberty wears a headband (with points!) and welcomes all. She’s my new squeeze (for the past fifteen years) and here’s her lair.

    3.    Love Altar. Perhaps the most changeable of all my altars, this little altar sits right beside me, where I write. It reminds me of people and places that I love and that love me too. Here is a box of Goddess matches, a gift from Z Budapest. And a purple gemstone heart that my daughter and granddaughter got for me at Niagara Falls. The little elephant belonged to my mother. There is a worked piece of bone (or antler) from Grandmother Twylah’s land. And a bright green glass turtle my sweetheart gave me last year. A wax goddess figurine from moonlodge. Several guardian fairies. And, of course, various images of Lady Lib: on a knife, a lighter, and a card. Life is such joy.

    4.    The Green Witches on the Couch Altar. Can you tell? They are taking over the couch. I remember when three people could sit there. No only two, tightly. Year by year, new green witches come for tea with their cronies and never go home. They are such a cheerful bunch; I love living with them.

    5.    The Green Witches on the Counter Altar. After taking over the couch, the green witches made a move on my counter and wrested it from my control. They now wink and giggle and shimmy as I pass by, a constant reminder to enjoy life.

    Altars, Part 2

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:01 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Green Greetings of gathering light to you all.

    It’s so obvious that the days are getting longer. The slant of the sun slides through the clouds carrying more warmth. Yes, yes, the coldest days are still to come, but the light has returned and spring is just around the corner.

    I always look forward to February 2, six weeks before spring equinox, when spring is sprung and spring is begun. How well I remember being in Ireland many years ago during my birthday week (Feb 8) and seeing daffodils in bloom. Breathtaking! Daffodils are not likely to be blooming in the Catskills, with the winter weather we usually have, but sometimes there are snowdrops by February. And if I cut a branch of forsythia this week, it may be forced into bloom by then, too.

    There is chickweed on my compost pile, but it’s too frozen to be used. However, I found a lovely chickweed plant just begging to be put in a salad when I visited Phoenix recently. Discover her with me right here. [link]

    Back home, I am settling in to work on my next book: Abundantly Well, the Seven Medicines. I will have lots to more to say about it as the weeks go on. For now, I want to share that it is the culmination of thirty years work and I am thrilled and terrified at the prospect of finally finishing it. Lighting a candle on one of my altars helps me focus and find the joy at the heart of the terror. I have lots and lots of altars. Peek at a few with me here. [link]

    I have also made some changes to the correspondence courses to modernize them; most notably, I have added a long list of MP3 files – some recent and some dating back thirty years – to the course, cut the prices for MP3s in half, and doubled the amount of files each student gets free. It’s like getting four times as much for the same price. If you’ve been thinking about starting a correspondence course, now is the time.  [link]

    Of course, everyone has access to those MP3s, not just correspondence students. Please visit my bookshop and help yourself to a handful of interesting MP3 to enjoy on your commute or at your leisure. (These recording were made at conferences and many end and start mid-sentence and sometimes the audience comments and questions are inaudible.) [link]
    Okay. It’s back to the new book now; back to writing. Next month I will share the table of contents with you.

    Green blessings of abundance and joy.

    Altars, Part 1

  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 5:19 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Report from Down Under, Part 2

    Look close and you will see a wild turkey. We are way out in the bush in Tellabudgera, at a small dwelling, at the edge of a man-made field.

    Planted by that small dwelling is a magnificent elder bush, intertwined with wild morning glories. Scarlett wondered if there were a spring nearby, and I replied “Elder like to keep her feet wet.”

    Around a bend and down a bit from the small dwelling is a path along a ridge that my feet said had been walked for thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands of years. The path takes us to a small natural meadow, guarded by this light-hearted tree.

    Perhaps she is tickled by the staghorn ferns on her knee. This tropical fern is widely grown as an ornamental. What a delight to see her at home, in the wild, in her native Australia.

    The bush. The forest. The wild (er) places. The places where my heart lives.

    There, in the middle of town, this brilliant red tree. Autumn upside down. Not red leaves but red flowers; not fall but spring.

    And everywhere I go there are old friends. Inland, in the valleys of the Gold Coast, yellow dock was plentiful. Scarlett and I stopped and discussed their many uses. Then we harvested a basket of wild oats. “Already dried!” I exclaimed with glee. Lucky for us that she had scissors with her. Thank you Scarlett for giving me my only day devoted to seeing Australia. I much prefer to travel by car, taking in the scenery and the greenery that I pass, rather than being flown hither and yon. Imagine! Scarlett is imaging collecting an Australian apprentice group for 2018 or 2019.

  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 5:04 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Report from Down Under

    This small red flower greeted me when I first set foot at the Baden-Powell Scout Center in Sydney. I hope you can hear the cockatoos carrying on in the background. And the kookaburra laughing in the gum tree.

    The Goddess Conference offered workshops on women’s “business,” including bush medicine, digging sticks, fiber and bags. The woman standing on the left, Auntie Miliwanga, honored me by coming to my plenary session on Saturday, and then doubly honored me by saying in her workshop on Sunday that her elders (her mother and grandmother are sitting behind her) need my help in dealing with the whitefella diseases. After her talk, I waited my turn to speak with Miliwanga and reassured her that my help was indeed available to her, as she wished. “Then you must call me sister. And this is your mother and grandmother,” she said, motioning to the two seated women. Just like that! I’m adopted. I’m thrilled.

    One evening I noticed the beautiful pattern made by the setting sun as it threw shadows of the long leafy branches of a tall shrub onto the sidewalk. The next morning, this miracle hung there, on the shrub, heavy and sultry in the heat.

    One of my most sensuous delights was in the scent of the gardenias planted in so many places I visited on the east coast of Australia. Imagine the scent of this shrub at dusk, as the last birds are calling out.

    Leonurus leodontus   This is Australian “motherwort,” best known as wild dagga, or lion’s tail. This plant towered over us. I could barely enclose the flower-head in my hand. If I wanted to, which I didn’t. Ouch.

    Like most mints, it is used against a wide variety of digestive, respiratory, and nervous system disturbances including: fever, headache, cough, dysentery, colds, influenza, chest infections, diabetes, hypertension, eczema, epilepsy, delayed menstruation, constipation, spider bites and scorpion stings, and as an antidote for snakebite.

    Wild dagga, when dried and smoked, is psychoactive. Sucking and chewing the leaves sedates, like a mild opiate.

    ~ Page Two ~

  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:49 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Green greetings to each of you.

    I am just back from an adventure-filled, heart-warming, incredible time in Australia. High Priestess Anique Duc was my tour guide, setting up places for me to teach in Melbourne, Sydney, Tallebudgera Valley, and Brisbane. Kylie Coad organized an exquisite event for me at The Heirophant (an herb store and more) in Canberra. I also taught at the sensational Australian Goddess Conference created and hosted by Bilawara Lee and Anique Radiant Heart, where I was adopted by three outrageous aboriginal women. I saw a portal to another world, a different dimension, open as these aboriginal elders (aunties) welcomed us to Country. I heard a kookaburra sing. I saw wild parrots eating flowers outside my window. I was healed by an Ice Dragon. I found new sisters. I tasted new flavors and met new green allies. I know I shall return Down Under – soon. More words and photos from my time in Australia are here.

    ‘Tis the gift-giving season. ‘Tis the season of sparkle and flash. ‘Tis the season of quiet introspection and raucus family gatherings. ‘Tis the season of evergreen. Need help making your gifts green? Here are a few suggestions for you.

    Instead of giving products that contain essential oils, choose hydrosols and products with infused oils. Mt. Rose has a great line of hydrosols, which don’t mess with your hormones like essential oils do. And Ku’umba Made has the absolute best scented coconut oils. They are totally divine.

    Instead of giving supplements, give herbs for nourishing herbal infusions. Include a link to my YouTubes showing how to make these deep and delicious drinks and add a book from my Wise Woman Herbal Series to complete your gift. I was quite happily embarrassed to find that my visit to Australia caused such a run on dried stinging nettle that all suppliers were sold out by the time I left. Fortunately, it is spring there, so they can replenish. And fortunately, the American herb market is robust and ought to have a good supply to last us through the winter. Frontier Co-op ,  Mt. Rose, and Starwest Botanicals all supply excellent quality herb in bulk.

    For that relative with joint pain, give them my new 24-video course “Happy Knees, the Wise Woman Way.” Justine and I had a wonderful time creating the content and making the videos for this course based on my popular workshop. If you like my YouTubes, you will love this. I include lots of herbs, foods, and simple home remedies to help you create healthy knees – and other joints – and ease pain caused by injury, arthritis, rheumatism, Lyme, or ordinary wear-and-tear. Calling all tennis elbows, skiers knees, carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers, knotty fingers, and those with “bad” backs.

    And for yourself, now is the time to start a correspondence course. In fact, it is your last chance to get a correspondence course that allows you to choose which books you want. Due to the ever-increasing costs of shipping books, as of 2017, I will provide these books with correspondence courses. Students taking the ABC of Herbalism will receive a set of five herbal texts. Students in the Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition will receive a copy of Healing Wise. Students in my Green Witch course will receive a copy of Childbearing Year, and Moon Days. Students in the Green Ally course will receive a field guide for their area. There is no time limit, ever, on your participation in your correspondence course, and you are welcome to pay in installments, so why not start right now!?

    Green blessings,


  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 5:16 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 4:33 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Goat Tower Finished!

    Our Goat tower is complete. The stones were lifted one by one and laid with great skill by craftsmen from Mexico , the roof was framed by a formidable carpenter from England , the copper for the roof was donated by very generous people in Illinois , and the copper was artfully installed by a fine local crew .

    We are thrilled at this culmination and truly grateful for the hard work, materiel assistance and generous portions of love to which all of you have served to us. We thank you, our new goats thank you, and the spirits of the ancestors thank you too .

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 3:59 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Top Ten Worst Diet and Healthcare Choices
    & Ten Better Choices

    Susun Weed 2016©

    10.     Blue-green algae
    I have saved the best (or worst) of my ten worst, for last: eating blue-green algae, such as spirulina or Klamath Lake AFA. If you eat blue-green algae, you won’t necessarily die (although you might), but your nervous system and your liver will suffer. Blue-green algae will interact with your genes and set the stage for nervous system dysfunction and breakdown in the years to come.

    What are the facts?

    Cyanobacteria are simple, primitive life forms found in all fresh and salt waters. When the water warms, they “bloom,” going from invisible to teeming with amazing rapidity. Cyanobacteria produce some of the most powerful natural poisons known, called cyanotoxins. With warming climates worldwide, cyanobacteria blooms are increasing, and incidents of poisoning by blue green algae are becoming more and more common and widespread.

    When wildlife – including cattle, ducks, geese and other, birds, even marine mammals – drink water contaminated with cyanobacteria, they die “rapidly and terribly.” 

    Worse yet, as blue-green algae blooms increase, so do neuronal diseases in humans, and there is strong evidence that there is a cause and effect relationship.

    Experts agree: Cyanobacteria toxins can be lethal in relatively small amounts.

    How lethal? Cyanotoxins "have gained increasing significance as potential candidates for weaponization." (1)

    The probability that a bloom will be toxic when consumed is 45-75%. Toxicity is hard to predict. Cyanobacteria that test fine one day can turn toxic the very next day. Only laboratory tests can confirm whether a bloom is toxic or non-toxic. While cyanotoxins are generally contained within the living blue–green algal cell, when the cell is damaged or dies, the toxins are released into the water. Supplements of blue-green algae with “broken cells for better absorption” may be particularly problematic Many cases of human poisoning from algal toxins have occurred after chemical treatments of blue-green blooms.

    •    1979, an outbreak of hepato–enteritis in Australia due to an algal bloom treated with copper sulphate – which killed the algae but caused it to release the toxin cylindrospermopsin – resulted in the hospitalization of 150 children and adults with vomiting, headache, painful liver enlargement, constipation, then bloody diarrhea, and dehydration.

    •    In 1991/92, Australia experienced the world's largest recorded blue–green algal bloom along 1000 km of the Barwon–Darling River. A State of Emergency was declared and drinking water supplies bought in to avoid death and injury.

    •    In 1988, in Brazil, more than 2,000 people who drank water with blue-green algae suffered from gastro–enteritis; 88 of them died. This is most human deaths reported from cyanotoxins.

    •    In 1996, eight years later, another 50 people in Brazil died from cyanotoxins when a dialysis clinic used water contaminated with cyanobacteria to treat patients.

    Why would anyone intentionally eat such a potentially dangerous substance? Money (of course). A quick look at the history of “the rise of spirulina and chlorella” is more than enough to reveal the crass commercialism involved. In the 1980’s Dr. Christopher Hills wrote books on blue-green algae as a way to promote his special formulas with “potentized” algae. (Remember: You can tell, or you can sell, but doing both is a clear conflict of interest. Buyer beware.) As if that isn’t enough, Hills’ products were not sold in the open market, but by multi-level marketing, which is a huge scam, like a Ponzi scheme.

    Gruesome details: Cyanotoxins include microcystins, anatoxin-A, cylindrospermopsin, lipopolysachharides, saxitoxin, and others.

    Microcystins -- the most commonly-found cyanobacterial toxins and the one most responsible for human and animal poisonings – are hepatoxins. Hepatotoxins cause blood to collect in the liver causing circulatory shock and can lead to death by internal hemorrhaging. They can cause weakness, vomiting and diarrhea.  Microcystins are very stable and last for a long time once released from the algal cells.

    Anatoxin-A is a potent neurotoxin which causes lethargy, muscle aches, confusion, memory impairment, and, at sufficiently high concentrations, death. The cyanobacteria neurotoxin BMAA may be an environmental cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. Neurotoxins interfere with the functioning of the nervous system and can cause death within minutes by paralysing the respiratory muscles.

    Cylindrospermopsin is a non-specific, relatively slow-acting toxin that damages most organs in the body including the liver.

    Lipopolysachharides have been associated with outbreaks of gastroenteritis, skin and eye irritations, hayfever, asthma, eczema, and blisters in the lining of the nose and mouth in humans. All blue–green algae have lipopolysachharides in their cell walls.

    Saxitoxin is produced by the freshwater blue–green algae Anabaena circinalis. Ingesting this blue-green algae can cause tingling and numbness of the mouth, tongue and extremities, nausea and vomiting, and severe neurological symptoms such as ataxia, muscle weakness, and dizziness.

    Yet another cyanotoxin, one found in Lyngbya (mermaids hair or fire weed) is known to promote tumors.

    The cell walls of all blue–green algae contain contact irritants which can cause gastrointestinal, skin, eye and respiratory irritations to humans and animals. There may be stinging, burning or itching within minutes of exposure with red swellings and blisters common. Those prone to asthma or eczema are most sensitive.
    Instead: Have you been led to believe that blue-green algae are nutritious? Commercial spirulina and chlorella products are heated during processing. Their cell walls “carmelize” as they are spray dried, resulting in an increase in toxity and a decrease in assimilation of all nutritional components.

    Instead, drink nettle infusion. It contains more protein, more minerals, more vitamins, and no cyanotoxins. It costs a lot lot less too!

    Learn More: The first published report that blue-green algae or cyanobacteria could have lethal effects appeared in Nature in 1878.
    AFA is Aphanizomenon flos aquae.Nerve and liver damage have been observed following long-term exposure.
    (1)    Dixit A, Dhaked RK, Alam SI, Singh L (2005). "Military potential of biological neurotoxins". Informa Healthcare. 24 (2): 175–207. doi:10.1081/TXR-200057850




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