Find the Green Witch in you!
Why is Susun so angry?
You may perceive anger or believe Susun is angry when she is “merely” intense or loud. Susun is a “fierce teacher,” trained by a lineage of fierce teachers. Fierce teachers are, well, fierce. They say things that are not polite, but they do not insult others. Listen carefully to Susun: She gets upset about actions, not people. The shamanic apprentices are trained to distinguish between their actions and themselves. They understand that Susun loves them even when she is upset at something they did. They are being trained to deal with criticism without feeling “put down.”
What can I do if Susun is loud while I am at the Wise Woman Center?
Susun is often loud. She spends most of her time outside, where you have to be loud to be heard. And she spends much of her time with the goats, who are loud and pushy. Remember, loud is not angry. You can be loud, too. The Wise Woman Center is a safe place to yell and scream. It is not the end of the world if Susun is annoyed, and she rarely stays upset for long. Respect her space, all the plants, and time guidelines (do not come early to class) and she won’t be annoyed.
What can I do if Susun yells at me?
If Susun “yells” at you, remember, she still honors you although she is upset with your actions. If you pay attention to instructions and boundaries and do what you are asked to do, exactly as you are instructed, you will not be yelled at except in the case of immediate danger, when a loud voice can save you from disaster.
What can I do if Susun yells at someone else?
Stay out of it; it isn’t really your business. Susun is a highly-experienced teacher who has consciously embraced and sought therapy (both talk therapy and affect therapy, plus Pathwork) for her entire adult life. She does not “indulge” her anger; she uses her fierceness to break down obstacles to growth. Susun’s relationships with her apprentices are intense and deep. She uses her carefully-honed fierceness in nourishing and helpful ways, which is unusual to most people.
Recently a student, in tears, shared some horrifying childhood experiences. Despite being in therapy for five years, she had not been able to trust her therapist enough to tell her what had happened to her as a child. She confided: “Susun’s yelling reassured me. She is honest and forthright. This allowed me to share what I have been too ashamed to speak of anywhere else.”
What if I get frightened and upset when I hear yelling?
Susun understands that some women are “allergic” to fierceness. She invites you to take a correspondence course with her, or to try one of her new, “easy” workshops. She discourages you from coming to a work-exchange weekend, a work-learn day, the Green Witch Intensive, or the Green Goddess Week, where there is likely to be yelling.
“All women need to be supported in setting limits, saying ‘No!’ and defending themselves. As a fierce woman, I am a role model for standing strong in a world where men such as Donald Trump get paid to yell at employees and women such as Martha Stewart get put down for doing the same thing. My persona is too intense for some to take, but strongly needed by others. So, though I will continue to be intense with my apprentices and at my intensive live-in workshops, I am trying out some new ‘easy’ classes for those who prefer to avoid the emotional aspects of health.”
Find the Green Witch in you! Why is Susun so angry? You may perceive anger or believe Susun is angry when she is “merely” intense or loud. Susun is a “fierce teacher,” trained by a
Margaret Howard, LCSW
Renowned herbalist Susun Weed was arrested in July for allegedly strangling (not fatally) one of her apprentices. Then, it turns out people have been talking for years about the physical and emotional abuse she dishes out to the women who come to study with her, and this isn’t the first assault charge against her, reportedly. I don’t know how it is that I don’t hear about these things. I don’t live under a rock, after all. And it wasn’t that long ago that I (finally) learned of the sexual abuse facilitation accusations against another writer/”wise woman” I’d admired, Marion Zimmer Bradley (her husband went to prison for child sexual abuse that she is said to have facilitated, allegedly).
Though women are certainly, statistically anyway, far less likely to be physically and sexually abusive (not sure about emotionally), that doesn’t mean they never are. I think this is worth remembering. I’ve seen some smart people suggest that the answer to abusive men in the workplace (etc.) is to only promote women, but surely that’s not the answer. I would think we need to meet people as individuals, and never exclude a class or group of people from humanity and the possibility of goodness. Right? Surely.
I will say about Susun Weed, that though her Wise Woman Herbal was my first intro to plant medicine (back in the ‘80s), and very helpful and in some ways set a certain direction of my interests in life, when this year I started listening to her podcast I was appalled at much of what she said, and how she responded to the women who were calling in, and in that more recent context this strangling thing is actually not entirely shocking. Ugh.
Renowned herbalist Susun Weed was arrested in July for allegedly strangling (not fatally) one of her apprentices. Then, it turns out people have been…