January 10th 2006 -
THE WISE WOMAN TRADITION EMPOWERS WOMEN
~ copyright, Susun S. Weed
The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest known healing tradition on our
planet. It offers a unique view of health that is woman-centered and
deeply empowering to women. This is in stark contrast to orthodox -
and most alternative - healing traditions, which are based on male viewpoints
which disempower women.
The medicine I learned in school was based on a linear, scientific,
male worldview whose truth I did not question. When this medicine failed
me, as a woman and a mother, I sought alternatives. Herbs helped me
take care of myself and my family, simply and safely, but I questioned
the assumptions behind what I was taught. It was clear to me that alternative
health care disempowers women as much, or more than, orthodox medicine
does. They both actively assume that the norm on which assessment of
health is to be based is masculine in gender.
Assuming that a healthy male is the definition of health may not seem
like much of a problem, unless you are a woman. This core assumption
has hurt, and continues to hurt, women in a multitude of direct and
indirect ways, from the deeply personal to the widely political. This
assumption leads to attempts to "correct" - with drugs and
surgery - physical and emotional states that are normal (and healthy)
for women, but not for men.
Consider: Healthy women were given DES (a hormone) simply because they
were pregnant - their offspring are cancer-prone.
Millions of menopausal women have been (and are still) treated with
hormones in an effort to replace what is "lost." Does this
improve their health~ No. Use of hormone replacement increases the risk
of stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer.
Menstruating women need some quiet time alone. Instead they are offered
pink Prozac to help them overcome their "depression."
Women are advised to have their uterus (and increasingly their ovaries,
too) removed since they are "not needed after menopause ... just
places that can harbor cancer." It is well known that a woman's
sexual response is unlikely to be as strong, and may even be lost, when
she loses these vital organs. A century ago, a woman who challenged
male authority could be diagnosed as "hysterical" and her
uterus ("hyster") removed (often without anesthesia or disinfectants).
There is more to medicine than the male perspective. I speak for the
woman-centered tradition. It offers men and women a new way to think
about and create health in all stages of their lives. It empowers women
to take charge of their health and their lives, to honor and respect
themselves, and the earth. I call it the Wise Woman Tradition.
The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by:
~ Focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible
~ Sharing information freely
~ Offering compassionate listening
~ Renaming her weaknesses as strengths
~ Reminding her that her body is the body of the earth, is the body
of the goddess, is the sacred ground of being.
The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women to:
~ View themselves as healthy, even when they have problems
~ Create their own healthy norms
~ Honor their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy,
~ Define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint
~ Connect with other women for personal and planetary healing
Much of modern medicine seems complicated and difficult to understand.
Many alternative remedies are also complicated, some are unduly expensive,
others require special training and initiations. This disempowers women.
The Wise Woman Tradition, by focusing on simple remedies that are easily
accessible, and by sharing information freely, allows women to feel
competent and powerful in taking care of their own health.
The Wise Woman Tradition heals by nourishing the wholeness of each
unique individual. Nourishing has three primary aspects: simple ceremony,
nourishing foods, and compassionate listening. When women are heard,
when we listen to each other, then we feel validated and empowered.
Harking back to the consciousness-raising sessions of the 1970's, and
informed by Native American teachings of the talking stick, compassionate
listening reshapes women's stories so they can reshape their lives.
One of the great gifts of the Wise Woman Tradition is the renaming
of our weaknesses as strengths. When we allow ourselves to be depressed,
outraged, yearning, grief-stricken, confused, fearful, bitchy, and more;
when we allow all that we are to be part of us, then we can finally
find and celebrate our wholeness/health/holiness.
The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by reminding us that we are
sacred, that our bodies are sacred. As women, we are the earth. Each
one of us lives in the body of the earth. Each one of us comes from
this sacred ground of being. And not only are we empowered to honor
ourselves, we are empowered to demand that respect from all others.
When women accept orthodoxy's image of them as constantly in need of
help, they accept a powerless position. When women accept the Wise Woman
Tradition's assertion that they are already perfect, already vibrantly
healthy, even when they have problems, they assume a position of power.
When women create their own healthy norms, they create a place of power
in which they can stand, no matter how fast and furious the changes.
When women believe that their natural cycles and changes (puberty,
menses, pregnancy, menopause) are somehow sick or wrong, they open themselves
to medical experiments. When women learn that the Wise Woman Tradition
honors these states above all others, they find a source of deep wisdom
and great power flowing into their lives.
When women define themselves from a male-centered viewpoint, they always
loose. When they define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint,
they always win. The Wise Woman Tradition offers this power to women,
from the Ancient Grandmother's heart to yours.
For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susun Weed - PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498 (fax) 1-845-246-8081
Susun Weed's books include:
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth,
lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control.
Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $9.95 Order at: www.ashtreepublishing.com
Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode.
Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine,
and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $12.95 Order at: www.ashtreepublishing.com
NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way
Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely
revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus
hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia,
hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones.
Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by
Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $12.95 order at: www.ashtreepublishing.com
For more great info on menopause, visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com
Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your
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of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane
Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $14.95 Order at: www.ashtreepublishing.com
Susun Weed's Video's Include:
Susun Weed and twelve menopausal women offer heart-felt and practical
advice for women in the midst of Change. Susun explores menopause as
the ultimate woman's mystery and offers simple home remedies for uncomfortable
symptoms. This engaging, informative one-hour video-filmed at Stonehaven
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own home. Includes hands-on preparation of an herbal vinegar, songs,
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Weeds to the Wise
Visit Susun's farm for a wonderful weed walk. Hear her lecture on the
Three Traditions of Healing. Discover how the inner Wise Woman helps
men as well as women find nourishing ways to wholeness. Join Susun in
the kitchen to make an herbal infusion. Follow her in the garden as
she introduces a variety of amazingly useful weeds. Laugh at the antics
of her animal friends. This one-hour video is fun and Inspiring! Retails
for $29.95 order at: www.ashtreepublishing.com
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Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health. Visit her site www.susunweed.com for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more! Browse the publishing site online at www.ashtreepublishing.com
to learn more about her alternative health books. Venture into the NEW
Menopause site www.menopause-metamorphosis.com
to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.
Wise Woman Herbal Studies -
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498