Celebrating 35 Years of Training Shamanic Herbal Apprentices and Green Blessings

Thursday, January 03, 2019 8:01 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

Celebrating 35 Years of Training Shamanic
Herbal Apprentices

by Susun S. Weed


Green blessings of the evergreen season.


I am back from my trip to Paris with my daughter Justine and my granddaughter Monica Jean. We saw lots of plants that we knew, our friends the weeds, and visited botanical gardens to meet plants new to us, including acanthus, which I knew only from carvings. I will share more of our Paris plant times with you in future ezines.


As the year closes and darkness draws us closer to the fire, I think ahead to the coming year. What will 2019 hold?  I create my new schedule. I write a letter to all my correspondence students. And I set my topics for my HealthyLife.net radio show and my Enchanted Forrest chat group. No doubt, there will be additions and adjustments to be made as life unfolds, but, for now, I commit to being at these places on these days and talking about the set topics. Join me.


And join me in celebrating 35 years of training shamanic herbal apprenticeships.


It was 1983, and I was teaching at Omega Institute (where I will be again in 2019) when a young woman sat next to me and declared her intention to live with me. She was attending a college that required her to live and study hands-on with a practicing herbalist. Even though such a thing had never occurred to me, I agreed, and in 1984, Daphne Ross graduated as apprentice number one.


From then until now, 35 years, roughly 526 women have committed to a live-in shamanic herbal apprenticeship. (I am not including live-out apprentices, nor the apprentices I trained in Germany and Florida.)

Those 526 women paid a sizable application fee, spent half an hour or more on the phone with me while I tried to talk them out of living with me as an apprentice, and then were asked to reaffirm their commitment to stay in the program, no matter what. About 490 of them actually showed up and stayed for more than a day. And 316 (sixty percent) stayed for the amount of time they committed to (from 2 weeks to 6 months), graduated, and were initiated as green witches.


I am so proud of them. They are an amazing group of women who are helping me spread my idea: Herbal medicine as people’s medicine. The medicine that grows right outside your back door. They are the vanguard of a new/old way of taking care of ourselves. They are the mycelium that is taking off from my spores and spreading. Whether they are organizing women’s herbal conferences or taking care of those they love, writing books or cutting CDs, tending gardens or making art, they take joy in the green blessings around them and share them freely with others. They are my lineage, my daughters and granddaughters, my sisters, my beloveds. They have passed through a daunting and dangerous portal that I humbly hold. They carry a bit of my energy with them now. We share wisdom.


Help me celebrate shaman herbal apprentices in 2019.


All graduated apprentices.  Come back to the Wise Woman Center in 2019. Come for a moonlodge, come for a work weekend, come for a class weekend, come when you can, come alone or with your family, come as it is best for you. (I believe Lisa and Astrid are cooking something up about an apprentice gathering. That would be fun.) Let us celebrate you and your life.


Someone, preferably a past apprentice. Please create a virtual place where past apprentices can connect with each other. I want a place where apprentices can “brag” to each other about their successes, large and small, a safe place where to share joy without fear of jealousy. I trust that it will manifest in 2019. In celebration.


Everyone.  Celebrate with us. Make this the year you come to moonlodge, help out on a work weekend, or get your hands dirty at a workshop. Who knows what fascinating apprentice you will be rubbing shoulders with when you do. Some past apprentices have written books. They all have fascinating stories to tell.


Apprentices of the future: I have recently completely revised the information about shamanic herbal apprenticeship. Please refresh your webpage and read the new and longer letter.


Whether you are interested in apprenticing or not, if you plan to come to the Wise Woman Center in the future, you may find what I have to say about apprenticeship worth your while to read. It throws a light on the rigors of my apprenticeship program and the seriousness with which I go about this sacred work. It may even make you laugh.


Apprentices past, present, and future, and anyone who enjoys sentimental journeys. Meet me here every other week to look back at three and a half decades of training shamanic apprentices. Photos. Stories. Memories. Plants. Goats. Goddesses. Green witches. Joy.


My next book: Abundantly Well, the Complementary Integrated Medical Revolution is slated for publication October 2019. I am applying myself diligently to the final work on it. I know you will be pleased with it. I am. It is another book you’ll cherish, filled with information you can trust. A synthesis of fifty years of studying health and wholeness.


Green blessings



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