Wise women are village healers, midwives and herbalists. In some places, such as the Two Rivers and much of Andor, they are part of the Women's Circle, which they lead and consequently have great authority,but elsewhere, especially large cities, they may act on their own. In some places, they are expected to predict the weather, or tell fortunes (TEotW, Ch. 39) but in places like Tear, that is taken for being too close to Aes Sedai work and not wise (TDR, Ch. 48). During the unrest after Logain's rise, even in Caemlyn, there was talk against anyone who did healing or any kind of fortuneelling (TEotW, Ch. 39). Amadicia goes even further and most healers are men (TFoH, Ch. 10).
Wise women have different titles they are known by according to the region they are from. These include:
- Mother ....
- Wise Woman
Ebou Dar, Tear
The situation in Ebou Dar is different. The Wise Women there are known for their healing skills, but are hardly ever actually from the city. They are actually members of the Kin, who are required to serve in the city as part of the membership requirements. They wear a red belt and serve for ten years, before leaving so as not to arouse suspicion over the fact they do not visibly age in such a short time. They are very respected, especially in the Rahad, and are considered safe as no man would lay a hand on them, or even on people with them (ACoS, Ch. 38). Unknown to the Aes Sedai, much of their great ability at healing comes from using the Power, to Heal the person. There were a sizeable number of them, at least fifty four (TPoD, Ch. 6).
"You would like Ebou Dar, Nynaeve. Ebou Dari Wise Women know more about herbs than anybody. They can cure anything. They have to, because Ebou Dari fight duels over a sneeze, noble or common, men or women." (Elayne, Lord of Chaos, Chapter 13).
"Almost all of the Wise Women are wilders, highly unlikely to know what we wish to learn. No wilder has ever been found keeping an angreal, much less a sa'angreal, and they surely would have been found." (Ispan to Falion, A Crown of Swords, Chapter 17).