is Alive in Every Woman
The True Story of
How She Came to Be, How She Disappeared, and How She Returned
Susun S. Weed
the beginning, everything began, as it always does, with birth. The
Great Mother of All gave birth, and the Earth began to breathe. Again,
and again, and again, the Great Mother gave birth. And the plants began
to breathe and the animals began to breathe and the two-legged ones
began to breathe. All forms of life began to breathe. To breathe, to
live. In the air, on the land, in the water, and even in the fires of
deep sulfurous vents where light never shines, all forms of life began
to breathe. And they were all very hungry.
we eat?" they asked the Great Mother.
"You eat me," she said with a smile. And they did. They ate
of Her body. The plants sent their roots down into the earth and they
ate of Her flesh and Her bones. The plants drank Her clear blood. From
her deep springs, from her flowing waters, the plants ate. And they
grew strong. And they gave birth. The grasses multiplied and rippled
in the wind. Roots grew fat and juicy. And everywhere there were amazingly-shaped
leaves, and flowers of many colors, and fruits wondrous to behold.
The animals ate
Her. They did not eat Her flesh and Her bones as the plants did. They
could not send their roots into Her, for they had legs and they moved
about on the face of the Earth. Some of the animals ate of the grasses
that grew from the Mother. Some of the two-legged ones ate the seeds
of the grasses and the roots of the plants and their leaves. They ate
and they ate and they ate. They began to give to birth, too. Soon there
were many, many mouths eating the Mother. There were many, many feet
stirring up the red dust of the Mother. There were many mouths to praise
her abundance. And many mouths to feed.
"I am you and
you are me. I am here for you to eat. Now eat me. Eat all of me."
she urged them. And some of the animals ate Her flesh and Her bones
in the form of the other animals. And some of the two-legged ones ate
Her flesh and Her bones in the form of the animals. And her clear blood
became red. And this red blood flowed in the bodies of the animals and
the bodies of the two-leggeds who ate of the animals who ate of the
plants who ate of Her. And the Great Mother was well pleased.
Now this red blood
flowed in the bodies of the two-legged ones. It flowed in their bodies
and it sang to them. This red blood sang to them of the endless wisdom
of the Great Mother, and the endless dance of the moon, and the endless
spiral of birth and life and death. And the ones who were round and
full like the Mother felt the blood stirring in their bellies. The good
red blood moved in their bellies and they were full of wonder, and they
said to the Mother: "What shall we do with the red blood that moves
so strongly in our bellies, Mother?" And she replied: "Give
it to me. Return this blood to me. Nourish me. Allow me to replenish
myself from your blood." And so they did.
Each month when
the moon grew dark and disappeared, the blood began to flow from between
the legs of some of the two-legged ones. From the wombs of the two-legged
ones, the blood flowed: red and rich and nourishing. The red blood flowed
into Her and she said: "You are me and I am you. Your blood is
my blood. And my blood is yours. Forever and forever, we will nourish
each other. And if you will keep holy the days of your bleeding, I will
teach you all the secrets of the plants and the animals. And if you
will keep holy the days of your bleeding, I will teach you all the secrets
of Heaven and Earth." And so the women kept holy the days of their
bleeding, and they grew wise in the ways of the plants, the ways of
the animals, and the ways of Heaven and Earth.
And so it was for
many, many turns of the Earth around the Sun.
Until the change.
No one really knows where it started. Like a small fire, at first it
seemed harmless. The women were wise and they thought no harm could
come to them. Were they not the very Earth herself? To harm a woman,
was it not the same as harming the Mother? And who would be so foolish
as to harm their own Mother? To harm the source of nourishment and comfort
Yet there were those
who were so foolish. Deluded, they grew arrogant, and began to tell
the story of creation in a strange way. They began to believe that a
man gave birth to the Earth and to humans! They said that man was the
source of all nourishment and wisdom. They said that man was the image
of God, and that God was jealous, and angry, that God demanded pain
and blood and despised the simple pleasures of the body, of the earth.
They said that God lived above, not within the earth, that God lived
in heaven and was above all life. They said that men were above all
life, too. That man had dominion over all of life, over all of the Earth
herself, to do with as he pleased.
Oh, how silly their
stories were. Surely no one could believe such stories! Surely everyone
could see clearly that woman was the source of life, and nourishment.
Surely it was clear that the women's blood was the life of the Earth
and the life of the people. And that the pleasure of the body was holy,
was sacred, was good. That the Earth was alive, was our true Mother,
and must be respected. That we are part of Her, dependent on Her for
our very breath.
But, like a small
fire left alone when the wind is blowing, the strange stories of God,
of man as creator, grew and multiplied. The small fire of deceit rapidly
became a raging storm, a storm that threatened all life. For the men
began to say that the blood of women was bad, that women's moon time
blood was dirty, unclean, even dangerous. They began to say that women
themselves were dirty and dangerous. They began to say that the Earth
was dirty and dangerous. They began to think of themselves as apart
from the Earth, as separate from the Earth, as better than the Earth.
They began to think of themselves as apart from women, as superior to
women, as the master of women.
The women did their
best to tend to the holy fires. The women did their best to keep the
days of their bleeding sacred. The women did their best to teach their
daughters how to learn from the plants and the animals and the Earth.
And the women did their best to be true to the mysteries of the moon-time
and the wisdom of the Great Mother. But the men were lost. Without the
wisdom of the women, alone and apart, the men forgot the ways of peace.
They forgot that the Earth was their Mother. They forgot that all women
were sacred. And they began to fight. At first they fought only among
themselves. But soon the sickness spread and the men began to fight
the women. They began to torture the women. They began to kill the women.
They bound women's feet for this pain gave men pleasure. They burned
women at the stake for how dare any woman pretend to know the healing
ways of the plants. They stoned women to death for it frightened them
to see even the smallest bit of her holy flesh. They cut out the pleasure
parts from between her legs for here was a power that seemed uncontrollable.
And they told her, again and again, until she began to believe it was
true, that she was not sacred, that she was not made in the image of
They men told each
other that women were inferior, that the animals were inferior, and
that the plants were inferior. Soon, puffed up with false pride, the
men began to devise ways to use the women and the animals and the plants
without respect for their power, without respect for their sacredness.
The men began to believe that their view of the world was the only view
of the world. From one side of the Earth to the other, they abused the
women and the plants and the animals. They used them without regard
and kept them locked away. They ignored the cries of pain. They came
to believe that women and plants and animals actually enjoyed being
hurt. They confused
some women so terribly that these women began to believe that they actually
were dirty and in need of punishment. They tortured so many women that
the wisdom of the women seemed to be the lie, and the lies of the men
took on the trappings of truth.
But the Great Mother
lives in every woman. In every place and every time, the Great Mother
shows herself in the form of every living woman. "Eat me."
she whispers in the dreams of the woman. And the woman throws off the
bed covers and walks barefoot into the moonlit night. She is yearning.
She feels a deep stirring in her belly. She looks at the moon and she
fancies that she hears the moon speaking to her. "You are sacred.
You are the beginning and the end of all existence. I am you and you
are me. Keep sacred the days of your bleeding and I will share with
you the wisdom of the plants and the animals and the very Earth."
Can she believe
it is true? Dare she believe the truth of the words she seems to hear?
All her life she has been told that she is not pretty enough, nor smart
enough, not strong enough. Everything seems to tell her that she is
too round, too emotional, too sensitive. And not sacred, in fact, the
complete opposite of sacred. All the days of her life she has heard
the stories of the wonders of man, the creator. She has heard it so
often that it has the sound of truth: God is a man. God is all powerful,
so men are all powerful (and women are weak). God is clean, so men are
clean (and women are dirty). God is pure, so men are pure (and women
are filth). God never bleeds from between his legs and men never bleed
from between their legs (so the flowing blood of women is a sickness,
a curse, a punishment). How can she believe that her blood is sacred?
How can she allow herself to feel pleasure, to name it good, to name
it holy? How can she dare to believe that she is the Goddess?
Yes, the Goddess!
The Goddess who is alive in every woman, in every place, in every time.
The Goddess who whispers in our dreams. The Goddess who smiles in our
lives. The Goddess who stirs the blood in our bellies. The Goddess who
knows that every woman is wise and powerful and sacred. The Goddess
who calls to us: "Keep the days of your bleeding sacred. Remember
blood is the blood of life, the blood of peace. Feed me your blood,
your moon-time blood, oh my daughter, my lover. Feed me, for I hunger
and I thirst for you.
me. Return to yourself. Remember yourself. Remember me. I am the Great
Mother. I am the Goddess. I am the Wise Woman. Listen to my words. Listen
to my song. I am in you, thus I can never be lost. My story is your
story. And it is the true story of birth and life and death. Eat me.
Feed me. You are woman and so am I. Through me, you exist; through you,
I exist. We are the ones who create. We are the ones who nourish. We
are the ones who open the gates between the worlds. We are the ones
who must reclaim ourselves, who must reweave ourselves.
dear sister, the threads are thin, the song is faint. Tell me it is
not too late. Tell me that you hear me. Tell me that you believe me.
Tell me that the Goddess has returned. Tell me
you are listening to the plants and the animals and your own deep knowing.
Tell me you are looking past the slick, simple lies and into the messy,
complex truth. Tell me that you feel the red blood stirring in your
"Tell me it
is not too late. Tell me the sisters are awakening. Tell me the moonlodge
is rebuilt. Tell me that the words of White Buffalo Calf Woman were
not in vain. Tell me that Kwan Yin's heart is not breaking. Tell me
that Venus is safe. Tell me that Artemis roams free in the
woods. Tell me that Lilith is welcome at your table. Tell me that you
remember that pleasure is holy to me. Tell me that you refuse to believe
that you delight in pain.
"Tell me that
you feel me reaching out to you from the deep core of your being, from
time out of mind. Tell me that you feel me waking up inside you, waking
you up to your beauty and your power. Tell me that you are reclaiming
your truth and turning a deaf ear to the lies. Tell me that you remember
that you are the Goddess. Tell me that you remember that you and I are
the same. Tell me you keep sacred the days of your bleeding. Tell me
you honor your crones.
"I have been
with you since the beginning, and I will be with you at the end. I am
part of you and you are part of me. Allow me to love you. Allow me to
honor you. Allow me to return."
Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is the voice of the Wise
Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening
nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts and minds to
the magic and medicine of the green nations for more than 30 years.
In addition to being the founder of the Wise Woman Center, editor-in-chief
of Ash Tree Publishing, a high priestess of Dianic Wicca, a member of
the Wolf Clan and the Sisterhood of the Shields, a Peace Elder, and
a devoted goat keeper, Susun writes on women's health and spirituality.
Her four books: Healing Wise; Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way; Breast
Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way and Wise Woman Herbal for
the Childbearing Year are used by more than half a million women, and
have been translated into German and French. Susun has personally trained
more than two hundred apprentices, initiated more than five hundred
green witches, and oversees the work of more than three hundred correspondence
To contact Susun visit her website at http://www.susunweed.com/
by Dianne Trussell