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In Praise of Snow - by Susun Weed


Winter is my favorite season. And where I live, winter brings cold and snow. Do you like snow? I do. I like to play in the snow. I admire snow's beauty. I'm thankful that snow protects the animals and the plants. But what impresses me the most about snow is its country name: "poor person's fertilizer."

What fun to sled in the snow (screaming), to ski across the snow (silently), to ride a
snowboard in the snow (grinning), to ice skate (laughing), to make snow angels (shivering), to bring a snow person to life (cooperating), to have a snowball fight (competing), to make snow caves (digging), and snow forts (lying in wait).


I never fail to thrill at the sight of moonstruck rainbows glittering off the surfaces of fine
snow on a sub-zero night. I love standing out in the snow when it is softly falling, watching the flakes shining in my long dark hair, and catching them on my tongue. I cherish the mornings when I awake to white skies filled with snow, snow, snow. There's snow on the ground, snow tumbling down, nothing but snow. Even life is canceled for the day. Snow day. It's no day. No responsibility day. Hooray. Snow!


Snow is beautiful. Each snowflake unique. Each a miniature mandala. Each one a slice of a six-sided crystal. And every snowflake, like a quartz crystal, is vibrant and vibrating. Snow is magic. Everyone feels it. Experiment this winter with using the crystalline energy of snow.


When snow falls without wind, it outlines each branch and bud of each tree and shrub.
Perhaps it is making their auras visible. Snow rounds and softens the shapes of nature. Snow connects everything with sweeping strokes. Snow blots out the details and leaves the big picture. Snow speaks to our pleasure, and our need, to erase the small stuff, to soar wide in imagination, to understand the big pattern.

 

Snow lays quietly, covering the ground, covering the plants. Snow provides an insulating blanket that protects the roots of the plants. Without snow cover, the ground heaves. It freezes at night, and expands up. Then it thaws during the day, and sinks down. This seesaw of freezing and thawing, expanding and sinking, pushes up large rocks from beneath the ground and can uproot plants. A blanket of snow keeps the ground evenly frozen, preventing frost heaves and protecting the plants from upheaval.


That blanket of snow provides safe cover for small animals, too. They can burrow beneath it, running and foraging safe from the watchful eyes of predators. Snow keeps little animals warm, too. And they find it easier to tunnel through than the frozen earth.


But it is snow's power to bring fertility to the land that amazes me the most. Snow is
water. But snow is so much more than water. Each snowflake forms around a mote of dust. That dust is an iota of soil, a minute amount of minerals. And as the snow falls to the ground, it brings with it the nourishment of that tiny bit of mineral dust.


This is true of raindrops as well. Each drop of rain coalesces around a mote of dust. I
frequently hear people refer to the rain as "cleansing." Fortunately for us all, it is not. Just think what a barren wasteland we would inhabit if, instead of nourishing the soil, rain cleansed it. When rain washes the dirt away, we call it erosion. And, without dirt, there can be no plants. Rain is not cleansing. Rain is nourishing. And so is snow.


The minerals in snow are absorbed into the soil. And, when the ground thaws, they are taken up by the plants. The weeds make exceptionally good use of the mineral wealth of snow. Oats and oatstraw consolidate the snow's magnesium, with 1200mg in 100 grams of herb. Red raspberry grabs onto the manganese, manifesting 146mg in 100 grams of herb. Chickweed loves snow's iron, offering 253mg in 100 grams of herb. Valerian values snow's calcium; Skullcap thrives on snow's copper; hibiscus sops up snow's chromium; catnip goes for snow's selenium;
while nettle champions snow's zinc.


Minerals provide structure and allow communication in cells, plants and animals. The
healthiest soils are mineral-rich soils. They provide minerals for healthy plants. And those plants create healthy bodies. Minerals are the key to optimum health, for people, plants, and the planet.

That's why I champion the edible weeds such as nettle, oatstraw, dandelion, burdock,
lamb's quarters, mallows, and purslane. They provide optimum nourishment, including mineral salts in many forms. They heal by nourishing.


When in Switzerland some years back, I visited a cheese factory and watched a movie about Swiss cheeses. "What makes Swiss cheeses so special?" the movie asked. Then, answering its own question, it replied: "The special plants our cows eat." And there they were, right up on the big screen, the stars of the show: red clover and dandelion, yellow dock and chickweed, sorrel and plantain, burdock and mustard, nettle and thistle, mineral-rich weeds, fed by the snow.


Weeds are green snow. Minerals fall as snow, are taken up by the weeds, and become available to us in forms we can use as food and medicine.


Go out into the snow if you can this winter. Taste it. Savor it. Play with it. Admire it.
Open your heart to its blessings. Open your spirit to its richness. Open yourself to its nourishment. You are a beloved child of the Universe and the snow is stardust.

 

Green blessings.



Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health.

 

Visit her site  for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more or contact her at:


Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax:  1-845-246-8081


For permission to reprint this article, contact us at:
susunweed@herbshealing.com

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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 contained herein 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.

 

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Browse the publishing site - Ash Tree Publishing - to learn more about her alternative health books.

 

Venture into the NEW Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

Or Join the Forum! Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Forum - an open space for discussion. Make yourself at home, post a message or start a discussion. This place is for you to share your questions, concerns, and comments with other wise women like you. Take a moment to register and become part of the community. Enjoy!
 

 

Susun Weed’s books include:

 

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $11.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

 
Healing Wise 

Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $17.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

 

New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $16.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on menopause, visit the site.

 
Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $14.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on Breast Health, visit Susun's Breast Health site.



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