Honoring Women and the Earth
Corinna Wood, Director, Southeast Wise Women and Friends
I’ve been savoring the sparkling and stunning beauty of Mother Earth blanketed in winter. And getting out for snowball fights, has also been an opportunity to let loose some of the righteous anger that’s been up for me these days!
Many of us have been processing a lot internally and with those around us in relation to the recent political turn of events. Racism and misogyny, which have been less apparent to some in recent years, and are now glaring. Perhaps as a result, November exit polls showed a growing feminist majority: voters who now self-identify as feminists have grown to 59% of women, and 33% of men.
Our collective gathering this October was truly a source of deep inspiration and wisdom for all of us, a taste of the world that we want to see. When women gather, in small groups and large, we not only nourish ourselves, but also raise our consciousness and build our capacity as change agents, both personal and planetary.
The focus this year of our October Conference and May Immersion programs is, more than ever, on creating an environment and a knowledge base where all women are valued and celebrated. As we develop our skills and knowledge–and recognize, respect, and validate our unique and varied experiences as women–we overcome both societal and internalized oppression of women and girls. Together, we create empowering and inspiring spaces for women to come home to ourselves.
How are women of our wise woman tribe responding? You’re invited to listen to some of our women’s conference teachers share in their own words, below. As we continue to weave our web, we draw strength from one another. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times.” Corinna
EagleSong Gardener – Gathering with sisters in NC was a well of inspiration and wisdom for me and others with whom I connected. This is the first winter in many moons that I have truly enjoyed the simple natural rhythm of the season. And, this is my theme for the coming year. Simple natural rhythms . . . the ones that lie below the skin, even below the flesh.
The rhythms running through me this winter are rhythms from the very bones of earth, our ancestors and all of those who have walked before us. And, rhythms from the stars . . . the tiny lights above reminding us of vastness, possibility, navigational guides in times of darkness. Rhythms that dance the future alive . . . Now, the path is clearer! Keeping herbal medicine local and accessible in an earth-centered, woman-honoring context/container. Self-care with community support will grow new coalitions we have never before seen.
Lucretia VanDyke – Last year was a rebirth period for myself. My focus is shifting more to my sacred purpose of helping others reignite their own light. In 2017, I will be working to build holistic wellness programs within communities of people of color. Focusing on conscious eating, skincare, women’s herbal health, and holding deep sacred space for self-healing . . .
Each year when I sit in the beautiful women of color space with my sisters, I feel something so sacred, a passion I have long held within my heart to finally have a healthy space to heal in support of people who understand and will hear and hold me up in my story. It brings magic to our soul and creates a vibrational safe-haven for us long after the conference is over. “I know I’m not my sisters keeper, I am my sister!”
I give thanks to Kifu, the women who helped create this love, and Corinna for creating space for it in your powerful conference.
Look for my upcoming women’s circles in Asheville which will be all inclusive of white women allies and women of color as we work together to Heal the Healers. Creating sacred space and learning important yin nourishing tips. We have to help hold each other. Self-love is going to be so important to each of us as we have our own roles in the present state of affairs.
So in 2017, let us all hold space for each other and take the time to tell our stories and listen to others stories. Take time out to find zen in your life, be with the plants, be support for a friend, and listen to learn about someone’s story. They heal and educate us about each other and ourselves. They give us the opportunity to change the vibration of the future and they also hold power in the present. Seek truth in the power of many individual stories in a quilt we weave together in healing, transformation, and love.
Kifu Faruq – This is what I know for sure: This is the America we live in. This has been the America we’ve lived in since first contact with the colonizer. Monsters who wear T-shirts that say, “I’m a monster” is a good thing. Spirit told me 8 years ago, to prepare for what to do when the state fails. To prepare for life as we know it to change. And so I have been preparing. You should begin preparing.
Knowing that the master’s house will not be dismantled with the master’s tools is one thing. Building your own house, on your own land, with your community, relearning restorative practices, ancient technologies for governance, and participating in economies that actually center our humanity is a different thing, a powerful thing, a hopeful thing.
I’m lifting you all up . . . I can feel the collective sadness, disbelief, and despair in my gut. I’m gonna let all the MEDIAS do what they are gonna do . . . I’m gonna get off this couch and start strategizing. If you want to scheme and dream with me, send me a line.
Kathleen Maier – At Winter Solstice this year, the ‘darkness doing it’s work’ has taken on a whole new meaning . . . it seems as if America’s shadow self has risen and the darker parts of ourselves that we were hoping would go away or remain in small, insignificant numbers has demanded our attention. Seems this truth telling time will set us free to dig deep into our being and clearly align with what is most precious to us.
My sojourn to Standing Rock was the beginning of my training in digging deep and experiencing what months of collective prayer and ceremony feel like . . . Maybe one of the most moving ceremonies was when the Vets, on bent knee, apologized to Native Elders for hundreds of years of murder, brutality and the horrors inflicted upon them by the military. This mythic moment found warriors weeping.
It is a serious thing
Just to be alive
On this fresh morning
In this broken world.
Out of darkness comes light. Not certain how restful our lives will be for the coming years, but what a call to activate our dreams with loving ferocity. What would we do without the plants.
Emily Ruff – Since I saw you in October I have remained active in
coordination and resource gathering for the collective of herbalists, physicians, paramedics and healers at the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council. I’ve taken numerous trips back to North Dakota as
well as worked remotely.
One of my biggest takeaways has been to lift up how there are simple ways we can all be in solidarity with these global struggles from our own hometowns – such as, following and sharing independent media accounts, divesting our finances from the corporate banks who fund ecologically destructive projects, and weaving ourselves ever deeper into our own communities so that we may serve as beacons of light for the microaggressions and injustices taking place in our neighborhoods daily.
Kimberly Woods – The results of the election and the daily choices that have been made since, by the powers that be have triggered people’s deepest fears. I received many phone calls from women in deep grief, hugely disappointed, fearing future events and despairing of more years of patriarchal unconscious.
Most of my clients have received great benefit from the homeopathic remedy Ignacia 200 C, taken as needed, usually on a daily basis. It’s a top remedy to heal current disappointment, loss, anxiety, hysteria, moodiness, deep sadness and grief. In healing and life the abscess needs to come to a head, ooze and then heal. Throughout history there has been great darkness and pain before great light and freedom. The current state of our government may be exactly what is needed to unite and transform.
Food for Thought: The Mayan and Egyptian calendar are based on a 26,000 year cycle and we recently passed through the pinnacle of the “Dark Ages.” The Tibetans and Hindu’s call it the Kali Yuga. So basically we have 13,000 years to reach the pinnacle of the “Golden Ages.”
Ombassa Sophera – Together we are STRONGER, and my intention is to also gather and work alongsi
We’ll be gathering again for the 13th Herbal Conference,
October 13-15, 2017,
with Aviva Jill Romm,
Robin Rose Bennett,
and many more…
de all who are present and available to serve this monumental process–with events, workshops and consultations. Customized guided meditations and my other Tools For Life, assist those who are ready to FULLY AWAKEN to their power and FULL potential this lifetime.
Crystal Honeycutt – Professionally, I am taking my Survival-Mode course (which I taught at SEWWHC this year) into the local community with public group work and private clients. Personally, I continue to work on the reconciliation of my own trauma and life experiences. It is my hope to form a single mom’s entrepreneur support group soon! I am doing my best to engage my community, and those who challenge me, in open, sincere learning conversation. We are all in this together.
Holly Clark – Mahalo for such a beautiful invitation to connect and share ~ it’s fabulous to think of all of our amazing conference sisters sharing their light around this planet during such a powerful time of change. My response to recent global events has been to dive more
deeply than ever into my passion by supporting women in circles and in one-on-one sessions to dive into deeper intimacy with their infinite potential through nurturing their kundalini shakti and consequently raising the earth’s kundalini to birth the new world.
I’ve been working with women from a wide variety of backgrounds, and the activations I’m experiencing in myself through this work have been profound; I bow in gratitude to be part of such a magnificent wave of transformation. Being part of the herbal conference for so many years has been such a powerful part of my own awakening, and I am beyond grateful to be part of such radical
Mother Turtle – There have been so many emotions that I have felt over the last number of weeks. At present, I am realizing that I, and we, need to stand our ground, have faith, and envision the outcome we want, and not the one we’re afraid of. When we give into our fears, we forfeit our power. We are in a time of great change, and this great change is exactly what we need!
Now don’t get me wrong, yes, we may have sizable challenges ahead, maybe larger than anything we’ve seen in our lifetime, but ultimately, I am putting my faith in “we the people.” Throughout history, anytime progressive change has occurred, it has done so because of the people. Our humanity is being called upon now, and many people, not just in America, are speaking up against the violence and racism, the greed and corruption, along with a myriad of other issues. This alone, inspires me.
So today, I stand strong and confident, that we are on the precipice of something truly awesome. We are coming together as one. One nation, one Earth, one people. It may indeed be a bumpy ride, but stay strong. We shall overcome!