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.

Our bounty is inb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_7387.jpg
creativity
friendship
community
the myriad small adventures
of everyday.
We tell of magic
and moonrise
and listening to the pulse
of the earth beneath our feet.


Ah, October. Fall has settled into the trees and air. As the sun was setting and the full moon was rising, my family stood together in the dim light on our back deck, lit a fire in a hollowed out pumpkin and offered handfuls of herbs into the flames as we celebrated our blessings, our harvests, and our bounty, as a family and as individuals. As we spoke aloud our blessings and our bounty, our words got deeper, broader, and more authentic. My twelve year old son stepped forward to say how thankful he is that he gets to live with his best friend, his fifteen year old brother, and they embraced over the flaming pumpkin. My fifteen year old son offered his thanks for a family that has “cool rituals like this” and my four year son offered his blessings for the “energy we feel together.” My seven year old daughter offered her gratitude for pandas and for toys.

The next week, we returned the seeds to the pumpkin and released it to the outdoors to grow next year.

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Trust your magic. b2ap3_thumbnail_September-2018-751.JPG
Be alert for beauty.
Attend to the many wonders
of your world.

Take a deep breath. Pause. Listen. Let the rest of the worries of the day drift away for a moment and sit with the center of yourself.

In the quiet space between thoughts, between needs, before scrolling on, pause and listen.

What do you need to know right now?

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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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