For many, many years, I have walked the path of the Wise Woman Tradition, always striving to adhere to the precept, “First, do no harm.” Although not a licensed herbalist, I use herbs and other gifts from Nature in order to live a balanced, authentic life. My experience assists clients in finding their balance and authenticity of Self, to find their own path along the Wise Woman Tradition.
In the late 1980s, I was blessed to study for several months with Robin Rose Bennett, an herbalist on the East Coast. I highly recommend her writings and workshops. http://wisewomanhealingways.com/
Another Wise Woman whose work I respect and greatly value, is Susun Weed. http://www.susunweed.com/
Here in Colorado, the two excellent herbalists to whom I turn are 1) Anna Papini who, along with her sister, Earth Keeper Sarah Berry, owns Anna’s Apothecary in Manitou Springs. http://annasapothecary.com/
and 2) Mark Duvall, co-owner of Whole in the Wall Herb Shoppe in Woodland Park. http://www.wholeinthewallherbshoppe.com/retailer/store_templates/shell_id_1.asp?storeID=2B84811489BC47B481E1265B245D2769
The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest of 3 types of healing philosophies, the other 2 being the Heroic and the Scientific. In my very simplistic explanations, in the Heroic Tradition, if you are ill it is because your body is not clean, your lifestyle is not balanced. In the Scientific Tradition, symptoms are isolated and addressed individually. You are tested, measured, prescribed, fixed.
The Wise Woman Tradition honours the flow of life. If you are ill, you didn’t do something wrong (Heroic) and you don’t need to be fixed (Scientific). You need to be nourished, supported, guided back to balance, provided with an understanding of the cause of your situation. The Wise Woman looks at symptoms as guideposts that provide information about the whole being, not just about the dis-ease. She pays attention to the relative seriousness of the situation, and acts for the highest good of the whole being.
These are the 7 steps in the Wise Woman Tradition, followed by a few examples:
Do Nothing: let the body take care of itself
Gather Information: observe symptoms and the body’s reactions
Get Involved Energetically: massage, cranial sacral, reiki, crystal layout, flower essences
Nourish & Support: soups, teas, herbal supplements, castor oil packs
Stimulate & Sedate: herbal supplements & extracts, flower essences, cough syrups
Use Drugs: chemical pharmacopoeia
Break & Enter: surgery, lancing
These 7 steps may all occur within the first 30 minutes or over a period of several days, even weeks. My abilities end at the 5th step. And regardless, I would always refer clients to other healers if that best aided the person, including M.D.s and hospitals. I believe that all healing modalities and philosophies are valuable, including the allopathic/conventional system, as long as the healer honours the individual as a whole being and not merely as a set of symptoms.
As a healer, I will always be happy to evaluate any situation and to aid in the healing process, to empower clients to restore balance, to find their own strengths and harmony. And I will always, “First, do no harm.”