If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal workshop by Susun Weed, was she nice?

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Dorthy_Back_From_Oz » April 27th, 2017, 1:16 am

I have just returned from completing 7 days of what was intended as a six-week live-in Shamanic Herbal Apprenticeship with Susun Weed.

Before I embarked on my journey to study in person with Susun Weed, I listened to her three-years of blogtalk podcasts, read her books, watched her YouTube videos, and took a correspondence class. I also researched her extensively and talked with a past apprentice. I still chose to take the journey. Ego allowed me to justify or put negative reviews aside, after all, they are outweighed by the myriad of positive reviews describing a life changing experience.

My three second elevator speech about my experience is that I journeyed to Oz only to reveal the "woman" behind the curtain; to discover the reality of the great and powerful Wizard. I am so thankful that I drove (a 28-hour drive) to Susun's. My car was a great substitute for Dorothy's ruby slippers.

Here are my thoughts in abbreviated fashion:

1. The reports of Susun's behavior as abusive are true. It is not that "Susun yells a lot", it is that Susun Weed employs classic abusive techniques to break down women and then try to build them back up: screaming, insulting, creating high stress situations with impossible standards, intermittent positive reinforcement.

2. Susun seems to be working from a premise that all women are broken. All women have a deep well of rage that manifests in passive aggressive behaviors, shame, guilt, etc. Any misstep in trying to accomplish a variety of extremely numerous and detailed farm/home/herb tasks is automatically linked to this well of rage and deep seated passive aggressive intent. This is most likely worse and more ridiculous than anything you are imagining right now.

3. The apprentice's journey with Susun is based on a Russian fairy tale. The book Susun read this story from during my initiation is followed by 40 pages of wonderful commentary that lays out nine tasks for apprentices and for women to embrace their power. These nine tasks are the road map for the apprentice experience, but Susun was unable to adapt her curriculum for a woman who did not arrive emotionally broken.

4. Susun is autistic. I made the mistake of not putting enough importance on this fact.

5. Susun has spent decades learning to express emotions so that others perceive them the way she intends. When I realized the depth of her acting ability, all actions (except the screaming) felt inauthentic.

6. Perhaps this impression would change after a longer stay, but there was nothing that I learned in my first seven days with Susun that I had not read or heard in the materials she has published. Anecdotes were often given verbatim.

7. The Nettles Patch (the apprentice's house) was not only dilapidated, but it was filthy. I spent two hours my second day cleaning my living spaces so that I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my stay camping. I scrubbed a sink for 30 minutes to remove grime and see the sink basin. The butter and eggs were stored in a moldy refrigerator... Susun's view on the Nettle's Patch is that she has nothing to do with it. It is the apprentices job to clean it, and if it was dirty, it is because the last apprentices left it that way. Yes, I was paying to stay there.

8. I was a lone apprentice, and that was a bad situation. I was isolated. There was no one to share experiences and chores with. There was no one to a have a conversation with; Susun is not available for conversation.

9. Time learning with Susun was maybe 2 hours a day with exceptions for workshop weekends or days when you also listen to her conduct her blog talk show.

Now, some positives. The outdoor spaces at Laughing Rock Farm are gorgeous. Miki, Susun's "consort", is an amazing cook. The Tai Chi class (Mondays and Thursdays) was probably my favorite part of the experience. My time (about 5 hours a day) with the goats was restful.

I am not at a point in my life where I feel compelled to stick out a terrible situation to prove that I can do it. When I left (not "ran"), it was because the negative side of the scale measuring my experience with Susun outweighed the positive. I did not go to Susun to learn how to survive abuse, I went to build a stronger relationship to the plants, the goddess, and myself. What I learned is that I do not need Susun Weed for that journey.

There are plenty of ways to learn from Susun. I do not question her expertise, but I would not recommend learning from her in person.

If you are considering this experience and want more details about mine, then let me know here. I would be happy to chat with you.

Rachel G.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Sadder but wiser » May 21st, 2017, 2:19 pm

After continued research, it is my observation that all the publications, website, books, scripts and positive press is done by this woman's adult daughter. They work together to con people. The daughter sets up the positive scene to lure people in then uses autism as an excuse for rudeness and filth. This whole thing is a con starting with the address. It's not Woodstock, which carries some artistic clout but Saugerties, which is pretty low brow, and should be investigated by the state police. Stay away. Far away.
Sadder but wiser

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Annie » July 2nd, 2017, 10:13 am

Every post here about Ms. weed is true. In May 2015, I completed 2 1/2 weeks of a six week shamanic apprentice program. The abuse, the living conditions, the lies, all too much from a so called wise woman, and teacher of women. Sadly, she is a terminal victim who does not know how to empower women. She simply knows how to tear them apart, so she feels maybe a little bit better about herself. She does have an incredible amount of information. It can all be accessed on YouTube, and on the Internet. There is no need to put yourself in her line of fire.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Annie » August 12th, 2017, 6:43 am

I have just reread the part where you spoke about the Nettle's Patch. It brought up so much that I had "forgotten." The undrinkable, rusty water!!! Ms. Weed bragged that while the apprentices were drinking this terrible water, she was able to shit in spring water. And she told us the same fairytale at our initiation. In my opinion, she sees herself as the protagonist of that particular tale. I also spent two days cleaning the room in the Nettle's Patch I stayed in. It was moldy, smelly, and deplorable. And there's history to that house as well. Glad you got out right away.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Julie norrell » August 31st, 2017, 10:25 am

This thread needs updating: In April of 2017 several friends and I attended a workshop featuring SW. I left in the middle. Sorry to say this "wise woman" is not improving g with age - I ditto everything negative written below and would add she was stunningly condescending and rude - all the participants I knew came away feeling offended hurt and vastly disappointed. How she gets away with this type of behavior is the bigger question - honestly - would we accept a man, no matter HIW venerated he'd become, treat us this way? I think not.
Julie norrell

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Bluebelle335 » October 29th, 2017, 8:34 pm

Only someone with extremely poor self-esteem would allow anyone to treat them as she does. That is not goddess energy, that is just stupid, petty, toddler-ish ego: just like anywhere else. Please don't let Susun's psychopathicness allow you to believe for one moment that you are less than or worthy of anything but the best treatment. She is taking out all her childhood issues onto complete strangers.. in our Mother's name, which will only result in great regret on the doer's end. She is not Kali, or Freya, or Brigid: she is a coward, who manipulates traumatized women, instead of dealing with her own emotional wounds and has created a cult where she goes out of her way to put down, bully and demean others as she is threatened by any one else's brightness... so.. I would say DON'T go, Don't waste, your time, your money, or energy, and most importantly, don't continue to feed a narcissist, and allow her to further destroy herself and others, when what this person really needs is serious help, and not a bunch of willing victims to continue giving their life essence away in exchange for (incomplete) information they can easily access elsewhere, in sane, fair, and life affirming ways. I encourage you to stand up to Susun and give her the hell she deserves for her pathetic off-loading onto others..this lady really needs it!

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby TLove » May 9th, 2018, 1:48 pm

I recently attended a workshop at the wise women center and wish I had read this article prior, http://www.susunweed.com/anger.htmhttp://www.susunweed.com/anger.htm It was a very intense weekend and reading this article has helped me understand what was going on between the apprentice s and Susan.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby TLove » May 9th, 2018, 2:20 pm

http://www.susunweed.com/anger.htm Here isthe link from my message above of the article I wish I had read before attending a workshop at Susan’s Wise Woman Center. It explains much of the behavior I witnessed and was troubled by.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Dorthy_Back_From_OZ » May 16th, 2018, 6:39 am

TLove, Susun and her daughter are master craftswomen when it comes to framing Susun's behaviors. Having experienced them first hand after researching, interviewing with Susun, and traveling to New York to apprentice, I believe these explanations are how Susun would like to be viewed. I've written about my apprentice experience above. It is a challenge. I still value Susun's work. She has helped many, many people. I do believe she has also damaged many, many people. I would never recommend learning from her in person.

Re: If you (or someone you know) ever taken an herbal worksh

Postby Grace » July 14th, 2018, 5:55 am

I took a one day course with Susun Weed this month and it was disturbing. We were seated waiting for class to start when Susun Weed approached one of the ladies who was standing in the driveway directing cars (we later learned she was an apprentice) and screamed at her for turning cars away, causing class to start 15 minutes late. She not only called her an idiot, but also cursed at her. She then stormed over to where we were seated and apologized to us for her apprentice's behavior (hands in prayer position, bowing deeply) and that her apprentices are all idiots. Then, she said "Who is wearing essential oils?" A person raised her hands and she screamed "Go wash it off! And stay away from me!" Another apprentice offered to guide this student to the place where she can wash. The apprentice noted that Susun is very "specific" about things she likes/dislikes. This type of behavior lasted the entire day. She yelled at someone for asking her a question (she did not simply say - please do not ask me questions while I am eating but screamed at her for a whole minute). She yelled at someone for taking notes because it offended her that this person's note taking makes her appear as a "bad" teacher. She not only shamed but humiliated all her students, one by one, or at least attempted to. She projected a lot of her thoughts onto others, stating them as fact.

Speaking of fact, Susun Weed is losing a lot of credibility even in the herbalist circle so if you are looking for a mentor, or to learn with someone, she no longer carries the light that she may once have carried, irrespective of her knowledge. In the #metoo movement, we are all starting to awaken and able to say that we should not separate the artist from their art. Even if someone creates great work, if the person behind it is vicious/abusive, it does not deserve our homage and respect. Many herbalists simply mention that "there is a lot of darkness that goes on up there" (where she lives).

Not only did she not embody a teacher, she also barely taught! She spent a lot of time reading notes she received from others singing praises of her, and telling us of her travels to various places to teach and eat, and also certain persons/societies which hold her in reverence. We paid to listen to her brag about herself while we waited for lessons.

Watching Susun constantly getting triggered to react with rage and anger filled me with dismay but it also showed me that there are many who are able to hold their head up high and respond respectfully, even in the face of disrespect. This is the most important so I will repeat it - there were many who were able to respond respectfully, even in the face of disrespect. I feel sorry that there are so many people who only wished to learn and find themselves trapped in an abusive situation and hope that this conversation thread shows up as they do their research, that bookstores slowly stop carrying her work, and herbal conferences stop inviting her. She does not deserve a spot as a teacher even though she may have knowledge.


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