Anyone ever hear of Susun Weed? An interesting lady, but in no way unique: she’s one of many individuals promoting suitable strides for the Wisdom Path. First and foremost, she’s an herbalist, clearly knowledgeable about botany and self-sufficiency. I sincerely think that’s fantastic. No problem. Weed [Ed’s note — ha!] hosts a slew of programs concerning herbal knowledge at her rural retreat in Woodstock, NY. Herbal day-camp is one thing, but Weed’s other teachings are stock charlatanism. Just another New Age entrepreneur who’s figured out how to cash in on human suggestibility, impressionability and vulnerability.
Weed is a “High Priestess for Dianic Wicca,” — a “Green Witch,” a “Wise Woman,” a “Peace Elder” — as well as a member of the “Sisterhood of the Shields.” Normally, I’d say to each their own, but I’ve got a problem with those who peddle “sacred” knowledge to impressionable folks for a steep price. Check out Weed’s website to see the complete list of offerings (“Chant-Making Workshop” is my favorite). I’ve heard some particularly interesting stories about her “Green Goddess Apprentice Week” ($1300 for seven days) regarding goats, a woman with two vaginas and the word history being changed to herstory. Of course, Weed argues that she’s not a part of the New Age movement, but I beg to differ.
Actually, I tend to sympathize with the New Age movement because of my unshakable ties to Romanticism. Those German Romantics of the late 18th century — Novalis, Schiller, Schelling, Goethe, etc. and their superior 19th century French counterparts — were disenchanted with the stale Enlightenment. So they turned to alternatives — in particular, to individualized pursuits where the human imagination took primacy. It was a revisiting of the idea of prisca sapientia, or a primary Wisdom that is accessible to anyone.
The emphasis on the individual path is significant, for it is the personalization of religious behavior that informed the New Age concepts of our era. It would take too long to academically dissect and define the New Age movement, but 1950s UFO cults in the UK and Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980) provide a pretty clear picture. Combine these flights of metaphysical fancy with a little Castaneda and Harner and you’ve got a recipe for a new wave of lucrative literature.
Weed and her ilk are likely decent enough people, understandably romanticizing and deifying nature as the Ancients were wont to do. But my personal opinion is that her revelations are just another example of the human imagination spawning bosh and marketing it as Universal Truth. Which leads me to my final point.
My good friends, the path to Wisdom is available to anyone. You are all capable of using your own rationality, imagination and intuition to discover for yourselves, the inner designs of apprehensible reality. However, I, Chief Jebsun Largeliver (Wise-Ass, Master of Consciousness and High Priest of the Coyote Guild) am best qualified to outline an effective path for you — a path that will lead you to the Path. I have consulted with the Ancients. I have spoken with the Spirit of the Grape and kissed the glass lips of the Green Goddess. I will share this Sacred Wisdom with you, my fellow seekers. By combining Taoist intuition, Pantagruelion joviality, Dionysian fervor, and Poetic abandon you, too, can attain Wisdom as quickly as I did. Come to my retreat (5 tents, a jungle-hammock and a tree-house) in the Lake Champlain Islands where we shall drink the spirits, abandon ourselves to primordial laughter and command the Imagination. I will show you how to custom craft your own impassioned chuckle and I will reveal the core mysteries of the Bass Line: the Fundamental Frequency which sustains the cosmos. Only 777 bucks a night. Act now!