14 October 2018
Healing the Wise Woman Way
Robin Rose Bennett shared the tenets of the Wise Woman Tradition in her class at the 2017 Herbal Conference. Here's a little of the wisdom she had to offer.
The Wise Woman tradition is the oldest, continuous healing tradition on the planet. It has existed in many lands and cultures under different names, as an oral tradition over countless years, and it is still practiced using story and other Wise Woman/shamanic/witchy/magical practices such as simple rituals, along with specific, practical healing skills that the individual practitioner brings to her healing work. This way of healing is intimately connected with the land on which the wise woman and her clients live, where she gathers and grows her herbal medicines.
The Wise Woman way provides a framework within which healing is understood to be more than simply physical. A Wise Woman healer can and often does focus on helping to relieve uncomfortable or painful symptoms, or on helping a person heal themselves from an underlying disease, yet healing is always understood to be holistic, including mind, body, heart and soul.
Healing is always profoundly individual, just as each person is, and each illness is. There is not a magical formula for each condition or problem. There is, however, a substantial repertoire (materia medica) of effective, time‐tested, safe healing herbs that are often used. These include many weeds, or wild plants and trees.
Wise women use herbs to help people with conditions or challenges, not to cure conditions as if they existed separately from the person.
The Wise Woman way rejects the notion that sickness equates with dirtiness or "badness" and that healing requires intensive methods of cleansing and detoxification.
The Wise Woman way calls for a focus on healing through nourishment, preferring to strengthen a person's own innate systems rather than override them, (except when truly necessary in an acute situation).
Listening to the body's wisdom and using common plants, we heal ourselves with profound love and kindness, with compassion, not judgment.
Healing the Wise Woman way is accessible, inexpensive and deeply complex, but not complicated.
Healing the Wise Woman way is respectful, of the person, the plant, even of the problem/challenge itself.
Healing the Wise Woman way brings healing to the person, their family, their community, and the world.
The Wise Woman way understands that healing any single being, or even a rejected part of our own being, spirals healing out into the universe.It also spirals healing backwards and forwards through time.
The Wise Woman Way is an attitude more than an action.
The Wise Woman Way generally seeks to use the gentlest methods possible and work up to more invasive methods only when necessary.
The Wise Woman Way honors the body as reflecting the psyche and the larger environment in which it/the person exists.
Healing the Wise Woman way encourages discernment. It is profoundly empowering. It asks us to accept responsibility, which is the ability to respond, rather than assigning blame to ourselves or to another.
The Wise Woman Way is a way of embracing wholeness, accepting what is, and inviting change as a natural part of the ongoing cycles of transformation that we are all a vital, unique part of.
The Wise Woman Way is a way that honors the spiraling, cyclic magic of reality, and encourages us to stand in awe and reverence in the presence of the Great Mystery of Life itself; of birth, death and rebirth.
The Wise Woman is abundantly rich with Green Blessings.