“Pay attention now,” Grandmother Growth says, taking your hand and holding your gaze. “The Change known as menopause deserves your full attention.”

“Pay attention now, and relax. Focus, allow, observe, surrender. Your egg basket empties; your memory basket grows heavier.”

“Memories are sweeping through you, great granddaughter, like lightning flashes, leaving you shaken and trembling, sweating and panting. Memories too gossamer to catch with words are weaving themselves into your nights and shattering the patterns of your days. Fragments of melodies, half-seen gestures, sketches, muted drifts of color emerge from your memory. All the wild passions of the Maiden are restored to you. All those Maiden things you left behind or pushed aside when you became Mother-woman, return to you now, enriched.”

“Do those memories crowd painfully into your head? Do they send your heart racing? So they make you weep? Sweep you off your feet? Leave you wondering what it would feel like to jump off a high bridge? Take my hand, dear one. Let us walk and talk.”

There is no doubt in your mind. Your menstrual cycles are coming to an end. You are in the midst of your menopausal climax years.

During the year or so before the very last period (and the year or so afterward) many women experience some type of menopausal Change, such as hot flashes, heart palpitations, sleep disturbances, emotional uproar, anxiety, and/or headaches.

Menopause, like puberty, requires that we give in to Change and accept that it is beyond our control. If we arrive at mid-life feeling more in control of our lives than ever before, giving in to menopausal Change can be incredibly difficult. The desire to use anything, drugs or herbs or whatever, to avoid disruption of our normal life pattern is strong; it comes from within and is reinforced by society. Why resist?

The Wise Woman Way offers us a new/old story: where hot flashes and wild heartbeats are honored, where menopause is considered woman’s greatest transformation - her crowning as Crone - and where old women are vital, flexible, hale-hearted, strong-boned and clear-minded.

The Wise Woman Way offers us women’s mystery stories and a host of helpful herbal allies that aid the process of menopause instead of attempting to stop it or fix it.

Wise Woman stories say that menopause is an initiation and that initiation begins with a period of isolation. The grandmothers tell me that, as a menopausal woman, I need to draw inward, move away from outside responsibilities, and into myself. From this view, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, and emotional outbursts are understood as allies of wholeness, not problems; they urge me to be alone, to focus on myself and my Change.

Without knowledge of the women’s mystery stories, without the help of herbal allies and the reassurance of other women, a woman may feel alone and unsupported in her disturbing and “pointless” changes. She may think the Change is only for the worse, or that something is wrong with her. And when she seeks information, she is told (erroneously) that her Change will cause heart attacks and crumbling bones, wrinkles and grey hair, and loss of sex appeal and libido.

Where is Grandmother Growth to guide her through this immense, frightening metamorphosis, to show her the green gifts of nature that strengthen her heart and bones, soften her skin and sex? Science defines menopause as lack of estrogen and prescribes the remedy (take estrogen) and tells us that we don’t have to mature, or become wise women. We can remain bound to our (and society’s) ideas of who we ought to be, instead of exploring who we really are.

If I take hormones will I be able to make room for transformation? Take time for solitude? Give myself uninterrupted stretches of focused self-loving? Encounter, nourish, and sanctify myself as a wise and silly grandmother, a wrinkled wild woman, a lawless fierce crone? My menopausal metamorphosis deserves as much attention as I can give it. And I am not that rare woman who gives herself these gifts without the daily urgings of her body and feelings.

I don’t use hormone pills, or patches, or creams. I let the “problems” of my menopause give me the opportunity to claim all parts of myself, even those that are awkward, ugly, old, out of control, and afraid of death. By passing consciously through menopause, by embracing this Change in my life, by nourishing myself with green allies, I renew myself. The grandmothers say I make myself complete - reclaiming myself as maiden, redefining myself as mother, and knowing myself as crone. It is so.

“Take my hand, dear one. I will soothe your head, calm your heart, stabilize your grounding, and then teach you to fly. Take my hand, now. You are in the midst of Change.”

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 on this website/email 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

Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Author's Bio: 

Susun Weed is the voice of the Wise Woman Tradition, where healing comes from nourishment. She is known internationally as an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. Ms. Weed restores herbs as common medicine, and empowers us all to care for ourselves. For free ezine, on demand radio, recipes, resources, online courses and much more, go to: www.herbshealing.com

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Susun Weed is the author of the Wise Woman Herbal series, including: Healing Wise, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, New Menopausal Years, Breast Cancer? Breast Health, and Down There Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way. Learn more at www.wisewomanbookshop.com site includes hundreds of books, CD’s DVD’s digital downloads, and educational opportunities.

Study with Ms. Weed in person at the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock NY, online at the Wise Woman University, and via Correspondence Course, For information on Susun’ workshops, correspondence courses, apprenticeships and more visit Herbal Medicine and Spirit Healing the Wise Woman Way: www.susunweed.com.

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