#28. Frith in action, a true wisdom story.

artemisix

There once was a Seneca woman, about 700 years ago, Jikonsahseh, (sometimes called Jigon sah seh) who was approached by the wandering Deganawida (The Peacemaker) from the northern shore of Ontario. Deganawida proposed that the warring tribes of the Great Lakes join to create a nation of organization, peace, and law. Jikonsahseh was the first to accept this offer, and assist the Peacemaker in recruiting other tribes. For this, the Peacemaker granted women special governing rights in Iroquois society. Jikonsahseh became known as the “Mother of Nations.”
At this time, Jikonsahseh, was already known and respected for her generosity and her efforts to create peace. She lived near a crossroads of nations. She allowed any traveler to stay in her long house as long as they agreed to keep Her peace (creating sacred space). If warriors from different nations came to her on the same day, she would feed them from the came bowl and cauldron. Now, according to…

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The wise Crone

artemisix

I recently came upon a podcast in which mythologist, Marina Warner, speaks of the “enchanted forest.” Warner describes the enchanted forest as a place for the hero to face both trials and self-discovery, and in doing so, experience an initiation.  Living in the center of this forest is the wise old woman.  But who is this old woman who can live in such an environment? Warner gives the example of Baba Yaga as the dual sided figure, both frightening and kind.

Old women (whether hags or crones) were often the tellers of folktales, for they held the wisdom of both folklore and life.  They were healers with “medicines” of stories, words and ancient practices.  Over time, their knowledge of herbs became marginalized and condemned as the advancement of science and medicine took hold. Healing moved from the purview of women, into a study soley for men.

As the old woman’s…

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