Four Wise Women Who Are Changing the World of Medicine

Four Wise Women Who Are Changing the World of Medicine

We’d like to highlight four of the wisest women we know and share how they are doing their part to spread plant love and optimum nourishment of the body and spirit.

1. Susun Weed

Susun Weed

Some know her as a women’s health expert, some know her as the founder of the Wise Woman Center, and some know her as the lady with the goats. Susun Weed is a spritely spit-fire of a woman who has forged a name for herself and weedy, abundant herbs everywhere. Susun is unique in that she plays the part of both shaman and scientist – she is equal parts plant spirit and peer-reviewed journal.

We love her holistic approach to wellness that she calls the six steps of healing, in which she incorporates story medicine (the narrative around a symptom or condition) serenity medicine (doing nothing) and occasionally invasive medicine (surgery).

Susan hosts a weekly BlogTalk radio show, in which she invites listeners to call or email in their questions to be discussed on air. She promises that the show will “Enlighten, surprise and delight you,” and in each episode, we’ve never been let down. She is the author of seven books on herbal wisdom, including her latest book on the reproductive health, “Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way.” Find her on www.susunweed.com.

2. Jody Noe

Jody NoeDr. Jody Noe is an all-round incredible woman and healer. Not only is she a naturopath (N.D.) who runs her own integrative medicine practice, but she is a traditional Cherokee herbal medicine woman who spent years in training with her Cherokee elders. She approaches the body with the traditional indigenous view that all things are sacred, and spirit is in all things, including our beloved herbs and stones.

Dr. Noe specializes in integrative oncology, and is the author of a well-researched tome on the subject, Textbook of Naturopathic Integrative Oncology. Her energetic work encompasses a vast range of healing tools that are both allopathic and homeopathic, including herbs, diet, lifestyle, and spiritual counseling.

Find Dr. Noe online at www.drjodyenoe.com.

3. Corinna Wood

Corinna WoodSteeped in the Wise Woman tradition, Corinna Wood is a voice for local foods and medicines which feed both body and soul. Rather than practicing with plant medicine that uses herbs from distant regions or traditions, Corinna’s attention as a community herbalist is on the weeds and wilds in our own backyards. She focuses on attuning women to the cycles of the earth, the plants, and the moon.

Holistic women’s education has been Corinna’s primary focus over recent years, and out of this effort she has led thousands of women from all paths of life into the green world of herbal medicine. Corinna shares her knowledge and her loving connection with mother nature by engaging women in the sphere of plant medicines each spring during her yearly Wise Women’s Herbal Immersion.

Corinna studied extensively with Susun Weed before launching Red Moon Herbs, which has consistently carried out its mission of providing safe, effective and abundant herbal remedies to the community for over twenty years. Corinna now directs the annual Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference, the largest women’s herb gathering in the US.

4. Rosemary Gladstar

Rosemary GladstarIf there’s one name that nearly everyone in the ‘herbie’ world knows, it’s probably that of Rosemary Gladstar. But not only is it a nice name to know (who doesn’t like rosemary, after all?), she herself is a wealth of inspiration and encouragement to all wise women who walk along the healer’s path. To list the accomplishments of someone like Rosemary is beyond our scope, but let’s just say the books of Rosemary Gladstar are to some a sort of “gateway” into herbal medicine.

Got a friend who wants to start making body care products for herself and her family, but doesn’t know anything about herbs? Give her Rosemary’s book. Have a buddy who gets indigestion after eating and wants to do something about it, naturally? Give them Rosemary’s book. Her writings are beautiful, easy to understand, and accessible, no matter your level of expertise.

Rosemary also acts as an advocate for the endangered and rare plants of the world. She is the founding energy behind United Plant Savers, an organization that raises awareness for and protects exotic species. Her work in this area has spurred a widespread movement towards using as many local and widely growing plants as possible, whenever we can.

Rosemary will be coming to speak to us in October at the Southeast Wise Women’s conference. As a headliner, she will be speaking on some of her favorite remedies and recipes with us, as well as sharing her thoughts on Preserving our Herbal Traditions.

An Interview With Kathleen Maier — Simple Solutions

by Lee Warren

Kathleen Maier is a much-loved teacher at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, year after year. We’re so happy to have her this year teaching an intensive, a class, and leading a ceremony. Here’s a bit about her, from her:

 

What is currently inspiring you as a healer/teacher?

Nervines! And any practices for staying in our body and staying centered. Right now in the world there is so much movement–exciting movement and challenging movement. I think we need to make centering practices part of our day and take them seriously.

Can you say  more about plants as allies in staying centered?

We’re all aware of the effects of stress. We all need help in creating tools. Because our hearts and bodies are one, plants can help shift our perception and states of consciousness. When we’re stressed we know we can take deep breaths but somehow or another the plants act quickly and effectively.

Simple things like milky oatsScutellaria and mimosa are very profound. Skullcap can help us stay clear, stay focused, and be much more solid in our bodies.

Nervines are the support we need right now for the fall of 2012.

You’re branching into creating ceremony at the conference this year. How is that for you?

Well, I’m a Scorpio and we love theater. And I don’t mean theater in a superficial or inauthentic way. It’s high performance art that we all get to participate in. For me, shamanism is not only deep and real but touches into the spirit world and into the theatrical world.

In my classes, it’s important that participants don’t  walk away with just information. But that they’ve shifted to another place of understanding. Or at least they’ve shifted to the place of asking the right question.

With the ceremony at the conference this year I look forward to being playful as well as creating a transformative celebration.

What is one message you’d like to give to all women who are seeking healing?

‘To thine own self be true.’ There are many ways, many formulas, and many plants.

Trust yourself.

Kathleen Maier, AHG, PA, has been a practicing herbalist for over twenty years. She is currently director of Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, VA which hosts a three year community herbalist training program as well as other classes and internationally known guest lecturers. Her training as a Physician’s Assistant allows her to translate the language of medicine and ground it in the wisdom of the age-old, earth-centered practices. She is very active with United Plant Savers.

September 27, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

An Interview With Monica Corrado – Whole Foods Chef


September 21, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

An Interview With Anyaa McAndrew – Shamanic Astrologer

by Lee Warren

Continuing in our theme of introducing you to some of the amazing teachers at the  Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, here’s an interview with Anyaa McAndrew.

What are you currently excited about teaching?

 

I love creating spaces where women can connect in a WE Space or Sacred Space. As women we do the “Field of Unity Consciousness” so well!

I also love teaching topics where the I space can get strengthened, like when women discover the depth and breadth of “Who I Really Am” and “What my own place on the Wheel of Life is.”

It is my joy and challenge to inspire women to step into their own spiritual and personal authority in a dying patriarchal culture that is still fighting with the feminine.

I feel that we can make a big splash in our lives if we have a strong I, and a strong WE.

What theme do you see as you travel the country and work with women?

Women love to be together! 

 

Taking my Shamanic Priestess Process and other work around the country, I experience so much excitement when women come together to do personal~spiritual work.

Women naturally step onto a spiritual path when they are invited in a way that is inclusive, honors all ways and honors diversity of all kinds. I have always experienced woman as hungry for the work of the soul, and hungry for work that allows them to express themselves fully.

 How does Shamanic Astrology help women in their lives?

Shamanic Astrology honors the feminine in a way I have never experienced with other Astrological systems, probably because it honors the Goddess or the Divine Feminine within each of us through the archetypes we carry. It also recognizes that there are no bad archetypes or signs, and that shadow is natural for every archetype, which allows us to laugh at ourselves and see ourselves from a witness perspective. That alone allows us to change and grow with more grace and ease!

 Why is 2012 important for women?

Women are being called to step into what is being referred to as the “Solar Feminine,” which was heralded by Venus transiting the face of the Sun this past June.

As a Collective, we have been the quiet lunar feminine for way too long, pulled in and pulled back while we were encouraged and also forced to let the Patriarchy have its way with Gaia. Now it’s time to step up, stand up, and speak out, and nothing is stopping us.

If we don’t become authentically ourselves, it seems that something arises in our lives that confronts us to just do it, NOW. This is the year of all the prophecies of the indigenous peoples, it’s called the “Shifting of the Ages.”

We are far more influential than we may think we are! This is the keynote for us in 2012—no more time for hiding and playing it safe and comfortable.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Conference!

Anyaa McAndrew is a psychotherapist and teacher with 31 years experience in the sacred work of emotional, sexual, and spiritual healing. She’s facilitated The Shamanic Priestess Process ™, the Sexual Priestess Process™ and the Shamanic Magdalene Mysteries™ around the US and in Costa Rica, integrating a lifetime of therapeutic work with women. Anyaa is also a Master Shamanic Astrologer, Shamanic Breathwork Practitioner, Sacred Sexuality Educator, and Imago Couples Therapist.

September 13, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

An Interview with Dr. Jody Noé, Ethnobotanist

by Lee Warren
At Red Moon Herbs and the SE Wise Women, we continue to gear up for the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, on October 12-14, in Black Mountain.
 
This blog features another of our many amazing teachers. Jody (Dr. Noé) is a sister from the Northeast who spent many years studying ethnobotany and Cherokee medicine with elders in our region. Here’s a recently captured interview with her.
 
How do you blend such scientific/medical perspective as well as indigenous/folk perspectives in your work?
 
It is easy because it is me….
 
I started my journey with a psych nursing degree back in the late ’70s and then a rigourous premedical degree in 1985. I created the major myself, a Pre-Naturopathic Medicial degree, by taking the premed biology track and then adding extra credits.  This led to my Masters degree studies in botany and ethnobotany.
 
Thus I began my traditional training with the Cherokee elders.
 
I began the first year with Mamma Gene Jackson, Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey and the women of The Qualla boundary Cherokee in the Smoky Mountains in 1986. They in turn led me to my training with Crosslin F.Smith, High Priest of the Keetoowah, and now recognized as the Spiritual Leader of the Cherokee Nation.  I started in 1987 and have continued even to today, more than twenty five years later.
 
My medical training is from Bastyr University in Seattle Washington where I graduated with an ND.
 
It all had to blend together while I was learning at the same time from both sides of my brain and experiences.
 
What themes do you see as work with women and women’s health?
 
Women are the ones being called to come out–out unto themselves and their own innate power, which in turn is healing.
 
Once the Womyn, the Mothers, the Crones and Grannies, the Maidens and the Aunties take their own power and healing, we then can change the  world and the healing of change can begin.
 
I am excited to be a spark in this fire that is happening  to womyn all over the planet.
 
I call it the Grass Skirts Movement!
 
Briefly talk about your teachings on Cherokee Ethnobotany and why it is so popular?
 
I think these teachings are popular because it is empowering and self actualizing.  I often pass down some of my learned traditions in a multi-media style so that all learners can participate but the Cherokee Household Medicine at this upcoming conference will be without power points and slides. We’ll be outside and in circle with each other.
It seems that women all over the states are ready to understand and explore this healing power….the original spark!
 
Jody’s intensive is called Cherokee Household Medicine and will be offered at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference next month. You must be registered for the entire conference weekend (over 70 teachers and more than 30 classes) and additionally registered for this intensive, in order to take part in her class.
 
 
Dr. Jody Noé is a licensed naturopathic physician in practice for over 17 years. She is currently an assistant professor for the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine, and the author of Naturopathic Integrative Oncology. Dr. Noé has a private practice in Westerly, Rhode Island, specializing in family medicine, cancer, and chronic disease. Dr. Noé is also educated as an Ethnobotanist, specifically in Cherokee medicine.
September 06, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

An Interview With ALisa Starkweather – Defining Empowerment

As the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference draws near (mid October), we’re taking this opportunity to feature some of the amazing teachers. Sharing her wisdom and description of empowerment is ALisa Starkweather, a tireless proponent for women’s transformation. Here’s a recently captured interview with her.

You work with women all over the world; what one theme are you seeing these days?

What I am sensing among women right now is a surge of power that is rising like sap from the collective after thousands of years of oppression.

  • She senses this is our time and she has a role but in order to participate she cannot walk towards this destiny without shedding the lies and judgments that have kept her down.
  • Her visions are haunting her and because of these inner callings she is willing to bring her dreams forward even if she thinks she cannot or that she is crazy. She is becoming more daring with facing the unknown.
  • She is learning that she cannot control things but she can come more alive in her full participation with her choices. By doing this, she stops the stories where victim hood once left her helpless.

It is the time of great weaving because we are recognizing that our gifts are greater in collaboration. To do this however, a healing is needed where women must re-learn to trust not only themselves but one another.

What I see is true commitment by many in a time where we are so needed. Love is our ultimate power right now.

What is stopping women from living a more authentic and embodied life? 

I cannot speak for all women but I can share what I’ve learned in the last three decades of facilitating transformational women’s empowerment via the archetypal realms of initiation and women’s mysteries.

I am truly noticing a division now between women who are coming from the paradigm of continued blame and shame and right and wrong thinking versus women who are learning skills in communication, taking responsibility for their choices, their attitudes and their own consent to live life fully even with the risks.

I am seeing the difference between women who learn skills, who  bravely look within at their own shadows and shortcomings versus women who still project their judgments onto others without recognizing the same qualities are present within themselves.

To live authentically means we must find respect for our tenderest vulnerabilities and equal compassion for our inadequacies.  Can we be transparent with our honest feelings and motives?

I believe what stops many a woman is that she still carries a deep predator voice that takes her and others around her down. She fears her own ferocity and her wounds that misused power created–thus she is afraid to claim power for herself.

Wanting to be someone other than the inner critic (who can be relentless), she dulls her fierce self into complacency and then takes the consequence of having no voice or a voice that is not true to her intensity of presence.

She was actually born for greatness but she must face her own inner demons to find her pure brave heart that waits so patiently for her homecoming. When she does this, her embodied life will fit her like a glove. It will become so clear to her what she must give up or move toward. Women around me will do everything and anything to free up. When this happens, women are unstoppable.

In your words, please define empowerment?

I am so grateful to be asked this because for some reason this word got a bad rap out in the greater world. For some, empowerment work conjures visions of women who are helpless, even hopeless, don’t feel good about themselves and need assistance.  When I say that I do empowerment work in India, some immediately ask me if I am a social worker.

The beauty of being empowered for me takes on these forms.

  • To respect who you are all the way to your core and to know that you have the courage to be yourself.
  • To embody without shoving parts of yourself down in any cavity in your psyche or hiding unexpressed parts of you that still harbor shame or hesitation.
  • To know that you are at choice and can wield your voice, your gifts, your presence intentionally in service to the greater good by your own aliveness.
  • To no longer look at perfection or arriving to a particular status as proof of your strength.
  • To embrace the helpless, hopeless, don’t-feel-good parts of you right into the glorious stature of your sacred self who is both powerful and vulnerable, tender and fierce, afraid and courageous, active and still.

We have the capacity to matter and make a difference simply by living in harmony with life that moves through us. The empowered woman is far from any box that culture tried for millennium to put her in.

You know her because she is beautiful, committed, present, truthful and showing up in all she was born to be and you can feel her in your own bones when she shows up even by the way she walks upon the Mother Earth.

Empowered means that we are not going to lay down in despair when humanity is  at the brink but rather we are going to wake up, take our place in the web of life in a way that honors what is sacred.

For me, our empowered embodiment is visceral.

ALisa Starkweather, is a women’s transformational leader, well known for her inspirational message of empowerment, healing, community, and ritual. She is founder of the women’s mystery school, Priestess Path, the Women’s Belly and Womb Conferences, Daughters of the Earth Gatherings and the co-founder of the international women’s initiation, Women in Power; Initiating Ourselves to the Predator Within. She has three recordings of her chants and launched the Red Tent Temple Movement which is now in over 35 states and several countries and featured now in the documentary film premiering at the SEWHC, Things We Don’t Talk About; Healing Stories from the Red Tent.

August 29, 2012 — Jeannie Dunn

An Interview With Bevin Clare, Herbalist and Mom

by Lee Warren

Red Moon Herbs hosts the 8th annual Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference on October 12-14 in Black Mountain. Bevin Clare is a very special presenter. Here’s a short interview with her.

 What are you currently excited about teaching?

As the director of a clinical program I immensely enjoy watching students move from being students to being practitioners. Seeing them apply their learning and skills in such a way to evoke change in the people they meet is powerful.
 
How has becoming a mom changed your relationship to health and herbs?
Having children, people say, allows you to see things through their eyes. I learned about herbs as I was older but for my son, it is a way of life. The idea of gathering flowers or making medicine or drinking medicinal tea is part of the way people live and care for themselves. I see the simplicity of the system so much more readily and have developed a love all over again for the generosity of the natural world.
 
How do you approach seasonal foods and medicines?
The fun thing about living seasonally is that it brings together age old traditions with the fascinating new science of chronobiology. We are learning so much about how much our animal selves are tied to the rhythms of the natural world around us and with many of these understandings our traditional practices are reinforced. It’s a simple question of observing what is around you in the seasonal rhythm of nature and acting in unison with it as much as you can.
 
What’s your current favorite way to incorporate herbs into food?
Since it’s summer, it has to be fresh herbs. It’s so easy to make a crazy pesto out of just about any greens you have and to use it on, well, anything!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bevin Clare, MS, RH(AHG) is a clincial herbalist, nutritionist, teacher, and Chair of the Herbal Division of the Master of Science in Herbal Medicine program at Tai Sophia Institute. She is also adjunct faculty at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a guest researcher at the National Institutes of Health. She holds an MS in Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Bevin serves on the board of directors of the United Plant Savers and the American Herbalists Guild.
 
 
August 16, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

Aviva Romm, MD – Walking in Two Worlds

by Lee Warren

Red Moon Herbs is a proud sponsor of the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference. The Special Guest Speaker for the 8th annual event this year is Aviva Romm, MD, herbalist, midwife. Here’s a short interview with Aviva that we wanted to share with our readers.

What was your life like before you became an MD?


Aviva and her youngsters (who are now all grown).

I was a NYC ghetto girl, went to college at 15, dropped out at 16 to become an herbalist-midwife, all-out-mad hippie girl–dreads, fire by friction, the works! But a total geek too. Also, I spent 20 years as a home birth midwife and herbalist, homeschooling my young ones (until college for two of them, high school for the next two).

What inspired you to go to medical school?

All the while I wanted to make radical revolutionary change in health care, and to provide services outside of the scope that an illegal midwifery practice allowed. So before I got too old to lose my nerve I went back to school — Yale no less — and became an MD.

What will be the subject of your Guest Speech?

It’s called, “Walking in Two Worlds: From Midwife-Herbalist to MD.” This talk is about the journey, the reasons for it, and what I’ve learned, using the metaphor of the heroine’s journey. I hope it has lessons and meaning for listeners regarding how to relate to western medicine in a way that is safe and useful, and why and how to honor nature as our first healer from personal, ecological, evolutionary, social, political, and economic perspectives.

 

 

August 08, 2012 — Red Moon Herbs

Interview With Brooke Medicine Eagle

by Lee Warren

This October (14-16), the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference will be hosting Special Guest, Brooke Medicine Eagle, a legendary Earth wisdom teacher, singer, visionary, catalyst for wholeness, and ceremonial leader of Sioux, Nez Perce, and European descent. She is the best selling author of the Native American literary classic, Buffalo Woman Comes Singing, and The Last Ghost Dance.

At the time your book, Buffalo Woman Comes Singing, came out in 1991 it was one of the very few resources for an earth-based way of being. Can you speak to that?

It was a watershed book at the time. Now there’s so many cross cultural sharings available. It seems that for women it was really a special offering – because I wrote from my own experiences and challenges. It also contained exercises at the end that helped people take advantage of what they had read. Again and again I hear from women that the book profoundly influenced the unfolding of their life. I’m thrilled that something touched them and they were moved to maybe do something different in their lives, with this sweet earth, and with all our relations.

You wrote about personal ceremony, healing, and spirituality in a real and grounded way. How do you see people's longing for this kind of thing?

People are so desperately hungry for earth-based ceremony, wisdom, understanding, and grounding. Our bodies are intelligent enough to understand that really we’re in trouble. They know how vulnerable we are if we don’t have simple and profound connection with the earth.

How would you offer guidance to women who are longing for these things?

The ancestors, the moon, and nature.

  1. Ancestors: What’s true is that love is what is eternal. Even if it wasn’t a conscious and happy experience, our parents and our grandparents love us. The ancestors understand that most human beings don’t use themselves well. Their job is to help us be more and more and more of who we are. They’re there, they love us, and they are willing to help us bring forward our best.
  1. The Moon: There’s much to discover about the magic, mystery, usefulness and power of the moon. It is a very important key to our feminine nature and to the simple ceremony we can do. From here women can go further and connect to the seasonal rhythms (Circle Round by Starhawk is a great resource) to honor cycles and meanings.
  1. Nature: Anyone who’s willing to get out and spend quiet time in nature can begin to deepen their relationship with spirit. It’s a powerful and profound way to connect and awaken some things in yourself.

 

And finally, I tell women to be in love with this world. Let your heart love this earth and open you to what you need to find.

At the conference, Brooke will be offering the following classes:

Prophecy & Promise  Ancient Understandings of a Radiant Future

Creating Ceremony

For the Love of Lady Gaia: A Ceremony

August 03, 2011 — Red Moon Herbs