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03 November 2020

Gathering Beloved Memories at Samhain

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Corinna walking on a path in fallAs I walk the paths of Earthaven Ecovillage, the fallen acorns remind me of my beloved sister friend Rowan Farrell, whose death I’m mourning this year.   

Long ago Rowan learned to make acorn bread. She would gather up a bucket of acorns, crack their shells, leach out the tannins and then grind the nuts into flour. She offered me a piece, wide and flat like zucchini bread. I still remember the moist texture and nutty flavor. 

As the leaves fall from the trees, Samhain season (aka All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween) is a natural time to reflect and grieve other losses in our lives. Many cultures consider this to be a time of year when the veils between the worlds thin. And this year it also falls under a full moon! 

What, or who, are your losses this year? Perhaps there are things you have chosen to let go? And others that were beyond your control?

15 October 2020

Dark of the moon

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Tonight the moon will be dark, halfway between the two full moons of October–on October 1 and on Halloween!  And we are also moving into the dark time of the year. As the nights are lengthening, the upcoming dark moon starry sky 123rfHalloween holiday will mark the halfway point between autumn equinox and winter solstice. Each year I look forward to this change of the seasons and the call to focus inward. Do you feel the pull too?

In the Wise Woman Tradition we embrace the spiral of both dark and light. The dark moon and the dark season of the year invite us to go inward, to rest, and to reflect.  I savor the long dark nights of winter, gazing at starry skies, and cozying up under blankets.

08 October 2020

"I see the wise woman. She is old and black..."

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

This time last year, many of you gathered with me on the shores of Kanuga Lake to celebrate the Wise Woman tradition, honoring women and the earth. During the opening ceremony of that 15th anniversary herbal conference, Phyllis Utley performed a dramatic reading about the Wise Woman tradition as written by Susun Weed in her book Healing Wise

01 October 2020

As she moves through autumn, a woman feels . . .

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

 I want to share with you a poem which I love to return to at fall equinox.  Do you feel "autumn woman" this turn around the spiral of the year?  Keep an eye out for her within you as this autumn unfolds over the coming months . . .  
~ Corinna 

  "Fall" by Patricia Monaghan ~ excerpted
 
“Now comes the time of reckoning, the season of limits. There will never be more than there is now. Now is the time to celebrate the plenty that work and time have wrought. Now, the time to feast with friends, share the bounty, toast the work well done.  ”As she moves through autumn, a woman feels a passionate connection with all life. Yet, wise in in the seasons of living, she can be unsentimental, even pitiless. She does not try to nurture everything and everyone . . . she becomes selective.
 
autumn forest path
 

28 August 2020

Tuck a little lemon balm into your mask!

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

lemon balm in mask I’m excited to share one of my latest inspirations with you! Recently as I was heading to town, I snatched a few leaves from my lemon balm plants which overflow their doorstep planter. Known as a calmative and mood elevator, she always seems to give me a lift.

As I drove, I gratefully inhaled the delicious aroma of the lemon balm leaves wafting around me.

When I parked and grabbed my mask, I realized that I was loathe to leave my herbal ally behind–so I tucked her just inside my mask.

20 April 2020

Stinging nettles on my mother's birthday

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

In the midst of the pandemic

nettle loresIn early April, our dogwoods bloom. I harvest wild nettles for my soup pot. And we celebrate my mother’s birthday. 

This year, her birthday fell during the onset of stay-at-home orders in North Carolina. Fortunately, she lives nearby and loves long walks out in the fresh air–among our permitted outdoor activities. And at that point, groups under ten were still allowed to gather in our county.

We carefully planned a socially distant Sunday walk,  followed by a socially distant open-air picnic, each with our own personal cooler of food. 

03 April 2020

Bringing Chickweed into Your Backyard

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Self Love, Women's Wellness

chickweed in planterLike many of you, I am cultivating my strategies for staying calm and nourished in my body amidst all that is happening in today's landscape. The current stay-at-home status here in the mountains of North Carolina includes the freedom to get outside and move. I'm finding that my favorite days are those a walk, bike ride, or gardening . . . often keeping an eye out for wild foods to harvest along the way!

My beloved wild edible ally, chickweed, loves the cool, wet weather of the spring and the fall. Studying botany in college many years ago, I challenged myself to replace my grocery store veggies with wild greens. Chickweed quickly became a staple!

02 April 2020

Weaving the Web of Women

Posted in Herbal Medicine, Self Love, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Some of you may be wondering about the next chapter of Southeast Wise Women. First of all, we want to update you that we now know that last fall’s 15th anniversary event was, indeed, the final Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference.

weaving the web

Moving into this next chapter, Southeast Wise Women continues the mission begun decades ago – to carry on the Wise Woman Tradition, connecting women with themselves, the earth, and one another. Director Corinna Wood has expanded her focus on teaching the Wise Woman Within. Upcoming online offerings will include heart-opening resources developed through an earth-based, woman-centered, trauma-informed lens.  

31 January 2020

Tulsi at this snowy Imbolc

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Self Love, Women's Wellness

The first snow of the year came at last to the mountains of North Carolina today, just in time for Imbolc! Also known as Candlemas, Imbolc is the seasonal marker at the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.  

Gazing out the window in wonder at the huge snowflakes falling, I stopped to admire once again my tulsi "houseplant." Also known as holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), she is one of my herbal beloveds. I have a whole stash of holy basil pesto in my freezer, tincture in my cupboard, and dried leaves for infusion. This is the first year I discovered that I could bring one of my pots of tulsi in from my porch, and enjoy her all winter long!

tulsi snow

21 November 2019

Digging burdock root

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

2019.11 burdock roots loresLast week we had the first hard frost of the winter season, earlier than usual in these mountains. That's a marker because it means the perennial and biennial plants send their energy down below the ground to store over the winter. Delighted, I got out my shovel this week to harvest burdock root!

As the moon wanes toward dark, the plants concentrate more on developing their roots underground. So this waning/dark moon and the next – which falls over winter solstice – are especially potent times to harvest herbal roots for medicines.

28 October 2019

Savoring the 15th Anniversary

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

ladder wise woman hall square lowresThe 15th anniversary conference was indeed an extravaganza! Over a thousand women delighted in coming together for our 15th year of this strong, supportive sisterhood honoring ourselves, the plants, and the Earth. For the 15th anniversary, many women whose friends had been encouraging them to come for years, joined us for the first time. Others who have been with us for one or more conferences over the years, returned to immerse themselves once again in this unique experience of woman-centered learning and connection. 

Watching the conference build on Thursday, through the hard work of the volunteers and staff, is empowering. Sails, stage lights, and the dancing women backdrop were raised in Wise Woman Hall, Maple Tree Center was transformed into a thriving hub, parking lots were mapped out, and signs posted.

06 September 2019

Healing Yourself With Herbs

Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

by Karen Rose
Excerpted from "Learning How to Heal Yourself with Herbs" lecture by Karen Rose

Karen RoseOn herbalism and ancestral plant medicine
Healing the spiritual and physical dimension has always been connected for me. There is no separation between the emotional well-being, the spiritual well-being and the physical well-being. They are all deeply connected. I feel very fortunate to be raised in that legacy. I honor my ancestors each day for all the teachings they brought forward in me today to be able to stand in my power.

It seems so difficult to create medicines for yourself, but the first time you create medicines for yourself, you will say “I can’t believe that was it!" It is so easy to create medicine for yourself, to take plants as medicine for yourself!

Plants talk to us, they tell us who they are and they tell us how they should be used.

20 August 2019

How can you have more energy?

Posted in Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

by Sally Fallon

Sally Fallon MorrellI learned a very interesting fact recently, one that can give us guidance on how to overcome the modern phenomenon of chronic fatigue: up to 30 percent of the body’s energy goes toward digesting our food. So the obvious first step in treating a condition of constant tiredness would be to consume food that is easy to digest.

The fact is that modern food processing makes our food more difficult to digest, and many modern food habits put a real burden on our poor old guts. With so much of your body’s energy going towards digestion, there is not much left over for doing all the things we want to do with our lives.

06 August 2019

Letter from Corinna to the Wise Woman community

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner

Corinna WoodWonderful woman, 

I am reaching out to you as a sister in our wise woman community to share an update on changes moving through me in relation to the women’s herbal conference.  

As I journey through my menopausal metamorphosis, I feel my energies and focus shifting. I find myself at a crossroads as I near 50, where I am deeply called to explore inward aspects of the wise woman ways. I am developing a system, “Wise Woman Within,” for supporting women of all walks of life to develop effective strategies to meet their needs–through a lens that is woman-centered, earth-based, and trauma-informed. Students have been asking for more and more, and I am eager to expand my teaching and develop printed materials on this topic. I am being called to make room in my life to incubate this new body of work in addition to my herbal classes. All this has led me to reflect on my relationship with the conference.

18 July 2019

Marvelous mints make hydrating herbal summer coolers

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

peppermint tea 450x600While I do sometimes still reach for a tall glass of water on a sunny day, I've found that drinking plain water can actually leave me thirsty, especially in the heat of the summer. I have come to realize that when we drink mineral-rich herbal infusions or other nutrient dense liquids, our bodies can more effectively absorb the water and quench our thirst.

During long summer days, a cold herbal infusion hits the spot–iced oatstraw infusion is one favorite around here. Steeping the oatstraw (or another favorite herb) overnight allows the nutrients to come out into solution for a strong, medicinal tea. And of course, drinking herbal brews is much more nutritious than the sodas and fruit juices that are so widely available.

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