by Susun S. Weed
Excerpt from Healing
This is a dream I had during the recreation of an ancient Greek healing rite (an Asclepian) with Jean Houston and one hundred twenty-five students of human capacities during the summer of 1987.
In a time very long ago, very far in the future, there were many temples and shrines of healing, so many that there seemed to be none at all. Every home was a sacred healing space; the whole earth a shrine, an altar. The healers were priestesses and priests, queens and kings. The healers were all ordinary people. Their robes and costumes were the ordinary clothes of their time: beautiful and colorful, plainly and exquisitely stitched garb. Their names were ordinary names: evocative, wonderful names such as goddesses and gods everywhere were called. Though they could heal, there was no disease. There was no disease they could heal; there was no disease they could not heal. There was no disease in the land, no need for healing. All were whole. All holy. All were healed. All healers. Miracles were the ordinary play of all. All miracles were to be played in an ordinary way, a common way, a vulgar way. Vulgar miracles always evoking the healing laughter. Everyday laughter healing the whole. Holy jokes. Wholly funny. The game of healing joyous amusement. Amusing the muses, a muse filled with light. Trying out the game of disease to learn the fun of healing. Healers make disease so they can play miraculous games. We are all healers. We play to heal. We call to you from the future, from the past: "come healing playing laughing with us miraculous ones. Tickle us. Touch us. Heal us. Hold us dear. We are always you. We are always here."
Notes on My Way to the Wise Woman Tradition
I was confused about health as a child. My parents had to ask a stranger if I was healthy. I was confused about health because the stranger said I was healthy and then gave me an injection. No one ever asked me if I felt healthy.
I was confused about health as a young adult. There were so many ways to stop pain, feel good, look my best, and enjoy life, and sometimes I did and sometimes I didnt, and how could I tell what really helped anyhow? I was confused about health because some of the ways others tried to be healthy seemed to harm me and some ways of staying healthy I tried seem to contradict of undo the benefits of other ways. I was also confused about the validity of claims and studies and folklore and my own experiences of being sick and staying healthy. What could I trust?
On my own as a grown-up, I attempted to clear my confusion. I was confused by the damage I saw from drugs and surgery, so I rejected modern medicine and its doctors. I was confused by the damage technology did to people and the earth, so I left the city and went to live in the country, where I built, by hand, a cabin-no plumbing, no electricity, no phone-in a meadow in the Catskills. I ate what I grew and what I and others accidentally killed on the road. I became a goatherd and cheese maker. I practiced yoga. I meditated. I cut down trees to dry and burn for winter warmth. I made love. I went for long walks. But none of this exempted me from illness and injury.
I continued to be confused. Sometimes I had my health, and sometimes I lost it. Sometimes I had accidents, and sometimes avoided them. Sometimes I overextended myself, overate, and overworked, yet I often remembered to remembered to relax and to reward myself sensuously and well. If I did the "right" things, would I be healthy, happy and free from trouble and pain? If living simply in the country and avoiding chemicals wasnt enough, what was?
I studied alternative health. I read Jethro Kloss, Bernard Jensen, Arnold Ehret, Ann Wigmore, Adele Davis, Dr. Walker, and Euell Gibbons. I worked in several health food stores as resident herbalist. I was still confused about my health.
Like the customers of the health food stores, I thought of health care as being either traditional or alternative. Traditional medicine was M.D.s and the AMA. I was victim: powerless, drugged, and cut open. We would have none of that. Alternative medicine was enemas and wheatgrass juice and vitamin pills and personal power; and we were all doing it. But I became confused when I saw the loss of vitality in people on severely restricted diets such as strictly vegetarian, only raw foods, or extended and frequent fasting regimes. And I was really confused when I saw that everything and anything helped some of the people, some of the time.
In a seemingly unrelated part of my life, I fell in love with women, the Goddess, and myself. And I pursued my love completely, committedly, devotedly. I turned my vision to see the Goddess in all. And as I looked for the Goddess everywhere, in everything, and especially in all women, I realized that "traditional" and "alternative" healing were not so different. Just as suddenly, I knew there was another way, an invisible way, a womans way, the way of the Great Mother, the Wise Woman way, and at last my confusion cleared. I began to walk the beauty way, the unique, spiral maze of the wise woman. I walk there still. Come join me.
Healing Wise by Susun Weed is available at www.ashtreepublishing.com
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