Healing Wise
A Wise Woman Herbal

by Susun S. Weed
Paperback - 312 pages
Published by Ash Tree Publishing

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A wise woman of my acquaintance, a tiny and intense strega, peers into the murkiness of the immediate future and announces with operatic bravado that we humans have, at most, fifteen years to create the big turnaround of healing and wholing ourselves and our planet. That's the time frame, she swears, and unless we make the massive changes of mind and body, brain and spirit, to enact the required transitions from disaster and devastation to nurturing and balance, this beautiful planet, her human children and perhaps all living things as we know them, will be lost. And physicist Max Bjorn's painful assessment will have proven true: that Nature's attempt to evolve a thinking creature on this planet has failed.

On a more positive note, however, possibilities, plans, and hopes for making the necessary changes in person and in our personal relationships to our earth are vigorously alive. In fact, the planet herself feels more and more alive, molding us into skillful partners of her processes, willing us to relearn her ancient mysteries and share them through the gracing of those whom she claims most deeply as her daughters and sons.

One such Earth Daughter, perhaps the most vivid and original of my acquaintance, is Susun Weed. The secrets she is willing to share, through her role as keeper of the Wise Woman tradition, are among those which can awaken us to a new understanding of health and earth/body wisdom.

Susun frankly and provocatively offers the Wise Woman way of life as a healing alternative to the body-alienating, body-objectifying methods she describes as the Scientific and Heroic traditions.

Inviting us to nestle into her sense of union with the earth, Susun engages us in learning to perceive health and wholeness as the essence of any condition and teaches the questions of "how" and "what" instead of "why" as the real issues to ponder when we seek healing wisdom.

She gives us a renewed sense of the power of true enabling, working, as she says the wise woman does, from the center of the void, which she feels is the place of female energy. In fact, her entire description of the Way of the Wise Woman is refreshing, courageous, and clear. One feels after reading it that one has raced through tall meadow grasses to the top of a high hill and been wrestled to the ground by three happy Airedales.

But Susun saves her wildest whimsy and most extensive explorations-dare I say her most scientific understanding?-for her detailed discussions of the Mother's gifts, in the form of the plants with which she works. The plants talk to us, sing to us, tell us stories. We are treated to rich descriptions of the powers each plant embodies, if we are thoughtful and caring enough to harvest and work with them appropriately.

Susun offers us her understanding that the way to learn a plant fully and deeply is to live with it for a year, in all weathers, in all variations of daylight and starlight. Working with her books in the same manner will also grant you the Yeargiftings of Nature's Way.

Jean Houston, PhD
March 1989

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