Susun Weed herbalist Saugreties New York!!. 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.