Woodspriestess: Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry.

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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Normal Days and Blue Skies

This morning
I laid on my back on the rocks

stuck my legs straight up in the air
and then spread them open to the sky.

I brought my knees into my chest
and laid there on the stone b2ap3_thumbnail_34561828_2094922720719939_6452653518552563712_o.jpg
like a stranded beetle for a while
thinking.

I had the sensation
that I was waiting for something,
some insight or
inspiration or
magical something
to happen,
and had a vague feeling
of disappointment
in such a “normal day”
with no special lesson
or encounter.

But, then I heard a small voice
from within say:

“well, you got your spirit back,
so there’s that.”

And, I decided that was enough.

On my way back to the house,
there was a snail on a leaf. 

When we returned from the beach this February, I reinstated my daily "woodspriestess" practice--visiting the same spot in the woods behind my house every day, rain or shine, without fail, and seeing what I learn from the woods, the world, and myself. It is vital to my well-being and I cannot believe I ever let my dedication to this practice slip. Each morning I awake with a sense of excitement and anticipation to see what I will discover and doing this has re-enchanted my daily world and more deeply connected me to a sensation of everyday magic.

A few weeks ago, we cast aside the ever-present to-do list and set off through the woods to the bigger spring. We didn’t have anything with us (except for some goddess figures…of course!) and we weren’t really prepared for a hike through the woods, but we did it anyway, and it began a sort of pilgrimage, a microcosmic “heroine’s journey.” I am in love with discovery. I love observing the world, feeling it, breathing it, being it. As we walked, the air was literally scented like roses and I was so alive as we explored. THIS is it to me. This is goddess. Life in the palm of her hand.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

–Mary Jean Iron, in Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much

May you enjoy normal days, blue skies, messages from snails, and ancient waters.

An audio version of the "normal days" content is available here.

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Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates women’s circles, Red Tents, seasonal retreats and rituals, Pink Tent mother-daughter circles, and family ceremonies from her tiny temple space in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing.

Molly is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees. She finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. She is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit. Molly and and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, mini goddesses, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.

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