Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Monday, January 21, 2019 6:42 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Ode to Marie - Photo Album, Page 2

    2001: Workshop and Apprentices

    Marie, surrounded by apprentices and workshop students. I may have missed a few names; help me out; I know you will.

    In the back, from the left: Julie?, Helen (#207), Deb Red Onion, Marie, Susun, Rachel?, Jackie (#204), Julia?, Peggy hugging Shauna/Astrid (#208), (blue hat)?, Catherine (red hat, #209)

    front row: kneeling: Sarah/Featherhawk, who in poncho?, Rachel (#210), Krista (#206)

    Leela must be taking the picture. Love to you all.


    1999 & 2000: Tender Moments

    It wasn’t all cooking and singing and ritual making and teaching and dealing. Marie and I found tender moments to share our hearts. Friends rule! (So does purple!) Knowing Marie for decades has been a continuous blessing in my life and my career. For many years Marie was my official photographer. So the way you see me, the images you see, are the way Marie saw me. I so appreciate her loving gaze. Lady Beauty made me beautiful in every photo.

    “When you look into my eyes and see the love there

    Shi-uh-i-uh-i-uh-ine (shine with a warble)

    Reflection of your own true love

    Reflection of your own true love.”

    (Words by River)

  • Monday, January 21, 2019 6:17 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Photo Album

    2001: Lady Lib and Lady Beauty

    No. This is not an episode of I Love Lucy. This is an episode of green magic and high jinks. Marie and I are enjoying ourselves while waiting for the apprentices to gussy up and be ready to present their Goddess pageant. Love your smile Marie.


    2000: Marie and shamanic herbal apprentices

    Marie interacted with nearly every shamanic apprentice for more than 20 years, having a deeply positive and empowering impact on many of them. Here she is at our ritual space, with Teresa Marie (#196), Ashley (#200), Kris (#197), Meghan (#201), and Marni (#202). Hmm. That is too many. And where is Sarah? Probably taking the picture.


    2002 and 2004: The Ladies Make Magic

    Marie and I created and led magical rituals together for nearly two decades: Solstices, Equinoxes, Cross Quarter Days, Full and New Moons, and Green Witch Initiations. Here we are, two high priestesses, in all our finery, ready to lead the procession to the holy mesa to initiate Green Witches. I have my staff of power and Marie is ready to ward off all problems with her green scarf. I could write an entire essay on initiation. Making and keeping a commitment is the royal road to power. Making that commitment in front of your sisters and having them affirm that they hear you confers a magical ability on you that endures, and, if nourished, grows. I am so honored to have the privilege, as Lady Iona, to pass this magic on to every apprentice.


    2002: Lady Beauty

    Marie taught us how to assume a glamour. She taught us how to chant our own songs. I initiated her as a Green Witch in 1990, and as a high priestess in 1992. She continued to make creative, colorful, delightful magic with me publically for the next twenty years, both at my home and in Syracuse, her home town. Way to go Lady Beauty. The magic never ends, dear friend. Your magic lives on in the very rocks of the Wise Woman Center – as does your altar to the Blessed Virgin, your namesake.


    ~ Page 2 ~

  • Monday, January 21, 2019 6:14 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Greetings of the growing light to you.


    I spent the day with Marie Summerwood (shamanic apprentice number 50) recently.

    We cried. We laughed. We reminisced. We kissed. We told stories. We drank infusion. We ate goat cheese lasagna. We enjoyed chocolates from Krause’s. We sang songs, songs Marie wrote for me, for us all. We looked at photos. (Here are a few.) We talked about the many workshops Marie taught at the Wise Woman Center: on grief, on chanting, on sacred sex. I thanked her for helping me with so many apprentices and cooking with me for so many years and for so many women.


    We always joke that when Marie started her apprenticeship, she was a professional macrobiotic chef. And when she graduated, she was a damn fine cook. I have a macrobiotic background myself, but tend to follow dictums rather than practices (when they don’t agree). The main dictum of macrobiotics – “Eat what is in season where you live” – becomes, in practice, “Eat what is in season in Japan.” Teaching Marie to harvest and eat weeds brought to a whole new consciousness to her macrobiotic cooking.


    Marie, my apprentice, my help mate, my friend of thirty years. I cherish you. Marie gave me books and a tray carved of teak and anything I wanted from her jumble drawer. I gave her a pair of green silk pants, a bottle of rose water, and an embroidered red silk scarf. Marie was diagnosed with stage 4, metatastic breast cancer this past August. Nothing modern medicine has to offer touched her cancer, but the treatments (chemo and radiation) weakened her to the point where she could not stand. She was taken care of with great finesse and grace by loving women of her community. Hospice was too late. Marie left her body before they could come.


    Marie would like you to sing for her. Marie welcomes your loving thoughts. She is smiling. She is smiling at you. She beckons you to the Green Goddess Week, which is dedicated to Marie this year. (And filling up fast.) When Green Goddesses are initiated as Green Witches, they visit Lady Beauty’s Beauty Parlor, a special place Marie created for us to help us connect with the glamour of the Goddess. My life and land are imbued with so much of Marie’s glamour and magic. We wove so many spells here together.


    Be like the bird, who, halting in her flight, on a branch too slight, feels it give way beneath her, and she sings, sings, knowing she has wings, she sings, sings, knowing she has wings.


    In honor of Marie, and in honor of your compassion for her flight, please accept my gift of any one of her magical, powerful CDs with your order of at least $30 from the Wise Woman Bookshop from now until the end of February. Also, for the entire month of February, my special offer, repeated from last year due to popular demand: Buy ten classes for $750, get 13. That’s $225 worth of classes free. Wow.


    Marie’s apprentice year was a solid one for apprentices. Irmela, Caro/Lilith, Regina, and Barbl – all from Germany – were four of the 23 shamanic herbal apprentices who graduated with Marie in 1990. Ann graduated after 13 weeks and returned home to Boulder to spread the word on the Wise Woman Way. She is still doing it, with grace and beauty. I am so proud of her. Thanks for the MAM sweetie. (Mayan Abdominal Massage) I love and appreciate you. Also graduating in 1990 was Jaia, who did the covers for all the Juliette de Bairacli Levy books published by Ash Tree Publishing. Last I heard from her, she was recovering well from a joint replacement. Love you too gypsy woman. Sylett Stickland is another 1990 graduate who went on to teach and do good works. You rock girl. I love you. I haven’t heard from Nikki, or Chris/tina, Maggie or Cindy, Amy or Ellen, Maureen or Chris, but Nora and Annemarie, Gardenia and Kim have been in touch over the years. Smooches to you all.


    Applause for the past apprentices. Hooray for spreading the word on nourishing herbal infusions and healing by nourishing. Write or email or text or send a psychic message and let me know what you are doing now. I want to brag on you!

    Green blessings to all.

  • Monday, January 14, 2019 6:24 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    More Celebrating of 35 Years of Shamanic Herbal Apprentices, contd.

    As for this photo, no, we did not plan to all wear pink pants, it just happened that way and we made it a Kodak moment. The biggest grin in the photo belongs to Marianne from Germany, who, I am sure, continues to light up everything her life.  Emily is next to me, and next to my heart. Then I think that is Blade, who does great magic, but it might be Inana, or even Phillipa, from New Zealand; it’s hard to tell. In green is Bets-sea, the youngest apprentice ever. (She turned 17 while she was here.) Love to you all. On the right is Tanta Rose, a women from Holland who arrived by taxi one day, exclaiming “No need to call. You are a shaman, so you were aware that I was coming.” She fit right in from the first day and made herself indispensable despite her limited English.


    One of the highlights of each apprentice group is the Goddess Pageant, when each apprentice presents her goddess archetype to the group. Their pieces are imaginative, creative, fun, and well costumed, as you can see. The goddess on the right is a glowing Lauren. Sweetie! Next to her is Emily, great herbalist. On the left Julie is hanging out in D’Arcy’s lap. Julie is also a great herbalist, a goat keeper, and a teacher of Wise Woman Ways. I cherish our on-going relationship. Miss you D’Arcy. What’s up with you these days? In the middle, a bejeweled Maura and a resplendent Marcie. My memory seems better at a twenty year distance than at a quarter century distance. Ha!

  • Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:12 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Celebrating 35 Years of Shamanic Herbal Apprentices, contd.

    Mireille from Holland is on the far left in this group of apprentices on a field trip in the upper Catskills. On the far right is Lauren, and next to her is Chava, the author of “What Apprentices Learn.” Her essay captures in just a few words the essence of being a shamanic herbal apprentice. In between Mireille and Chava are Patty, Mary, and Sara. Hmm. There are only two women there, not three. Time for you to help me out apprentices. Are you in this picture? What do you remember of this day? Was it the day you all got piercings and I got in trouble with your moms for letting you do it? Or were we just stopping at Pete’s for ice cream after a long walk in the woods with Penny?


    This was a big year for apprentices. Lots of superior women; 13 graduated shamanic apprentices. Way to go gang. The blue robe was a gift from Edith. Heavy Chinese silk. I demurred. She had five daughters. Surely one of them would like it. “No,” she insisted. They will never use it. Here, many women will wear it and enjoy it.” That blue robe, a little the worse for wear, is still in the costume closet. Perhaps this is a Goddess Pageant, or perhaps we were dressing up as the major arcane of the tarot. Is that tarot author and tarot maven and science fiction writer Rachel in the blue robe? Margaret is clowning on her right. Miss you girl. Heidi, Debbie, and Minaqua are in front with Amelie and Annette. Haven’t heard from any of you in ages. I know you will let me know if I got any names wrong! I do depend on you.


    The man with the beard is Joel, of Joel and Tish, favorite students who came to every class I taught, everywhere, for two years and then asked permission to carry on the teachings. I love you both so much. Sweetheart the goose and I are at the right and Tony is on the left, smiling. She has gone on to great things, both as a person, a mom, an herbalist and a teacher. Good on you Tony! I miss you. Is that McKenzie ? Holly? Carol? How come Kahla is not in this picture? This group of apprentices included an anthropology student doing her field work at Laughing Rock Farm. Her advisor kept calling to caution her not to “go native,” but it didn’t work. After a month of living with wild women, she painted two beautiful murals (still there and still enjoyed) at the apprentice house (The Nettle Patch) and then took off for a Rainbow gathering, never to be seen again.

    ~ Read More Here ~

  • Thursday, January 03, 2019 9:03 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Do You Love Garlic? She Loves You!

    by Susun S. Weed


    Garlic (Allium sativum), also know as the stinking rose, when consumed regularly has amazing health benefits.Garlic will help you improve cardiovascular health, prevent cancer, counter infections including anthrax, and find a safe source of phytoestrogens (great for menopausal women).

    Garlic is a great friend to old hearts. Several cloves a day of fresh, raw garlic can lower blood pressure, reduce phospholipids and cholesterol, strengthen heart action, increase immune response, reduce platelet clumping and clotting (thus reducing strokes), and stabelize blood sugar levels.

    If you don't like raw garlic, then use powdered. A four-year study found women who ingested 900 mg (1/4 teaspoonful) of garlic powder daily had 18 percent less arterial plaque than those taking a placebo.

    Garlic and its smelly relatives (onions, chives, and leeks) are hormone-rich plants that most women crave. Garlic is an excellent source of phytoestrogens; these hormone-like substances not only reduce cancer incidence, they help ease the menopausal passage.

    An easy garlic tonic is made this way: Fill a glass jar with fresh garlic cloves, no need to peel them. Pour honey over all, until the jar is nearly full. Place on a plate and let sit for at least 24 hours before using. A spoonful is a dose. This tonic will keep at room temperature for a year.

    Eat 1/2 clove of garlic a day and watch your blood pressure drop!

    You can get the benefits of garlic by eating it in any food, fresh or powdered. Try this simple recipe for instant garlic bread : Mince garlic and spread on hot buttered toast.

    Here are some more of Susun Weed's favorite raw garlic dishes:

    Scrambled eggs topped with minced raw garlic
    Tomato sauce with chopped raw garlic added jsut before eating
    Yogurt cheese with minced raw garlic on whole wheat crackers
    Minced raw garlic on a baked potato
    Herb vinegar and minced raw garlic on cooked greens like dandelion, spinach, kale, collards, mustard, amaranth, or lamb's quarters.

  • Thursday, January 03, 2019 8:18 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Celebrating 35 Years of Shamanic Herbal Apprentices, contd.

    1987: That is Robin Rose Bennett, apprentice number seven, holding up her hand. She is the author of two books, she teaches herbal medicine and sometimes accepts apprentices, and she does stunning work in community gardens. We are bound by our love for each other and by our mutual love for our Canadian friends Daphne and Keyawis, bringer of peace. Hugs and kisses to you.          

    White Feather is on the other side of me, wearing a black head scarf. She has taught at the Wise Woman Center every year of its existence and has interacted with the majority of the apprentices. She is my Wolf Clan sister; we share adoption by Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, of the Seneca Nation. With grandmother’s blessing, White Feather has put out a book and video on the Seven Directions Movement Meditation. Two over from White Feather is Savatri. In front of her, with her knee up, is Jane La Force.

    Jane la Force was notable for bringing her own goats’ milk with her whenever she would return for a visit. (And it has been too long since the last visit.) She says my goats don’t eat as much poison ivy as her goats so her goats’ milk offers her more protection against the rash. Jane taught herbal medicine and kept a big homestead for many years, but I don’t know what she is up to these days.
  • Thursday, January 03, 2019 8:06 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Celebrating 35 Years of Shamanic Herbal Apprentices, contd.

    ·        1984: Susun in her chakra shirt. Too bad the photo is black and white. Clove Tsindle, apprentice number zero, has finished her three year cohabitation and is keeping goats nearby. She still works with herbs professionally. I am either talking with her or with Daphne Ross, apprentice number one, who is opening my heart to women’s need for ritual space.


    ·         1985: Daphne and Susun. Daphne begins a long and productive line of apprentices who use the wild, rocky land here at the Wise Woman Center as a canvas to express their desires, their longings, their wishes. The oak tree where Daphne made magic is 35 years older and larger. The ties of red cloth she fastened to the branches are long since gone. The little pond at its feet is sometimes dry. And the child Daphne called forth shares her life in magical ways. I am so honored that our connection has endured for 35 years.


    ·         1986: Pam Montgomery and Susun hamming it up at a Green Witch Initiation. Pam does it all: She runs a teaching center, she writes books about plant spirits and herbal medicine, she organizes Green Nations Gatherings, and so much more. Our year together came at a time of enormous change for both of us and the bond we formed is deep and enduring. Love you Pam.

    ~ Read More ~

  • 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



  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018 7:35 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Elder Remedies
    by Susun Weed

    Dried Elder Berry Tincture
    Fill any size jar no more than half full of dried elder berries. Fill jar to the top with 100 proof vodka. Cap, label, wait for six weeks, and use.

    Dried Elder Berry Infusion

    Put 1-2 ounces of dried berries in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Steep overnight. Drink it, a half cup at a time, or turn it into a decoction.

    Dried Elder Berry Decoction
    Pour a quart of infusion, berries and all, into a saucepan and gently simmer until the liquid is reduced by one-half or more. In other words, you want to wind up with 1-2 cups of decoction. The decoction may be taken by the teaspoonful. It keeps best if refrigerated. Or make a syrup with your decoction.

    Dried Elder Berry Syrup
    When you have reduced it as much as you wish, add sweetener. A classic syrup contains as much sweetener as herbal liquid. So you could add a cup of honey or maple syrup or white sugar to one cup of elder berry decoction. Syrups need to be refrigerated.

    Dried Elder Berry Glycerite
    Buy glycerin at the drugstore or health food store. Dilute it by at least half with sterile water. Dilutions as low as one part glycerin to four parts water will work. Fill a jar no more than half full of dried elder berries. Fill the jar to the top with the diluted glycerin. The resulting glycerite is ready to use, by the dropperful, in 6 weeks.

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