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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May the sweet breeze of summer b2ap3_thumbnail_104540547_2681594518719420_6340787560619961202_o.jpg
curl around your shoulders.
May the joyous sound of birdsong
fill your ears.
May the taste of wild berries
bless your lips.
May the energetic blooms
of the new and thriving
delight your gaze.
May the rich scents of roses
and wonder
fill your being.
May you lift your arms
to the sun and allow
yourself to expand into
the heart of passion,
the heat of longing,
the warmth of pleasure.
May the streaming light of
purposeful joy
replenish your heart.

Happy Solstice!

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List for today:

Rescue tadpoles from the evaporating puddle
in the driveway.
Look for pink roses in the field.b2ap3_thumbnail_100728699_2662578040621068_2044351931215773696_o.jpg
Look for wild strawberries
along the road.
Listen to the crows in
the compost pile
and try to identify them
by their different voices.
Plant basil and calendula
and a few more rows of lettuce.
Examine the buds beginning
on the elderberries
and check blackberry canes
to see if the berries have set.
Watch the yellow swallowtail butterflies dance.
Wonder about action and apathy
and what bridges gaps.
Refuse to surrender belief in joy.
Listen for faint echoes of hope.
Feel the tender beat of humanity
pulsing in the world.
Feel the sun on your face
and water seeping
into your jeans.
Remember that even if you have to
move one tadpole at a time,
change is always possible.

...
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Be determined.
Hold your ground.
Set firm boundaries.  b2ap3_thumbnail_96526939_2647503432128529_2268132917181939712_o.jpg
Be sharp when necessary.
Be sweet when you can be.
Bloom proudly,
or quietly,
it is up to you.
Have fortitude of skin
and tenacity of reach.
Don’t give up.
Mind the edges.
Wait for the right time.
Focus on the task at hand.
Be diligent in seeking opportunity.
Listen to the shadows and the wind.
Celebrate both rain and sun.
Keep company with those
who tend to the thriving of things.
Be patient.
Trust the ripening.

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The Perfect Beltane

The cool touch of dew
across cheeks and brow,
a single pink dianthus emerging
between stones,b2ap3_thumbnail_95095453_2637970603081812_7130250266661617664_o1.jpg
sunlight kisses through leafy canopies,
a circle of flower petals,
a gentle hoop of wild raspberry cane
making a celebration arch
under which to sit
on a broad flat stone,
gooseberry bushes by my knees
and the sound of wild turkeys
rising from the valley,
as the sun lifts steadily
into the sky.
It is this small magic
of living I crave
and delight in,
the silent ceremonies
of surprise and skin
that arise before my eyes
and sink into my bones,
the very day itself
the ritual handbook
of a wild witch alone.

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How can you write with  b2ap3_thumbnail_94262205_2630042767207929_6051266018465021952_o.jpg
flowered praise
of shining skies and magic days?
Don’t you know
there are bones in the grass
and fear in the air
and things that lurk on every stem
to suck your blood?
Snakes are eating baby birds
and a bobcat is even now
crushing through the skulls
of a nest of soft baby rabbits.
How dare you claim there
is beauty, that the world
is woven from love?
I claim it
because I see it.
Yes, I’ve dripped blood
on stones as thorns drag
across tender flesh,
uncovered worn femurs and ragged hip bones in fallen leaves,
scratched my own ankles bloody
after being fed upon as I walk.
I have faced unnamed skulls on mossy beds,
small jaws cracked in two,
a pelvis resting nearby
catching the rays of the setting sun.
I’ve wept over shattered eggs
and the blue jay’s screaming.
I have also borne witness to
endless
joy.
The mother deer nestling
twin fawns by her side,
the riotous blooms
blanketing the thorns,
the courtship dance of red-shouldered hawks
as they spin across the sky,
vultures skating gracefully
on thin air,
violets blooming in
the center of stones,
blue butterflies and singing bees
across the plum blossoms.
I know there are phoebes who return
year after year
to the nest they’ve built
sheltered under our eaves,
and hummingbirds that traverse endless miles
to alight on our windchimes
and to live in the mulberry trees
all summer,
our feeders their ancestral lands.
I have spotted rich mushrooms nestled impossibly
in curving roots of elm and ash,
I’ve plunged my arms into
ancient water
fresh born from between
the earth’s bones.
I’ve come eye to eye
with crows, black eyes alert,
wings shining,
with a coyote,
both of our heads lifting
to sniff the air.
I’ve eaten redbud flowers
straight from the branch
and watched the swift and patient passage of time
across the faces of those I love.
If there is one thing I know
to be true,
it is that great currents of
love and beauty
co-exist right beside great
stripes of pain,
and I still choose to celebrate this now:
the flowers in the trees,
the bones in the grass,
the blood on my knuckles,
the curving leaves,
the sweet berries,
the joy that bubbles up
right where I am.

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You can do this work.
You can live this life.
You are made for these times. b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_8728.jpg
You are capable.
You are bold.
You are brave.
You are needed.
You are strong.
You can rest
when you need to.

For people experiencing unfamiliar levels of isolation in their homes this month, here are some potential resources to check out for "home retreating":

...
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A Prayer for Uncertain Times

May I act with compassion,
remembering the irreplaceable valueb2ap3_thumbnail_89706561_2592221270990079_2611214320670867456_o.jpg
of the threads of human connection.
May I maintain a spirit of curiosity,
generosity, and creativity.
May I extend a hand when needed
and retreat when necessary.
May I exercise wise discernment.
May I remember to step outside
under a wide sky.
May I sweep my arms up and open
and then bring them down,
palms to the earth,
feeling the steady thrum of life
weaving the whole.
Placing one hand on my heart
and one on my belly,
may I be inspired, nourished, and restored
by this matching pulse within.
May I allow myself to pause
and witness the tender terrain
of uncertainty
and choose to inhabit it fully,
allowing not knowing, maybe, and if
to drift around me on the winds
of change,
while I take
another step
on solid ground.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Nice words.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thanks!

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