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Wise Woman Tradition
by Susun Weed
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Imbolc 2004, Vol 3-2
MatriFocus, a Cross-Quarterly Web Magazine for Goddess Women Near & Far
Three Traditions and Six Steps of Healing

When it comes to healing, there is more than a simple choice between modern Western medicine on the one hand and alternative medicine on the other. There are three traditions of healing.

1. The Wise Woman Tradition
The Wise Woman tradition, focusing on integration and nourishment, and insisting on attention to uniqueness and holographic interconnectedness, is another choice: a new way that is also the most ancient healing way known. A way that follows a spiral path, a give-away dance of nourishment, change and self-love. "Trust yourself."

2. The Heroic Tradition
Alternative health care practitioners usually think in the Heroic tradition: the way of the savior, a circular path of rules, punishment, and purification. "Trust me."

3. The Scientific Tradition
AMA-approved, legal, covered-by-insurance health care practitioners are trained to think in the Scientific tradition: walking the knife edge of keen intellect, the straight line of analytical thought, measuring and repeating. Excellent for fixing broken things. "Trust my machine."

The Scientific, Heroic, and Wise Woman traditions are ways of thinking, not ways of acting. Any practice, any technique, any substance can be used by a practitioner/helper in any of the three traditions. There are, for instance, herbalists and midwives and MDs in each tradition.

The practitioner and the practice are different. The same techniques, the same herbs are seen and used differently by a person thinking in Scientific, Heroic, or Wise Woman ways.

Thinking these ways does lead to a preference for certain cures. The Wise Woman helper frequently nourishes with herbs and words. The Heroic savior lays down the law to clean up your act fast. The Scientific technician is most at ease with laboratory tests and repeatable, predictable, reliable drugs. But still, the practices do not conclusively identify the practitioner as being in a particular tradition.

The intent, the thought behind the technique points to the tradition: scientific fixing, heroic elimination, or wise womanly digestion and integration.

The three traditions are not limited to the realm of healing. The Scientific, Heroic, and Wise Woman ways of thinking are found in politics, legal systems, religions, psychologies, teaching styles, economics. As the Wise Woman way becomes more clearly identified, it opens the way to an integrated, whole, sacred, peaceful global village, interactive with Gaia, mother, earth. As each discipline spins anew its wise woman thread, we reweave the web of interconnectedness with all beings.

The Six Steps of Healing

Examples are in parentheses, with a few of the modalities available at each step.

Step 0: Do Nothing
(sleep, meditate, unplug the clock or the telephone)
Step 1: Collect Information
(low-tech diagnosis, books, support groups, divination)
Step 2: Engage the Energy
(prayer, homeopathy, ceremony, affirmations, laughter)
Step 3: Nourish and Tonify
(herbal infusions and vinegars, hugs, exercise, food choices, gentle massage, yoga stretches)

Note: Healing with Steps 4, 5, and 6 always causes some harm.
Step 4: Stimulate/Sedate
(hot or cold water, many herbal tinctures, acupuncture)

For every stimulation/sedation, there is an opposite sedation/stimulation, sooner or later. Addiction is possible if this step is overused.
Step 5a: Use Supplements
(synthesized or concentrated vitamins, minerals, and food substances such as nutritional yeast, blue-green algae, bran)

These substances may do as much harm as good.
Step 5b: Use Drugs
(chemotherapy, tamoxifen, hormones, high dilution homeopathics, and potentially toxic herbs)
Step 6: Break and Enter
(threatening language, surgery, colonics, radiation therapies, psychoactive drugs, invasive diagnostic tests such as mammograms and C-T scans)

Side effects, including death, are inevitable.

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

Graphics Credits
+ nurturing food, courtesy of SusunWeed.com.

Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without permission. All other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.
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