Buried just outside the vast woods of the Cylburn Arboretum, lies a community health center focused on Holistic Healing. Located at the former home of the Aquarian University of Maryland Esoteric Study Center, it was once the site for the only State approved esoteric study center in the United States, which offered certificates in Religious Metaphysics, Occult Sciences and the Mystical Arts. The location has also housed a communal living center called Savitria. In 1984, Zohara (Jill) Meyerhoff Hieronimus planted The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center here.
Zohara, the wife of Dr. Bob Hieronimus (who you will meet here in the pages of What Weekly in the coming weeks), is an award winning radio broadcaster, author, social justice and environmental activist, and pioneer in Holistic Health Care. She is well known for her participation in consciousness studies, social and environmental causes and is a broadcasting personality as host of the syndicated Future Talk, Clearview Radio, the Zoh Show and 21st Century Radio. Zohara is also a teacher of the Alef-Beit (Hebrew alphabet), and author of several books, including Kabbalistic Teachings of the Female Prophets, The Seven Holy Women of Ancient Israel, and Sanctuary of the Divine Presence, Hebraic Rituals of Inititation and Illumination.
As Founder and Executive Director of the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center, which has since 1984 served East coast clients with holistic health care services and programs, Zohara received The Garland of Excellence Award in 2005 from a Sir Paul McCartney sanctioned Charity, the Garland Appeal. In 2010, Zohara was awarded a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Saybrook University stating that “she represented a substantial body of work and high achievement in disciplines that embrace our values and principles.”
Hieronimus founded The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center in 1984, which is situated on one acre of the original estate of the James W. Tyson family, one of Baltimore’s famous Quaker abolitionist and philanthropic families. The Mansion (4801 Yellowood) was built in 1906 by the achitectural firm of Ellicott and Emmart. The Hill House (4803 Yellowwood) was built in the 1940s and in the 1970s was physically moved to its current location next to the Mansion. Thanks to the intervention of then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer, one of the original “Friends of Ruscombe”, these buildings were preserved during the construction of the Coldspring NewTown condominium community built in the 1970s. The Tyson family first used the name Ruscombe for their own home based on William Penn’s final estate in England.
Inspired by her own search for self healing for a chronic condition, Zohara gathered a collective of health care practitioners integrating ancient and modern therapeutics with emphasis on non-toxic and non-invasive procedures. Practitioners at Ruscombe focus on the whole person, not simply the physical malady or symptom or disease. There is a healing atmosphere about the grounds and the setting of the facility itself. Behind the Mansion there is a bubbling pond complete with gold fish and lily pads. On pleasant days, one can find clients eating lunch, meditating or having a peaceful chat there.
For years, Ruscombe practitioners have introduced doctors-in-training, including medical residents, to the healing arts they practice. Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland send medical students to Ruscombe to learn about complementary medicine. Clients at Ruscombe are encouraged to try a variety of therapeutic options while pursuing wellness in an individualized way.
Over 30 professionals offer treatments in Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Massage, Rolfing ®, Stress Management, Herbal and Flower Remedies, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, Yoga and more. Individuals of all ages participate in Ruscombe’s health care services, including families ranging in ages from newborn infants and school children, through teen years and right on up to the grandparents. They also offer educational programs, holistic healing, movement and exercise systems, meditation, education and inspirational guidance, referral services, and support groups.
This Sunday, from 1PM – 4PM, Ruscombe Mansion is holding an open house, for visitors to come experience the property, meet some of its practitioners, and learn ways to incorporate holistic healing into their lives. The open house also boasts panel discussions, yoga by the lily pond, and delicious vegetarian fare.