Your Comments

I am so glad to receive this new website.

I attended the Kanaio HI 6 week workshop in 1977 with William. People from Findhorn attended also. I lost my notes when I moved back to TN. I would love to find someone who has notes from that workshop.

I remember a lot but wonder if you have any information on his Tri formulas which was the focus of his teaching then.

Congratulations for making this archive a reality. He was such a luminous spirit and I will always cherish the experience and the knowledge he shared.

Sincerely, Kara Knoefel Gale

William and I are friends. I\’m very thankful to find this web site to connect with him, though I see he has passed on before we could meet once again. We hung out in Santa Barbara in the late 60s, him studying herbs and me with a spiritual bookstore. We would go into together buying up some roots and herbs. One day he came in to the store with his soon-to-be wife and asked me to perform the marriage (I had a minister\’s license for California). My main memory during the ceremony is that we used a twig somehow. 🙂 He left for New Mexico soon afterward. Our friendship has been with me all this time, and I miss him. William, some day we will meet down the road.

Meade Roberts, now in Portland, Oregon

William quite simply saved my life. In April of 2001 I was taking a facial diagnosis class with him outside of Boston. He looked at my face and said, in a voice that sounded as if he were channeling it, “You have something seriously wrong with your large intestine and you need to get it checked immediately”. Of course I did and indeed had a 2 cm malignant cancer on the ascending colon. I stayed in touch with William after that and saw him in NYC. Ironically, I lived and he died. However, he does “visit” to check in on me to this day and I welcome his visits. At this point in time I am close with Matthew Wood, his greatest disciple. William lives in my heart. I run the Philo School of Herbal Energetics in Northern California, using William’s facial chart and giving homage to him with my students.
Mary Pat Palmer

I Miss my friend he tought me so much. I met him at a 

crossroad out in the Arizona Desert and we became 

friends about 1984 and later he sent me a plane ticket 

& i got to see New York City for 3 weeks and then we 

drove back to Kingman Az and started working on a 

rock castle on the land know as fig springs 20 miles 

west of kingman in the Black Mountains.

Good to find this site.

I knew William to be a beautiful spirit.
I’m glad to see him remembered this way.
Mike ben Aaman

Fond Memories of William 1985-2003

In 1985, someone introduced me to William who was then living on the upper west side. I signed up for his class on spiritual healing, taught to only a few students from his small studio apartment. We connected easily and after class would chat about a hundred things and swap body work. Even though we had very different backgrounds, we both felt a surprisingly deep kinship.

When William opened up Chiron’s Magic Minerals on 4th Street in the East Village, we continued meeting once or twice a week and we always ate fresh sushi from the Japanese fish store on the corner. We developed a mutual admiration for each other based not just on sharing skills with each other but also on breadth of knowledge, outlook and philosophy. And as we had done in our prior lifetimes together, we became best of friends.

Our 29th Street office 1989-1997

In ’89, I found an opportunity to rent the bottom floor of a brownstone on 29th Street. The owner had placed a small sign stating there was a ground floor space to rent. When I took William there to look at it, he was immediately intrigued by its back yard which had grown wild over years of disuse. “Stinging nettles” he exclaimed, which meant the soil was rich and healthy. So a deal was struck and he would join me in that space. But it was a building with a troubling designation.

The owner of the building was Joe Vassalo, originally the caretaker of not just the building, but of the elderly couple who lived in the ground floor apartment and also owned the building. When they died, they left it to Joe in gratitude. But this was not a regular building, it was an SRO (Single Residency Occupancy).

An SRO is a unique designation within the city’s housing code and a protected entity that provided valuable low cost housing options for the poor. The ground floor apartment was considered a full residence and the requirement was that every SRO needed to have one, where the building manager was supposed to live and take care of the upstairs apartments. What it meant was that my office would forever be “illegal” until it got a changed certificate of occupancy. None of this I knew when I was negotiating a 10-year lease with Joe, as he presented me with only part of the picture.

One of my patients at the time was a small job contractor and he said he would do the work without a permit, since we were only doing partition work with routine electrical wiring and a central AC. Long story short, with the help of an architect, it got built. Joe “convinced” someone at Con-Ed to connect and assign the electric to me and we became operational. But always, in the back of my mind, was a concern that some wandering building inspector would come by and shut me down.

To call our office quirky would have been a complement. The reception area was painted a tropical forest with a Paper Mache palm tree in the corner. The ceiling was a blue sky with clouds and the hallway to our offices a softer orange. William had the first room on the left while mine was in the back with a bay window overlooking the garden. In between were two smaller massage rooms. In the utility room, we set up storage for herbs and tinctures. Outside were a couple of chairs, a round table, a whale vertebra and a small hibachi for grilling steaks. In the garden we planted spilanthes, comfrey, catnip and holy basil, and behind our A/C, a pile of lepidolite rocks we hauled back from a mine in New Mexico from one of our herb trips. For New York City, it was a small slice of heaven.

Acupuncture School 1993-1996

When the NY Acupuncture licensure law changed in ’92, William and I decided to go to school together to get licensed. Pacific College was just blocks from our office so it was there that we went. Classes were in the evening and early morning so we could schedule them outside our working hours. When we shared the evening classes, there was always a break to 8:30. William insisted we hit the bar next door to down some Herradura Silver before resuming class. William was always a such a good influence on me!

To meet one of the school requirements for Chi Kung and Tai chi, we hired private instructors to come to the office once or twice a week. We both learned a tai chi short form and also practiced Xing Y Nei Gong. And for strength training, we worked out doing grappling exercises with a bamboo rod and a hand towel. Even though William was much larger and stronger, we found a way to tussle that benefitted us both.  

Early morning herb walks

We would leave our office on 29th street way before dawn when the Lexington Ave hookers were still active servicing the Taxi trade. We would drive upstate in my ’85 5-speed corolla to the Hudson Valley looking for medicinal herbs. The strongest variants grew wild in open fields and “abandoned” land.

Easiest to find was St John’s Wort, a potent nervine. This tiny yellow flower was found roadside right around the time of the solstice. Collecting the tops of the plants with our Felcos, our hands would be stained red from the sap of the cut plant. Bag after bag we stuffed with the plant and when we returned home, would macerate with Everclear and let sit a week or so before pressing out the red colored extract. We would also find Lobelia, and if you got the plant at the right time, it’s seed pods as well. We would also collect the lung remedy mullein and its yellow flowers (for earaches). Flowering catnip, a stomach remedy was also found growing wild.

The Northern Lights

One of the richest finds was in Highland NY which was across the Hudson from Poughkeepsie. Heading west on Route 44, past the cemetery, we found an open dirt road leading deep towards Illinois Mountain Park. Other than the dirt road, it was wild and unmarked. In one traipse exploring a small wooded section, we found a circular rose arbor surrounded by poison ivy. Inside the arbor was a circular section about 10 feet in diameter, a perfect location to plant some pot. But first we had to prepare the soil.

In late fall, we dug and clipped a path under a section of the arbor to make entry to the center easier. Using a wooden screen, we dug and hacked out the center, sifting out pebbles and stones and also clearing the many small roots that penetrated the area. Mixing in a sack of horse manure that we “liberated” from the Rocking Horse Ranch a few miles west on 44 was the final preparation.

In the spring, we germinated a half dozen precious seeds of the Northern Lights strain, a pure indica variety cherished for its resinous nuggets, fast flowering, and resilience while in growth. The seedlings matured to be over a foot high in one of the unoccupied SRO rooms that William was using for storage. Bringing them upstate in my Toyota in cardboard boxes was the riskiest part of the venture and we made sure to follow the speed limit as we drove north out of the city.

The soil was near perfect as we planted the seedlings. Having experienced deer eating all of our other seedlings at more exposed locations a year earlier, we scattered bags of human hair collected from a barber shop, and hung Irish Spring Soap bars wrapped in metal cages made out of old coat hangers on the perimeter. Then we left and waited as the plants matured.

In mid-August, we returned just in time to sex the plants and pull out the males leaving only the girls. A month later we returned to trim as many leaves as we could so the plant became stressed and the flower buds easier to trim and clean at harvest time. It was daybreak and hot and humid with mosquitoes relentlessly pecking at our exposed foreheads, especially around a few veins I had at my temples. A month later we returned, again at sunrise for the harvest. The stench of the skunk could be smelt from quite a distance.

In this case we did not drive, but parked my car down the road a piece walking in with only backpacks.

We harvested every plant, cutting out the buds and placing them in smell proof turkey baster bags that were amazingly efficient in masking any odor. We both walked out of the land with backpacks full and into my car just down the road. We cleaned the buds on a Sunday afternoon in my office and let them cure for a week upstairs in William’s storeroom. It was an amazing and memorable crop that brought us acclaim from all those we shared them with. The next year we went to the “farm”, and found that an enormous stone had been placed in the center of the dirt road leading to our special area. It was the last time we visited that location.  

Red weekends

William loved his relationships with women. He told me of a past life as a Geisha and that this was just bringing balance back to his karma. At this point William was actively living in the 29th Street office using the shiatsu futon in one of the massage rooms for his bed. This included bringing his women there for extensive relations. But certain weekends were more special than others. They were the red weekends.

Red curtains were on the windows and red towels and sheets were in the rooms. For this was the monthly celebration of a menstrual cycle and for William, a special time where he could feast on the most Yin of Yin. I think that this turned out to have serious consequences, because as William was to fight his final battle, Hep C would not turn out to be a friend.

Moving on

Towards the end of ’96, our landlord decided to screw with the building. He tore the upstairs apart and put steel girders out the back with support footings into the garden. My office window, once so bright, became plunged into darkness. I couldn’t figure out how he had gotten a building permit knowing what I did about the building. So I had one of my patients who was an expeditor look it up and he told me it was a forged permit.

It took three calls to the DOB for an inspector to come by, recognize the fake certificate and put a stop work order on his front door. But by then it was too late and I knew it was time to move on. Even though William could not follow me into my new smaller office, we remained close friends and we still took excursions together. My office was also his official mailing address.

Beer here

William came from a troubled childhood and he left home as a teenager to make his way in the world. The death of his father left him sad, the divorce from his wife Julie and loss of custody for his son Alex also weighed on him. So he drank. Just not a little.

His favorite was Corsendonk, a Belgium blond and we ordered it by the case and kept it fridged in our storeroom. Towards the end of our mutual tenancy, I’d come in for my 8AM’s and I’d find a beer already poured and partially drunk when I arrived. He continued drinking though the day, never getting drunk but then again never being fully sober either. He continued to drink even after our offices separated and he was living with his wife, Daniella, on Mott Street in Little Italy. But a serious accident changed his outlook.

One day, William had drunk too much and had passed out on the couch in his living room. When he woke up, he had shat his pants, and still drunk, he went to the bathroom to clean up, and in so doing, scalded himself with screamingly hot water in the shower/bath. This resulted in a severe case of cellulitis on his butt and down his leg. That was his wakeup call and he stopped drinking thereafter. But the damage was done and it was too late.

The decline

I knew something was wrong when we were riding in my car on one of our many herb trips. He smelled. Not the typical healthy body odor but one of sweet and sour. I commented about this to him and he said he knew something was wrong. A few months later, he came into my office and laid face up on my table. As I rocked him back and forth, I found his abdomen full of fluid that rolled around like a wave. He had ascites, a sign of serious liver damage from scarring by cirrhosis.

The joint gift of cirrhosis and Hep C was too much for William. He began to vomit blood from esophageal varices and wound up in the ER at NYU. I knew the score, but William was in denial. I told him he needed to write his will. He said “I’m fine” and I said “Perfect time to write it.”

I signed it as his witness and he got sicker and went on a transplant list. But his blood type was rare and donors impossible to find and he died May 13th 2003. Sadly, I was unable to go to his funeral since I had to visit my mother who was also quite sick following her first stroke.

But not a day goes by that William is not in my mind, particularly because a giant quartz crystal he dug out of a cave in Arkansas rests on the desk of my office. And also from a pound of sea salt he collected for me on the salt flats of St. John in the Caribbean that I still use a pinch of now and then.

Steven Schram PhD, DC, LAc      

William gave me a psychic reading in Chapel Hill in the 

early ’80s on Larry Miller and Mindy Kash’s porch.  He 

told me about a past life that so fit with a very deep part 

of my nature that it is a holy space I go to from time to 

time when I need to contact my source.  –Don Riggs 

Thank you for sending me this link. I listened to part of it and then it stopped and started back at the beginning. William was the man who taught me about how herbs can truly heal. He gave me herbs that healed herpes and my recurring bladder infections, when I was attending his school of natural healing in Taos, New Mexico. He changed my life and I am so grateful to him. Thank you for what you do to keep him alive to those who knew him.   

With loving thoughts,  rosalie

I studied with William on two occasions.  One was in New 

Hampshire in the summer of 1978 or thereabouts at a 

weekend workshop, and then again at Madré Grande just 

south of San Diego for the month of January, 1979.  I was 

a teenager, motivated by my own spinal injuries, to learn 

more about wholistic health and to become a practitioner, 

which I was for decades.

William was a really amazing teacher. He just spewed 

information, much of which seemed to be intuited on the 

spot.  He was very on task and skillful when he 

demonstrated bodywork.  He moved my kidneys around! 

I wish I still had the book of recipes he gave out and my 

own notes from the month long workshop.

I didn’t really get to know him on a personal level but I 

drove him to town once, from the top of Madré Grande, 

and we talked but I don’t remember about what. He 

seemed to me to approach life with a lot of gusto.


hearing his voice on the tapes reminds me of how ordinary he was the way he taught; no ego, very accessible information in his conversational delivery.

Kay Parent

I just found out about William’s death and I am truly saddened by this loss. I am very glad to see how he has progressed in his herbal and natural remedy practices. William was quite rustic, casual and totally down to earth. He was funny, kind and keenly in the present. I can also remember the great smell of herbs and tinctures in his apartment.

I met William in the early 1980’s in New York City. I was suffering from severe migraine headaches for about 2 years. I tried many different modalities, doctors, traditional medications, and chiropractors. Someone recommended me to William. He diagnosed it as a toxic liver and gave me Chinese cleansing herbs, changed my diet (mainly no dairy and wheat) and performed deep massage and body-work. He would work on the liver meridian and then prick my big toe to release some very dark thick toxic blood. I was pretty much cured after 2 weeks. This strengthened my faith in alternative therapies. I continued to see him and he helped me grow in many areas. He mentioned I was like Persephone and needed to embrace my dark side, which helped through my depression.

We bartered bodywork for haircuts, which was my former profession. I also did some graphics for him being a graphic designer. I made him a line-drawing for his Crynon [Chiron] logo, which we used to make a business card, letterhead and envelopes for his herbalist business, which I still have copies of if you would like to see them. I also met his beautiful partner Daniela, who also met my toddler-aged daughter, Joy when I gave William haircuts. I really hope Daniela remembers us and will contact me.

Thank you for having this site so we can share our stories which provides a kinship of souls that have had the honor to have a part of William LeSassier in their lives.

Catherine Zanghi, CZ DEZINES



I never had the opportunity to study with William LeSassier but am learning of his teachings from Margi Flint, one of his students. His wisdom lives on in all those who he taught who are teaching others. Valeria Kenny  

Hello and Herbal Greetings

I am fascinated with William.  My good friend and one of my mentors Margi Flint has a lot of his work at her house.  I feel like he is one of my teachers, even though it is only his memory, and bits and pieces of his work that I am studying.  I have a small herb school in Austin and one of my students Nancy, recently purchased the cd archive set.  I was listening to the first 5 cds, and am going to order them.  I want to do a project where I transcribe some of what he is talking about into diagrams.  I am a student of Michael Moore’s as well, and find both he and William to have an uncanny ability to speak to you from the other side.  I pop in a lecture from one of them and exactly what I was thinking about, they are talking about….its weird…or maybe not

I am a bodyworker and herbalist.  I study many systems of healing,and I find William’s knowledge to be very clear and helpful.  Thanks for keeping the archive going and Margi is letting me watch some of his videos so I can try to grasp some of his palpation technique.  I studied shiatsu and now structural masssage and I really like the way he looks at the body.  I hope to study all of what you have availbale on him and keep applying some of the concepts with my clients.

Green, WIld, and Wet Blessings

Nicole Telkes  

I taught tai chi with my husband at William’s school in Taos. 

The year was 1974; I was an acting manager (manager 

was very ill) of an herbs and spice store in the Village called

 Aphrodisia in NYC, when someone came in and gave me a

 flyer from Christos School of Natural Healing in Taos. I took 

it home and stuck it in my draw. Later on that year, I was 

discussing with my husband, James, that I wanted OUT of 

the rat race of the City. Pulling out the flyer, I pointed to the 

back, bottom where it said ‘Will take teachers in the following

 practices in exchange for room and board’ – tai chi was on 

the list. James and I were students and teachers under 

William C.C. Chen and so we wrote William LeSassier about 

the offer. He accepted. We took a bus cross country to Taos 

about three months later.

Well room an board really didn’t happen, however he 

connected us with someone who had a connection with a one room 

adobe house in Las Tablas, where William also owned 

a house and we commuted to Taos to teach once in awhile. 

The village people in Las Tablas were not too happy to have 

another outsider move into their tight knit community. Later, 

I learned that they had tried to burn down William’s house 

the year before and threatened him death if he rebuilt and 

moved in… 

I was so nervous about living there, I split from James and 

moved into a place on the Duncan’s property, used to be 

Morning Star Commune in Arroyo Hondo. Around winter, 

I was having serious culture shock and William told me that 

a good place between the culture of NY and Taos would be 

Boulder, CO.  When winter came and people started to talk 

about chain sawing wood, I headed for Trungpa Rinpoche’s 

Buddhist community and school, Naropa, in Boulder.  

James died in Las Tablas shortly after I left… There are still 

questions for me about what exactly happened. The police 

told me that he stabbed himself six times in the stomach…

While in Boulder, a few years later, I found out that William 

was living in a storefront in Denver, so I went by to say 

hello.  He was lying down and jumped up into a defensive 

pose when he heard the door open. It made me laugh, but 

I could tell that he was a bit on edge. He greeted me and 

then sat down with a pendulum and hovered over a map. 

I asked him, “What the hell are you doing?” To which he 

replied that someone had stolen his car and he was trying 

to locate it. We hung out for awhile and I left. That was the 

last time I saw him. 

I just found out today that he has passed on.

Today, I still teach tai chi and live in MI. I remember William.

Best to you.

Was a wonderful man, inspirational, smart, articulate, 

loving.  He was a pleasure to know.  I knew him in 

Santa Cruz, California in the late 1970’s.
Gil Carter                  (md, jd, abfm)

I was one of the 40 students at William’s Christos School of Natural Healing.  I too think of William often and have rarely encountered any herb used medicinally today that he did not cover on many levels of use.  He organized a full curriculum bringing other instructors to offer us acupuncture, anatomy and tai-chi that spring/summer, and there was a second session in the fall.  William also taught spiritual healing: energy-work, color therapy, crystals and gems, connecting with guides and guardians, the astrological forces that influenced plants and when to gather them. He empowered his students to do healing work for the highest good.  I realized watching him that being and excellent teacher did not mean mean you were a buddy with the students, as he often retired into his private rooms as soon as class was over.  After completing both sessions I went on to open A Simpler’s Joy Herbals on Catalina Island, wildcrafting many of the herbs, gratefully using the knowledge he taught to treat many people.  I now live in Hilo, Hawaii.  I have thought of William often, and am completely grateful to have been his student.  My time at Christos School was definitive and formative for making me who I am, and was one of the best times of my life.  Mahalo kupuna, Jennifer Ho (then Jennifer Moore)

William (aka Willy) LeSassier walked into my herb store, 

Axis Herbs in Santa Barbara, CA, longer ago than I can 

rightly remember.  We set up herb walks for him, some-

times on my ranch in the mountains. Because I was at a 

convenient stopping point (San Marcos Pass) for the trip 

between San Francisco and LA, William often drove in at 

odd hours of the night and honored my wife (Cat Politte) 

and I with a visit. He was a fullrange creature, from divine 

light to divine satyr, and we loved and cherished every 

aspect, and treasured the days he would spend with us. 

He parked his herb collecting van on the land for so long, 

that 10 years later I forgot where it came from. The man 

had the greatest soul, the most intense energy I ever 

encountered in a fully functioning person. We drank fine 

Bordeaux and hung out as he shared his recent 

adventures and great plans.  He inspired me to have 

some grand adventures of my own, flights of the soul 

included.  He was an angel, an elemental, a doorway to 

another world. And he was my closest friend.   

I love you, Willie, wherever you are.  

Charles “Chuck” Rankowski aka Axis   

It has been many years since I spent 6 weeks attending 

an herb class that William taught in Kanio on Maui.  I slept 

in a tent with a nursing 6 month old baby.  When I asked 

William if I could attend the class with a baby, his answer 

was that if I felt drawn to be there then that was where I 

should be.  I never saw him again but have never forgotten 

him and the myriad of information he gave us during that 

6 weeks.  It was one of the most magical times of my life. 

He gave iris and face reading to the 20 or so attending the 

class and dazzeled us all with his accuracy and seeming 

connection to cosmic wisedom.

I came away with a notebook filled with his triune formulas, 

instructions about how to make tinctures, and the benefits 

of barley soup (which we had every day!) Sadly, I lost the 

notebook when I moved from Maui to California. 

I would love to connect with anyone who attended that 

class, and would especially like to get a copy of the 

formulas if anyone still has the notes. A treasure trove of 

formulas awaits anyone who could get a copy of those 

notes. I don’t remember the names of the people that 

provided their house for the class but I do remember that 

another local healer was there and also some people 

from Findhorn came for a short visit.

I am so glad to have known William for that short time 

and sad to hear that he has passed on. His wisdom will 

be missed by all.

Love and Light, Kara Knoefel Gale 

I’d really like to see more of his art work here. I am an 

herbalist and an artist also.

I studied herbology with william from 1975 to 1977 at 

Angelicas Herb store.
what a magical time. I remember him recommending a 

few herbs for a goiter which kept me from swallowing 

properly. It worked immediately. I heard of others who ended up in surgery or took a purely chemical route. 

In class i wrote feverishly to keep up with his lectures. 

there was so much info in everything he said.  I felt 

very lucky and honored to work with William, he was 

rough around the edges, but pure genius.

I am very sorry to hear of his passing.

jane allyson LCSW-R     

I was impressed the first time I learned of William’s use of 

sacred geometry in his formulations.  Having studied with 

David Winston I now have a greater appreciation of it and 

am glad that his students continue to carry this valuable 

information forward.  I hope to do the same in my own way.  

Triune theory was an important contribution to herbalism 

and offers valuable insight into effective formulation. 

Thanks for making William’s work available to those that 

might not have discovered it otherwise.  

Kevin Nay   

I knew William for many years, from way back in the 70’s when we were all just beginning our teaching. He was brilliant and wild ~ and wildly original!  He taught several times in the early days of the California School of Herbal Studies when I was still the director of the school.  Then I lost track of him for several years while he was teaching and working out of New York.  We reconnected at a Brietenbush Herbal Symposium.  The years had mellowed the wildness but not the spirit or brilliance!   The year he died he was scheduled to teach at Sage Mountain along with Bill Mitchell, but because he was not feeling well, we cancelled the event. I had no idea at that time how ill he was.  Such a loss that both of those brilliant amazing men have passed on. What a legacy they both have left.   And how thankful I am that you and others have inspired to preserve his work. 

Again, thank you for all the good work.  I know that William would be delighted to know that his life’s work is continuing on in such a good way and still influencing so many people. He was a rare bright light on the earth. 

With you in healing ways, Rosemary    

i am interested in hearing more about william in his last years. i took a class from him 28 yrs ago when i was going through polarity training in california. i recently just learned that he had died in ’03.
i am interested in finding out if he ever got married, had children, what his life was like, and finally, how he died.

uma chodron   

It was just last night that I read on the web of William’s passing.  I am deeply saddened to know that he no longer walks the wild fields with his sandals,  but certainly the grasses rustle and we know he is there.

I remember many herb walks and I recall how William spiritually tuned in to each wild herb, knowing each one personally, and describing each one . . . as if remembering a dear friend. . . .  sharing its likes and dislikes, its family and friends; knowing its power and healing abilities.  He’d bend down to caress the herb, as if welcoming an old friend. . . .  with a happy smile and sparkle in his eyes.

I’ve had the day to think of William, and to remember a few of the many memorable times I experienced with William.  I’ll endeavor to share some with you, knowing that these are precious memories of a teacher for whom I continue to respect and admire.

In 1972 or 1973 I was pleased to be a brief and small part of the magazine Well Being in Point Loma, San Diego, CA.  That was where I first met William.  I believe it was summer of 1973 that I attended his school in Taos, and I must say that the experience was one of my life’s highlights. . . . for the memories and impressions lasted throughout my years.  Even at the time, I sensed a knowing I was experiencing the sharing of knowledge from a legend, a man of far reaching wisdom that was unexplainable to any of us at the time.

I happened to tape all the classes, and I was very particular to sit close to him for the best recording.  I know I have the tapes stored somewhere, and I will send them when I find them.  Coincidentally I’m going through my belongings now, simplifying, letting go. . .  so I expect to find the tapes soon.

At the time in Taos,  I was one of the 2 elderly people of the classes . . . . being about  31 years.  Try to visualize this funny story.  We were all  . . . maybe 20 students, sitting on the floor of the living room, and William was sitting higher than we.  The conversation was on being a vegetarian, and when it was appropriate and when it wasn’t.  Some of the students were very young and very impressionable, and I might add . . .  impressed with themselves for being vegetarian, and did so declare themselves to be vegetarian.  In his wisdom, William allowed the students to express their beliefs, and then it was William’s turn to share his experience being a vegetarian in Taos at 7,000′ elevation, through a very cold winter.

William went on to explain (personal beliefs aside)  how it made sense to be a vegetarian in a warm climate such as Hawaii . . . , but that in Taos, with the severe cold, eating meat was helpful to keep warm.  William shared how he had tried everything he could to get warm, and he couldn’t . . . . cayenne pepper in his socks, and other efforts were no help.  Finally, he declared . . . ” I went to the Safeway, and looked at the meats.”  Try to imagine 20 mouths falling open and gasping!!!   

“What did you do”, everyone asked.  William was having fun with all the newly proclaimed vegetarians. . . . .   “I took home a big beautiful steak . . . .   and I ate it” . . . .  What happened?    . . . . everyone was wondering.  He said it felt great, and he liked it. . . .  and his body was warm again.   It took awhile for everyone to get over that!

Here’s what I got out of that experience.  William was teaching variables . . . how nothing is black or white.  At the same time he was allowing each of us to be ourselves, to change and to grow, and to have the opportunity to learn through experience.  I felt like William was accepting each and every one of us. . . . for who we were at that particular moment.

William was a gift . . . a gift to whomever he met, at any stage of their life.  He blessed me and made my life richer.  He gave me memories and concepts that I have always held dear.

I’ll be in touch when I find the tapes.  It was a pleasure reliving a wonderful time with William.

Stephanie Koch

Thank you to those of you who put this website up, to Ms. Noe LeSassier especially.   I’m Mara Marshall and I met William in the late 1980’s when I went to have an herbal session and he helped me thereafter intermittently after my son, Patrick was born.  I did not know of his passing and I was so moved to have the energy and connection of this website.  He was such a special healer and I count myself very lucky for the few meetings I had with him– he made an impact.  I thought to contact him to bring in my young son for help with hay fever and when I googled his name– your website came up. 

Thanks for having it there.  Peace,  Mara M.    

I’ve been listening to William’s Lectures from 2oo2 on CD. Amazing.  

I’m regretful to have missed the chance to study with him.  However,

 I feel blessed to have these teachings, these gems, in my 

posession.  His wisdom will live on through the practitioners who 

embrace his insights.
Judi Millar
Sacred Ground Herbals

 I didn’t know William had passed on till just now. I knew William off and on for 9 years or so (1981-1991), when I lived in Manhattan, and was a patron and then manager (for the entire year of 1984) of Serenity herb and healing store, where William hung out and taught. Over the years, the most striking thing about William I found was that, behind his occasionally awkward, obnoxious, self-destructive, or enigmatic persona  — and his obvious incredible, almost superhuman genius — was a man of great humility, uncommon sweetness, rare generosity, and unexpected humor.

William helped without being asked to help. He couldn’t help it, as it were. He helped me through an (unverbalized!) time of doubt and difficulty by giving me a brief free, encouraging, and dead-on palm reading, out-of-the-blue. At another time, he happened to look into my irises and tossed off another few gems of dead-on hidden, helpful info. When I became manager of Serenity, one of the customers told me that William said I was “excellent.” I didn’t know how he could have even remotely determined that, as we had spoken only maybe four times. I guess it just came out of his “third eye,” or that palm-reading years before. It was just a nice and humble thing he did for me, not knowing it would ever get back to me.

Arguably the best herbalist, diagnostician, and wholistic healer in town, William charged next to nothing and lowered even this for fellow healers and New-Age practitioners he knew were just scraping by. Even beyond that, he helped his clients find the cheapest way to get the good herbs that he prescribed. The health consultations were magically laced with an unexpected, wonderfully healing humor that seemed to come from the Cosmos, not from the serious practioner of the healing arts that William was to all that knew him. I vividly remember that the first consultation I had with him was so accurate I experienced exciting results on many levels within a couple of days.

Of course we all heard the wild and woolly tales of Willaim the wild-man, but no tales, no wildness, ever impinged upon the impeccable healer that William was, a Resource for all that knew him, a Channel for the wisdom of the universe. William knew more than 10 or 15 practitioners rolled into one, and shared his info — much of it unique and irreplaceable –generously.

William, we will miss your encyclopedic knowledge and the help you always had for us at your fingertips, but most of all we will miss you, dude — your sweet, humble, helpful spirit, just adding your beneficial gifts to the world.


Aanel Victoria (fka Catherine Patton )

I first met William LeSassier in the summer of 1975 in Taos, New Mexico.  I was 25 at the time.  I drove to Taos from California with a friend to attend a two week meditation intensive with Ram Dass at the Lama Foundation (about 20 miles north of Taos).  After the workshop, my friend continued east to New York.  I needed a ride back to California.  Someone told me that there was a man named William who was leaving for California the next day.  I went to meet him and he welcomed me to come along.  He had a 1954 milk truck with a top speed of 45 mph.  He wanted to drive non-stop and brought food along in a cooler.  I remember spending the first couple of hours in the front talking with him.  I felt very comfortable and relaxed with him.  We had two other travelers with us but they couldn’t drive, so William and I took turns driving for a few hours and sleeping in the back for a few hours.  We only got to talk at the very beginning of the trip.  We made it to Los Angeles in 24 hours and parted company.

The next year I spent 6 months studying with a spiritual teacher in New York City (Joya, but called Jaya Ma now).  On my way back home to California I stopped in Taos to visit a friend.  She told me that she was taking a class in herbs with William LeSassier at the Christos School of Natural Healing and the class began the next day.  She invited me to audit the class the next morning.  I did.  That morning began with total chaos as
40 students from all over the country were there waiting to register.  I was standing in the back of the crowded room waiting.  At one point the sea of bodies parted for a moment so I could see William.  Our eyes met and, without hesitation, he said:  “Hi Richard”.  I was amazed.  We had spent one day together a year earlier, he was in the middle of dealing with signing up 40 students, he wasn’t expecting me, and yet he remembered my

The class my friend had signed up for was two days a week for 10 weeks.  Each day was divided into three 3 hour sessions.  The morning was on herbs.  The afternoon was on massage therapies, which included chiropractics, deep tissue work, lymphatic massage, reflexology, etc.  The evening was devoted to various spiritual topics.  There were other classes like anatomy that one could sign up for as well.  After the registration
was taken care of, we went outside for the herb class.  I remember we all sat out on the grass under a tree and it was a beautiful sunny morning.

About half way through the class, I was drawn into meditation.  I then saw that there were three spirit guides around William.  The main one had the appearance of an ancient Egyptian.  I don’t remember much about the other two except that they were healing guides.  The Egyptian was more of a spiritual teacher.  Seeing guides, auras, etc. was not unusual for me at the time.  I had spent 3 years at a psychic school learning clairvoyant reading and psychic healing (Berkeley Psychic Institute).  I had done many psychic readings.  However, it was unusual to have this guide come over to me and begin a conversation!  What he talked about was how good the class would be for me and how the timing of spending the summer in Taos would work into my plans.  I remember feeling afraid that this was a come on, like a used car salesman, but I become more and more at ease as no pressure was put on me.  In fact I was told I could take the class for free.  I might be asked to teach a little as an exchange though.  This conversation lasted about 5 minutes.  It ended graciously with a reminder that it was simply an invitation.

When the class ended, William got up immediately and walked into his house.  People started to leave but I felt very relaxed and was enjoying a few more minutes sitting there.  About 5 minutes went by and William come out of his house walking fast and straight to me.  He sat down with me and made the same exact invitation the guide had made.  It was almost word for
word!  I thanked him and told him I would think about it.  My basic issue was that I had no place to live for the summer and very little money.

It was a Sunday and I remembered that the Lama Foundation offered free lunch and Sufi Dancing on Sunday afternoons.  I went.  When the last Dance ended, I remember standing with my eyes closed for a moment.  The thought occurred to me that maybe I could live at Lama and attend the classes.  I asked and was told to attend the weekly meeting the next morning.  I was
accepted into the community for the summer.  Normally all Lama community members are expected to be there to work and study 7 days a week.  They made a special exception for me to attend the Christos School because they felt it was such a special opportunity.

I had a great summer and learned a tremendous amount from William.  I continue to use the herbal formulas and nutritional information.  For many years I did massage professionally.  My main emphasis was Polarity Massage, but I integrated everything I learned that summer and called it “Healing Massage”.  One fond memory I have is William taking the class on an herb walk one evening.  I was walking next to him and he opened my eyes (inner eye) to plant and tree spirits.  It was something I had never tuned into before and I enjoyed seeing the elementals and sprites and devas very much.  Only twice did he ask me to teach his evening class so he could have a break.  I never asked how he knew I was qualified to teach this!

After that summer I only saw William once more.  In the early ’80’s I was interviewed on a radio station in San Francisco.  As a perk I got taken out to lunch after the recording session.  I was told that the person they were going to interview that afternoon would join us for lunch.  It was William!  What a nice surprise.  We had a fun reunion and I remember exchanging contact information.  When I wrote his name down on a piece of
paper, he commented that he was impressed I remembered how to spell his last name.  I had to chuckle that the man with the photographic memory was impressed by me!

Funny, for about 30 years now I think of William almost every day.  He’s with me when I go grocery shopping, when I drive by Yarrow plants along the road, when I walk by Cleavers next to a stream, when I commune with the Redwood devas.  I will always love him.  He will always be my friend and my teacher.

Richard (Hanuman) Robbins






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