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Natural Health and Healing in the Wise Woman Tradition ~ A Year Study: January

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:25 PM | Anonymous

Natural Health and Healing in the
Wise Woman Tradition
By Susun Weed



The Wise Woman tradition is invisible. Without healers, without diseases, without cures, without certificates, without guarantees, it exists. It has no rules, no right answers, no promise of life eternal. The Wise Woman tradition is a spiral of uniqueness, everchanging, like a woman, steeped in and rising out of the blood mysteries, the wisdom of womb-ones, the knowledge of those who hold their blood inside.

The Wise Woman tradition honors the ordinary and avoids the exotic, works simply and steers clear of complication, accepts failure, chaos, and the eternal void with humor instead of fear and dread. The Wise Woman tradition is compassionate and heart- centered. It honors the Earth. It is local and ecological and urges us to use our dooryard weeds instead of the latest miracle herb from far away.

The Wise Woman tradition maintains that health is best defined as flexibility and that deviations from normal (that is, problems) offer us an opportunity to reintegrate parts of ourselves that we have cast out, emerging healed/wholed/holy. Illness is understood as an integral part of life and self-growth, with healer, patient and nature as co-participants in the healing process.

This is in marked contrast to other traditions of healing. In the Scientific tradition the doctor is highly visible and the patient is reduced to a body part or a disease designation. In the Heroic or Holistic tradition, the healer is the one who knows the right way to do things and the patient must follow the rules in order to get well. Most so-called alternative medicine comes from Heroic traditions, which emphasize fasting, purification, colonic cleansing, rigid dietary rules, and the use of rare botanicals in complicated formulae. Metaphysical healing also is applied that way: It views illness as a failure rather than a natural and potentially constructive process.

The Wise Woman Tradition reminds us that wellness and illness are not polarities. They are part of the continuum of life. We are constantly renewing ourselves, cell by cell, second by second, every minute of our lives. Problems, by their very nature, can facilitate deep spiritual and symbolic renewal, leading us naturally into expanded, more complete ways of thinking about and experiencing ourselves.

The Wise Woman Tradition encourages us to work towards good health from the inside out. And to remember that our healing choices influence not only ourselves but the entire planet.

Month One * Waiting * Arctium lappa

In the darkness, there is waiting. Underneath, the roots hold firm. Dare you reach down? To dig deep, deeper, yet deeper, until you grow weary, fingernails broken, anointed by your own sweat? If you do, if you persevere, you will reach her. Your fingertips will caress her cool rough black skin. Honor her power, ask for her help. You will hear her answer, feel her as she gives away to you, as she allows you to take her out of the earth.


With your hands and cool water, softly coax the dirt away; sharpen your knife. Cut thin slices, stopping where the root grows dense and begins to yearn upward as leaf. Fill a glass jar: once with slices, then with room temperature apple cider vinegar. Watch it through six weeks of Change, and, just as the light returns at Solstice, eat and drink your potion if you wish to build strength in your liver, your life, your kidneys, your stamina, your intestines, your immune system, and your skin.



A Study for Every Month

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