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The Lore of the Wise Woman
There have always been wise
women, from our earliest days even before we were truly civilised
there was always one woman of the tribe who knew which herbs, flowers
and seeds we needed to heal and cure.
Usually the same woman who would be brought in
later in our history at every birth and death, and was the one who other
women of the tribe turned to in times of trouble grief or sorrow.
A natural councillor and ‘keeper of the wisdom’,
who in those days was usually an elder of the tribe.
Traditionally this woman had an affinity
with both plants and animals, and her home, which was often on the edge
of the village or settlement was full of herbs and plants and simples
that she used in her work with her neighbours and their livestock.
The Wise woman
often had ‘a way’ with animals both wild and domesticated, So in
tune with nature herself, she could tell instinctively when they were
ill and what was likely to be wrong with them.
In fact this simple but infinitely knowledgeable
woman was the forerunner of the doctor, vet and councillor that we today
tend to take for granted!
When she was needed, a message will be sent to the
‘wise woman’ and a cream or potion or some sort of wisdom would quickly
be either delivered, or sent back to the ‘patient’ the payment for this
would usually be in the form of something the wise woman also needed,
such as food, utensils or clothing.
It was a truly symbiotic relationship of the simplest kind but
nevertheless respectful, honoured and essential to the health and
well-being of any village or settlement at that time.
Later in history it was mainly these wise women
were to be persecuted as witches and devil worshippers, but the great
majority of them were simple country women who had inherited an enormous
amount of knowledge and wisdom from their mothers and grandmothers.
Indeed the very word ‘witch’ come from wise or wisdom.
Today we still have the
lore of the wise ones, today they are often trained healers and modern
The ancient wisdom is still alive and well, we
simply give it different names such as herbalism and therapeutic hands
There are still those of us who, in a simple way
collect the wild fruits and herbs of the forest and hedgerows to treat
ourselves and our families, as well as to make delicious and nourishing
herbal teas and preserves, and who go with the natural tempo of Mother
Earth, her tides and the phases of the moon, moving with the yearly
cycle of rest and activity.
There are still people who are in tune with nature
at its most basic, and can tell you the time of day by the position of
the sun in the sky at any given time of year.
The wisest of these combine the many benefits of
modern medicine and thinking with the old knowledge that they have
inherited, and above all they recognize that there has to be a balance
in all things.
So however we look at it, we come from nature and
that same nature will nurture us to some extent if we allow it to do so.
Even being in tune with the Earth and its cycles will encourage a
balance deep within us.
Perhaps in these modern times we need to remember
that we ourselves are ‘of the Earth’ and revisit our relationship with
nature and our still beautiful planet before it is too late.