~ Herbal Medicine with Susun Weed ~
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APRIL 2003 ~ Volume 3 Number 4

What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...



Wise Woman Feature

My Heart Cries
by Grandmother Waynonaha Two Worlds

Some times when tears come to my eyes they only are only reflecting my heart that is feeling the pain. The pain is not of this present time but of past pain and loss of my family.

We all cry inside for many things: for family and places, it is the nature of our way as humans. We remember and miss that which we are not part of any more. Memory is a strange and magical thing it can recall to the minute our past like it was yesterday.

The memory can tap into our very ancient memories making us dream of places we physically have never been. In this space of memory and dream time we can reconnect with all things. Our minds are endless sorces of adventure and learning.

My Grandmother told me she could go into her memory and find the herbs that she needed to heal others. I would listen as she spoke to the procession of people who found their way to her back door. The house we lived in sat back in the edge of the trees on a some what steep hill. The base of the hill rested behind the house making it shady in the summer time when the sun passed over from East to West.

The winters could be just the opposite bringing us freezing, sunless evenings. This never seemed to bother Grandmother she was always busy no matter what. I watched as people staggered up the incline to our back porch summer and winter. Nothing ever stopped them from coming. I think sometimes Grandmother liked that isolation and space the inaccessibility the location gave us.

Spring and summer we gathered the plants and hung them each in their time for drying.

Roots came in the early spring and in the fall for making salves and also for drying. There was always something that needed to be gathered each day.

I helped with the baskets and back pack hauling the plants up to the house and tying them in neat bundles to dry on the kitchen rafters.

People came off and on carrying offerings of eggs, smoked meats, and vegetables some times flour and corn meal were left in the old offering basket on the back porch. No one ever used the front door or came when it was full day light, the visitors came early morning or late evening.

Grandmother would set the person down and wait until they spoke of what there problem was. She always made boiled coffee and gave this to the person. When they had drank this strong and wonderful smelling brew she would take the coffee cup from their hands. She would swirling it to cast the coffee grounds around the bottom of the old white metal cup. When it was all settled she would read the coffee grounds as if she were looking into their minds.

After she had listened to the person and looked into the coffee cup she would take the old turtle shell from the shelf.

The turtle shell was then half filled with spring water, Grandmother took it into a little dark room off the kitchen were the herbs were stored.

The person who had come for help just had to sit in silence until she returned . I would clean up the coffee cups and sit watching the people from town. I liked to look at their shoes and clothing many came from the near by hills. Not all were from the town some were Indian and some white. Our door was never closed to any person who came for healing.

The door creaked on its old hinges and she would come back out to hand the person a small bag of herbs and instructed them in the use of them. I would take them to the door and see that they were down the path before I came back in to finish my work. I checked the basket to see if an offering was left and bring that into the house. Grandmother never asked if they left anything she did not take offerings in her own hands only in the basket.

One time a man came from town riding his horse and wearing a big white hat. I was very afraid when I looked in his face. We had good cause to fear these town people, a visit from his kind was never a good visit.

I motioned to take his horse reins, he climbed down and handed them to me like one would a stable hand. I tied the horse under the cottonwood tree, gave it a bucket of water and went inside.

Grandmother seemed to know this man and was listening to him talk about his wife and child who was sick with some very bad thing. The doctoring had not been able to take care of them and he said his wife was going to die.

I saw Grandmother put her hand on his arm and say it will be all right. I had never seen her touch one of these people before so knew that he must be special.

She offered him the usual cup of coffee and looked at the grounds. This time she did not got to the little room in the back of the kitchen but pulled out a small pouch from her apron pocket. This pouch she handed to him and instructed him in what to do with the contents. Soon the man left on his horse as he came. I ask Grandmother who that man was and she said he was the Doctor from the town.

Grandmother seemed to know when people were coming up the hill long before they arrived. She said the birds told her of them coming and what was happening in town. Grandmother never went to town if something were needed it was up to me to walk that 8 miles in or catch a ride from someone on the road.

I know we had no other people come except the ones seeking help yet she know all things as if it were common news. I never heard her talk much she sometimes would sing when she worked in the garden or the kitchen. We did not need words to communicate and the peace and quiet in the house was never broken with loud hard or angry words. If I ask a question she would answer it in time, most of my questions found answers in just every day living. We never expected instant answers to our inquiries this all came in time and when we were ready for them.

Often Grandmother answered a question with a question making me work hard to understand. I thank her ever day for these ways. I found in time my answers were already in my head waiting for me to just find them.

The Great mystery serves us all no matter who or what we are as long as we are connected to our memories.

At times in this outside world my head hurts and my ears seek the quiet of the cabin near the mountain. There you could find your mind again and not be disturbed when walking in that space.

My heart cries and makes tears on my cheeks as I find the memory of my Grandmother. I see her long braid falling down around her shoulders at night the silver shining in the lamp light. I reach out and catch this rope she wove for me to weave into my own braid.

The strand of this braid connects me to my Grandmother as we are all connected to our people. The memory flows from mother to daughter, to grand daughter, the wisdom never lost in time.

Grandmother Waynonaha Two Worlds

Join Waynonaha this fall at the Wise Woman Center Woodstock, NY:

MEDICINE WHEEL 101 ~ October 24, 2003

Medicine Wheel 101 is a wonderful way to enter the Native World of animals and the sacred hoop of life. We will create our own personal medicine wheel complete with colors and animals. The colors and animals will help us to understand the path we have choosen to walk. The wheel will open many doors as it is only the beginning of the intuitive teachings.

SACRED POINT of VIEW ~ October 25, 2003

From our place in the hoop we are all able to see a different perspective. In this sharing we shall explore the abilities we hold in our sacred misson here on Earth. As we unfold our personal talents we shall place them on the medicine wheel. We will explore the ways in which we can use our gifts to attain our goals in life. This is a self esteem nourishing class so be prepared to have lots of fun and laughter.

Each Workshop: $50-$75. $25 deposit.

To register for a workshop, please send your deposit of $25 to:
Wise Woman Center
PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498
for questions, fax: 1-845-246-8081

Register online at www.wisewomanbookshop.com

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