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Listening to the woods, to the stones, to Gaia, and to women...

In the woods behind my house rest a collection of nine large flat rocks. Daily, I walk down to these “priestess rocks” for some sacred time alone to pray, meditate, consider, and be. Often, while in this space, I open my mouth and poetry comes out. I’ve come to see this experience as "theapoetics"—experiencing the Goddess through direct “revelation,” framed in language. As Stanley Hopper originally described in the 1970’s, it is possible to “…replace theology, the rationalistic interpretation of belief, with theopoetics, finding God[dess] through poetry and fiction, which neither wither before modern science nor conflict with the complexity of what we know now to be the self.” Theapoetics might also be described, “as a means of engaging language and perception in such a way that one enters into a radical relation with the divine, the other, and the creation in which all occurs.”

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Gaia Speaks

The Goddess Gaia is alive
In this time and in this space
She speaks in sunrises
And waves against the shore
She sings with the wind
She dances in moonlight
She holds you close
Your heart beats in time with hers
A great, grand hope and possibility
For this planet.

I maintain a daily spiritual practice of visiting the same sacred spot in the woods behind my house. I go to sit or stand on the large stones that rest there and I’ve found that when I open my mouth, poetry comes out. I’ve come to describe this experience as theapoetics: the direct experience of the Goddess through poetry in nature.

I explained my theory and experiences of theapoetics in one of my early posts for the Feminism and Religion project:

In the woods behind my house rest a collection of nine large flat rocks. Daily, I walk down to these “priestess rocks” for some sacred time alone to pray, meditate, consider, and be. Often, while in this space, I open my mouth and poetry comes out. I’ve come to see this experience as theapoetics—experiencing the Goddess through direct “revelation,” framed in language. As Stanley Hopper originally described in the 1970’s, it is possible to “…replace theology, the rationalistic interpretation of belief, with theopoetics, finding God[dess] through poetry and fiction, which neither wither before modern science nor conflict with the complexity of what we know now to be the self.” Theapoetics might also be described, “as a means of engaging language and perception in such a way that one enters into a radical relation with the divine, the other, and the creation in which all occurs.” (via Theapoetics| Feminism and Religion.)

I found myself feeling stalled out on what to share as my first post for SageWoman, feeling self-conscious or inadequate about my ability to be “good enough” for this publication I so deeply enjoy! So…I took my questions to the woods, asking: What do we need to know? What can I share? What message can I communicate? What wisdom can I speak? What knowing do I have? What hope do I hold? What secrets can I uncover?

And, the woods, and Gaia, responded…

She whispers in treetops
And raspberry brambles
She gives you life
Live it well.

She runs along ridges of mountains
And in deep caverns
She glitters on beaches
In deep caves
And on your hand

She listens
And she asks to be heard…

This wild life is ours
I am within you and around you
I hold and enfold you
My promises
Are the colors of green leaves
Blue sky
Red berries.

My potential is in your hands.
Incubating
Stretching
Stirring
Dreaming
Becoming
I love my daughters
And their sons and daughters
I hold your souls...

I care for each tenderly, wildly, and with infinite trust, hope, promise, and potential. Sometimes I might seem harsh or unforgiving, and that’s because you are part of an unimaginably complex and intricate tapestry, each thread of which has value. This pattern that Life is weaving, it’s me. And within it, is you. Touch the stone. Touch the tree. Tilt your face to the sky. Open your arms to the moon. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel your pulse. I’m here.

What do you need to know? You know. Look. Listen. Feel. Breathe.

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I am a doctoral student in women’s spirituality at Ocean Seminary College and ordained as a Priestess with Global Goddess. My roots are in birthwork, which is intimately tied to my interest in the Goddess and in feminist thealogy. I create goddess art at http://etsy.com/shop/BrigidsGrove

Comments

  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly Friday, 05 July 2013

    This is beautiful....I hadn't heard the term theapoetics before, and I'm really touched in a deep place by the 'simple' practice of going to the same spot in teh woods each and every day.

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Tuesday, 09 July 2013

    Like Ashling unfamiliar with term theapoetics and this seems to be a good example. I look forward to future posts from Molly.

  • Molly
    Molly Tuesday, 09 July 2013

    I coined the word, actually, which is why you haven't heard of it! TheOpoetics has been around for a while, but theapoetics was my own connection/description. :) Thanks for commenting!

  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez Thursday, 11 July 2013

    I love that you coined the term theapoetics Molly. Goddess energy, love and poetry! :)

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