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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Molly

Molly

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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I touch the earth and offer gratitude
 for this land I call home.
I reach towards the sky and offer gratitude
for sun, moon, and stars.

I place my hand on my heart
and breathe deep, offering gratitude

for all that I am and all that I have
and for the many blessings of my life…

As we reach the celebration of First Fruits, Lammas, on August 1 (or August 7), it is a beautiful time to reflect on the abundance in your life, the bounty around you, and that which you are harvesting or savoring.

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What if you were to sit b2ap3_thumbnail_36752977_2120823658129845_8131110730486251520_o.jpg
by the river of your own life
observing the current
watching the flow,
sensing the depth,
feeling the rhythm,
and not needing
to tell about it,
but instead taking
a long, replenishing
drink.

I’m getting ready to take some time off from classwork and public content generation and planning a bit of a social media hiatus as well as to focus on my piling up book projects. And, our annual Cauldron Month is rapidly approaching. One of my own guideposts of life is Mary Oliver’s Instructions for Living a Life:

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I watched fairies dance
in the midsummer twilightb2ap3_thumbnail_fairydance.jpg
waltzing with fireflies
and skimming through treetops.
It is true that they could have
been moths,
but as I stood in the shadows
with my children
all of us gazing upward in wonder
the sky deepening to night
I saw the certainty shining
in their faces,
the enchantment in their eyes
and I knew
without a doubt
that we were seeing the true nature
of these winged creatures.
And we will never forget what
it felt like to watch
real fairies taking flight
right before us
as we dared to name
the magic in the night.


Last week, my sister-in-law hosted a fairy tea party for our little ones at the river. We had an enchanting time eating tiny cupcakes and drinking sparkling raspberry-chamomile tea while wearing fairy wings as the sky dipped toward twilight. Then, we headed home and the kids asked me to stay out and catch fireflies. As we did so, a "fairy" suddenly flew across the sky in front of us and it is this experience that I share in my poem above. It was a priceless, magical, powerful moments with my son and daughter. The next day they wrote tiny notes of thanks to the fairies who let us see them and set up a fairy-sized tea party with tiny cups of cherry juice as an offering beneath the rose bush.

b2ap3_thumbnail_35922919_2107213349490876_2399942611637895168_o.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_35924543_2107578882787656_3993992012419301376_o.jpg

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Peace
Power
Passion
and Plenty...

(Summer Peace Chant by me)

Today, we stood in the swift waters of the creek with our children. As we sang together, the breeze swirled around us, scattered raindrops kissed our shoulders, and then the fire of the sun peeked out of the clouds to warm our skin. Standing there together on the wet rocks, where the water emerges fresh from the body of the earth, we felt immersed in a union of the elements.

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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. 

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“It’s a wild snail festival out here!”

—Tanner (age 3) 

We recently got home from a family mini vacation to Table Rock Lake, about three hours b2ap3_thumbnail_30420049_2074497082762503_7495032563414501479_o.jpgaway from home. 

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I didn’t just stop
to smell the lilacs
I sang to them too
praising their beauty b2ap3_thumbnail_30813819_2076083795937165_6064872471947175256_o.jpg
as I pressed my nose
into their blooms.

The air was full
of enchantment
as I delighted in the sunlight
filtered through new maple leaves
and scattered across stone.

I rolled redbud flowers
across my tongue
and ate dandelions straight
from the stem
feeling yellow petals
in my teeth.

I savored the flavor of a violet
and rubbed mint leaves
between my fingers
I crawled on my knees
through the clover
watched bees dance
on the dandelions
and found ginger
and elderberry beneath
my heels as I stretched
my arms into a tree branch
reaching for tender buds.

I gathered the blossoms
of springtime
kissed them with gratitude
and offered them into
the bubbles of water
from which rivers are born.

I let my fingers trail
through the wildness
within me and around me.
Then I lifted my lips
to my lover
under the
Beltane moon.

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